Atlassian Confluence vs. HCL Connections

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Confluence
Score 8.1 out of 10
N/A
Confluence is a collaboration and content sharing platform used primarily by customers who are already using Atlassian's Jira project tracking product. The product appeals particularly to IT users.
$10
per month
HCL Connections
Score 9.2 out of 10
N/A
Connections from HCL Technologies (formerly from IBM, acquired by HCL in 2018) is a collaboration tool and employee digital workspace with key features like social analytics, blogs, document management, and a social network.N/A
Pricing
Atlassian ConfluenceHCL Connections
Editions & Modules
Free
$0
Free for 10 Users
Standard
$5
Per User Per Month
Premium
$10
Per User Per Month
Server
$10
10 Users - Perpetual License
Server
$2,700
25 Users - Perpetual License
Server
$5,300
50 Users - Perpetual License
Server
10,200.00
100 Users - Perpetual License
Data Center
15,000.00
500 Users - Annually
Server
19,800.00
250 Users - Perpetual License
Server
30,000.00
500 Users - Perpetual License
Data Center
30,000.00
1,000 Users - Annually
Server
45,000.00
2,000 Users - Perpetual License
Data Center
52,000.00
2,000 Users - Annually
Data Center
79,200.00
3,000 Users - Annually
Server
90,000.00
10,000 Users - Perpetual License
Data Center
105,600.00
4,000 Users - Annually
Data Center
132,000.00
5,000 Users - Annually
Data Center
143,000.00
10,000 Users - Annually
Server
150,000.00
10,001+ Users - Perpetual License
Data Center
154,000.00
15,000 Users - Annually
Data Center
165,000.00
20,000 Users - Annually
Data Center
176,000.00
25,000 Users - Annually
Data Center
187,000.00
30,000 Users - Annually
Data Center
198,000.00
35,000 Users - Annually
Data Center
209,000.00
40,000 Users - Annually
Data Center
220,000.00
40,001+ Users - Annually
Enterprise
Contact Sales
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
ConfluenceHCL Connections
Free Trial
YesNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
Atlassian ConfluenceHCL Connections
Considered Both Products
Confluence
Chose Atlassian Confluence
IBM Connections tried to be what Confluence IS - but failed miserably at it. As a knowledge management platform, it was terrible because information went in, but never came out. We used to have a saying that Connections is where information went to die simply because you …
HCL Connections
Chose HCL Connections
Confluence is a much truer Wiki system, with easier to understand permissions, better management of content, a better plugin ecosystem, far greater enterprise adoption, and above all else, functional search! If users generate wiki pages inside of Confluence, we actually can …
Top Pros
Top Cons
Features
Atlassian ConfluenceHCL Connections
Project Management
Comparison of Project Management features of Product A and Product B
Atlassian Confluence
7.5
107 Ratings
5% below category average
HCL Connections
-
Ratings
Task Management7.785 Ratings00 Ratings
Gantt Charts7.912 Ratings00 Ratings
Scheduling7.221 Ratings00 Ratings
Workflow Automation7.956 Ratings00 Ratings
Mobile Access6.781 Ratings00 Ratings
Search8.0105 Ratings00 Ratings
Visual planning tools7.484 Ratings00 Ratings
Communication
Comparison of Communication features of Product A and Product B
Atlassian Confluence
8.0
107 Ratings
1% above category average
HCL Connections
-
Ratings
Chat6.415 Ratings00 Ratings
Notifications8.4105 Ratings00 Ratings
Discussions8.299 Ratings00 Ratings
Surveys7.015 Ratings00 Ratings
Internal knowledgebase9.299 Ratings00 Ratings
Integrates with GoToMeeting6.03 Ratings00 Ratings
Integrates with Gmail and Google Hangouts9.37 Ratings00 Ratings
Integrates with Outlook9.610 Ratings00 Ratings
File Sharing & Management
Comparison of File Sharing & Management features of Product A and Product B
Atlassian Confluence
8.1
107 Ratings
0% above category average
HCL Connections
-
Ratings
Versioning8.091 Ratings00 Ratings
Video files7.668 Ratings00 Ratings
Audio files8.062 Ratings00 Ratings
Document collaboration8.5102 Ratings00 Ratings
Access control8.8100 Ratings00 Ratings
Advanced security features8.276 Ratings00 Ratings
Integrates with Google Drive8.148 Ratings00 Ratings
Device sync7.948 Ratings00 Ratings
Best Alternatives
Atlassian ConfluenceHCL Connections
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HCL Connections
HCL Connections
Score 9.2 out of 10
Concrete CMS
Concrete CMS
Score 9.2 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Troop Messenger
Troop Messenger
Score 9.6 out of 10
Workvivo
Workvivo
Score 9.3 out of 10
Enterprises
HCL Connections
HCL Connections
Score 9.2 out of 10
Workvivo
Workvivo
Score 9.3 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
Atlassian ConfluenceHCL Connections
Likelihood to Recommend
8.5
(124 ratings)
9.0
(20 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
9.8
(19 ratings)
7.7
(7 ratings)
Usability
8.2
(12 ratings)
9.0
(4 ratings)
Availability
9.0
(5 ratings)
10.0
(2 ratings)
Performance
8.0
(9 ratings)
9.0
(2 ratings)
Support Rating
5.8
(45 ratings)
8.0
(8 ratings)
Implementation Rating
8.6
(6 ratings)
7.3
(2 ratings)
Configurability
6.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Ease of integration
8.0
(4 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Product Scalability
8.0
(2 ratings)
7.0
(2 ratings)
Vendor post-sale
8.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Vendor pre-sale
8.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
User Testimonials
Atlassian ConfluenceHCL Connections
Likelihood to Recommend
Atlassian
It has a comment option on the page, where you can tag other teammates tagging them. it sends the mail notification. Comment at the page end is pretty good for referring to other stakeholders and future references of the topic on the page. Creating the highlights of the discussions, and meeting held points with highlighted tagging. Easy shortcuts such as to add a date just type "//". The interface is cool and has easy shortcuts for quick page making.
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HCL Technologies
IBM Connections is well suited for larger organizations that need an internal social networking tool and are willing to deal with IBM and the complexity of the software. It is less appropriate for smaller organizations and those who don't want to deal with the complexity, or IBM's awful customer service and prices.
Read full review
Pros
Atlassian
  • QUICK How-to Guides that can be generated and share instantly
  • One can subscribe to the pages and spaces and receive updates in the feed on their home page
  • Automatic Email notifications of new updates in the Confluence area
  • The platform integrates easily with other Atlassian platforms including third-party apps thus improving its reliability
Read full review
HCL Technologies
  • The plugin for MS Office/Explorer has made saving and sharing working documents extremely convenient for me and my close colleagues
  • The newsfeed feature conveniently aggregates updates from the communities/people you follow. It's nice not to have to jump from community to community to see what's going on in the organization
  • The various apps can be used for several purposes. A little creativity goes a long way when establishing what type of information the apps can be useful for communicating
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Cons
Atlassian
  • Navigation. Similar to other Atlassian products, users have complained that aspects of Confluence are difficult to learn right away[.]
  • An issue that users can face when using Confluence is attempting to edit a document while someone else is editing. Although users can access the document and save it, they are unable to see the changes happening in [real-time] that other users are implementing until they refresh their page. Some users have also noted that this can result in loss of edits.
  • Another drawback of using Confluence is its specific organizational structure. All information is stored within one page or project, although the page is able to be broken up into sections, some users do not prefer this style. Users can use the ‘page tree’ on each page to organize the different elements of each project.
Read full review
HCL Technologies
  • The lack of a note-taking tool became a bigger and bigger issue as time went on. Our pilot users felt Connections was a natural place to take and share meeting notes – including photos, drawings, recorded audio, etc. – and were always frustrated that there was no easy, organized way to do that. We tried using a Blog, Wiki, etc. but nothing really resonated as a good solution for this.
  • The Wiki tool is weak, providing rigid structure but with few options. A Community can only have a single Wiki, for instance. Wikis are weak in the mobile app as well; they’re not even easy to navigate. Users ended up ignoring Wikis completely despite our efforts to get them to convert documents like guidelines, policies, procedures, handbooks, etc. into Wiki form.
  • The Windows Explorer plug-in was useful but required a lot of manual intervention to setup. For instance, once a user joins a Community in Connections, the Community also has to be manually added to the Explorer plug-in so the user can find, open and edit files with it. We felt this process should be much more automated.
  • Tagging is only relevant in the web UI and, to a lesser extent, in the mobile app. However, in the Windows Explorer plug-in, Tags are not usable at all making it difficult to find things that were easy to find in the web UI.
  • IBM Docs was not included in the on-premises deployment; it was an additional license so we did not test it. Documents, mainly Microsoft Office files, are still the single most common way our user community creates, shares, edits and presents information. That proved to be a major gap for our users, and slowed user adoption considerably. We considered testing it, but IBM Docs would only work for about half of our users so we found ourselves wondering if we really wanted to support two document editing platforms. IBM Docs also offers no way to work offline as far as we could tell. This also meant we would need to keep licensing Microsoft Office which is not cheap.
  • Consulting costs are high because the back-end environment is complex. Installing, administrating and even patching Connections is a fairly complex process. We needed to hire consultants to install our test environment and any major upgrades would’ve required additional consulting fees. Any 3rd party add-ons we looked at were highly technical in nature meaning…you guessed it, more consulting costs.
  • Administrating IBM Connections requires editing XML files in a specific, secure way that is typically done in a console. I love consoles as much as the next admin, but when you only use a console once every 2 months it means looking up all the documentation and re-educating yourself. A single change could take me 2 hours to implement. 3rd party admin dashboards do exist, at an additional cost, but IBM really should provide a much easier way to manage the environment.
  • The lack of in-person or online training courses, materials, videos, etc. really discouraged a lot of users. The only decent training we could find (marketing videos aside) was a single video series on Lynda.com which, of course, was an additional cost. In the end that video didn’t really help our users much beyond introductory concepts.
  • IBM includes reporting, but it’s a massive Cognos system requiring some serious hardware and Cognos expertise. We had neither, and would have ultimately opted for a 3rd party add-on for reporting and statistics.
  • An often overlooked concern is eDiscovery. Our contracted eDiscovery service extensively works with various ECMs, but had no idea how they would handle Connections data. The cloud version of Connections offers an add-on for eDiscovery, but as far as we could tell IBM offered nothing for on-premises deployments.
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Likelihood to Renew
Atlassian
I am confident that Atlassian can come with additional and innovative macros and functions to add value to Confluence. In 6 months, Atlassian transformed a good collaborative tools into a more comprehensive system that can help manage projects and processes, as well as "talk" with other Atlassian products like Jira. We are in fact learning more about Jira to evaluate a possible fit to complement our tool box.
Read full review
HCL Technologies
Connections has continued to more than meet our needs from a collaboration point of view and we are currently working on integration with our IBM Websphere portal platform to provide an integrated collaboration solution. This scenario will provide our users the best both products have to offer in a single interface.
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Usability
Atlassian
Confluence can - and in my personal opinion, it will - be a bit hard to use in the first moment. Atlassian is a great company and is eager to help you with any question you have, though. The interface seems to be a bit clumsy at first but the customization options are enough to make it easier and simpler. In general, Confluence is easy to use when you understand what each section does, but this can take a while.
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HCL Technologies
Connections combines all the most useful abilities from various social networks. This makes it useful of course, but it also reduces user adoption time initially by allowing users to get comfortable with basic features. Once they are comfortable, it's easy for users to start exploring. They find new people in the organization to contact, new sources of information, etc. Before you know it, about half of the users are contributing back in some form -- and all with little or no training needed by IT.
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Reliability and Availability
Atlassian
I do not recall having outages or applications error so far, very reliable and available.
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HCL Technologies
Once Connections was installed, patched, etc. it was ALWAYS up. We only had to bring it down for OS updates to the servers. That seems to be typical of anything that runs on WebSphere; it's bulletproof and could probably run for months and years if the underlying OS didn't require constant patching.
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Performance
Atlassian
Pages load very quickly, which makes it useful for quickly obtaining information. The search functionality is also very quick and is able to parse through all of the documents to provide the most relevant results for the query. Other information based software gets bogged down, but so far Atlassian Confluence maintains its performance.
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HCL Technologies
IBM Connections web UI, mobile app (data sync to / from the device), and file transfer speeds were almost always very fast. It was rare for a slow-down of any kind, even when doing searches.
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Support Rating
Atlassian
This rating is specifically for Atlassian's self-help documentation on their website. Often times, it is not robust enough to cover a complex usage of one of their features. Frequently, you can find an answer on the web, but not from Atlassian. Instead, it is usually at a power user group elsewhere on the net.
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HCL Technologies
IBM Support has ALWAYS been quick to respond, regardless of the product. Even first level techs seldom provide "canned" responses and they really try to help. If they can't help, they don't wallow around but engage the right person immediately. It's very rare that the first level tech needs to escalate, and even more rare when they do escalate and the next person engaged cannot solve it. We have been more than satisfied with IBM support's quick and professional responses to our issues.
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Implementation Rating
Atlassian
Overall, I am very satisfied with the initial implementation (and the subsequent upgrades and implementations made over the years).
This product has never rose to the level of being an major issue at an executive level. It has quietly and valiantly done it's job for our company!
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HCL Technologies
Try to understand you will never find a product which suites all your end user for 100%. IBM Connections is the best of all breeds but if you go look on each functionality on its own there are better example out there. But as IBM COnnections delivers it all in just one platform makes it the best example about integration of different functionality into one platform.
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Alternatives Considered
Atlassian
We used to use Google Drive to store all of our documentation, but it is disconnected from our every day working environment and it was easy to lose documents and become disorganized within the broad drive environment. [Atlassian] Confluence has kept us more organized and its tight coupling with Jira has made documents more accessible and more likely to be kept up to date.
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HCL Technologies
From the few times that I have used MS SharePoint, I can say that it doesn't seem to hold a candle to the robust features of IBM Connections. The out-of-the-box capabilities of IBM Connections are amazing and are more easy to access and use than what I've seen with MS SharePoint.
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Scalability
Atlassian
This tool is very adaptable. So much so we use it for three completely separate projects, in three very different ways.
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HCL Technologies
Scaling UP is never an issue with IBM's core technologies like WebSphere, DB2, etc. as long as you have or can find the technical resources to implement it. Where IBM seems to fail is scaling DOWN for smaller organizations. Connections 5.0 on-premises would have required us to create 7 servers -- yes, they would be virtualized, but still that's 7 OS licenses, 40 virtual CPU cores, 80GB RAM, and a few TB of hard disk space. All to replace Quick which runs on 1 server with 1 OS license, 4 cores, 8GB RAM and 600GB of disk. Granted, there are major differences in capabilities between the two, but how do you get a CFO understand why features like a mobile app, file sync, and social sharing require 10x the back-end resources?
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Return on Investment
Atlassian
  • We've gone from folders and folders of Word documents and PDFs into a single system with a search feature to bring all of our data together and trackable
  • While onboarding took a bit longer for the company (to switch from a Word document centric mindset - to a web-based one), overall the company has embraced the features and power of Confluence within the working stack
  • However, as costs continue to climb for the Atlassian product, we are forced to continue our evaluation of the product - with replacing it a remote possibility if it begins to outprice its usefulness to us.
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HCL Technologies
  • Positive - Using IBM Connections has reduced the number of directories and file share repositories previously used for collaboration.
  • Positive - The direction is to stop relying on email for the only method of communicating and sharing knowledge. IBM Connections is in the right step.
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ScreenShots