More than a collaborative tool: a new way to work effectively and efficiently across the organization
Charles Thomasset, MBA profile photo
August 12, 2014

More than a collaborative tool: a new way to work effectively and efficiently across the organization

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

5.5.2

Overall Satisfaction with Atlassian Confluence

Atlassian Confluence has been selected and used first by the University's IT department. Other services of the University started to used it as well and the Advancement group started using it about a year ago. We first used it a central repository for shared documents with the desire to replace our shared drive. Then, each sub-group has created its own page to share information to the rest of the Advancement staff. We are now using it a s a project and event management tool.
  • Everybody can be trained using Confluence in one hour, start editing pages right away and contribute in sharing information.
  • The version management is automatic and reduces the risk of lost data. It is easy to go back to an older version.
  • The extensive library of macros helps be creative and efficient in building pages and doing cross-references.
  • Editing and viewing rights are easy to manage and allow to separate public views from internal works.
  • As we are using Confluence more and more to manage projects, it is lacking some key functions related to project management, such as a visual Gantt chart. It has made progress though with the Page Properties macro and related report to identify projects.
  • It would be nice to edit a spreadsheet within Confluence and use the basic functions of Excel (sum, ...)
  • Links to PDF files are a 3-step process with an automatic download; a option to preview the file (like an image) would be useful (specially on mobile devices)
  • Email reminder/notifications for task due in a day or two could be useful for some users.
  • Increased collaboration among staff (easy to use)
  • Increased employee efficiency (advanced search capability)
  • Better meetings' action item follow-up (superior task management)
  • Constant Atlassian upgrade with new useful and effective functions
I have used SharePoint at a prior employer, for file sharing and workflow. Usage is a bit different, but feel that Confluence can do a similar job and more and is much easier to learn and use. Same with right management: SharePoint required an administrator, while every manager at Lehigh University can control who can view/edit Confluence pages.
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.
Confluence is a great collaborative tool that is easier and more effective than documents shared on a shared drive. Every user becomes a collaborator, and the more it is being used, the more one creates contents. It's a live environment, continuously updated, and easily shared with others. It is not a project management tool nor a repository space to store every file.