Atlassian has quit the real-time communications tools market and will instead partner with Slack.
As explained by vice president of product management Joff Redfern, the deal means the end for Atlassian’s “Stride” product that it launched in September 2017 to replace its HipChat tool and chase Slack.
Redfern admitted Stride has failed and that Slack emerged as the clear market leader. Atlassian’s ardour for Slack is so strong that the Australian company has made an equity investment in the upstart and has sold it the IP for Stride and Hipchat Cloud. Both products will “discontinue”, Redfern wrote. So will Hipchat Server and Hipchat Data Center, although Slack will “provide a migration path for customers of all four products.”
Atlassian’s take on the deal is that it’s the best way for it to chase its vision for real-time communications software.
It’s also possible to see the deal as failure given that Atlassian acquired Hipchat in 2012, saw itself overtaken by Slack, tried to re-enter the market with Stride and has quit less than a year later.
Atlassian’s FAQ about the deal puts it rather more gently, as follows:
“We knew we were taking a risk with Stride, but we had a vision for how teams needed to communicate that we felt passionately we had to deliver.
While we were working on Stride, the market shifted. After nearly a year of operating Stride, it is clear that the best move forward is to partner with the market leader.
This move will allow us to focus time and energy on our core products and new opportunities.”
Stride and Hipchat Cloud will continue to work until February 15th, 2019. Hipchat Data Center and Hipchat Server customers “will have support through the end of their license period.”
Atlassian’s also promised to “provide a preferred migration path to Slack to all customers to ensure a smooth and simple transition.”
Customers will have work to do as data in any of the soon-to-die products will disappear 30 days after end of life, which for Stride is mid-February 2019.
Developers who built products for or integration with Stride or Hipchat have been told “The Slack developer team is already ramping up with resources to help … onboard quickly to build real-time messaging apps using Slack APIs.” But Atlassian has “no current plans to migrate Hipchat or Stride apps to the Slack platform.”
The company’s told its partners to basically suck it up. The FAQ asks “What does this decision mean for Atlassian Partners?” and offers only one answer of substance: “Increased services potential for Partners through consulting, technical staff augmentation, integration work, and custom development to help customers migrate.” But Slack has no partner program, so any such integration work could be a partner’s last effort.