How Rocket.Chat meets the needs of government agencies across the globe

Sara Ana Cemazar
May 12, 2022
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5
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Governmental agencies and public sector organizations are catching on to the digital transformation trend. Besides the need to upgrade their internal processes and services to citizens, they need to be extremely careful about data privacy and data security.

Organizations in this sector look for secure ways to collaborate internally and with external partners. Moreover, they want to efficiently manage incoming citizens’ inquiries and requests. Rocket.Chat meets their high data security standards while enabling effective team collaboration and communication with citizens.

Read on to find out what are governmental agencies' main priorities when choosing software and how Rocket.Chat fits into this criteria. Moreover, learn more about Rocket.Chat users in the public sector and how they use the solution to improve their services and processes.

Government-related organizations’ priorities when choosing a software

When looking for a new solution, government agency representatives will have a predefined set of criteria that needs to be filled. These prerequisites include the highest levels of data security and data privacy.

One of the best data protection methods includes on-premise hosting. It’s synonymous with data sovereignty, i.e. having full control over your data. Considering that public sector organizations need to comply with strict privacy regulations, this is crucial.

Moreover, government-related organizations are often burdened with legacy software that’s not going to be updated any time soon. That’s why one of the criteria is often the ability to fit the new solution to the existing operating infrastructure.

government agency communication software

Rocket.Chat is open source and can be deployed on-premise. These features match the need for increased security, data sovereignty, and flexibility. Here are more details:

Data privacy

Public sector and government-related agencies need to be extra mindful of data privacy. They need to serve as examples of compliance with the regulations on data privacy such as GDPR. Moreover, government-related agencies work with high volumes of citizen data and can’t risk exposing them due to potential exploitation.

For example, we’ve recently seen German schools and French ministries stop using Microsoft Office 365 products due to data privacy issues. Namely, even though Microsoft provides cloud storage based in the EU, it’s still potentially penetrable by the US authorities according to the US Cloud act.

How Rocket.Chat mitigates privacy concerns? Rocket.Chat is open source software, meaning that its users can access and inspect the source code. This eliminates the possibility of data misuse - you can easily check how the engine works and see how the data is used and processed.

Data sovereignty

As well as any privacy-conscious company, government-related organizations are aware that their data is safest in their own hands. Due to that, one of the main requirements for software to use within government-related agencies is on-premise deployment.

On-premise hosting ensures full ownership of data, also known as data sovereignty. Recent retirement of Skype for Business (that had the on-premise deployment feature) showed the importance of owning your conversations. Namely, MS Teams was announced as its replacement, which propelled companies to search for an on-premise Skype for Business alternative.

How Rocket.Chat ensures data sovereignty? Users can host Rocket.Chat on-premise and have full ownership over their data. 

Data security

Every government-related organization needs to be mindful of data security, which is intertwined with privacy and sovereignty.

In addition to characteristics such as open source and on-premise hosting, software that’s to be used in government-related organizations need to employ other data protection measures.

How is data kept secure with Rocket.Chat? In addition to being open source - which also means frequent updates to the source code by our community members - Rocket.Chat can be deployed on-premise, which ensures full data ownership.

However, Rocket.Chat also encompasses various other data protection methods such as end-to-end encryption, data loss prevention, secure push notifications, and access controls. You can learn more about Rocket.Chat’s security features here.

Flexibility

Digital transformation is advancing at a slower pace for government-related & public sector organizations. More often than not, such organizations have legacy software at their core, and will continue to do so due to limited budgets.

That’s why the flexibility of the new solutions implemented in governmental agencies’ infrastructure is so important. Flexibility is one of the major advantages of open source solutions, which have also been recognized by the European Commission as partners in increasing the quality of public service for European citizens.

Does Rocket.Chat meet the flexibility criteria of governmental agencies? Since it’s open sourced, users can fully adapt Rocket.Chat to their needs. Find out more about the benefits of open source technology for the public sector.

Interoperability

Another important aspect of flexibility is interoperability. Namely, governmental agencies often have collaborative projects they need to deliver to increase the quality of public services. For their members working on the projects jointly with members from other organizations, it’s important to have a smooth and effective collaboration process.

Rocket.Chat’s open API and open source code allow it to integrate and connect with other solutions. It also allows public sector workers using Rocket.Chat to connect with members of other organizations independently of the communication solutions used on their end.

Does Rocket.Chat facilitate interoperability? Yes. Unlike other communications giants such as Microsoft Teams and Meta Rocket.Chat is completely interoperable with other communication solutions. Such interoperability enables photo and file sharing, video calling, and message exchange across different platforms, expanding users’ choice and eliminating the typical social network effects that create innovation-chilling service lock-in.

How government-related organizations use Rocket.Chat

Transforming public safety communications in the US

Mobility 4 Public Safety (M4PS) was looking for a secure messaging app for first responders. The idea was to replace platforms such as WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal. M4PS wanted to have visibility into objective data about app usage and didn’t want to rely on the vendor to provide metrics. Therefore, one of their requirements was to implement a self-managed open source solution.

We needed a highly secure messaging platform to communicate across US government agencies. Rocket.Chat met all of our requirements.

Niki Papazoglakis, CEO at Bridge 4 Public Safety, funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

In a short time, the Bridge4PS app enabled emergency responders to provide quick aid for events such as Hurricane Laura, a Houston plastics plant explosion, pandemic response, and other public events.

With rapid communication, emergency responders can now tackle problems faster through a highly secure app.

With Rocket.Chat, M4PS were able to achieve the following:

  • Streamlined public safety communications
  • Interoperability across multiple organizations
  • Simplified user management
  • Compliance with the strictest public safety communication protocols with on-premise hosting. 

Delivering quick DevOps solutions by enabling quick collaboration with external partners

As a professional tech community within the Government of British Colombia that includes developers from BC Government as well as outside vendors, BCDevExchange works with many different teams to help them control the deployment of various applications and deliver better digital service. 

The BC Government wanted a secure communication platform for their network of developers to collaborate more effectively. Cloud-based tools didn’t meet the legislative requirements, and BC Government also needed self-managed deployment to remain in control over their own data, as well as substantial flexibility to build around the existing ecosystem. 

It’s much, much easier for us to work with developers from external organizations in Rocket.Chat than it has been in other collaboration platforms. Other platforms purposely separate our developer community. Whereas in Rocket.Chat, everything is open by default.

Justin Hewitt, Senior Director of DevOps Platform Services

Rocket.Chat enabled BCDevExchange to:

  • Prevent silos by implementing a secure communications platform
  • Deliver solutions to DevOps issues 10x faster.

Supporting Brazilian states in quick response to COVID-19

When COVID-19 hit Brazil, it created several challenges to federal states and governments. To reduce the pace of the pandemic without overloading the health system and optimize the healthcare services, Rocket.Chat partnered with Amazon and other players to create a digital assistance platform.

An AI bot powered platform was released to operate in Brazilian federal states of Ceará, Bahia, Alagoas, and Espírito Santo. It brought a solution to quickly help Brazilians diagnose and treat the disease.

Rocket.Chat paired up its omnichannel platform with an AI bot to enable screening, guidance, and teleconsultations for citizens via channels such as WhatsApp, Facebook, and live chats on various websites.

Rocket.Chat helped the Brazilian federal states to do the following:

  • Reduce the overcrowding in hospitals and health posts
  • Identifying virus hotspot areas
  • Tracking the progress of individual cases while keeping confidential information secure.

Rocket.Chat use cases in the public sector

Rocket.Chat is a versatile solution. Governmental agencies and public sector organizations can use it to support their citizens and deliver better services. 

Find out more about Rocket.Chat for government-related organizations and learn more about different use cases:

Intra- and inter-organizational collaboration

government organization chat software

Just as in commercial businesses, employees in governmental agencies want to communicate more effectively and quickly. Rocket.Chat’s communication platform allows them to do just that - but under a strong data security framework.

Rocket.Chat’s user-friendly interface allows public sector organizations to communicate internally, but also externally. Since it also includes federation features, public sector organizations can communicate via Rocket.Chat with external partner organizations and collaborators, independent of the solution they use on their end.

Omnichannel

government organization chat software

As a part of undergoing digital transformation, governmental bodies and agencies want to deliver their services to citizens faster and more efficiently. Rocket.Chat’s omnichannel platform can help them receive citizen inquiries via different channels - such as email, SMS, Twitter, WhatsApp, or Facebook Messenger - via unified platform. This allows organizations to always stay on top of citizens’ requests and increase the quality of public service.

In-app chat

government organization chat software

Public sector organizations that create apps for their services can implement Rocket.Chat in-app chat to provide great conversational experience and support citizens in their requests. For example, countries often developed and released apps to manage incoming tourists’ vaccination statuses or the results of COVID-19 tests.

The chat can be white-labeled to match the style of the app, and integrated with other systems and tools that organizations use.

Rocket.Chat: A preferred digital collaboration platform for the public sector

Recently, Swedish government agencies such as the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Companies Registration Office, and the Försäkringskassa put together the study Digital collaboration platform for the public sector.

The goal of the report was to capture a snapshot of the market and identify solutions that offer a suitable digital collaboration platform for public-sector organizations, either individually or in combination.

According to the report, chat rooms are the central feature to which the remaining features connect. To be considered for this category, the solutions needed to easily integrate with other tools and allow collaboration between other tools through federation.

Rocket.Chat was one of the platforms that best met their requirements, and it was also perceived as the most user-friendly solution.

Check out the companies mentioned under each category:

government organization chat software

You can download the full report in Swedish here and in English here.

Sara is an SEO Strategist at Rocket.Chat. She is passionate about topics around digital transformation, workplace experience, open source, and data privacy and security.
Sara Ana Cemazar
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