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Announcing Mattermost Integration

By Andrei Soroker

Mattermost is a open source team chat service that’s compatible with Slack’s API and is trivial to self-host.

I’m happy to announce that Sameroom now integrates with Mattermost, which enables Mattermost users to share channels not only with 20+ other services, but also with channels in other Mattermost instances.

Below is a copy of the announcement post I guest-wrote on the official Mattermost blog.

My name is Andrei—I run Sameroom, where we make chat interoperability easy. I’m excited to announce the integration of Mattermost with, allowing users of the open-source Slack alternative to connect to 21 different messengers, including Slack, Skype, and HipChat.

Let’s take a step back for a brief survey of the current business chat landscape—I’ll show why cross-platform and cross-instance interoperability is an important stepping stone in making chat a viable model for external communication.

Team chat has long been the internal collaboration approach of choice for technical teams. Traditionally, these teams have been small, closely-knit units within large organizations. Since corporate IT rarely, if ever, offered team chat as approved technology, each unit chose its own platform and used it under the radar.

After decades of quiet, the word got out. The number of team chat solutions mushroomed, seemingly overnight. VC and corporate investment in the space jumped from virtually zero to billions. The New York Times and The Economist announced the end of email.

Small, closely-knit teams, accustomed to email for anything external, began getting invites to other units’ collaboration solutions. There was excitement—they were right all along!—but also a feeling of the implacable undoing of everything that was right in the world.

Unlike email servers, various team chat services, and even isolated instances of the same type of service, generally don’t know how to work together—there is no “universal ether”, a protocol similar to SMTP, for chat. XMPP was a solid attempt at one, but it didn’t work out.

Lack of cross-team and cross-platform interoperability results in two fundamental problems. The first problem has to do with compliance—most corporate policies require all company-related communication to be retained on company-owned systems. Therefore, for every “guest access” scenario, one of the sides invariably violates its corporate policy.

The second problem is account creep—if, for every external project, every person in a tightly-knit team has to create and maintain another account that has to be monitored on desktop and mobile, it’s easy to see that this approach doesn’t scale.

We built Sameroom to fix these two problems. Sameroom makes it easy to create real-time, 2-way bridges (we call them “tubes”) between chatrooms belonging to different environments.

A tube connects two rooms or channels into a virtual “same room”. Tubes can be arranged in an arbitrary topology. Each room retains its own copy of chat history, making chat-based cross-company communication compliant.


Fig 1. Six chatrooms, all connected into a virtual “same room”.

With Sameroom, account creep doesn’t happen at all: For every external project, a team can designate a channel shared with a channel in the service used by the other party.

Over the past few months, we’ve heard a steadily increasing choir of requests for an integration with Mattermost. Today, we’re happy to announce its general availability.

The integration is full-featured, and is actually superior to Slack’s in one important way: Files appear to be posted from the actual author, not “sameroom”.


Fig 2. Files shared in Slack come from the “sameroom”, with actual author’s name appearing in a comment.


Fig 3. Files shared in Mattermost come from the actual author

In addition to cross-platform integrations, Sameroom makes it easy to share channels between different Mattermost instances—as Mattermost grows in popularity, it’s safe to assume there will be an increased need in Mattermost-to-Mattermost connectivity.

To get started with the Sameroom Mattermost integration, follow this URL:

Announcing GroupMe Integration

By Andrei Soroker

Today we’re happy to announce support for GroupMe as a part of our new set of BridgeBot integrations.

With this integration, it’s easy to sync GroupMe groups with groups/channels/rooms in other collaboration systems (Sameroom supports over 20!).

Connecting to Skype

Let’s take a look at connecting a GroupMe group to a group in Skype.

  1. Select your GroupMe group
  2. Type -sameroom open in your GroupMe group. (Wait for the BridgeBot to respond with a code.)
  3. Add to your Skype contacts
  4. Invite Sameroom Bot to your Skype group
  5. Type -sameroom connect <code>, with code from step 3 above.

This will create a 2-way, real-time Tube between the two groups. For more info, post -sameroom help in either group.

Connecting to Slack

Slack is an example of a service without a BridgeBot: You’ll have to add your Slack account to Sameroom (part of step 3, below).

  1. Select your GroupMe group
  2. Type -sameroom portal (Wait for the BridgeBot to respond with a Portal URL.)
  3. Navigate to the Portal URL and follow instructions.

If you have any questions, please contact us or send us a tweet.

Introducing BridgeBots

By Andrei Soroker

Over time, we realized that more often than not, we suggest that our users create special “bot” (or, in other word, “relay”) accounts for Sameroom integrations.

The main reason for this tends to be user experience. With the exception of Slack, Fleep, and Flowdock, none of the services we support offer a way to safely “impersonate” a user, leading to confusion.

While we can’t fix this situation by ourselves—we’ll need some help from the chat services to expand their APIs—with some systems we can remove the need for creating new “relay” accounts.

All the messaging platforms with a global user directory1 will eventually get special Sameroom BridgeBots that you can invite to rooms or channels and create connections (Tubes) to other systems through -sameroom open or -sameroom portal commands. As a bonus, Tubes between BridgeBots will be on us—free as in beer.

Today, we’re announcing the first three BridgeBots: for Skype, GroupeMe, and Telegram. (These bots use the very impressive Microsoft Bot Framework.)

To create a Tube between BridgeBots, create or join groups in Skype, GroupMe, or Telegram and invite the BridgeBots:


Add to contacts, then invite Sameroom Bot to your Skype group


Invite sameroom


Invite sameroom_bot

Then, type -sameroom open in one group, wait for the BridgeBot to respond with a code, and copy that code.

In the other group, type -sameroom connect <paste code>.

To create a Tube between a BridgeBot and some other system (Slack or HipChat), invite a BridgeBot, type -sameroom portal, wait for the BridgeBot to respond with a Portal URL, click on the URL and follow instructions.

1 IRC networks (e.g. Freenode), GroupMe, Skype, Hangouts, Twitter, iMeet, Telegram, Gitter, Fleep, Spark.

How Hanzo Used Sameroom to Simplify Client Communications

By Jared McGriff

Hanzo helps early stage hardware companies build and launch products. Hanzo serves in a hands-on and advisory capacity to drive all aspects of early stage growth, including operations, product development, marketing, sales, and support.

The nature of Hanzo’s business requires frequent communication with client teams. As such, Hanzo’s first deliverable is to set up their client’s Slack instance. In order to remain in contact with the client teams, members of the Hanzo team joined client Slack teams. While Hanzo members enjoyed the benefits of being in close touch with the customer in this manner, they also noticed certain usage patterns that proved problematic in an environment where team-to-team communication was critical to the success of the engagement.

Benefits of joining client Slack teams

  • Real-time communication with core client team throughout the duration of engagement

  • High visibility into all client team activities and communication flows

Problems with joining client Slack teams

  • Confusion/information overload associated with joining so many Slack teams

  • Being a part of the team increased DM (direct, 1-1 message) potential

  • Frequent DMs meant Hanzo team members did not receive relevant information at the same time

Due to the above problems, Hanzo CEO Zach Kelling sought a solution to simplify his team’s usage of Slack.

Sameroom helped Hanzo restructure their client communication with shared channels between the Hanzo Slack team and client Slack teams.

Since most communication during the engagement involves the Hanzo team providing answers to questions and offering advice, this method turned out to be beneficial, since both the Hanzo and client teams receive all information at the same time (by eliminating DMs entirely) and each retain a copy of the conversation.

This single point of connectivity forced all stakeholders to collaborate publicly, maximized accountability, limited superfluous conversation, and forced focus. Another benefit to using Sameroom included the ability to share Slack integrations with client teams.

Primary functional benefit of shared Slack channels

  • Hanzo team can respond to client matters without joining client Slack teams

  • By eliminating DMs, all Hanzo team members can respond and/or view responses in real-time

  • The Hanzo team can remain in their home environment without switching Slack teams or sharing DM and presence information with outside teams

There were two unintentional benefits of sharing Slack channels

  • The approach forced good behavior: a single point of connection required all stakeholders to discuss topics in public (as opposed to DMs)

  • Sameroom allowed Hanzo to share integrations across Slack instances: it’s easy to share key integrations with external teams, creating more value throughout the engagement

By using Sameroom, Hanzo was able to foster an open and accountable communication environment to drive successful client engagements.

About Sameroom: Sameroom provides real-time interoperability gateways available for Cisco Spark, Skype for Business, Yammer, Fleep, Flowdock, Gitter, Google Hangouts, HipChat, Intercom, IRC, Salesforce Chatter, Skype, Slack, Telegram, and Twitter. Sameroom can work with any other chat platform, given an API.

About Hanzo: Hanzo is a creator-first ecommerce platform that helps you quickly build scalable companies, fund innovative products and grow community around invention. Hanzo is made up of complementary features that you can mix-and-match to fit your needs.

Google Authentication Update

By Andrei Soroker

Since Google Hangouts has absolutely no developer APIs, the authentication loophole used in the Sameroom Hangouts integration has always been a bit of a gamble.

Google finally killed the loophole a couple of weeks ago, preventing new users from signing into Sameroom with Hangouts, but leaving existing integrations intact.

(Aside from the small problem of not having an API, Hangouts has been one of the most reliable providers Sameroom supports: there have been virtually no outages in over a year of operation.)

Today we’re releasing a “fix” for our authentication problem by asking for your Google password.

For this to work, enable two-factor verification for your Google account—but not Google Prompt: Use the Google Authenticator method or SMS.

If you’re using Google Apps, an admin has to enable two-step verification for your domain.

Once you authenticate on Sameroom, Google will send you an email similar to this one:


This is expected.

If you have any questions, please get in touch.


Need to connect a Freenode channel to a room in HipChat? Or want to give customers a simple way to connect to a channel in your Slack team?

Sameroom does that!
Learn more

 Subscribe via RSS