In recent years, messaging apps have taken the world by storm. And as the app choice grew, consumer have developed very strong messaging preferences — some rely primarily on WhatsApp or WeChat, while others stick to iMessage. It’s a fragmented market and most apps are not interoperable. This means that both parties have to use the same app to communicate.
Federated instant messaging resolves this issue by creating one centralized communication platform that breaks down barriers created by apps.
What Is Federated Messaging?
This technology centralizes cross-platform communication and eliminates the need to install specific chat apps. The best existing example of this is email servers. There are billions of email users worldwide spread out across several providers, such as Gmail and Outlook. Yet, people can communicate without using the same mailbox providers. A federated communication platform introduces this same level of cohesion and simplicity to instant messaging.
The Different Types of Federated Systems
Organizations can decide the level of expansion for their federated networks. Closed federation systems use internal servers to host communication. This communication channel requires users to be invited in but has unlimited scalable opportunities. It is an excellent tool for B2B companies.
B2C companies tend to prefer open federation. It expands the communication channel to bridge communication gaps caused by using multiple chat apps. This system can interact with most mainstream apps, and almost anyone can join the network.
Ecosystem federation operates in the middle and introduces the best of both worlds. Like closed systems, it uses an invite-only standard. However, it can connect multiple organizations while ensuring data security and a semi-closed network.
How Federated Messaging Technology Works
Companies can use several different standards and protocols to structure federated communication. So far, two stand out above the rest.
The Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol is an instant messaging protocol for message-oriented middleware. The open-source community created this XML-centered protocol in 1999. Software developers use it in a wide range of applications, from gaming to security.
XMPP provides the basic functionalities of a federated network:
- Message routing
- Presence management
- Contact lists
The protocol also contains several additional features:
- Support for multiple languages
- A comprehensive set of extensions
- An open development community
The Matrix protocol is a relatively new standard focusing on security and extensibility. The Matrix open-source project came out of beta in 2019, and major tech companies have since adopted it. It uses an open standard to bridge communication across a long list of apps. These are some of its bridging methods:
- Plumbed rooms
- Portal rooms
- Bridge bots
Additional Matrix Protocol Services
Matrix offers all the features of XMPP. It also provides a strong foundation for these additional services.
End-to-end encryption ensures that only the sender and the intended recipient of a message can read its contents. It prevents third parties, such as hackers, from intercepting. Matrix uses Megolm and Olm cryptographic ratchets to provide end-to-end encryption for its users.
The Matrix protocol uses digital signatures to verify the identity of users. This process involves verifying the user’s identity through a third-party service, such as an email address or phone number. The extra step prevents impersonation and man-in-the-middle attacks.
Archiving and Search
All messages sent through the Matrix protocol are archived and stored on servers. It allows users to search for specific messages and conversations. That makes it a valuable feature for businesses that need to comply with federal government instant messaging archiving +regulations, such as those set by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Enterprise Controls for Data Security
These include data retention policies, audit logs, and antivirus protections. Features like these make the Matrix protocol an attractive option for businesses that need to comply with data security regulations, such as the GDPR and HIPAA.
Analytics and Insights
The Matrix protocol provides businesses with valuable insights into their federated networks. Managers can use these insights to improve the efficiency of the network and the overall user experience.
The Matrix protocol offers a wide range of features that operations managers can use to automate business workflows and improve collaborative efforts. This feature is an excellent asset for companies with global teams or key personnel working remotely.
How Federated Messaging Helps Regulated Industries Meet Compliance Goals
XMMP and Matrix provide excellent foundations for companies to leverage for their businesses. Some companies will embark on the long and expensive journey to create a federated messaging orchestration platform that meets their needs. Others will turn to existing platforms with a track record of success. These are some benefits of using a federated system.
Federated systems offer a centralized way to manage and store data. This is a critical feature for companies subject to data security and recordkeeping regulations. Centralized data is also easier to search, which can be crucial for investigations.
Support of Multiple Types of Chats
Federated systems do more than just make it easy to chat across multiple platforms. They also work across different chat features, such as one-on-one, broadcasts, and group chats. Consequently, companies can rest assured that they have compliance protections across all types.
How LeapXpert Can Help
LeapXpert leverages a federated instant messaging service to enable and archive conversations across multiple platforms. Our extensive compatibility makes us ideal for companies in regulated and non-regulated industries. We also add enterprise controls for data security which include data retention policies, audit logs, and antivirus protections. Features like these make the Matrix protocol an attractive option for businesses that need to comply with data security regulations, such as the GDPR and HIPAA.
Why take our word for it? Book a demo to see our archiving service in action.
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