Atlassian’s HipChat offers solution to inefficient email inbox

There is another attempt to get rid of the inefficient and overwhelming inbox. This time, software company Atlassian says it has the answer to thousands of unread emails and threads that go on for days and are impossible to follow.

Atlassian on Tuesday announced it is expanding its HipChat software, a product that allows employees at a company to communicate and collaborate more efficiently — and more securely — than email allows. HipChat is a platform for messaging, group and one-on-one chat, voice, video, file and screen sharing. It works on any desktop, tablet or smartphone, including Android, iOS and Windows.

“The way people work is changing by leaps and bounds,” said Bernardo de Albergaria, vice president and general manager of Atlassian’s new Collaboration business unit. “There’s much more interconnectedness.”

Atlassian, an Australian-based software company with offices in San Francisco, acquired HipChat in 2012.

“It was the pioneer of the team communication tools,” said de Albergaria. “It creates a virtual water cooler.”

HipChat has, until now, been an Internet-based platform. But this week Atlassian is publicly releasing a version of HipChat that runs on a server — not on the cloud — so that highly regulated industries, such as finance and health care, can use the software.

HipChat, which is sold only to businesses, is used by Pinterest, WIRED, UCSF, Dropbox, Gilt Group, Intuit, Homeaway and RunKeeper, as well as several startups. More than 4 billion messages have been sent by HipChat users to date, and about 300 million messages are sent every month.

HipChat for the cloud is free, but server plans start at $10 for up to 10 users per year. Atlassian will donate proceeds from sales of the $10 starter version to charity.

Atlassian — which has no venture-capital funding and is profitable — reported $214 million in revenue for 2014.


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