The software company Atlassian, already a major player in the enterprise technology game with its applications like Jira, Confluence, and HipChat, has released a new collaboration platform for employees and teams called Stride, to compete with existing products like Slack. Kerry Flynn at Mashable describes Stride as “all about taking action”:
It cuts down on notifications by letting users put themselves in a “Focus Mode,” and it makes it super simple to switch from text to video. The design is mobile-friendly and easy to use, not unlike its competitor Slack. But it offers features that make it arguably a better product than Slack for actually getting work done. …
One of the core features is letting users set themselves as away. That feature is available in competitors, such as Slack’s emoji statuses, but Stride allows users to actually mute specific channels, share what they’re working on, and more easily catchup once they’re done. … Any room in Stride can start a meeting and allow any user to join in via audio or video. It eliminates the need to move to Google Hangouts, BlueJeans, or another third-party video system and can encourage people to switch to video more often.
Steve Goldsmith, general manager for Stride at Atlassian, tells GeekWire reporter Tom Krazit that Stride is integrated with Atlassian’s other software products and will be available in both free and paid tiers with different features:
In addition to Hipchat and Trello, both of which are popular in the tech product development world, Atlassian makes Jira, a bug-tracking product used by software development teams. All of those products integrate into Stride, Goldsmith said, along with popular document services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box, with more product integrations coming later in the year.
Companies can get started on a free tier of Stride that offers limited message history and doesn’t support the video chat features, but a fully featured version of Stride costs $3 per user per month. Hipchat Cloud customers will get the first crack at Stride, but other companies interested in demoing the software can request an invite.
After enjoying the status of biggest (or rather, only) fish in a relatively small pond until recently, Slack now faces a fast-growing field of competitors of which Stride is only the latest. Late last year, Facebook unveiled its Workplace communication platform and Microsoft launched Teams, its own enterprise collaboration tool. Other, smaller players have also entered the market such as Wickr, whose main selling point is encryption. Slack itself has been working to expand beyond the small businesses and nonprofits that formed its original customer base and reach out to larger companies with its beefed-up version, Enterprise Grid.