Who uses Atlassian Confluence?

Another month, another tool to test for publishing formal content it seems!

You may recall I posted about using WordPress last month.  Well the proof of concept was a success.  WordPress is a very, very easy tool to use.

However BT has other tools already in a similar space such as Atlassian Confluence which has technical and security advantages for BT.

So, BT is now testing Confluence as a publishing tool for micro intranet sites in August in line with BT’s intranet plans to replace our existing publishing tools.

BT already uses Confluence for collaborative content.  The aim would be to publish different types of content on the same platform and make them distinctive to users and apply the appropriate standards to each type.

If we can succeed with this we really will have a winner!

Have you used Confluence for this type of publishing?  Do you know anyone who has please?

I would love to hear about what your experience has been so far.

18 responses to “Who uses Atlassian Confluence?

  1. We use Confluence internally here at the BBC as our wiki platform. It’s apparently become “business critical”, though I have no people resources to manage it. So am currently looking to outsource the day to day support, but with little luck so far.

    Externally the BBC also seemingly use Confluence for something. Will try and find out more details and let you know. Let’s see if an appeal on Yammer comes up with anything.

    • Phil,

      It is interesting how tools that are soooo critical to an organisation also don’t qualify for any support. I will be interested in what you find out. We use Confluence for wikis too in BT.

      Good luck with Yammer. I’m using that internally while tweeting with Twitter externally…………….for the time being anyway!

      Mark

    • If you’re looking to outsource support (including for plugins) this might be of use:

      http://www.adaptavist.com/display/Support/Home

      Disclosure: I work for Adaptavist.

      As for the wider questions about using Confluence for content management, it mostly boils down to how much templating is required. Confluence doesn’t have built-in traditional CMS functionality (it’s a wiki first and foremost, not a CMS) so you’ll need to use plugins to fill the gaps.

      Some popular plugins (all third party) that we’ve used on client projects include:

      Scaffold plugin (open source)

      This allows you to add ‘live’ templates to Confluence if you need to ensure wiki pages follow a prescribed format.

      Approvals Workflow plugin (commercial)

      This allows you to apply a structured approvals workflow to content editing and, in particular, doesn’t force you to have everything controlled by a workflow (just the areas where it’s required) to avoid adding unnecessary barriers to collaboration elsewhere.

      Scroll plugin (commercial)

      This adds improved export options so you can provide more customised PDF exports, etc.

      • Guy,

        Thanks for the information and for letting me know who you work for. The honest answer is “I don’t know” about use of plug-ins. They have been mentioned by our IT guys who we are working closely with on the proof of concept but I don’t know any more.

        Basically I say what the business and users need and IT find the best technology we can afford to meet as many of those needs as possible……………or something like that! 😉

        I will mention your offer to them though.

        Mark

  2. The European Commission comes to mind….

  3. Mark, you might check out some of the presentations from Confluence users on our user group pages, e.g., the SunLife presentation http://confluence.atlassian.com/x/nIgpCg. Also, there are some good videos and case studies here: http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/casestudies from big and small organizations. And an intranet case study here: http://www.e-gineer.com/v2/blog/2007/08/our-intranet-wiki-case-study-of-wiki.htm. Hope that helps!

    Jon Silvers
    Atlassian

    • Jon,

      Thanks for the information. Yes it will help. As you can see BT is looking to use Confluence for more than just wiki content. We’re working closely with Alex Fishlock and his team in BT. I expect you know him. most people seem to! 🙂

      Mark

  4. Yammer came up trumps. Well sort of. Bumped into someone in the lift who saw my post on Yammer and who then proceeded to outline in extensive detail how Confluence is one of a number of …………………yawn.

    Anyway, put simply, the BBC uses Confluence externally to share information with trusted suppliers and third parties. Either as view only or actively contribute to working documents. So similar to internal use then. No surprises really.

    Err and that’s about it.

    • We use Yammer extensively at Adaptavist.com – as our main Confluence instance is public facing, it’s not an ideal place to share our activity feed and have group discussions so we use Yammer.com instead for those things. Primarily we post status updates (eg. what people are working on), ask questions (eg. ‘Does anyone know where I can find X?’) and post links to interesting things or urgent support tickets, etc.

      The Confluence activity feed is perhaps better used more akin to twitter where you just want to keep your followers updated with things you’re doing (obviously not confidential stuff).

      We looked at integrating Confluence and Yammer but decided against it – we feel the two platforms should be mutually exclusive as they serve very different purposes.

      Sounds like you guys use Confluence and Yammer in a similar way to us 🙂

      • Guy,

        Yes, BT seems to be in the same space as you with Confluence and Yammer. We’re close to completing our testing. We’ve just started using Yammer internally while Twitter is well established for external and some internal use. We’ll see what users want to use and what for!

        The testing for Confluence is showing that it isn’t as easy a user experience as WordPress but there are other factors we need to consider – technical and security – first as well as affordability! Both are easier to use than Oracle UCM and much, much, cheaper.

        Mark

    • Phil,

      Thanks for the update on how BBC are using Confluence. I don’t believe BT is considering using Confluence for sharing information with trusted parties but I’ll ask.

      Yammer seems to be slowly taking off in BT as an internal tool with Twitter more for external use. The jury is out over which is better or best for different purposes.

      Mark

  5. Hi Mark

    Any more updates on your findings on Confluence as your Intranet platform?

    I am also testing Confluence initially as a wiki and possibly as an Intranet platform, but am finding that potentially it is difficult for employees to use and more importantly to navigate around or find information.

    I have looked at some of the plugins such as theme builder and community bubbles but found them difficult to use, especially when looking from an employees/users viewpoint.

  6. Thanks Mark, look forward to reading your findings and if there was any potential in Confluence for usage within BT

    • Ian,

      I’ll post about them next week. The dust is still settling as there isn’t consensus on the findings with my technical guys.

      Mark

  7. whvandervelde

    On a side ote, you can now simply integrate yammer and confluence with a plugin. We use confluence and yammer in my company so I decided to put out a yammer macro plugin for confluence on Github.
    It will allow you to show the latest X messages from yammer in a confluence page and you can adjust the sync interval.

    See:
    http://github.com/whvandervelde/Yammer-plugin-for-Confluence

  8. The new intranet for Samaritans UK uses Confluence.

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