Affirm moves to Mattermost from Hipchat to boost productivity through custom integrations and a great user experience

Affirm is a San Francisco-based financial services technology company with the goal to disrupt consumer credit. The company builds simple, honest, and transparent financial products with the goal of improving consumers’ financial lives. Moving internal chat communications from Hipchat to Mattermost helped Affirm increase productivity and efficiency across the company.

Looking beyond Hipchat to solve key challenges

Affirm had been using Hipchat for years but their experience had been suboptimal. Hipchat lacked some of the features that users wanted, and other features did not work well.

Another challenge was that half the company was using Hipchat and the other half preferred to use Google Hangouts within their Gmail client. This created a disconnect that hindered cross-team workflows and general productivity. If you wanted to message a particular person or team, you had to remember which platform they were using and potentially monitor two platforms simultaneously.

When news broke that Hipchat would soon sunset, it was clearly time to migrate. This change gave Affirm the opportunity to resolve both of their key challenges at once. Not only would they upgrade the messaging experience for users, but they would also transition the entire company to a single platform—and thus create one space for everyone to connect. 

Mattermost offers a flexible, feature-rich solution

Affirm took a two-part approach to finding a new platform. First, a user committee was formed with representatives from various teams. They brainstormed their ideal messaging experience and came up with a prioritized list of features from the user’s point of view.

Next, Affirm’s IT team researched as many solutions as they could find that came close to meeting the committee’s requirements. They preferred self-hosted solutions as they could directly control data security and privacy but were open to SaaS. The team evaluated nearly 30 different platforms and even stood up a few in-house and conducted short user tests. Some posed integration issues with Affirm’s environment, many weren’t robust enough or ready for scale, and others lacked the right features.

In the end, Affirm chose to migrate to Mattermost. The platform offered a feature rich user experience and the flexibility to create any number of integrations into their current systems and workflows, increasing productivity for IT teams as well as end users. In addition, they were impressed that Mattermost had invested time into developing such robust, user-friendly documentation, which helped confirm their decision.

“It’s very clear that there’s a large knowledgebase behind the product and it spoke to me about the quality of the product.”

Bobby Boughton, IT Systems Lead , Affirm

A more connected, productive organization

Transitioning the entire company to Mattermost was seamless. Various teams onboarded over a three-week period, and people found the platform to be intuitive and easy to use. The IT team braced themselves for complaints, but instead received positive feedback from end users.

Affirm’s employees were excited to be together on one platform, so they could find and ping anyone at any time. In addition, the platform offered a much-improved user experience.

Easier communication – Users loved how Mattermost solved one of their frustrations with Hipchat – finding and responding to specific messages. Threaded messages made it easier to track conversations around a topic, and pinned messages made broad communications or reference materials more visible.

Affirm’s IT and engineering teams have also benefited from Mattermost. In addition to leveraging the platform’s Jira and OneLogin integrations, the team has written a number of their own custom integrations that help them be more efficient and productive together.

Real-time team alerting – Affirm uses third-party cloud services, such as PagerDuty and Rollbar, as well as in-house tools, to keep track of their system health. By integrating with Mattermost, these tools funnel system alerts and data into a message channel, so that issues can be surfaced and addressed faster by the broader team. Similarly, the team wrote an integration with Appbot to pipe app store reviews of Affirm’s apps into Mattermost, so the team can triage issues more effectively.

Rapid coordination around releases – The team wrote a custom bot using the Mattermost API that communicates deployment schedules and code details to the engineering team. Developers can check the channel to see what’s deploying and coordinate their own releases more easily without overloading email inboxes.

As the team was building out their Mattermost implementation, the platform’s robust documentation saved them time and helped them maintain a rapid pace.

“We’ve had a lot of developers write custom tools, and they haven’t needed much support from me because Mattermost’s API documentation is very robust. So that is a value to us, because it reduces any ‘drag’ when working with your product.”

Bobby Boughton, IT Systems Lead, Affirm

Exploring new integrations and opportunities

At the time of writing, Affirm is using Mattermost across the company. The IT team is continuing to explore opportunities for integrating Mattermost in their workflows, and may even share some of their own custom integrations with the Mattermost community. The Affirm workforce has fully embraced the platform and continues to expand their use of it, both to boost productivity as well as company culture. Mattermost community channels range from serious discussions to fun topics. People post photos of their dogs and cats, or announce that they’re going out for a boba tea run. The team also recently implemented the @coffeebot integration which pairs up two Affirmers on the first Friday of each month. The pairings are office agnostic and have been a great way for team members to meet as the company continues to grow.

Now that everyone’s on the same messaging platform, no one misses out.

Learn More

Is your company also moving off of Hipchat? Learn more about how other companies are making the transition from Hipchat to Mattermost for flexible workflow customization and improved user experience. Contact a Hipchat migration specialist today.

About Affirm, Inc.

Affirm was founded with a goal to create honest financial products and services that empower consumers and improve lives. Our goal is to revolutionize the banking industry to be more accountable and accessible to consumers. Today, Affirm provides millions of shoppers an alternative to traditional credit cards at the point of sale, giving them the flexibility to buy now and make simple monthly payments for their purchases. Unlike payment options that have compounding interest and unexpected costs, Affirm shows customers upfront exactly what they’ll pay each month — with no hidden fees and no surprises. Affirm partners with over 2,000 merchants to give shoppers the option to pay with Affirm at checkout including well-known brands across retail including home furnishings, travel, personal fitness, electronics, apparel and beauty, and more. Loans are made in partnership with Affirm’s originating bank partner Cross River Bank, Member FDIC.

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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