Government agencies

U.S. federal agency migrates from Jabber to Mattermost the open source way

Seeking to solve its need for secure text-based communications, a major government agency moves away from outdated Jabber and switches to Mattermost, a private cloud Slack alternative. With the help of Brightscout, the open source migration was wrapped up in a matter of weeksinstead of months.


For years, a major federal agency with tens of thousands of employees in a wide range of jobs relied on Jabber—Cisco’s legacy messaging platform—and its integration with Pidgin to power text-based communications for hundreds of dedicated professionals in a high-security environment.


Even though the Jabber platform had passed its end-of-life, the agency had to continue using it to power its operations. They felt that they had no way out. But the issue needed to be resolved once IT was finally tasked with a specific deadline to find an alternative solution.

The agency tried to solve the problem with XMPP solutions—including HipChat—that they believed could potentially masquerade as a Jabber server. But these solutions proved too fragile and were unsupported.

IT also considered fixing the issue with custom software. But that would take several months which the agency didn’t have to spare. Considering the amount of employees on the old Jabber platform, they needed to move quickly with a new solution.


After doing its due diligence, the agency found Mattermost, an open source solution that quickly met its many requirements for secure communication. Not only did Mattermost support the Pidgin interface for hundreds of their internal users, the platform also enabled them to quickly port over their existing message history and user accounts.

Realizing that the solution solved their problems within the right timeframe, the agency quickly purchased both a subscription and professional services package from Mattermost.  

Since Mattermost works within the government’s newly approved open source policies, the agency was able to rapidly get through the government’s procurement process—which could have taken weeks alone to just get through with other companies.

By going the open source way, the agency reduced time and cost while increasing transparency and flexibility. Other public sector agencies and private sector organizations can also use the solution to solve the same need.

In the end, by using Mattermost, the solution was created in a matter of weeks—not months.

To expedite the process further, Jabber users and message histories were imported into Mattermost automatically using a new open source tool developed by Brightscout, a Mattermost partner that helps with deployment, adoption, integration, and support.

That tool could then connect to Pidgin interfaces using another open source plugin developed by Eion Robb, an engaged member of the open source community. After analyzing and vetting Robb’s plugin, it was then packaged in another open source installer by the Mattermost team and made ready for customer use.


By choosing Mattermost, the federal agency was able to meet its deadlines and move away from Jabber’s discontinued product while maintaining a familiar messaging experience. They were able to avoid incurring the expenses and complexities that come with extensive retraining and change management.

What’s more, the agency was able to modernize its communication with the native Mattermost interface—which includes contemporary web, desktop and mobile apps, and serves as a secure enterprise-grade solution. Instead of being locked into a single corporation’s ecosystem, they were able to futureproof their communications. Moving forward, they will be able to leverage the talent of an active open source community should needs shift.

There are open source benefits here too, which are a win for everyone:

  • Customers. Open source solutions are higher quality because they’re designed to be used by an entire community; it’s not just a single deployment. Customers benefit from being able to leverage powerful communication and collaboration tools.
  • Taxpayers. Since they are more affordable than proprietary solutions, the agency’s decision to invest in an open source platform helped extend taxpayer dollars even further without compromising on quality.
  • The community. Members of the open source community take great pride in the work they do. They love the fact that many people will be using their work in the future—which produces better results in less time.
  • The world. Open source projects are freely available to the rest of the world. There’s no shortage of enterprises and organizations that can leverage these projects moving forward to deliver even more value to their customers.

Open source opens doors. It’s just the better way.

Learn More 

Are you an IT buyer for a public sector customer that operates under a strict set of regulatory and security requirements looking to migrate from Jabber to a secure and scalable messaging platform? Find out more about how other agencies are using Mattermost by contacting our sales team today.

About Mattermost 

Mattermost provides enterprise-grade collaboration solutions for the world’s leading organizations on a vibrant open source platform. Our private, hybrid and public cloud solutions offer secure, configurable, highly scalable messaging across web, mobile and PC with archiving, search, and deep integration across in-house systems.

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Jason Blais is a Lead Product Manager at Mattermost, Inc. Prior to joining Mattermost, Jason served as a product manager and analytics manager for SpinPunch, a Y Combinator-backed online gaming startup. Jason has also provided statistical consultation at Stanford University. He is a University of Waterloo alumnus.