Atlassian recently announced a strategic partnership with (and investment in) Slack, which includes the imminent shutdown of Atlassian’s HipChat and Stride products. While it’s mutually beneficial for Slack and Atlassian to join forces against Microsoft, Slack’s acquisition of the Hipchat and Stride IP presents uncertainty for those customers about how and where to migrate next.
The deaths of HipChat and Stride, come February 2019, will force HipChat and Stride customers into making a tough decision: Migrate to Slack before their current platform goes dark, or find a solution elsewhere. When considering this choice:

  • Take a deep breath, then assess your business needs. If you’re currently using HipChat, you’ll need to look for alternative on-premises collaboration solutions — don’t rush headfirst into a premises-to-cloud transition that your organization isn’t prepared for. Mattermost may be a good alternative, as it offers a migration path from HipChat to its highly secure on-premises platform.
    Stride users have more options on the table: Transition to Slack, Microsoft, Facebook’s Workplace, or any number of viable cloud alternatives. One cloud collaboration platform vying for Atlassian customers, Flock, is offering a migration path and a year of free service for both Stride and Hipchat users.
  • Remember that these are collaboration tools — and collaborate appropriately. As with any new tool or program, you can expect people to ignore the new initiative or actively resist the changes. Effectively communicating your firm’s transition plan will make the process easier and ensure widespread adoption. Technology without change management will fail, and a brand new implementation within six months is even more susceptible to adoption issues. Encourage innovation and institute training methods so that your entire organization is prepared to work with the new platform.
    For guidance and best practices on developing a change management program, see the April 2018 Forrester report, “Collaboration Success Hinges On Effective Change Management.”
  • Bring your software development team into the migration conversation. Developer resistance can make or break your deployment. The developer community has long been partial to Slack, which often forces companies with a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement to deploy two (or more) siloed collaboration tools in different parts of the organization.
    The collaboration market is gearing up for a developer war. Microsoft’s June 2018 acquisition of the DevOps platform GitHub is a move to compete with Atlassian’s Bitbucket, which will now be more tightly integrated with Slack. Developers concerned about Microsoft’s control of GitHub will now have an additional rationale to stick with Slack.

For more information on the team messaging platform market, see the Forrester reports “Vendor Landscape: Enterprise Team Messaging Apps” and “The Forrester Tech Tide™: Enterprise Collaboration, Q1 2018,” or schedule an inquiry with me directly at
(Sarah Dawson contributed to this blog.)