Why choose matrix as enterprise chat?

A small case-study


Company A

Company C

Company B

Old setup

Old setup

  • many common projects and collaborations
  • stuck on an old Rocket.Chat version
  • each company has their own IT-infrastructure

We needed a new chat.


Shall allow communication between employees of different companies

Shall enable audio and video conferencing easily, reliably and in good quality

Shall provide an option for do not disturb times

Shall support SSO via SAML, OIDC or LDAP

Should have a good search

Shall ensure confidentiality of messages

Shall have clients for Android, iOS, macOS Windows as well as Web

Solution space

We decided to give matrix a chance...

  • cheaper in the long run
    → est. TCO of about 18k vs 30k (Slack) after 5 years with 35 users
  • no privacy or GDPR risks, because self-hosted on our hardware
  • E2EE possible
  • extremely scalable
    → both users and federating servers
  • SSO works really good
  • Synapse does not need much maintenance
  • Much faster than our old Rocket.Chat



  • high initial setup costs
  • in-house knowledge about matrix has to be built up
  • E2EE is sometimes inconvenient
  • not having E2EE is actually an option but a bit flaky
  • Some important features are missing in element
    • do-not-disturb times
    • Status for vacation, busy-times, etc.



  • Managed rooms
    • A bot syncs user groups from Azure AD and LDAP into             rooms
    • invites, kicks, power-levels
  • We really wanted SSO.
    If you do not need that and have only a few users, Slack might be cheaper, because you do not need the Slack Business+ plan

Our special-requirements

  • your company does not collaborate with other companies
  • you do not care that much about privacy and security
  • you want it very easy and fast without much pre-knowledge

You do not need             if

  • your company collaborates a lot with other companies
  • you do care about privacy and security or have to fulfill regulations
  • you really want SSO and don't want to pay a lot of money for that

You might want             if

Things to consider

  • Use the federation whitelist
  • Use spaces only if necessary, they are complex for users
  • Things like a GIF-Picker are more important for users than you might think
  • Create a common room for all users of all participating servers to allow easy user-search across federation
  • Self-hosting matrix only pays off if you have more than ~30 users → more users = cheaper
  • Widgets, Stickers and Integration Managers do not work very well in a closed, self-hosted environment

Any additions or questions?

Valentin Rieß


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