Here's How Australia's Atlassian Hopes To Stay Ahead Of Fast-Growing Messenger App Slack

AtlassianAtlassian VP and General Manager Bernardo de Albergaria

It may sound almost counterintuitive in this day and age, when cloud software is all the rage, to bank on an old-fashioned software product for competitive advantage. 

But that’s exactly what Atlassian, a $US3.3 billion company best known for business software like JIRA and HipChat, seems to be betting on. 

On Tuesday, Atlassian announced the release of HipChat Server, a new version of its business messaging app designed to run on private corporate networks.

Until now, HipChat was only offered as an online service.

Atlassian says the move is aimed at reaching a wider business audience. Due to heavy regulations in industries like finance and healthcare, Atlassian says nearly half of its clients still use on-premise versions of its products. HipChat hasn’t been able to cater to those needs until now, but the release of HipChat Server will allow companies to meet regulations by building it on their own servers, it says.

“There’s been a large segment that hasn’t been able to use HipChat so far because of regulations or specific requirements,” Bernardo de Albergaria, VP and General Manager of Atlassian’s collaboration business unit, told Business Insider. 

Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-CEO of Atlassian, told us in an email, “The foreseeable future will continue to be a hybrid of both cloud and on-premise. HipChat Server makes the technology accessible to any business.”

This also gives HipChat an edge over Slack, its fast-growing competitor in the enterprise massaging space. Slack, for all its growth and popularity, is still only offered in the cloud. In December, Slack wrote on Twitter that an on-premise version is “still quite some time away.”