Atlassian’s Confluence 2.9 embraces “legacy work”

Making a deeper commitment to Microsoft, Atlassian acquired one of its community partners, Benryan Software and released its SharePoint Connector for Confluence 2.9. Additionally, the company incorporated over 150 user requests into the latest release and added 10 new production plugins. Benryan has a MS Office connector to Confluence (known fondly by existing users as the word/dav plug-in*) that makes it simple to import all Word Docs (in one to multiple pages), and to edit them in Confluence. You can also view Excel, PowerPoint, and Word docs within a Confluence wiki page and edit them. Also announced is the commercial release of its SharePoint connector. Some key features include the ability to embed Confluence content within SharePoint, bi-directional navigation (link SharePoint content within Confluence and vice versa), federated search (confluence searches reach into SharePoint), and security unification (immediate access: SharePoint permissions and unified security).

For a more detailed explanation of all the goodies in the new release, see @SarahinTampa‘s post on RWW, “Wiki Editing Just Got Easier: Atlassian Confluence Releases Office Connector.”

Jeff Walker, President of Atlassian, briefed a few of us bloggers last week on the announcement. What’s interesting to me is how the company framed the announcement in language like, “We are embracing the Microsoft and Outlook world.” Jeff explained how there are lots of folks out there in corporate America who are “comfortable with Office documents.” Well, true dat, homeboy. IMHO the more sensible we can make the transition for corporate America to 2.0 working, the better. I hope we’ll see more 2.0 startups embracing the legacy installed base of enterprise 1.0 workers and workware.

Check out the MS Office Connector:

*For existing users who have the word/dav plug-in, there have been some major improvements and bug fixes to the software that are appearing within 2.9. And now that it is an Atlassian plugin, it is fully supported by the company, as well. The newer version is completely free to existing customers with current licenses. Bad news? Firefox 3.0 is currently not supported, however the company expects to resolve the issue shortly.

Author: Susan Scrupski

Longtime fan of technology to improve humanity.

5 thoughts on “Atlassian’s Confluence 2.9 embraces “legacy work””

  1. To address Daniel’s comment above, most enterprise collaboration tools cost 10 times as much in the maintenance costs alone, not to mention professional services and license fees. The “free” wiki alternatives end up costing as much as commercial versions when you factor in maintenance and customization costs. On many, many occasions, one person will buy a Confluence Team license on their credit card and the product will then spread organically from team to team as it becomes ingrained in the collaboration process. Similarly, smaller companies often purchase the Confluence team license, prove the product’s value, and then upgrade. We also offer a hosted (SaaS) version which is an even more inexpensive way to dip your toe in the water.

  2. This is a very interesting post. It’s nice to know that some of the enterprise 2.0 players are focusing on legacy support. Not every company (especially the larger ones with a higher cost-of-change) are in the extremely flexible position that we small businesses enjoy.

    We’ve seen this with a lot of our larger clients too. They want to innovate and evolve in their collaboration practices, but they have to do it step by step.

  3. Hi Daniel. One of the reasons why Confluence became so popular in small and large organizations is because you could pay for the software monthly on a credit card. Because the amount was relatively small, it remained under the radar of company “budget police.” For a large company, a total investment of approx. $10K for collaboration software is inconsequential. I admit, for those unfamiliar with Enterprise 2.0 technologies, it’s difficult to provide the ROI with these tools. One suggestion might be to use the free tools to get folks “hooked” on the ease of use and productivity improvements (e.g., PBwiki) that come with wiki-working.

  4. I briefed some folks on Confluence last year but the quick response was “$1000? That will never fly at our budget meeting.” I realize that we’re spending far more than that on existing budget items but I haven’t yet figured out how to crack that nut at a conservative company. How does Atlassian do it? How does nGenera do it?

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