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Improvements to Atlassian Confluence Create Better Results for Remote Teams

By Elizabeth Clor

Today, collaboration platforms are seen as an essential component of how we work, and according to a survey of 1,200 global IT decision-makers, could replace traditional communications methods by 2024. As a result of more hybrid work models and co-located teams, organizations need tools that keep them connected. And long-standing collaboration platforms like Atlassian’s Confluence, are evolving to answer the call. 

Confluence acts as a centralized, digital workspace, connecting people across time zones, departments and duties. Organizations use Confluence as an intranet, a knowledge base and for documentation purposes. For those that work remotely, as many of us nowadays, Confluence is a solution to streamline workflows and encourage teamwork in a virtual setting, where coworkers are geographically siloed. 

While Confluence has been around since 2004, the latest release, Confluence 7.0, launched in 2019 with updates that enable technical and non-technical teams to collaborate on ongoing projects, transfer knowledge and work productively no matter where they work from. Since then, even more improvements have been published to optimize team connectivity and organization, two critical components of an increasingly remote workforce. 

How Confluence 7.0 Has Increased Visibility and Powered Connectivity

The ability for distributed teams to collaborate from different locations is crucial for a successful remote workforce. But before Confluence 7.0, a global team meant some workers were physically distanced from a server—enough to experience slower load times within the software as a result. To make sure every user's experience has a reliable connection, no matter their location, Confluence 7.0 introduced content delivery networks (CDNs): globally distributed servers that have helped improve load time for remote users by as much as 25%.  

On top of alleviating the challenges to geo-connectivity, Confluence 7.0 also introduced an update that generates site data. Reports can be filtered to track site engagement trends to understand who is contributing what and how often on the platform. Thanks to the latest amendment—Confluence 7.12, which launched in April 2021—insights can be added to a business intelligence platform, like Tableau or PowerBI, to generate reports and visualizations about user activity. With added virtual oversight populating more data, teams have increased understanding about how their remote workforce is operating and can use that information to guide decision-making about how to work together more effectively.

A connected, remote team also requires a group's internal understanding of how work gets done. Confluence Cloud Premium includes Team Calendars, which keep every user up-to-date with each other's schedule without having to leave the platform. The calendar helps users maintain a centralized schedule for team events and individual duties, and can link to user’s personal calendars. Team calendars can be embedded on project pages, which provide remote teams with increased connection and the ability to track project ownership and timelines efficiently. As part of the Confluence 7.11 release update, team calendars have also been added to Confluence Data Center, which is a self-managed version of the platform that has more configuration options for complex teams—allowing even more users to benefit from increased connectedness in a remote setting.  

New Features Keep Teams Efficient and Streamline Workflow  

A team that is connected and collaborating in Confluence is a good sign, but high activity inevitably results in large amounts of content within the platform, which can slow users down with more items to work through. Confluence 7.10 revealed measures to help teams manage clean-up once necessary. The update includes a guide with tips to improve findability and reduce footprint so teams can stay organized and work efficiently. Strategies range from archiving spaces that are no longer active, to identifying large attachments ready for disposal. As teams increasingly rely on collaborative platforms in their work, future improvements that are on the way to keep Confluence clutter-free will be even more useful. 

Reducing repetitive tasks also helps groups work faster, and allow teams to collaborate on projects that require more time and attention. Years ago, Confluence launched templates to save teams from starting from scratch with every project. With more user information gathered over time, projects have become more complex. Atlassian launched a gallery of 75+ templates built for teams across industries to get new projects underway more quickly with this in mind. Templates help teams streamline workflow, without having to start fresh each time a new initiative is introduced. Of the portfolio of templates released last year, each comes with a complimentary guide on how to best utilize each template for a team's unique needs.   

Remote teams thrive in an environment that supports them with the right structure and tools. Atlassian’s Confluence platform was designed for teams to stay connected, organized and aligned as they tackle goals large and small. With each new release, Confluence champions the evolving needs of teams as environments change, offering improvements that help groups work effectively. By utilizing an Atlassian premium partner like Contegix, teams can maximize their ability to benefit from all aspects of the product and perform at their best.  

Contegix helps organizations set up and optimize their use of Confluence, through hosting, application support and professional services. Complications can be costly, and partnering with Contegix to ensure anything from successful data migrations to secure cloud environments, allows teams to focus on their goals knowing they are supported. 

Learn more about how Contegix can help your organization benefit from the latest updates to Atlassian’s Confluence.