The need for a secure and comprehensive digital working environment is a reality for many industries, especially highly regulated ones such as government agencies, public sector organizations, universities, financial institutions, and healthcare providers.
Similar to the private sector, these organizations feel the need to digitalize their processes and adopt digital workplace solutions. However, many of them can’t risk using cloud-based platforms and need to be extra careful when choosing the software providers they use.
In a post-pandemic world, solutions like Office 365, Dropbox, and Slack will become more popular. This means that all of our data, communication, and digital lives will be in the hands of some big corporations without control, privacy and with this huge vendor lock-in
Frank Karlitschek, Founder and CEO at Nextcloud GmbH.
The increasing need for an integrated virtual working environment and open-source software solutions
With the emergence of remote and hybrid work, the need for online collaboration has been increasing exponentially. So is the need for higher privacy, security, and better governance of all the data being exchanged this way.
Among many other government agencies and regulatory bodies, Swedish government agencies have recently published a report that thoroughly explains these digital collaboration and security challenges.
They raised concerns about highly regulated industries relying on cloud-based providers. In the report, they also listed a few companies that are suitable to drive digital transformation in these industries. Rocket.Chat and Nextcloud were among them.
Furthermore, on October 21st, the European Commission announced their internal strategy under the theme ‘Think Open’. This strategy “sets out a vision for encouraging and leveraging the transformative, innovative, and collaborative power of open-source, its principles and development practices.” 
According to the strategy, Commission commits to increasing its use of open-source not only in practical areas such as IT, but also in areas where it can be strategic.
To address the need for highly collaborative, yet secure digital solutions, Rocket.Chat and Nextcloud, two open-source companies, developed a native API integration.
Rocket.Chat has been all about data security ever since its foundation in 2015. Its open-source nature allows full access to its code, meaning you know exactly what is happening to your data. Because of its self-managed hosting options and deployments available even in air-gapped environments, Rocket.Chat is the preferred chat platform for security-conscious companies such as Deutsche Bahn and The Government Of British Columbia.
Rocket.Chat is the open-source and self-hosted alternative to popular cloud-based solutions such as MS Teams, Skype for Business, and Slack. It was recognized by Gartner as a representative vendor for Workstream Collaboration (WSC) defined as “products that deliver a conversational workspace based on persistent chat divided into channels. WSC tools commonly include real-time meeting capabilities and basic file sharing, and some also include basic task coordination. Products in this market are intentionally designed to be extended via APIs, bots, or other integration methods to support advanced functionality.” 
Nextcloud Hub is the worlds' most deployed on-premises team productivity platform and Germany’s number one collaboration solution. It makes user data accessible through mobile, desktop, and web interfaces and integrates collaboration features like real-time notifications and collaborative document editing with secure communication like document chat and comments.
Nextcloud offers easy and quick deployment of an open-source platform with an emphasis on security and advanced federation capabilities and integrated with existing infrastructure, putting data under the direct control of IT.
Joining forces to provide a more powerful platform for security-conscious companies
Nextcloud and Rocket.Chat have decided to partner up and further integrate their technologies to deliver a secure, digital collaboration platform.
Nextcloud’s variety of workplace collaboration features provides their customers with a comprehensive digital working environment, while Rocket.Chat’s federation, chat, and user governance functionalities extend these capabilities even further.
This new interaction between Nextcloud and Rocket.Chat puts us one step closer to building the ultimate open-source alternative to MS 365, giving back privacy and data sovereignty to the users.
Gabriel Engel, Founder and CEO at Rocket.Chat
Using this integration, Nextcloud customers can now:
- Extend and streamline communication with external parties using Rocket.Chat’s federation and bridges into Slack and Microsoft Teams
- Easily collaborate on projects and documents using Rocket.Chat’s chat right in Nextcloud
- Use a single productivity platform that integrates with other tools including Nexcloud and keeps all communications and notifications in one place
- Leverage more advanced user governance features, access levels, and role-based permissions
- Easily map even the most complex organizational structure into groups, teams, and discussions
- Securely collaborate and communicate with anyone via the world’s leading social media channels such as Whatsapp, Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, Telegram, and others
- Turn their chats into productivity tools using integrations with various HR tools, CRM solutions, ticketing systems, project management solutions, and developer tools to build powerful workflows
- Make digital workplaces and communities more engaging and collaborative using Rocket.Chat’s marketplace of apps
- Ensure full governance of all their communications using message audits, flexible retention policies, powerful engagement analytics and dashboards, and more
- Send advanced message formatting like code snippets, formula syntax, message threads, and more
The Rocket.Chat integration gives Nextcloud users and customers access to another powerful, open-source communication platform to use for their collaboration. We are excited to see improved interaction between Rocket.Chat and Nextcloud!”
Frank Karlitschek, Founder and CEO at Nextcloud GmbH
The Rocket.Chat app is now available on Nextcloud’s Marketplace. In addition, both companies will host a joint live session on April 21st to talk about the benefits of the new integration and how to use it. Stay tuned to our social media channels for the official announcements!
 European Union, “Open source software strategy 2020-2023”
 Gartner, “Market Guide for Workstream Collaboration”, Mike Gotta, 30 March 2021