Friday, 29 September 2017 02:39

Atlassian to take enterprise chat in its Stride

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Software lifecycle application provider Atlassian is releasing its own team collaboration, messaging and online meeting app, Stride, putting group chat to work.

Stride is a freemium product providing chat, voice and video communications out-of-the-box. Charges come in for advanced features at $3/user/month, such as remote desktop control, group screen sharing, and storing more than 20,000 chat messages. The full matrix is available online.

The product is set to take on Slack and Microsoft Teams. Microsoft is planning to further bolster the latter, having announced this week it will roll its existing Skype for Business, formerly Lync, product into Teams.

"There's definitely a lot of activity in this space," said Michael Lauricella, director of Business Development, Atlassian. "There's a ton of opportunity in team collaboration and Atlassian has believed this from the very beginning. The world is evolving to what we saw."

Atlassian learned a lot through HipChat on the evolution of chat. "Our fundamental DNA as a company is helping companies getting stuff done. We don't want chat to be 'chatty', it should be a place of productivity. That's the core focus of Stride, and that's why we're building in actions and other items to help people get to the most meaningful parts of conversations rather than trolling through tons of chat. We think we've come up with an innovative way, a fundamentally different type of architecture, that will scale like no other chat solution has done. We're extremely excited by what Stride will offer," Lauricella said.

Currently, Stride is in early access, and people can express interest at stride.com. It will open up for general availability shortly, Lauricella said.

Atlassian expects to bring on a very large set of users, which in turn will generate "a ton of logs". Lauricella said the company uses Splunk internally to manage these logs and help ensure Stride will be the next-gen cloud chat service.

"Atlassian is very good at empowering teams to pick whatever solution they want for what they're doing, and this same thing happened with logging," he explained.

"About two years ago teams were using a mix of logging solutions. We made the decision to collaborate more and to centralise logging. We picked a vendor but experienced scalability challenges and its reporting and charting were not very good. It ran slowly and that's probably the worst thing when you're in the middle of a crisis and not getting the data you need."

"Our security team was looking at Splunk and are one of our most picky teams because security is critical. Their use of Splunk went extremely well and word got out how happy they were, so we ran a broader evaluation and eventually brought Splunk into all our teams."

"We know a lot of our Atlassian solution partners are using Splunk, and we have a lot of integrations. Our customers can bring richer information from Jira, and raise tickets in Jira from Splunk and maybe perform automated actions and then report to Stride what's happened. As we get to this world where we're more cloud-dependant we think Jira will be the hub of remediating and addressing cloud issues.

"We originally spec'd our Splunk environment to ingest 10Tb of data a day, and are now ingesting 40Tb of data each day. We know it will grow dramatically. Stride will add a ton of logs as will the growing Atlassian marketplace. We actually use Stride actively in the management of the marketplace and reporting on downloads and transactions, as well as all other corners of Atlassian.

"The Atlassian marketplace has passed 3,000 apps and is growing rapidly," Lauricella said. "Sales are well over $250m from the Atlassian marketplace. It's one of the biggest 3rd party marketplaces in the world."

Along with Stride, Atlassian also recently announced mobile Jira and Confluence clients, UI updates, and an embeddable and customisable Jira service desk.

Speaking of the passion Atlassian users have for its tools, Lauricella speaks of his own journey. "I was previously working with a cloud telephony company. We weren't always pushing the right fixes at the right time and our Engineering team made the decision to adopt Jira. I noticed we had fewer issues, fewer outages and fewer bad deployments and I asked what had changed. The Head of Engineering said we'd implemented Jira. We then implemented Hipchat and Confluence. It gave me my 'aha' moment when I saw the impact of Atlassian to company born in the cloud, growing rapidly and moving from what were essentially glorified spreadsheet tools to real workflow tools. I saw the impact and that drove my excitement around Atlassian and ultimately drove me to the company." 

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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