Collaboration was the hot topic at this year's American leg of the Atlassian Summit; collaboration and a raft of new features for one of Atlassian's established stalwarts, JIRA. Other announcements included the redesign and repositioning of key products to a shift in overall focus, and, of course, the launch of exciting new tools and features.
The summit has come at an exciting time for us. In the run up to the event, Glintech was announced as Atlassian Partner of the Year in the Customer Growth section, recognising what we have achieved while working alongside the software producers.
Here's to the next chapter of the Atlassian and Glintech story. Time to take a look at some of the most interesting pieces of news to emerge from this year's event.
Stride is the latest product to join the Atlassian suite. It was introduced at the summit by Senior Product Manager, Cameron Savage. Savage explained how Stride was a communication tool designed to provide a stepping stone between talking about a project, and putting it into action.
It should be noted that Stride is not a replacement for the existing HipChat Data Center - HipChat DC will still exist and will continue to be the primary chat tool for Atlassian users. Instead, Stride aims to go several steps further than HipChat - or other contemporary chat and collaboration applications for that matter.
Stride lives within the Atlassian bundle, and will therefore be replacing HipChat Cloud. It became quickly obvious that Stride is a far more powerful piece of software than HipChat Cloud ever was. Some examples of this is its ability to support enhanced functionality, such as screen sharing across the network and even remote device access.
For most enterprise users, however, Stride will be deployed alongside the HipChat DC option. This will enable Atlassian clients to achieve the powerful and exciting functional possibilities offered by Stride, while retaining the flexibility and custom options of HipChat DC. Although Stride is not yet available for public consumption, registrations for access can be found on the Atlassian website.
JIRA has been one of Atlassian's biggest success stories, however, as Helen Xue (Atlassian Project Management Associate) and Dave Meyer (Atlassian Senior Product Manager) explained in their segment, it has grown structurally a little too big.
The redesign of JIRA is primarily based on feedback from users - after all, they are the best positioned to decide what they need and how they want it delivered. According to Xue and Meyer, the JIRA user pool is made up of over 65,000 individuals, so needless to say Atlassian has had access to a powerful and rich resource for feedback and development.
The new JIRA will feature an improved design and workflow with far simpler and more intuitive structure, all of which fits more closely into the working patterns of Atlassian customers.
Other features added to JIRA include Project Level Administration capabilities, which enable administrators to deliver admin powers to other users on a project by project basis. Ultimately, this eliminates the risk attached to changing global admin privileges.
In addition, Atlassian are introducing JIRA performance testing networks, which will enable users from different organisations to achieve accurate performance testing results based on the specifics of their unique corporate structure. This is accompanied by support for Microsoft Azure's cloud structure, as well as more robust security features within Atlassian's own cloud offering.
Finally, Atlassian are aiming to increase customer service objectives and bring the users closer to the inner workings of JIRA through custom portals. These portals will enable JIRA users to create their own service hubs, providing automatic answers and support for common queries and problems. It is expected that this will enable operators to offer more effective support to their clients, and free up a significant number of working hours.
Trello is settling into life within the Atlassian family, after it was acquired in January of 2017. However, Atlassian has made it clear that that they are in no mood to simply let Trello rest on its laurels, and used the summit as an opportunity to unveil new features for the project management app.
The most immediately obvious of these new features is a shift from browser to desktop. Trello was originally a web-based application, but Atlassian's developers found that it was difficult to create a "distraction free project space" if the user was required to open their browser to operate Trello. Instead, they decided on the desktop version as a means to keep users on task.
While researching Trello usage, the development team discovered that the majority of users juggled a variety of different projects and tasks within the application. In order to facilitate this more effectively - and to support multiple projects without compromising the clarity of the app - Atlassian added the card link function.
The card link function enables users to link or thread cards which correspond to different tasks. The result is a powerful and diverse application which promotes focus and helps users manage their to-do pile easier.
Finally, since Trello falls under the Atlassian banner their developers have spent time building out integrations for native Atlassian products in an effort to create a more cohesive experience for users.
Atlassian's focus has always been centred around teamwork and communication and it continues to be with their launch of their Teamwork Platform.
This platform has been designed around three core tenets; People, Elements, and Home.
People refers to the building of a specific, project-based team, and then delivering them the tools, knowledge and resources they need to complete the task at hand.
Elements are the different Atlassian products and tools which will be used to carry a project through to completion in the most efficient and effective way possible. These elements will then be gathered together across one convenient platform, giving the right people access to the right tools at the right time.
Home refers to a unified space; a portal via which team members can access what they need. This portal is designed to be dynamic and engaging, helping to keep your team members on track and focused on their goals.
The team focus discussed above is now being incorporated into the very structure and ethos of Atlassian. This is being seen both in a functional sense and an aesthetic sense, as the firm's logo evolves from the representation of mythological figure Atlas holding the sky on his shoulders to a more sharp and attractive interpretation of the letter 'A'.
The company are bringing all of their individual product logos into line with this, creating a more harmonised effect which reflects Atlassian's teamwork-oriented values. In a more functional sense, each product will sport a re-designed user interface, which will align the different components of the Atlassian family tree. As most Atlassian customers field multiple products in conjunction with each other, this step towards integration and collaboration between tools will be welcomed by users.
Which announcements are you most excited about following the summit? Don't forget to let us know.