How to make a self-hosted enterprise messenger?

Funny picture about enterprise environment A lot of people are using Telegram, Viber, WhatsApp, Skype, and Slack. These are very convenient messengers that work on smartphones and computers. They have various helpful things — you can even make calls and save money on international conversations.

Everything is awesome except for one important moment.

The servers of these messengers are located somewhere abroad. You connect messengers over the Internet and use their features, but you can't manage or control them.

This unpleasant moment leads to several issues.

1. You are dependent on the service that you are using

Blocking of messengers

If the messenger crashes or gets banned for one day, it will cause a lot of inconvenience. People got used to communicating and exchanging files. Everything was established but gone in one moment. They will have to create a new working scheme from the very beginning based on another messenger.

The message history and contacts will be gone, and you will have to configure everything again.

2. You do not control your enterprise messenger

It's obvious because you are using someone's service. For free. It means that you are just a product for him. Your private data, contacts, phone book, geolocation, musical preferences, message texts, and files — all these are included in the advertising profile that can be successfully sold. It's not a joke, read the license agreement that you accepted without reading to install the program.

Public messengers are very convenient, and you do not have to be a tech specialist to set up them — everything works right after your registration and phone number linking to the program. But the flip side of the coin is that this is mainstream. No available settings on the server, and no restrictions for user communication. A disloyal employee can leak very important information to your competitor, and you will never know.

Besides, in most messengers, except Slack, you can't limit the communication environment for employees with working contacts only for they not to waste their working time.

3. Your message history does not belong to you

Meme about privacy Of course, you can save everything in the cloud and be sure that nobody will ever read it. You can try to convince the security chief of a bank or retail network accountant about complete safety. They will immediately take off your blinders.

If you are using a public messenger, then be sure that all messages are stored where they are supposed to be. They can be read by anyone who needs it and can be used in court against you.

That is why entrepreneurs won't use free, public messengers. But people from external contacts won't use your company messenger to connect with you. In this case, you have to use that product that your customer got used to.

But for internal corporate communications, you need only your own self-hosted messenger so that your company won't depend on anyone.

4. What to do?

OK, we may have scared you. But now you see why using the public messenger in a serious enterprise environment is a bad idea. And it's impossible to get a self-hosted server of WhatsApp or Telegram messenger level. Even if you got such a program, you probably wouldn't find a place and tech specialists to support the messenger.

5. Do such messengers exist?

Yes, lots of them. In this article, we will talk about MyChat enterprise messenger, that begins his history from far 2004 and have customers from various cities and countries.

The program has the support service on the official forum where our team is always ready to help you.

6. How to install it?

In general, you will need 20 minutes for everything. No jokes.

First, download the server from the official website. You can order MyChat Free Edtion (only 20 online connections). For the test or for a small company it would be more than enough. The setup file has 100 MB in size.

Then install MyChat Server on any computer in your company. You do not need any server hardware to do this — a regular office computer with Windows OS. On the Help page, you will read about the server installation step-by-step.

After that, you need to connect the client application to your server over the IP address or domain name. There is a wide range of available platforms: Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, and even WEB. Download on the developer's website.

You can also install the already configured directly from your server. This guide describes how to do that.

7. How to connect my messenger over the Internet?

Everything is simple. You need an external IP address. The article about MyChat configuration over the Internet will help you.

All your "outside" users with smartphones from other departments connect to the external "white" IP address (usually it's your router). The router transfers them to your local network by connecting them to the server.

Those employees, who are physically located in the same network as MyChat can connect to it directly over the local network or Wi-Fi.

8. How secure is that?

Cat on the wall This is a serious topic because if you want own self-hosted messenger than you have to pay more attention to the security question.

The traffic is encrypted by sessional dynamic keys via TLS1.2; OpenSSL is used. Besides, all voice and video calls are also encrypted.

MyChat Web services such as regular chat, Admin panel, built-in forum, Kanban project management, and website support chat are secured with HTTPS. You use your own certificates.

Messages and documents are stored on your server only and nowhere else. MyChat can function in autonomous mode without the Internet connection — in the local network or enterprise isolated environment.

Besides, MyChat Server has filters for IP/MAC addresses and application types to limit the client connections from external networks:

MyChat filters for IP/MAC addreses

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