- Works in sync with Atlassian ecosystem
- Cheaper than Slack
- Cloud based solution supported on popular platforms & Linux
- Lacks external integrations with popular SaaS and productivity suites
- Bugs associated with newer software
SaaS giant Atlassian launched Stride as an upgraded replacement for its venerable internet relay messaging platform Hipchat. Replacing Hipchat’s cloud-based platforms as the principal product option to compete to a heavy-weight like Slack, Stride is a newer productivity chat tool that gives users the best of Atlassian’s ecosystem of various business tools (e.g., Trello, Confluence, and Bitbucket). However, being a new platform, the tool still lacks key integrations with third-party developers.
A Slack competitor
Stride is very comparable to Slack. From in-platform video and call conferencing to an instant messaging-style chat interface, Stride’s capabilities are on par with the type of messaging and communication formats Slack made famous. You can create specific chat channels for members of your various teams, share documents, and have real-time collaboration sessions with a dispersed workforce (if this applies to your organization). Messages and user activity can be tracked retained in a searchable archive, as well.
Additionally, the tool features some proprietary management features that give users more control over their messaging. For one, “Focus” mode replaces a “turn-off notifications” feature so that you can (literally) focus on your work.
Evolution from Hipchat
Atlassian launched Hipchat in 2010, a few years before Slack’s launch in 2013. With minimal use starting out, Hipchat developed into one of the first workplace chat platforms in the tech space. However, Slack used a mixture of the firm’s marketing and vibrance and its onboarding of more developer partners to offer users more third-party integrations. This proactivity led Slack to a seat of prominence with well over 5 million daily users and nearly 1.5 million paying subscribers.
Stride was developed on the core functions of Hipchat in response and was launched as a tool that can be utilized by various types of teams using several operating systems. Unlike Slack, Atlassian ensured that Stride users could access their tool via Linux and mainstream operating systems like Windows, Mac OS, Android, Chrome OS (browser and a select few Chromebook models), and iOS.
Just remember: it’s still newer software
We can’t stress enough that Stride is still newer software. Only recently released for general use in early 2018, the tool still has some functional bugs–like crashing, freezing, and video conferencing glitches–that need to be ironed out. Aside from that, Stride is a very stable tool given its youth. Also, the lack of external integrations (something that makes Slack a juggernaut) could diminish user experience.
Pricing & Platform Comparisons
Being a competitor to a platform such as Slack, Stride is relatively affordable and offers users a basic pricing structure. An organization can deploy the Stride Free plan with unlimited users, chat rooms, direct messaging, voice and video meetings, and up to 5 gigabytes of cloud storage (among other features). However, for $3 per month per user, the Stride Standard plan gives organizations more features, such as unlimited cloud storage, group screen sharing, and remote desktop protocol.
Like we mentioned above, moving to Stride from other chat platforms comes at a cost. First, you lose external integrations with Google Cloud; however, you gain access to Atlassian’s ecosystem with seamless migration. If this is a deal breaker but still want to have access to Atlassian’s various tools, Hipchat offers a server-based solution for small to large enterprises starting at varying prices. For ten users, it’s $10 annually. However, once you increase user size, the quantity prices are relatively high (e.g., 25 users costs $1,800 per year). Slack premium plans, on the other hand, are costly compared to Stride’s plans and Hipchats basic ten-users solution. With the Slack Standard plan, teams pay $6.67 per user per month for a specific suite of services (memory space in the cloud, premium features, etc.).
What we think
If you want to save your money, Stride could be an exceptional change of pace for your teams. Plus, you get the very best of a brand new platform that is always evolving and adding more features. Stride’s integration with other Atlassian tools like Trello, Jira, and Confluence can be priceless for organizations using the Atlassian ecosystem. Keep in mind that Stride’s youth is also a setback in several ways. Missing key external integrations could be a costly adjustment for teams. These adjustments require a workflow change, replacements for existing CRM platforms (if applicable), and a slew of other transitory actions that could render the Stride venture useless.
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