Atlassian Wants to Take on Slack, Skype, Google With One Product

Sometimes teams use so many collaboration and communication tools, like Slack, that it’s easy to become distracted and get no work done, which kind of defeats the objective of these apps. Companies using the cloud version of Atlassian HipChat will have the option of upgrading to Stride starting in October. “None of the products in the market today tackle the problem of workplace communication head-on”, said Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder and co-CEO of Atlassian.

Atlassian has introduced a unified communications as a service, or UCaaS, product that will eventually replace HipChat, the company’s team messaging application, and go head-to-head against similar products from Cisco, Microsoft and Slack. The company said in a blog post that it will work with current HipChat users to upgrade them to the Stride platform. The burden is on the user to prioritize the firehose of communication, manually sift through and remember where critical information is hiding, and extract team decisions and actions from the barrage of text. “We built Stride from the ground up so that these three powerful pillars – messaging, audio/video conferencing and collaboration tools – work seamlessly together, removing the friction in your day and helping your team move forward together”.

Castanon-Martinez said there’s “a lot to like about Stride and it’s a big step forward for Atlassian, and one which places them ahead of the curve in terms of their vision for the future of business communications and team collaboration. It’s purposefully designed for every team no matter what industry”. The latter starts at $3 per user per month and includes screen sharing and more storage.

The platform also provides something called “focus mode”, which allows employees logged into Stride to notify colleagues that they’re busy; at the same time, messages can still be forwarded to those in focus mode and opened once it is turned off. Focus Mode goes beyond “do not disturb” by calming notifications and displaying a “focus mode” status and presence, giving users the mental space to go into deep work. The platform also focuses on facilitating meetings between team members and gives users the ability to turn messages into “actions” and “decisions”.

“Information overload and constant distractions from email, messaging and notifications are increasingly challenging for knowledge workers”. “The company will have to expand its efforts to position Stride as a product that can be used companywide”, said Raul Castanon-Martinez, an analyst at 451 Research.

While both HipChat and Stride are enterprise communication products, Stride brings together video/audio conferencing and collaboration tools “to offer the most complete communications tool on the market”, said Steve Goldsmith, general manager at Atlassian.

Stride replicates the functionality of Atlassian’s existing team communications service HipChat, along with a host of new features -audio and video meetings, task and decision tracking. The app isn’t out yet; you can sign up now to request early access.

Stride Free and Stride Standard will be available on Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Android and web.

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