Makers of HipChat Challenge Slack with New Communications App Called Stride

With an increasingly global workforce, team collaboration tools are essential in the running of today’s businesses. Indeed, it would be hard to imagine how team members, who may be located on opposite sides of the globe, could manage to get any work done without these apps specifically designed for business needs. Currently,  Slack is leading the pack among cloud-based office collaboration software, but a challenger has arrived with Atlassian launching of a new app called Stride—a souped up version of its existing communication service HipChat.

Atlassian is confident that Stride can hold its own against the more established Slack. Aside from carrying over the core functionality of HipChat, Stride is also packed with newer features that could give Slack a run for its money.

For instance, Stride is touted to offer superior video and audio chat compared to other team collaboration tools currently available on the market. According to Steven Goldsmith, Stride’s general manager and head of Atlassian communication products, Stride will be able to provide better audio and video quality in team chats since the audio and video components are already integrated into the product and are not plugins.

Apparently, the Stride developers had to go back to the drawing board and reimagined what a perfect team communication tool should be like. “The reason why we built a whole new product is there was nothing to acquire, nothing existed in this space,” Goldsmith told Fast Company. “We thought it was really important to step back and build something end-to-end that actually solves all these problems as one thing instead of bolting together parts that may or may not tie together.”

A common problem often faced by users of team collaboration tools is the volume of messages one has to sieve through just to be updated after a vacation. But with Stride’s Actions and Decisions feature, keeping abreast of things should not be as tedious, according to Tech Crunch. You can create an Action task from the main interface and assign or pin it only to those users who are involved in that task. Similarly, a Decision marker can be created when someone on your team resolved an issue and you can check the messages related to that “decision” when you click on it. Even though reading your co-workers’ chats while you were away might be entertaining, Stride gives you the tools to cut to the chase when necessary.

Sometimes, just being online can be overwhelming with distracting notifications that keep you from getting your work done. Stride has a solution for that in the form of its Focus Mode. Once activated, it mutes all those notifications temporarily for an hour or two to give you the quiet necessary to complete more important tasks. You can always view what messages, decisions, and actions that have been made while you were busy once the timer is up.

But will Stride’s new features be enough to unseat Slack from the number one spot? Well, only time can tell how workers will receive it. While the cool features might become popular, they are still relatively easy for Slack to copy.

And of course, workers might need to convince their respective companies to shell out some cash for the $3 per user monthly charge. While companies may use Stride without having to pay a fee, the free version limits users to 25,000 messages and 5GB of file storage.

For those already who are already satisfied with using HipChat, it’s good to know that Stride will not be totally replacing the service. However, Atlassian is sweetening the deal for those who opt to migrate to the newer platform by offering existing users a one-year subscription priced at the lower HipChat rate.

[Featured Image via YouTube]

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