Press one for Halp: Atlassian swallows Slack-to-helpdesk company

Slack going public

Team collaboration tool provider Atlassian has announced the acquisition of “conversational ticketing” startup Halp, making the most of teams’ moving from actual office spaces to Slack channels.

According to the company’s website, Halp’s tech to turn Slack messages into trackable tickets or reusable answers has already been good enough to convince Adobe and GitHub to subscribe to its products. 

The new Atlassian home is meant to provide the team with the resources needed to follow its vision of becoming “the best tool for any team collaborating on requests with other teams”. For existing customers this is mainly supposed to imply deeper and new integrations with Atlassian’s ticketing system Jira and the Confluence knowledge base, though those using it with Microsoft Teams shouldn’t fear support ending, Atlassian reassured – for now at least.

Of course Atlassian’s portfolio is much wider than that, which is why the teams also say to look into Halp’s potential to generate Opsgenie alerts or Trello cards, though the value added by the latter remains to be seen, given that Trello for Slack can do exactly that and more.

Financial details of the acquisition haven’t been made public yet, however the step fits in well with Atlassian’s commitment to the Slack platform. In 2018 the company canned its ChatOps projects in favour of an equity investment in Slack, which in turn acquired the IP for Stride and Hipchat Cloud.

A good call, as it turns out, given the COVID-19-induced surge in work from homers in March bestowed an active user record of 12.5 million on Slack. Halp also noticed a “shift in how we collaborate” over the past months, which made the company reconsider team communication and led to a new product.

“Our initial focus was on IT teams, designing a delightful experience for the commonplace #ask-it channel using an emoji to elegantly capture a ticket in a thread” the company wrote in a blog post talking about the Atlassian takeover. Recently, though, it “realized that the opportunity to transform how requests are managed in the workplace is so much bigger than just ticketing,” which was the starting point of newly introduced Halp Answers.

The new functionality is said to allow teams to turn Slack messages into reusable answers, or speed up the answering process via automatic answer recommendations sourced from  Slack discussions or Confluence articles, all of which can be helpful for support channels for instance.