Atlassian Stride: Running in circles

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Not to be outdone in collaboration and group chat, Atlassian recently launched Atlassian Stride, a new challenger into the group chat rumble we have going on in the market today. I got to use HipChat on some previous contract, so I was interested in seeing Stride for myself.

Atlassian Stride checks all the group chat boxes:

  • Invitation to join
  • Apps for the major platforms
  • Easy to follow onboarding for new users

When you first open Stride it reminds you a whole heck of a lot of Microsoft Teams and by extension Slack. That doesn’t have to be such a bad thing because I don’t see the three group chat applications in direct competition. While I do see Slack and Stride mixing it up for the attention of development teams, because Stride has an advantage with customers already standardized on the Atlassian stack.

You can set up public and private rooms in Stride to fit your needs which is to be expected in a group chat platform.

I got access to Stride by signing up for an invite. The application still has the feel of a very version 1 offering. While it maintains the usual level of Atlassian quality, I was hoping for more integration options out of the box like I see in Microsoft Teams.

Stride lets you insert files from either Dropbox or Google Drive in the rooms you create.You also can post decisions or tasks in the rooms. I see some real potential with these posting options especially if you can eventually link back to either Confluence or Jira.

Anybody who has ever worked in a group chat heavy work environment has their own stories about being interrupted by a chat client. I think it’s cool that Stride has a Ready to Focus option that enables you to write a short note about what you are working on and then mutes notifications and room activity while you get your work done.

Of course there are Stride applications for the major operating systems . There are also Stride applications for Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Mint, and Debian showing that Atlassian acknowledges their hardcore software developer roots. I checked out the Mac and iOS applications and found them to be stable and devoid of any surprises.

Atlassian makes the Stride Issues list open to the public via Jira. It’s important to note that Jira treats everything as an issue so you’ll see a list that’s more about customer suggestions than it’s about bugs and technical issues.

Final thoughts

I’ve been an off and on user of Atlassian tools for the past few years. What remains to be seen is if Atlassian Stride will subsume HipChat, an app with a loyal customer base? Tinkering around with Microsoft Teams and now Atlassian Stride has shown me how much influence Slack now wields over the group chat market.

In my opinion, Atlassian makes a solid 80/20 platform. You get what you need to do most jobs but may find yourself having to download and install a plug-in or extension to add some other functionality you might require to do your job. Considering the growing role of group chat in today’s enterprise, I hope to see Atlassian launch some sort of an app store for Atlassian Stride in the near future.

My name is Will Kelly. I’m a technical writer and content strategist living and working in the Washington, DC area. My current focus is thought leadership and technical marketing content. I got my start writing user guides, administrator documentation, online help, and later moved into SDLC documentation. My articles about enterprise mobility, BYOD, and other technology topics have been published by IBM Mobile Business Insights, Samsung Business Insights, TechBeacon, CNET TechRepublic, and others. Follow me on Twitter: @willkelly.

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