Tech

Atlassian unifies admin tools to improve security, licensing

Atlassian is plugging away at its version of the future of work with an eye on the needs of the admins who tend its software.

The biz’s thesis is that the world rushed to whatever would make remote work possible during the pandemic and is now stuck with a sub-optimal mix of tools, some of which were built for occasional collaboration rather than regular remote work. The resulting mess needs tidying up and Atlassian reckons it is just the vendor to do it.

But first, Atlassian has ‘fessed up to some mess of its own making by unifying the back ends of its own tools.

In conversation with The Register, Erika Trautman, Atlassian’s head of product for work management, said Atlassian customers can find it hard to understand if end users are using properly licensed software, or whether they apply security policy consistently across the vendor’s products.

Trautman said Atlassian has tried to fix that by unifying admin controls, and integrating user and access management, across the vendor’s cloud product portfolio. We’re told admin processes have been streamlined to remove redundant steps, and that audits, compliance checks, and security reviews should now be easier.

As a result, licensing requests should diminish, leaving admins with less annoying trivia to tackle.

Those promised improvements land at the same time as a bundle called Together that combines Trello, Confluence, Atlas, and Jira Work Management, at $11/month/user for enterprises with over 5,000 users. Atlassian asserts that price will mean organizations feel happy having tools they don’t use all the time on hand for occasions when they become necessary – so a Confluence-centric team or project can adopt Trello to work with colleagues who prefer that tool.

The company’s forthcoming product, Atlas, will be key to that kind of cross-team collaboration – it lets teams share their work, and the context in which it was created, with others. Atlas will emerge from beta in October.

Another inclusion in Together is Access, Atlassian’s identity and access management tool that works with third-party identity providers.

Access is needed because Atlassian’s other Big New Thing is Smart Links – the ability to bring info and documents from myriad sources into Atlassian’s apps.

Trautman said the thinking behind Smart Links is an acknowledgement that organizations won’t stop using many tools, so they might as well be accessible so that users of Atlassian products can see all the info they need in the Atlassian tool in which they spend most time.

Together is unashamedly a “land and expand” tactic to win more customers – especially as Atlassian expands beyond its roots serving teams that write software.

But the addition of Atlas, plus cross-team and cross-organization security smarts, means the bundle is not just a sales tactic. So maybe Atlassian has solved the post-pandemic problem it says plagues us all. Or at least tried. ®


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