With the Slack-Atlassian partnership, round one is won and done. To the victor went the spoils. Now on to the next front, with Microsoft and others to contend with.
Slack surpassed HipChat in users in late 2014 and has outpaced HipChat ever since, according to Zapier, which offers tools that enable users to connect cloud-hosted applications. (WIRED)
See Klint Finley in WIRED, The Office-Messaging Wars Are Over. Slack Has Won:
It’s also an admission of defeat from Atlassian. “They gave up on a third-place product to focus on being first elsewhere with developers. Must have been a very hard choice,” says Ross Mayfield, the founder of Pingpad, a startup building a collaboration tool for Slack and other workplace chat platforms.
It’s a remarkable deal. Slack won the first group messaging war vs Atlassian Hipchat. Atlassian built a second messaging app, Stride, is designed product making good progress — but not something that would catch up to Slack’s 500k teams.
Microsoft Teams is at 200k teams and growing fast as it’s bundled with Office 365 (~80M users). MSFT Teams is as strategic as Sharepoint was for protecting the cash cow of shrinkwrapped Office, but for the cloud.
For Atlassian, they gave up on a 3rd place product to focus on being 1st elsewhere with developers. Must have been a very hard choice. But with Microsoft buying Github, they are gunning for Atlassian’s sweetspot: developers, developers, developers. The market seems to be rewarding them on the partnership and the investment makes them in part a public stock proxy for Slack.
For Slack, two of the their primary competing products get shut down, and market share should shift to them. The IP value may be helpful defense. It signals their focus on group messaging, not into collaboration products like issue tracking.
It’s not clear yet what this and their last acquisition (Missions, a workflow app) means for the Slack developer ecosystem. Atlassian products were already favored in their app store promotion, and they will probably get some additional benefits in the partnership. Similar to the first move Slack made to compete against Microsoft in how it partnered with Google and made it easier to work with Google Office in Slack.
I’d expect to see additional consolidating moves by other group messaging players like Microsoft, Facebook Workplace (just bought a Google Office competitor), Cisco Webex, Amazon. This is also another sign of the full shift to the cloud, as Hipchat was the on-prem option.
For more analysis, see Den Howlett’s post: Understanding the Slack and Atlassian partnership that sees HipChat and Stride shuttered
(Cross-posted @ Medium | Ross Mayfield)