Slack Knocks Off Atlassian, Buys IP for HipChat and Stride
by Nicole Speciale and Jim Lundy
On July 26th, Slack and Atlassian made a loosely-worded announcement that didn’t quite communicate the full impact of what occurred during their deal. This blog provides some observation and commentary on what actually happened, as of now.
What Exactly Happened?
Atlassian chose to exit the Mobile Collaboration market by discontinuing its two collaboration offerings and, at the same time, made a small equity investment in Slack. We would note that HipChat has been on the market for a long time, but the momentum that Slack has demonstrated in the market caused Atlassian to take stock and decide to focus on its other offerings, such as its flagship Jira product for engineering teams.
While Slack and Atlassian have previously partnered, this new plan means that both HipChat and Stride will be discontinued, effective February 15th, 2019. (Slack is acquiring the IP for both products as part of this deal.)
Given that the Mobile Collaboration market has become crowded, Atlassian decided to partner, rather than compete, with Slack. This means that while Slack and Atlassian will continue to partner, Atlassian will continue to focus on its other product offerings, including Jira, Confluence, Atlassian Cloud, Bitbucket, and Trello, which it bought in January of 2017 for $425 million. Despite its exit from the Mobile Collaboration market, Atlassian is still a major collaboration provider, as indicated by both its Confluence and Trello offerings.
Messaging and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Chatbots
The strategic implication of Mobile Collaboration frameworks is that they enable the deployment of chatbots that can speed up basic work tasks and processes. With AI chatbots, humans will now be able to communicate with machines in a variety of languages. This makes the category of Mobile Collaboration a much bigger deal because the future is really about digital assistants. For example, Slack is well-known for its range of chatbots in a variety of use cases.
Evolution of Digital Work
Mobile Collaboration is evolving quickly and teams are using chat as the fastest way to communicate and collaborate. Aragon feels that we are still at the beginning stages of Digital Work Hubs, which often have messaging at the center. This strategy is evidenced by the success of Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts Chat, RingCentral Glip, Unify Circuit, and many others.
Mobile Collaboration, which is now starting to be commonly referred to as Team Collaboration, is expected to challenge email as the dominant form of communication over the next five years. This all means that the speed of work will increase, partly due to the speed at which people can communicate with each other, and with machines. Developing…