Slack's main rival, Atlassian HipChat, is upping the ante with embedded apps

Jay Simons presenting at Atlassian Summit

Business Insider Australia

Atlassian President Jay Simons

Business-focused chat app Slack may get all the press, but $3 billion Australian tech giant Atlassian is quick to remind you that its HipChat software has been doing the same thing since 2010.

Today, Atlassian is upping the ante against Slack by introducing more full-featured apps that live straight inside HipChat.

Right now, both HipChat and Slack offer third-party integrations with outside apps. Just today, for instance, Slack announced a partnership with Lyft that lets you hail a ride just by typing "/lyft" into the chat bar.
HipChat is going a step further, letting you completely embed other apps, like software performance monitoring service New Relic or customer service tool ZenDesk, right into a chat channel. These souped-up apps themselves are sold via Atlassian's own HipChat Connect app store.

"We're doing something radically different," says Atlassian HipChat General Manager Steve Goldsmith.

The benefit here is that you never have to leave HipChat for anything.

Under the current model, Goldsmith says, it breaks a lot of people's momentum when they get a new HipChat notification that there's an alert in a service like New Relic. That means that they have to leave HipChat and go to New Relic, and then back to HipChat to pull up the document that explains how to fix the problem - and so on.

hipchat apps screenshot


This CallCenter app is integrated directly into HipChat.

By building the app right into the chat channel, everything can sit in one place, right within HipChat. You can even have multiple apps in the same channel, meaning that every tool you need to get your work done can sit in one place, right next to the tools you use to communicate with coworkers.

Crucially, it also works on the mobile versions of HipChat, kind of like apps from Salesforce's AppExchange. It means that HipChat becomes a kind of glue that holds together all these different apps on mobile, rather than having to constantly switch apps and copy-and-paste photos or text between them.

This week, Atlassian is holding its annual Atlassian Summit, gathering up some of its 50,000 claimed customers and its developers in San Francisco to talk about the future of the company. Atlassian is also rumored to be preparing a big IPO by the end of the year, with no outside investors.

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