Meet Stride, a Microsoft Teams competitor from Atlassian

Welcome everyone to Stride, a new product currently in preview from Atlassian.

It boasts features like group chat & direct messaging, voice & video conferencing, and built-in collaboration tools.

Sound familiar? That’s because it is squarely aimed to compete with Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Workplace by Facebook.

One thing I noted immediately that differs in their approach is the use of the term “Rooms” instead of “Teams” because I guess their view is that a room is a place you go to discuss and do work. While you can appear to leave a room easily enough, I’m uncertain as to what happens with the files and conversations left in there.

I’ve only used for a short time today so my experience is limited, but I’ve already found a few things that I both like and dislike.

What I like about it:

  • Ability to put tasks and decisions straight into the conversation
  • Mobile client supports uploading pictures

What I don’t like about it:

  • No conversational threading
  • No GIFs or memes
  • Can’t like a post in group chat
  • No channels
  • No desktop client

The lack of channels or similar functionality is the most alarming aspect, as I could see the list of rooms growing quite quickly. Already with Microsoft Teams and Office 365 Groups, sprawl is a common issue when users are left to their own devices.

Ultimately this is still in preview and will appeal to those who are in the anti-Microsoft camp. I suspect the integration of other Atlassian products Confluence (SharePoint competitor) and recently-acquired Trello (task & project management competitor) will make it compelling enough for some.

It was only 4-5 years ago where the cloud productivity battlefront was between Google Apps and Office 365. While the dust has somewhat settled on that front, the new battleground appears to be the user experience wrapper – where users don’t have to switch between multiple products to get their work done and can largely stay within the one productivity interface.

Microsoft already has its work cut out for it with Teams competing against Slack and Workplace by Facebook, and like Facebook. Seeing these new relatively new tech giants having the same focus tells me two big things:

  • Email’s time as a mainstay of communication is drawing to a near
  • Organisations and users need to embrace that this is a new way of working, and not just for the hipsters & start-ups

For those organisations who want to stay within the Microsoft camp and haven’t looked at Teams yet: now is the time. And if they are still at the early stages of their Office 365 journey, it’s time to get a move on!

Why the big fuss about guest access in Microsoft Teams?

I’ve spent a fair portion of my time this week using, covering, and discussing guest access in Microsoft Teams.

A number of customers I work with had previously been reluctant to implement Teams as their logic (which I don’t disagree with) was that it simply introduced another tool – which while a more streamlined and integrated interface, still relied on users switching back to their current tools when communicating with external parties.

However now that guest access is available that last roadblock is gone.

Reflecting on a number of conversations with customers, fellow MVPs, and other IT pros – I wrote a piece on the AvePoint blog site explaining how big of a deal guest access in Microsoft Teams really is.