Cisco Jabber is a real-time, XMPP-based communication system deployed on-premise at thousands of enterprises.
Jabber works on a variety of platforms, has named, persistent chatrooms, and direct messaging. It is very much bell and whistle-free when compared to its modern, cloud-based competition. That said, Jabber comes with a unique advantage: it scales across thousands of users, making it a viable option for keeping everyone connected at the largest of companies.
However, teams at large companies often look for those bells and whistles in a chat service. They want integrations, bots, ability to paste code, animated gif support, and excellent mobile apps.
When teams discover more featureful communication solutions, they sign up and begin to re-center their workflows around these new mission control centers. In this way, given enough time, any large company will eventually find itself housing as many cloud team chat instances as it does teams. Such instances get adopted unofficially, with no involvement from systems administrators. Any subscription fees are either expensed or paid out of pocket. (This is called "shadow IT".)
As a result, the landscape of real-time communication tools at large companies ends up extremely fragmented. Jabber continues to be available as the standard IM tool everyone is expected to use, but its adoption tends to plummet. People end up with multiple active IM accounts, so getting a hold of someone turns into an exercise of trying them all. In the end, it's often easier to email.
Our standard solution to the problem of fragmented chat tools (see, for example, Connecting Slack to Skype) doesn't work so well for Jabber, because its runs behind corporate firewalls.
To address this, we built a special Sameroom Proxy Agent that IT can install on-premise. This agent connects to Sameroom, Jabber, and Active Directory. By using this Agent, a company where chat has been fragmented between Jabber and, say, Slack, can help both factions remain connected without having to resort to email.
Installation Instructions ∞
The Sameroom Proxy Agent is available as a Docker image. Before proceeding, you'll need a machine with Docker installed. For Docker installation instructions, see https://docs.docker.com/engine/installation/.
Once your machine is ready, install the Sameroom proxy agent:
docker run --name sameroom-xmpp -d -p 8080:8080 --restart=always sameroom/sameroom-xmpp-proxy
Once the proxy is running, you can open
https://<proxy server IP>:8080 in your browser to see the setup form—you'll have to fill it out.
Note that your Jabber password is never transmitted to the cloud and the proxy never stores it to disk.
At this point, you can add accounts from other services and build Tubes between your on-premise Jabber and cloud systems, like Slack, HipChat, Chatter, or Skype.
Interestingly, you can also use this approach to federate two Jabbers running behind different firewalls.