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_Confluence by Atlassian – opinions and the most important functionalities from users' point of view
Principal eMarketing Specialist
19 June 2019
Reading time: 8 minutes
– based on implementation in TT CG
Transition Technologies Capital Group currently hires nearly 1000 employees working in broadly understood advanced technology field. TT CG consists of many organizational levels so that both effective and efficient offer diversification could be possible as well as development of each area. With such complex structure, smooth communication between departments, teams, and coworkers is exceptionally important. TT PSC Atlassian department carried out implementation of Confluence for the whole group in 2012. Over the years, we have been observing a constant growth in popularity of this solution among our employees, which accurately shows the utility of the Atlassian’s product.
Create, share, cooperate
What is Confluence? Simply speaking, it’s an internal platform for companies, used to exchange knowledge, materials, ideas, files, plans – everything that employees want to share with each other. The software enables creating separate theme spaces consisting of smaller elements, which are pages. An individual page resembles blogpost, and its content actually depends only on a user’s needs. It can include text entered in Confluence, a file to download, a file imported so that it was displayed directly on a page, team work schedule, or other, more advanced and complex content. The way the page will look like and what it will contain depends on what template and additional elements (so called macros- in a basic version of the software, there are over 30 of them) will be chosen by the user. Access to space and particular pages can be open for all the users (which means all the employees of a company, where the software has been implemented) or limited to a chosen group of people. Restrictions can be imposed by the software administrator as well as the author of a particular subpage. People who have access to a given page can comment or edit it (unless the person who manages the page will make it impossible to edit).
An example of a page created in Confluence
The development of Confluence in TT CG
Confluence is software which is shared information, materials and file base. Thanks to that, employees do not get lost in received and sent attachments, do not have to use mail or messengers to exchange materials; they can store files, share ideas, comment other people’s suggestions and brainstorm within the software, where everything is stored and archived in order to find it easily and come back to the necessary data. Benefits coming from this solution was quickly recognized and implemented by TT PSC Atlassian’s team in their company.
We deal with implementation of Atlassian’s tools, so we have to know it inside out. We have quickly made a decision to implement Confluence in our department. TTPSC Atlassian’s team was the first in TT CG to configure and expand administrative capability as well as use typically applied functionalities, i.a. to make notes, collect documentation, building a base of necessary files, and to co-create pages used to e.g. set meetings after work or to share funny moments. Confluence has quickly become an important tool for us. We have recommended the tool to TT Capital Group and after nearly a year we implemented it in the whole organization. – Piotr Tokarski, Bussiness Unit Manager in Transition Technologies PSC.
Initially, only TT PSC department used the software (currently, a separate daughter-company). Implementation of Confluence was carried out step by step over the whole year. It was connected with the need to present the chosen tool and convince employees to use it. The main obstacle was necessity to change habits, fear of difficulties in using the new tool and transferring processes to another environment.
The number of users as well as spaces and pages created by them was growing along with introducing the software in another departments of the company. In 2013, there were 50 spaces in the software, one year later there were 168, and in 2017 the number was raised to 355. The highest peak was recorded in 2018, when there were 425 spaces; currently – after removing those which are no longer needed, TT CG has 361 spaces and 99 070 pages!
Confluence – opinions:
Confluence is a tool which helps collect information in one place and makes it easier for different teams to cooperate within a company. Its main advantages are: it’s easy to use, has a search engine and versionizing as well as restrictions set on pages.
The search engine in Confluence allows not only to quickly get information from particular pages, but also to browse attachments. Because of that, we can find necessary information even if it is in an attached .pdf or .docx file, obviously, according to access privilege. By the way, it is worth mentioning that eligibility determine i.a. who can create/remove content, add attachments, or comment. The software also gives possibility of imposing restrictions on particular pages, which allows to specify who can open or edit a given page.
An important functionality is so-called versionizing – after changes introduced on the page, it is saved as a new version. Because of that, previous versions of the page can be viewed and compared with the new one. Confluence versionize also attachments, which allows to check who, when and what change they introduced in the attached files. Those functionalities of Confluence belong, in my opinion, to one of the most useful and liked by users. The software wouldn’t be so popular if it hadn’t been so easy to use; people from non-technical departments work with it really smoothly, very often presenting content in Confluence in a eye-friendly and creative way.
– Krzysztof Stefański, expert in Atlassian’s solutions in Transition Technologies PSC.
Confluence is great knowledge base for employees; HR department publish there i.a. basic information concerning ongoing processes in the company, such as reporting business trips, holidays, applications to get glasses, or employer’s instructions. The software is also used for another purposes. Our company publish there i.a. newsletter with the news and greetings for new employees onboard. Confluence is also really helpful in building information base for teams and projects.
As for me, the biggest advantage of the tool is how easy it is to use, its transparency and the fact that you have all the necessary information in one place. – Anna Wdowiak, HR Manager in Transition Technologies PSC.
Owing to Confluence, the order in files looks as if it was done by Marie Condo herself. This tool allowed me to collect and group documents which were necessary for sales department. Before that, the search for e.g. current offer’s template, or the latest approved by a lawyer version of a contract took incredible amount of time and it involved a lot of people who had to reply to numerous emails like: ‘Who’s got the template of implementation agreement?’ -‘I’ve got it, but I have no idea if it’s up-to-date’ and so on. Since we started using Confluence, we have been able to share the templates or documents’ models with no problems; we have stopped getting through emails; we don’t have to save all the files on a local drive anymore – it’s enough to have them in Confluence.
Personally, what I like the most is spaces where we have gathered information supporting sales processes. And it’s not only about files. We have also created pages, where we have e.g. descriptions on what information we should get from a client to recognize their needs as well as a list of difficult questions and links to documentation. Because of function of observing the space, we constantly get notifications connected with upgrade or new content. What works great in our department is holidays schedule which was created in Confluence owing to Staffing Timeline by TTPSC. . Thanks to that, I do not have to go to general director of our administrative workers and ask who is currently free and can take care of a client. As for me, it means saving time and quick access to information. – Marzena Maćkowska, Operations Manager in Transistion Technologies PSC.
Confluence for companies
Implementation of Confluence in a company brings benefits connected with a better work organization, time saving which is a result of a broad base of necessary documents, and in combination with Jira software as well as other Atlassian’s tools, it gives even more developed possibilities. The basic advantages coming from implementation of Confluence in a company are the following:
Solutions for business
Ecosystems for business, built from Atlassian’s tools, are solutions proven by hundreds of thousands users over the world; the products are so flexible that they can be adjusted according to the needs of every type of business. The most well-known Atlassian’s software is Jira (available in versions: basic, which is Jira Core, dedicated to developers’ teams – Jira Software, designed for companies which need solutions of helpdesk type – Jira Service Management, and the latest Jira Align, which has solutions for advanced management of project portfolios) as well as described above Confluence. Both the former and the latter cooperate with each other with no problems, creating for a company the environment for process management (Jira) and, connected with it, knowledge base (Confluence).
Additional, specific functionalities deriving from a given business type, are created with the use of the rest of Atlassian’s tools, additions created by the brand’s partners, available on Atlassian Marketplace, or due to applications created only and specially for a given client. TTPSC Atlassian’s team uses all the possibilities every day, offering attractive prices, knowledge and involvement of a certified specialists’ team.