Atlassian Stride and HipChat team talk tools will be settled after an agreement with rival Slack – a feature that has "serious" implications for users who now need to transfer to alternative platforms. It can also ruin confidence in the Australian supplier, said an analyst.
As part of the agreement announced on Thursday, Slack will pay a non-specified fee for Atlassian team play, while Atlassian – who also owns a number of business partnership tools, including Jira, Confluence and Trello – will make a "small but symbolically important" equity investment in Slack, CEO Stewart Butterfield wrote in a tweet announces the agreement.
The decision comes less than a year after Atlassian launched Stride as a sequel to the popular Hipchat tool. Atlassian had previously said that it would continue to support Hipchat Cloud for existing users while encouraging them to move to Stride. It also said that it would be "doubled down" at the Hipchat Data Center, the on-premise version of the chat tool.
But Atlassian now says that its Stride and Hipchat Cloud products will reach the end of life on 15 February, 2019. The Hipchat Data Center and Hipchat Server customers will receive support until the end of the license period.
Atlassic customers are angry
The agreement has dragged users, with Atlassian customers raised concerns at the supplier's community forum.
An atlasian community member said, "This is pretty stupid. Why kill products that many businesses still use? There are some who do not want or can not use Slack."
Said another: "What the hell Is it the prerequisite that customers should do ?! We have just implemented and invested in this app! We build apps internally for our own purposes. We have zero ability to use Cloud services of any kind. You offer ZERO options. "
" This has serious real-world implications for many Atlassian customers, especially for those who use HipChat on a premium, "said Larry Cannell, Research Director at Gartner.
End-user Stewart Butterfield expects the majority of users to migrate to Slack, and adds some digits of market share to their business. About 2600 atlassic employees will now start using Slack after the agreement has urged users to do the same.
Cannell said that choosing a replacement for HipChat is just part of the business switching tool process. "They need to cope with integrations and evaluate what is needed in relation to what is being used. More importantly, users are getting acquainted with a product and end user needs must be adjusted, "says Cannell.
All this is "unexpected and non-productive" for user organizations: "For people who have been promoting the use of Hipchat, this will affect their credibility and ability to sell other changes," he added.
Furthermore, such migration projects can be difficult. "Mapping the author of a post from the old to the new system is usually a hitch," said Cannell.
And it could serve to ruin customer confidence in the Atlassian. "They will now be concerned with the level of commitment the company has to less popular and future products," he said.
Still, migration to Slack makes sense for many users, according to Wayne Kurtzman, a research director at IDC. For Atlassian, it makes its most popular and without doubt the most powerful products more central to the overall workflow, "said Kurtzman.
"This friendship will be a win-win scenario for customers and those companies where Hipchat and Stride users migrate to Atlassian can be a business-mature, collaborative platform that can focus on making its core products more robust and Slack grows customers and revenues, and remain the hub of business flow. "
Stride launched in a highly competitive market
Stride was announced less than a year ago by Atlassian as a competitor to Slack, with a promise to cut down" noise " of teamwork.
In a statement on Thursday, Atlassian Stride called a "bold" project. "We knew we took a risk of entering an already competitive market for real-time communication, but we were willing to do the hard work necessary to build a good product," said Joff Redfern, Director of Product Management in a blog post.
But the lawsuits market has changed dramatically over the months since, Redfern said, with Slack holding a strong position. While Atlassian is struggling to get a foothold, Slack has added new users at a fast pace, with 8 million users from May. In early 2017, it also launched a business-focused product, Enterprise Grid, aimed at distribution in major organizations.
"Hipchat and Stride just can not keep up with Slack's accelerating advances," said Kurtzman.
Others in the market have also pushed forward. Microsoft has launched its own collaboration with the team application, which integrates closely with its other Office 365 productivity tools. More than 200,000 organizations now use layers that will replace Skype for Business as the most important communication client in Office 365. It is available for The 135 million users of the Microsoft Productivity Pack at no additional cost. A recently released free version does not require an Office 365 account.
Cisco has also made changes to its Spark Platform in recent months, rebranding it as Webex Teams, while Google has entered the Hangouts Chat Market, available as part of the G Suite portfolio. Facebook, too, has joined Fray with its workplace social network, and announced the acquisition of Israeli launch Redkix this week to expand its messaging features.
Atlassian's decision to cancel Stride is a testament to the highly competitive nature of the collaborative market, "said Alan Lepofsky, vice president and chief analyst at Constellation Research.
"Corporate group announcements are a competitive place, with Microsoft Team, Google Hangouts Chat, Cisco Webex Teams and Workplace of Facebook, everyone eats into the market at once Slack was alone," he said.
"Atlassian tried to bring more collaborative features to Jira, Confluence, BitBucket, and Trello customers by introducing Stride. Although it was a very solid product, it clearly did not find the adoption they had hoped, probably because many of Atlassia's customers already used Slack. "
Atlassian said the Slack agreement would allow focusing on improving other areas of its business, such as expanding technical and IT team offerings. Both companies are now planning to "deepen" the existing integrations between Slack and Atlassian's stable tools and create new integrations with other products.
"Throughout the product portfolio, we have long shared many integrations, which hundreds of thousands of teams use every day," said Redfern. "Through this new partnership, both companies will lean to build better integrations together and more sharply define the modern workplace experience for businesses everywhere."
Lepofsky noted that in order to fight as big players as Microsoft and Google, smaller rivals need to "find their niche and strengthen their strongholds" in the market. "With Microsoft starting to focus more on developers (such as Github acquisition), Atlassian and Slack must strengthen their position, and a solid combination for Slack and BitBucket / Confluence / Jira / Trello can do that," he said.