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blogs On-Premise Mattermost vs. Cloud-Based Slack: Which Way Should You Go?

On-Premise Mattermost vs. Cloud-Based Slack: Which Way Should You Go?

Bushra Rahmani

Slack and Mattermost need no introduction as two of the most popular workplace communication apps.


Slack, which stepped into the SaaS world as a platform for gamers to communicate, reported 10 million daily active users.


Mattermost, an open-source Slack competitor, recently closed a $20 million funding to create new integrations and plugins.


So far, Slack’s strongest pursuit has been it’s extensive third-party app directory (2000+ integrations, mind you!)


With Mattermost receiving the massive funding, it is sure to leverage it’s identity as one of the strongest Slack competitors.


In this battle of On-Premise vs. Cloud Based Workplace Communication App, it’d be interesting to see who takes over whom.


That is why we decided to review both these software and write detailed feedback on each of the important features.


Why are People Comparing Slack with Mattermost?

While both Slack & Mattermost provide an agile solution for modern collaboration, there is one major difference:

Mattermost’s self-hosted approach offers organizations with unmatched security, privacy, complete control, and legal compliance. The teams on Mattermost get to have complete control over their data.

Security concerns still remain the number one barrier to a cloud computing deployment. Though Slack offers robust security & protection features, it’s still not a great match to the security of On-premise Mattermost.

But that is not the only difference between On-Premise Mattermost and Cloud-Based Slack.

Both of these workplace communication apps have different specifications. What is great for one organization may not be good for another.


1. Basic Features: Messaging and File Sharing


In Slack, collaboration happens in channels, that can be divided by project, client, teams, and any other requirement of your team.


  • Create, Join, and channels with clients, vendors, and partners
  • Threads to keep side conversations from derailing the topic
  • Voice and Video call, and Screen Sharing
  • Integrated File Sharing of PDF, images, videos, and more
  • Notifications
  • Advanced Search
  • Emoji Reactions
  • In-Line Linking
  • Do Not Disturb


Same as Slack, Mattermost is also equipped with all modern end-user features that increase productivity and efficiency.




  • One-to-one and group messaging
  • Video calling and Screen Sharing
  • File sharing
  • Private/public channel-based organization
  • Multi-team support
  • Threaded discussions
  • Unlimited search
  • Advanced expression via rich text formatting
  • Link previews
  • Emojis, custom emojis, emoji reactions


2. Core Integrations and API Library


When it comes to integrations, there’s still no tough competitor for Slack. The app directory has over 2,000 applications that can be integrated into Slack.

Extensive range of categories: Slack allows integrations with apps from the following categories:


  • Analytics
  • Communication
  • Customer Support
  • Design
  • Developer Tools
  • File Management
  • Health & Wellness
  • HR & Team
  • Culture Marketing
  • Office Management
  • Finance Productivity
  • Project Management
  • Sales

1. Daily Tools
: Dropbox, Google Drive, Outlook Calendar, Microsoft OneDrive, and more

2. EssentialApps: GitHub, SimplePoll, Zapier, Zendesk, and more

3. Bots: JiraCloud, Kiara, Kipwise, Kyber, Trello, Troops, and more

4. Incoming webhooks for Slack

5. Create a bot for your workspace

6. Customize Slack with internal integrations

7. Create and regenerate API tokens


Mattermost also offers core integrations with important tools that help accelerate workflow and improve productivity.

  • Over 100s of apps are available for easy integration
  • DevOps integration set
  • OAuth 2.0 applications
  • Custom slash commands
  • Bots and developer toolkit
  • Incoming and outgoing webhooks
  • Plugins and extensions
  • Robust API library

3. Security and Compliance


Slack offers a state-of-the-art set of security protection features to give users reliable control, visibility and flexibility they require for managing all their data security challenges, without having to compromise with it’s agility.


  • Single sign-on (SSO)
  • User and group provisioning
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Domain claiming
  • Custom session duration
  • Identity and device management
  • Information and data governance
  • Risk-management capabilities

Slack’s Compliance certifications


  • ISO/IEC 27001
  • ISO/IEC 27017
  • ISO/IEC 27018
  • EU/U.S. Privacy Shield Swiss/U.S. Privacy Shield
  • SOC 2&3
  • HIPAA compliance, including e-PHI
  • FedRank and FINRA 17a-4 configurable



If Slack rules in terms of Integration, Mattermost does the same in terms of Security and Compliance. It is the industry's most secure and flexible instant messaging app that addresses most challenging private messaging security needs.

  • Data is Encrypted-at-rest/in-transit
  • Layered security for on-premises installation with SSL, VPN, and DMZ
  • Advanced mobile security
  • Internal data storage on MySQL or PostgreSQL
  • Database Ownership
  • 2048-bit RSA TLS encryption (AES-256) for data transmissions
  • Compliance auditing with oversight
  • Central console data retention policies creation
  • SSO (single sign-on)
  • MFA (multi-factor authentication)
  • CBA (certificate-based authentication)
  • CBA with or without SAML

Key Differences between Slack and Mattermost’s Security features:

4. Advanced Search and Commands


Slack members can increase their collaboration efficiency and productivity by using the slash commands that act as a shortcut for particular actions in Slack.

For example, you can type a slash command in the message field, and press enters to send it. Here are a few examples of slash commands for the workspace:


To search for apps directory


To archive the channel 


To toggle your status as away 

/dnd [time] 

To start a DND session 

/feedback [your text] 

To share your feedback 


/invite @someone [#channel]

To send invite for joining a channel 

/join [#channel]

To Join a channel 

/leave (or /close or /part)

To leave a channel


To mute a channel 

/remove (or /kick) @someone

To remove someone from a channel 

/search [your text]* 

To search Slack messages 


To star the current conversation or a channel 


To set your status

/topic [text]

To set the channel topic



Mattermost also makes search easy through specific search modifiers. Some of these have been mentioned below:


  • From: and In: Use From: to find messages from a specific user and In: to find post within a specific channel
  • Exclusion Symbol: Using the exclusion symbol (-) will exclude all the posts containing that specific word from your search results.
  • Before:, After: and On: Use Before:, After:, and On:, to find the posts and messages shared before, after, and on a specified date.
  • Quotation Marks: “Quotation marks” is used to return search results for a specific term
  • Hashtags: Mattermost users can search for any posts with a specific hashtag by clicking the hashtag or simply typing it with the # symbol into the search bar.
  • Wildcard: Wildcard searches can be done by using the character * after any word


5. Configuring Notifications


Notifications are a strong pursuit of Slack, which keeps its users informed about things that require their attention.

Slack users get a notification when they receive a Direct message, someone mentions them in a channel, someone uses their keywords, and from Slackbot.

You can configure your Slack notification by following the below steps:

Notification Appearance:

  • Workspace name>Preferences> Advanced>Other Options>Untick the box next to the Leave app running in the notification area when the window is closed.

Channel Specific & DM notifications:

  • Channel > Cog Icon > Notifications Preference> Choose your Notifications Preference

Email Notifications:

  • Workspace name>Preferences>Notifications>When I’m not active on desktop>Send me Email Notifications



Email, Mobile, and Desktop notifications notify mattermost users of activity in their Mattermost workspace. Same as Slack, you get notified about DMs, Mentions, Channel activities, and any configured keywords.

Email Notifications Configuration on Mattermost:

  • Account Settings > Notifications > Email Notifications.

Desktop Notifications Configuration on Mattermost:

  • Account Settings > Notifications > Desktop Notifications > Send Desktop Notifications.

Mobile Push Notifications Configuration on Mattermost:

  • Account Settings > Notifications > Mobile Push Notifications > Send mobile push notifications.

Browser Notifications

  • Channel Menu > Notification Preferences > Mute channel

6. Interface Customisation


  • Multi-language Support for 5 Languages
  • Customize Slackbot responses, themes, welcome messages, and Emoji
  • Sidebar Customization 


  • Multi-language Support for 16 Languages
  • White labeling tp customize the user interface, fonts, and on-screen text
  • UI and UX customization
  • Customize help and support links
  • Customize logo in email notifications

Key Takeaways


Slack is great for companies that wish to streamline workflow and improvise their communication. It is recommended for businesses that are not so concerned about privacy, security, and data ownership.

It’s not recommended for those organizations looking to scale their messaging and communication solution deeply into their existing systems.

Choose Slack If you need

  • Robust integration with a wide variety of tools
  • Advanced Search Functionality
  • Polished User Experience
  • Syntax Coloring
  • @mentions
  • Multiple channels for multiple groups
  • Emoji reaction that limits posts and notifications
  • Local time of each participant
  • Drag and Drop files in Channels
  • Flexibility with notification setting
  • Inline Link Preview
  • Slackbot extensible chat robot
  • Multiple teams in one workspace
  • Self-Chatting
  • IRC connectivity over SSL
  • Creation of diagrams, flowcharts, org charts, UML and infographics



Mattermost, as an on-premise solution addresses several of the pain points which an organization experiences with collaboration tools in terms of security, privacy, scalability, legal compliance, and scalability.

You can deploy it wherever you wish, and private, hybrid clouds, and public. But it is not an ideal solution for organizations concerned with productivity. Unlike Slack, Mattermost offers a very limited set of integrations.

Choose Mattermost if your priorities are

  • Self-Hosted Collaboration Platform
  • Variable Data retention policies
  • Advanced access controls
  • Native eDiscovery Compliance Support
  • Multi-language Support
  • UI-UX Customization
  • Security from any third-party monitoring
  • Private cloud deployment to Azure, AWS,
  • One-Liner Docker Install
  • Open Source tool
  • Custom themes
  • Markdown Support
  • Transparent System updates
  • White-labeling Office Chat App

Can’t Make a Choice Yet? Try Troop Messenger

If you can’t make a choice between an on-premise Mattermost and cloud-based Slack, we’ve got you covered.

At Troop Messenger, we offer to you the benefits of both Mattermost and SaaS. Troop Messenger delivers end-to-end application management with its on-premise delivery model.

Hence, security-conscious organizations like military and government agencies can have full-scale data security and complete privacy with no third-party access.

Troop Messenger’s Advantage Over Slack:

3 Delivery Model:

  • SaaS
  • Self-Hosting/On-Premise
  • Chat APIs

Burnout Window (Incognito Chat)

Global Search

Advanced Search

Search by Location, Contacts, URLs, Time Filters

High-End Security Pin

Fingerprint Access

Forkout (At one go, send a single message to multiple users & groups)

Live Location Tracking


Troop Messenger’s Advantage Over Mattermost:

3 Delivery Model:

  • SaaS
  • Self-Hosting/On-Premise
  • Chat APIs

Departmental Groups for Self-Hosting

Burnout Window (Incognito Chat)

Guest Access


Search by Location, Contacts, URLs, Time Filters, Images, Videos, Files

Passcode Security Pin

Fizzle Out (Sent message gets deleted automatically in a stipulated time)

Signing Off

If you are a security-conscious large organization that loves to be in control of your data, I would strongly recommend MatterMost. It’s a go-to collaboration app for organizations for whom data security is above all else.

If your team is all about boosting productivity and therefore are subject to many third-party apps, and APIs, and bots then $US6. 67 per active user per month is a great option for the value proposition.

And if you cannot decide between the on-premise Mattermost and cloud-based Slack, then Troop Messenger is definitely a great pick. This new-age slack alternative comprises powerful features that have been exclusively designed to reach every workplace.


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