Worldline creates a collaborative culture to a global team with Mattermost
“Mattermost is the easiest way possible to get people to collaborate on anything.”Antoine Neveux Software Engineer, Worldline
For over 45 years, Worldline has delivered innovative payment and transactional services to merchants, banks, public transport operators, government agencies, and industrial companies around the world. In 1973, the company won the first card transaction processing contract and has stayed on the cutting edge of the payment industry ever since. Headquartered in France, Worldline has 12,000 employees working in more than 30 countries around the world. The company generated upwards of €2.4 billion in revenue in 2019.
Mattermost gives Worldline a central collaboration space that its distributed team uses to find information, organize projects, and speed up development workflows using the Mattermost GitLab plugin.
Antoine Neveux, a developer advocate who’s been with Worldline for a decade, was part of the initial team that started using Mattermost in 2015—before it was bundled with GitLab Omnibus. Fast-forward to today, and 3,000 Worldline employees are now on the company’s Mattermost server spread across more than 500 teams.
Solving a problem Worldline didn’t even know existed
Prior to Mattermost, Worldline was using tools like Microsoft Lync, Skype for Business, and BlueKiwi to handle internal business communications—not to mention lots of emails, too. According to Neveux, Lync and Skype are primarily used for one-to-one conversations and small group chats. And while BlueKiwi posts would occasionally get some responses, they wouldn’t spark discussions.
“It was the same as a mailing list,” Neveux explains. “People would post and maybe you’d get reactions, but never a conversation.”
As Worldline began to explore other messaging options, they considered using Slack. But due to the company’s strict security requirements, they couldn’t use a public SaaS service since they needed to maintain complete control over all sensitive data.
So, they searched for a Slack alternative and found Mattermost.
“Since Mattermost was an open source Slack alternative, we thought it would be a great product to have—even if it wasn’t part of GitLab at the time,” Neveux says. Due to its open source nature, “we saw how easy it was to integrate with other tools.”
Initially, Mattermost served small development teams and was only used by developers and technical people. Over time, it’s grown to become a major collaboration space that the globally distributed company relies on every day, complementing existing communications tools with its capacity of handling large groups and teams conversations.
“Mattermost is solving a problem we never knew we had,” Neveux says. “With Mattermost, you can reach people you don’t already know for a discussion about a particular topic in an instant and get answers pretty fast.”
Creating a worldwide collaborative culture
At first, Neveux and his team were the only people using Mattermost, and they really enjoyed it because it delivered several benefits to these developers, including:
- dedicated rooms where they could talk to one another about projects in real time,
- the ability to integrate other tools and pass information to Mattermost (e.g., routing CI notifications to specific channels to eliminate context switching), and
- the ability to automatically post updates when things like commits and merge requests were submitted.
Once GitLab began shipping Mattermost in GitLab Omnibus, Worldline rolled the solution out with GitLab for the entire organization.
“Adoption went crazy,” Neveux explains. “Most devs switched over right away” due to the way Mattermost and GitLab make development faster.
As users began moving to Mattermost, people started creating small teams and channels that had 10 or 20 people in them. Over the years, those numbers have changed significantly.
“Now, it’s bigger and bigger teams,” Neveux continues. “Our biggest channel has 2,100 people in it. We went from small teams where people were talking to people they already knew to a massive instance with thousands of people, most of whom you don’t know. Mattermost has helped us bring a global company together in one place.”
In the past, when Worldline workers had questions, they’d generally go to people they knew and ask them directly. That approach takes time and revolves around the other person’s availability.
“With Mattermost, you send a message, and maybe someone who you don’t know will answer it,” Neveux says, adding it’s a great way to bring employees together, many of whom might never step foot in the same office.
Across Worldline, Mattermost has become the go-to solution for new projects.
“Mattermost is the easiest way possible to get people in the same place to collaborate on anything,” Neveux says. “It just takes two or three clicks to create a channel or team, and people can join at any time to read up on the history.”
As for what the Worldline team might hope to see in Mattermost in the future?
“We don’t have any requests yet regarding Mattermost,” Neveux concludes. “People are happy with what’s in there, and the adoption continues.”