Our Perspective on Slack’s Acquisition of Hipchat and Stride from Atlassian
Thursday’s announcement that Atlassian will shut down Hipchat and Stride and encourage customers to migrate to Slack has sent ripples through the enterprise software world.
With 90,000 customers, any changes at Atlassian affect organizations across the world. Given that Guru is a Slack partner and we have hundreds of mutual customers, many have asked us for our thoughts on this game-changing announcement. What does it mean for the future of work, and what does it mean for Guru? I’ll share five initial thoughts below.
1. Enterprise collaboration is now a two-horse race between Slack and Microsoft.
With Hipchat and Stride out of the way, Slack now competes only against Microsoft for enterprise customers. The Slack ecosystem, which Guru is proud to be a part of, grows even stronger with Atlassian joining it.
Now, we know that Slack is not competing against the Microsoft of old. Microsoft has shown they are a force in the cloud. They have built beautiful cloud products, and they will compete hard for every customer and every dollar of revenue.
Microsoft first validated the strategic importance of the enterprise collaboration market by launching Teams as a response to Slack. It then signaled its intention to win the enterprise market by marketing Teams as a core part of the Office suite. Recently, with its launch of a free plan for Teams, Microsoft has chosen to leave no segment of this market unturned.
No matter what - this will be an interesting battle to watch in what could become one of the biggest battlefields in the war for the future of work.
2. Atlassian can now focus its resources on building and selling developer-centric solutions
Rather than having to build products for and sell to every department within an organization, Atlassian now gets to focus on selling to product development teams and IT, which has been its core strength from the beginning.
Within Atlassian, Jira is the leader in its market, Trello has a strong position in its market, and the integrations between Jira, Trello, and other products like Confluence, Bit Bucket, and more, give Atlassian a strong foothold in the battle to define “the future of software development”. Slack + Atlassian vs. Microsoft + Github will be another fun battle to watch, in a massive market that is growing rapidly as software continues to eat the world.
3. Every major market in enterprise software is consolidating, but plenty of options remain for customers who don’t want to bet all their money on a single vendor.
Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP, is a three-horse race between SAP, Oracle (+ Netsuite), and Microsoft.
Customer relationship management, or CRM, is another three-horse race between Salesforce, SAP, and Microsoft (+ LinkedIn).
The intense battle for human capital management, or HCM, is between Workday, SAP, and Oracle.
Enterprise support and service management appears to be a two-horse race between Salesforce’s Service Cloud and Zendesk.
And now enterprise collaboration is the most newly consolidated battleground, with Slack and Microsoft.
No one company owns a dominant position across all departments within an enterprise, and likely won’t for a while. We are entering a future where choices abound, and customers will choose the best products based on quality and perceived fit. Of course, customers should feel empowered to demand continuous innovation and measurable business outcomes and value from every software vendor they partner with.
4. The modern enterprise is creating a massive amount of knowledge. Enterprises that leverage this knowledge to empower their employees will beat those who don’t.
At Guru, we share many mutual customers with Slack. It is amazing to see the daily reliance on Slack at these companies. In particular, how revenue teams - sales, support and success - collaborate in Slack to escalate tickets, coordinate product launches, strategize on customer requirements, close deals, and more. With Guru, these customers are able to capture the resulting knowledge from these interactions, and ensure it is accessible for future needs, from wherever those revenue teams are working. This means capturing knowledge from not only Slack, but also from Salesforce, Zendesk, email, and all the different places teams work today.
Not all companies in the world operate this way. They create knowledge, but then inadvertently let it disappear into the depths of corporate wikis, email inboxes, old Slack threads, Zendesk tickets, or Salesforce opportunities. We lived all of these pains at Boomi, which is why we decided to start Guru. Losing company and product knowledge is a waste of human intellectual horsepower, and a surefire way to lose ground to competitors who do find a way to leverage their internal knowledge to drive revenue and other measurable business outcomes.
5. I am excited about this announcement for two main reasons.
First, I am thrilled for the revenue teams at our hundreds of customers, including giants in their own industries like Shopify, Square, Spotify, and Yext, whose investment in Guru has been further validated with this announcement.
Revenue teams today work in so many different web-browser-based applications, such as Zendesk, Salesforce, Gmail, and even parts of the Atlassian suite. For example, we see revenue teams use knowledge created within Zendesk, Salesforce, Gmail, Slack, or Atlassian’s Confluence. In fact, our Confluence integration allows support teams to access the knowledge captured by engineering teams, who may not be in a position to move their knowledge elsewhere. After all, knowledge created by engineering is vital to the revenue team, especially in resolving thorny customer problems.
Our strategy has always been to live where our customers work, which means that knowledge created in any of the above applications is now only one click away with Guru, whether it’s through our web browser extension, our Slack bot, or even our innovative AI Suggest feature, which proactively suggests knowledge to users in real-time without them even needing to search. I am excited to give our customers more ways to realize value from Guru.
Second, I am thrilled to welcome all current Hipchat or Stride customers who are considering migrating to Slack in the coming weeks and months. You may find that Guru is a valuable complement to Slack, especially if your revenue teams across Sales, Support, and Customer Success want to deliver delightful customer experiences, close more deals faster, and arm themselves with the knowledge it takes to win in today’s competitive marketplace.
Welcome, Hipchat, Stride, and Confluence customers, to Slack and to Guru. You can learn more about how to migrate from Hipchat + Confluence to Slack + Guru, if you think that we might be able to drive meaningful value for your business.