Atlassian takes aim at app sprawl with collaboration-suite subscription service

The work management vendor wants to help customers maintain autonomy and alignment by connecting teams and tools in an economically efficient way.

Shared responsibility concept  >  Hands take equal shares of pie chart [partnership / teamwork]
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Atlassian is rolling out a raft of updates including new smart links and unified administration controls, as well as a new subscription service, for its work- management and collaboration products —Trello, Confluence, Atlas, and Jira Work Management.

The company also announced that Atlas, a teamwork directory that was unveiled at Atlassian ’22 in April of this year, will be generally available from mid-October.

The announcements were made Thursday at the company’s inaugural work management event, Atlassian Presents: Work Life.

Due to the accelerating pace of digital transformation over the last several years, many companies are now struggling to deal with the resulting sprawl of SaaS (software as a service) applications, said Erika Trautman, head of product for work management at Atlassian.

She said that in order to rein in some of the chaos, there’s been a subsequent rise in the push for a "one size fits all solution," which would see everyone at a company using the same work management tool, with one set of admin controls and a single set of workflows to adopt.

“The problem that we've seen though is that fundamentally, these tools fail to scale,” Trautman said, adding that the moment a "one size fits all" solution proves to be inflexible or fails to support your teams in getting their work done, employees will just go and adopt whatever else it is that helps them, leaving companies back at square one.

“Atlassian wants to solve these pain points, but in a way that we think is ultimately going to help customers maintain both autonomy and alignment,” Trautman said. “We believe that instead of relying on one work management tool to rule them all, what we need to do is create a system that allows teams to adopt the tools that are right for them, but to connect them so that they can be aligned, and they can be autonomous.”

Atlassian Together offers single subscription to multiple products

To help customers benefit from all of its Work Management products, Atlassian has announced Atlassian Together, a single subscription to the company’s work management products: Trello, Confluence, Atlas, Jira Work Management, and Access—which connects Atlassian products to third-party IAM (identity and access management) systems. It is currently in beta and will be generally available early next year, the company said. 

In this time of economic uncertainty, Trautman said, Atlassian understands that its customers need to be really efficient with how they spend money on all of their SaaS applications.

atlas dashboard Atlassian

The dashboard for the Atlas teamwork directory application allows users to track work projects across a company.

Atlassian Together pricing will follow the pricing format used with its other enterprise offerings, and customers will see pricing based on the tier that most closely matches their user count, the company said. In the coming weeks, a pricing calculator will be available via Atlassian’s website that will allow customers to see what tier and pricing they would fall under.

Large-enterprise, for example, will be charged $11 per user/per month, starting at 5,000 seats. The minimum term length for customers wanting to sign up to Atlassian Together is a year.

Chris Marsh, research director at S&P Global Market Intelligence said that Atlassian is far from the only vendor enhancing its product line to meet demand in the growing collaborative work management software category.

Citing Adobe's Workfront and Figma acquisitions, Salesforce's positioning of Slack as its "digital HQ," and Canva's new Visual WorkSuite, Marsh also noted the continued growth of vendors like Asana, and Smartsheet and the traction that visual collaboration tools like Miro and Mural have gained over the course of the pandemic.

“This is a battleground Atlassian can’t afford not to fight in,” he said.

Smart links, admin controls work across products

One of the new capabilities built on the Atlassian platform and launched today is Smart Links. These are embedded links that help users access information across Atlassian and third-party apps and allow team members can find and insert content, create and edit work items across products, and access key information from all their tools without leaving their current tab.

Smart Links can be created and accessed across multiple applications, including Confluence, Google Doc, Figma, or Trello, extending the visibility of information and making it easier for teams to collaborate and track progress.

Smart Links is available today with Atlassian cloud products.

Atlassian also announced that it is unifying the administration controls across its applications, eliminating redundant steps to ensure simplified day-to-day management. Some of the benefits for administrators include integrated user and access management across Atlassian cloud products; a streamlined process for audits, compliance, and security reviews; and a reduction of onboarding and licensing requests. The Unified Admin Experience will be in general availability in the first half of next year, Atlassian said.

Updates to Atlas

The final announcement made by Atlassian during its Work Life event was the general availability of its teamwork directory tool, Atlas.

The company said that since its introduction, customers in the early access program have benefited from loads of new features and improvements, including richer integrations, tighter controls and more flexible reporting.

Once in GA next month, customers will be able to access a free Atlas for Jira Cloud app, enabling team members to see the current status and most recent updates to linked Atlas projects inside Jira. Users can restrict the viewing and editing of a project to specific individuals and teams, while an updated projects and goals directories make it easy to produce rollup reports with filters for status, contributor, tag, team, owner, and reporting line.

For teams that use objectives and key results (OKR) metrics, goal scoring will allow users to assign a projected score based on how confident they are that the team will meet a goal by the target date, and a new Kudos enhancement allows users to visually thank peers for their hard work.

Marsh said the productivity and collaboration markets are some of the hottest and most dynamic across the whole landscape of different business applications because solving this problem is a huge challenge.

“Atlassian is trying to tread a balance between all the things – it wants to bring more focus to the overall experience it provides while not being too proscriptive in that experience,” Marsh said. “These announcements mark quite a profound moment less because of the specific detail of what’s being announced but more because of the clear intent Atlassian is showing to take on the productivity and collaboration software markets.”

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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