From Halp to Assist: Atlassian's Acquisition and the Future of Slack Integrations

From Halp to Assist: Atlassian's Acquisition and the Future of Slack Integrations

Happy Das
Happy Das
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From Halp to Assist: Atlassian's Acquisition and the Future of Slack Integrations

Happy Das
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Customers want instant answers - 77% expect immediate interaction when contacting a company. And great service pays off, with 88% saying it directly impacts future purchases. Many are turning to Slack and Atlassian Assist (formerly known as Halp) to meet these demands. Slack facilitates real-time communication. Atlassian Assist organizes interactions into support tickets. Together, they promise faster, more effective customer service. The integration bridges the gap between businesses and their customers.

While this pairing has proven successful, can we still count on it to deliver the same results today, given Atlassian’s announcement of Halp’s acquisition? Though the fundamentals remain strong, changing times introduce new variables. In this article, we discuss the transition from Halp to Atlassian Assist, analyze the strengths and limitations of Halp as a Slack integration, and present alternatives. So, without any further ado, let’s dive right in.

Atlassian Assist vs. Halp: Are Both the Same?

Atlassian Assist and Halp are integrally related but not the same. Atlassian acquired Halp, a Slack and Microsoft Teams ticketing system, to augment its capabilities in 2022. The functionality of Halp has remained unchanged after adopting a new name (Atlassian Assist, the bot that runs with Jira Service Management). It continues to focus on resolving issues faster and supporting customer requests across ticketing platforms like Zendesk and Jira Service Management.

Atlassian Assist and What It Means for Slack Integrations

Atlassian Assist merges the communicative capabilities of Slack with the efficient ticketing system of Assist (formerly known as Halp), allowing users to create, manage, and resolve service tickets directly within Slack. Key benefits include:

1. Improved Customer Support Workflow

  1. With Assist integrated into Slack, customer questions from your ticketing systems can be routed directly to support reps and teams within Slack channels. This creates a seamless workflow for providing customer support.
  2. Support agents don't have to switch platforms or engage in inefficient back-and-forth via email. Everything is contained within Slack.
  3. Managers have visibility into customer conversations happening in Slack and can monitor performance to identify areas for improvement.

2. Better Team Collaboration

  1. Different support teams and agents can collaborate on answers within Slack threads. Experts across departments can chime in to resolve customer issues faster.
  2. Slack's threaded messaging creates greater context and organization for customer support conversations vs. traditional email ticketing systems.
  3. Support agents can easily @mention subject matter experts on different teams to pull them into a customer conversation happening in Slack.

3. Increased Productivity

  1. With Assist handling basic questions and common issues automatically, support agents can focus on more complex, high-value customer inquiries.
  2. Automated responses via Assist bots increase agent productivity and scalability. One support rep can handle more conversations simultaneously.
  3. Support teams spend less time switching between tools and hunting down information in separate knowledge bases or wikis. Answers are readily accessible within Slack.

With Atlassian’s Assist natively embedded in Slack, customer service teams can deliver more human, helpful support. The integration saves time and effort while improving team efficiency and collaboration.

Why Atlassian Assist Integration Might Not Be Right for You

Atlassian Assist offers a streamlined approach to ticket management that should, in theory, improve customer support effectiveness within Slack. However, its limitations are important to acknowledge, as they may hinder its promising potential.

  1. Agent-based Licensing: Agent-based licensing notably hampers Halp, especially for extensive engineering teams. It becomes prohibitively costly when such teams need to work together, whether with internal staff on product issues or with external customers via Slack Connect channels.
  2. Lack of Advanced Reporting: Its simplistic approach might be a drawback for teams needing comprehensive reporting and analytics to measure performance and gauge customer service effectiveness.
  3. Less Suited for Large Businesses: It may not have the scalability required by larger businesses with bigger customer service teams. The streamlined nature of the tool might be less efficient for complex organizations that manage high volumes of support needs.
  4. Primitive Knowledge-Centered Support: Halp can generate suggestions for new inquiries based on its internal knowledge bases. However, it falls short of leveraging information from external sources and documentation. Its method for generating responses is not powered by advanced AI or vector indexes but operates on a simpler keyword-matching approach.

Besides, Atlassian’s announcement of the acquisition of Halp requires businesses to transition to using Jira Service Management. This transition presents some key considerations for Slack integration:

  1. Potential workflow disruption. Switching help desk platforms involves moving over ticket data, automations, and SLAs and integrating Jira with your other tools. This could cause a temporary dip in productivity.
  2. Limited Support Tool Integration: Halp primarily focused on integrating Slack with Jira Service Management (JSM). Now, the shift narrows the scope of integration, mainly limiting it to JSM and potentially making Halp less versatile for those who rely on Zendesk, and other ticketing systems copbeyond JSM.
  3. Training and onboarding onto a new platform. Jira Service Management has a different interface and feature set than Halp. Employees will need to be trained on the new system.

While Atlassian positions Jira Service Management as an upgrade from Halp, the transition can involve substantial work. Due to these constraints, some teams may find it too limiting to rely solely on Halp for their customer service needs through Slack.

ClearFeed: An Alternative to Atlassian Assist

ClearFeed is an effective alternative to Halp (Atlassian Assist), offering several key benefits to enhance help internal and external desk request management and team collaboration. Here's how ClearFeed helps manage customer requests on Slack and scale support operations:

1. Intelligent Triaging, Prioritization, and Flexible Response Management

ClearFeed's Triage Channel and automated response function effectively manage many customer tickets on Slack. The triage channel sorts through messages, organizing and prioritizing them so every request gets quick attention. It's especially helpful for urgent issues that must be sorted out quickly.

The automated responses give quick answers to regular questions and keep things running, even when it's outside of working hours. For harder or sensitive issues that need a human touch, the team can handle it personally. The automatic and manual response systems work as a team, providing a flexible and efficient customer service experience.

2. In-depth Analytics

ClearFeed provides a deep understanding of how your team performs and how your help desk is doing, all from detailed analysis. It considers important information like how long responses take, how successful solutions are, and how many requests breached the agreed service levels. This data can help businesses improve their services.

Looking closely at how the team performs can help tweak how work is done, clarify who's responsible for what, and improve how everyone works together. This powerful analysis gives businesses the details they need to tailor their support methods, ensuring their services stay focused on the customer.

3. Customization

ClearFeed lets you set up ticket rules and workflows, making it adaptable to your business's operations. This means you can sort incoming requests just how you want, decide which issues are more significant, and guide tickets to the right team members. By matching the automatic sorting and priority setting with your business's specific needs, you can ensure things run smoothly and cater to varied needs effectively.

4. Comprehensive Integrations

ClearFeed offers comprehensive integration capabilities, allowing Slack to interface effortlessly with leading ticketing and issue management systems. These include Salesforce Service Cloud, Atlassian Jira, JSM, Zendesk, Freshdesk, GitHub, and Linear. Beyond ticketing systems, ClearFeed can also assimilate knowledge from various enterprise know-how sources such as Confluence Wikis, Notion, PDF files, Gitbook documentation portals, and any public website.

The standout feature of ClearFeed's integration is its extensive customizability. It ensures flexible interfacing through options for both one-way and two-way synchronization of messages and fields across different platforms. This flexibility allows Slack users to collaborate seamlessly with users on other platforms like Zendesk, enhancing cross-platform productivity.

5. Flexible Pricing

ClearFeed is built with the diverse needs of various teams in mind, offering unique pricing models for each:

  1. Customer Support and Engineering Teams: Teams collaborating with customers have access to per-channel pricing. This plan allows larger groups to communicate and collaborate without being held back by high costs.
  2. Internal IT, HR, and Finance Teams: Teams more familiar with a per-agent pricing model can utilize ClearFeed in a way that aligns most closely with their established work model.
  3. Teams Using ClearFeed for Integrations: For those who use ClearFeed for its integration abilities, a usage-based plan is the best fit. This approach calculates pricing based on the number of tickets filed or synced, offering unrestricted collaboration across the organization.

With these various pricing options, ClearFeed allows each team within an organization to select the model that best suits their operations and budget.

Here’s a quick side-by-side comparison of Slack integration of ClearFeed and Halp:

Features ClearFeed Halp
Bi-directional Communication
Internal Triaging
Emoji Ticketing
Knowledge Centric Support
Web Interface
CSAT Surveys
AI-Powered SLA Alerts
Ticket Analytics
Integration Support (Zendesk, Freshdesk, Intercom, Jira, Hubspot, and more) Jira Service Management

Final Observations: The Effectiveness of Assist, Slack, and Beyond

Using Assist and Slack together is still a great solution. It helps businesses improve their communication and customer support in a straightforward and easy-to-use way. These tools work together to manage customer requests, interact with team members, and solve issues easily and quickly.

However, companies today have changing needs and should always be looking at their tools and how they operate. Even though Assist and Slack work well together, keeping an eye on new options like ClearFeed is good. Want to know more about our integration with Slack? Get in touch with our team here.

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