Where next for Atlassian’s HipChat and Stride customers?

Jessica Twentyman Profile picture for user jtwentyman September 5, 2018
Summary:
Atlassian co-CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes has apologised for the disruption for customers that closing down HipChat and Stride will inflict, but there’s still little clarity on migration paths.

Atlassian Mike Cannon-Brooks
Mike Cannon-Brooks

No pain, no gain. That was the message from Atlassian co-CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes to customers of the company’s team messaging tools HipChat and Stride, which will be shut down in February 2019:

This was a significant decision for all of us and I can tell you it was not one we took lightly. Instead of continuing to invest those products, we decided to form an exciting partnership with Slack, a company whose products stand above the rest when it comes to messaging and communication.

Now in the long term, I’m sure this is the right choice for all of our customers. But in the short term, I’m not going to sugar-coat it, it’s bad news for some of you. If you’re using HipChat or Stride, I acknowledge, it’s very disruptive and I apologise for that.

At Atlassian Summit Europe this week in Barcelona, Cannon-Brookes reiterated the company’s intent to build even closer integrations – and some entirely new ones – between its own products and Slack, and unveiled the first deliverables in this effort.

The first is a new integration between Atlassian’s document collaboration tool Confluence Cloud and Slack. According to Cannon-Brookes, this will enable users to stay up-to-date on work that’s happening in Confluence from within Slack, via customized notifications, and take action on content being developed in the tool, such are replying to a comment or liking a page.

The second is close integration between Atlassian’s new incident management tool Jira Ops and Slack. For example, when a new incident is created in Jira Ops, a new Slack channel associated with that incident is automatically created, too.

Lack of clarity

These integrations may appeal to some users, but there’s still a lack of clarity for many customers around Atlassian’s plans to help them migrate the conversations and information they currently hold in HipChat and Stride, particularly in threaded conversations, over to Slack. Asked directly about this, head of partnerships and integrations Bryant Lee was giving no firm commitments:

We’re working on all that right now. We have a team working with Slack on figuring out the best way to do that. For instance, when we first engaged with Slack and started working through the migration plans, one thing we didn’t do initially was import direct messages, so we’ve worked very carefully with them to make sure customers were able to get that. For us, it’s very much about the customer experience. When we’ve actually spoken to execs, we’ve wanted to offer a white glove service and that’s something that we are going to continue to do over the course of the next few months.

Customer migration times vary a great deal, according to the scale and complexity of a specific installation, he added, but thus far, smaller ones have been completed in a few hours.

And as for the prospect of Slack using the intellectual property from HipChat and Stride that it acquired as part of this deal, Bear Douglas, Slack’s developer advocacy lead was similarly circumspect:

From the developers side, we are keeping our ears and eyes open for the kinds of things that developers on HipChat and Stride - particularly Stride - have come to expect from the platform. I know that people who develop with Stride are huge fans of its glance view, for example, but doing any sort of duplication of that feature in Slack is not a casual amount of work or something we would take on lightly. So our ears are open for now but there’s nothing we’ve road-mapped to talk about just yet.

Of course, Atlassian is migrating its own 2,600-strong workforce over to Slack, but there’s no guarantee that HipChat and Stride customers will follow its example. Some may opt for other options, such as Microsoft Teams or Workplace by Facebook. Those who use the Hipchat on-premise version, Hipchat Server, may balk outright at a cloud option, although their choices may be limited. More tech-savvy organisations may deploy open source Slack-competitor Mattermost, which already offers integrations with Trello, BitBucket and Jira.

Either way, and Cannon-Brooke’s apology notwithstanding, many attendees at this week’s event look certain to leave Barcelona with some difficult choices to make.

 

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