It’s not square to be hip

Talking abou HipChat: the real-time, unified collaboration platform

JAX Editorial Team
squares

JAXenter gets the inside story on the tool helping to up productivity in achingly cool startups around the globe.

There’s nothing more irritating than a group chat
that rolls into a marathon session thanks to glitches and fuzzy
audio. JAX talks to the team behind one solution for broken
meetings, and more besides. 

JAX: What is HipChat?

HipChat is Atlassian’s secure, real-time unified
collaboration platform for one-to-one and 
group chat
for teams. Persistent chat rooms, video and audio calls, file
sharing and screen sharing make for a dynamic communication
environment whether teams are located in a room or distributed
around the globe. More than 7,000 customers including Hipmunk,
Quora, Pinterest, Wired, TED, and Fitbit use HipChat.

What was the motivation behind the creation of
the project? Which problem does it solve?

The idea behind HipChat was inspired in 2008
when its three co-founders recognized that 
there was no
single, easy-to-use chat product designed for the workplace. While
Fortune 1000 companies could use expensive enterprise solutions
such as IBM Sametime, most companies relied on consumer IM tools
that lacked many of the features needed for real- time
communication in the workplace. No affordable solution for small to
medium-sized companies existed until HipChat came on the
market.

HipChat offers a free version to support small
teams and startups, but the product is 
different from
consumer focused chat products in key ways because it’s built with
teams and businesses in mind. Persistent chat rooms, automatic
loading of all users within a company, and native apps to
accommodate every operating system make it simple and easy for
teams to stay connected, regardless of location or work style.
HipChat also supports security and user-management requirements
that companies need. Other features include unlimited chat rooms,
free guest access, vertical tab notification for group and
one-to-one chats, social @mentions, file sharing, and push
notifications on mobile devices.

What would be a typical user
case?

HipChat is often used by distributed teams that
need an easy-to-use, real-time communication 
tool.
HipChat users create group chat rooms for working on projects,
communicating with their team, coordinating with clients, handling
incidents, or releasing new products.

Teammates can chat one-to-one or in group chat
rooms, and persistent chat rooms make it 
easy for
remote or distributed workers to stay up to date on their own time.
Teams can share files by dragging and dropping them into a chat
room, or get in sync by sharing their screen.

HipChat’s API makes it easy to integrate with
other software so teams can receive 
notifications about
support tickets, build status, tweets, etc. within HipChat and chat
about it in real-time.

How does the project work?

Teams can stay connected and build genuine
consensus with face-to-face video chat and real-
time screen
sharing. Users can share ideas, code, and files with their teams in
real-time. Group chat rooms can be used for individual projects,
teams, or entire departments. Users can also start a one-to-one
chat room with a coworker anytime.

Colleagues can stay connected whether they’re in
the office or on the go using HipChat’s 
native Desktop,
iOS and Android apps.

What is the current state of development? What
is planned for the future?

In the last six months alone, HipChat’s team
doubled in size and Atlassian plans to double 
it again
by the end of the year with a heavy emphasis on R&D. You can
expect to see a self-hosted version of HipChat and investment in
more immersive forms of real-time communication coming down the
pipeline soon.

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