As a discerning organisation, it pays to size up the competition when you’re making purchasing decisions about your enterprise software applications. Confluence is a key knowledge base app for many, however, there are plenty of fresh new entries in the marketplace, including our own CentricMinds.
Today we take you through some of the alternatives to Confluence - the Confluence competition if you will - and questions to ask when you’re deciding which is the best fit for your organisation.
Confluence is the world’s most well-known enterprise wiki software; Atlassian’s knowledge management solution for organisations grouped by spaces and pages. It can be used as an internal or external knowledge base, as a technical document store, or as an Agile software project hub.
Confluence is a knowledge sharing collaboration tool that allows permitted users to share and edit content on knowledge pages, plus search for information quickly with Questions For Confluence.
What does your knowledge base currently look like? Are you using Confluence and are you looking for an Atlassian Confluence replacement? If so, you may like to take into account the ease of migration, for instance, whether the alternative also uses wiki markup.
Here’s the thing about apps these days: many of them hook into other apps created by other vendors. For example, even if you’re using SharePoint, you aren’t locked in to only using Microsoft apps. CentricMinds, for example, has integrations with SharePoint, Slack, Salesforce, Dropbox and more. Check that the Confluence alternative you are researching is able to integrate with your most-used digital workplace and project management apps.
For some Confluence alternatives, you’ll run into cases where you can’t make the software do what you want. For example, if you wanted to create a dashboard for an overview of newly updated pages and biggest contributors. Trying to find a developer to deal with an obscure app can be tricky and costly. Check if there is someone on your team who’d be happy to do development work, or the app vendor can provide developers to help.
Where is the knowledge base going to be stored? On-premise or in the cloud? Do you have options for both and what are the price points - does it cost more as it grows? Are you locked into the vendor’s cloud? Also be aware that, like many enterprise apps, Confluence alternatives may be charged on a per user basis.
As Confluence can be used in different ways - as a wiki versus as an Agile software development project management tool - so can other apps. Investigate the other uses of the tool to see if there might be some secondary applications within your organisation.
Cost matters! If you take a look at the software landscape today, and how apps change over time, get acquired, or fizzle out, you might notice a few things. Often free or freemium products now turn into paid (or feature paid) later. Vendors allow you to become reliant on a product before switching up their pricing, so beware before going uber cheap. Open source products like XWiki and TWiki may be a cheaper option, however these usually have limited feature sets.
A Confluence wiki pairs best with the Atlassian suite of products, which were designed specifically for software developers to do project management more easily. If you are a software house then Confluence - and the rest of the Atlassian suite - is a natural fit for your company and is probably the best way to create documentation.
You need your knowledge base to be able to go wherever your employees go - so that means a version of the software must be available on both mobile and web. Remote teams are now part of many organisations.
According to research, knowledge workers spend around 10 hours per week searching through information. You want your search capabilities for documentation to be intelligent (such as including highlighting), data-centric (including metadata, tagging), and filterable (such as by date, posted by).
No matter who is looking up your knowledge base, or contributing to it, you want users to be able to navigate and update quickly and easily. Adding content should be as simple as navigating a Google Docs file and Google Drive. The collaboration features must be seamless and real-time.
While knowledge documents often change over time, getting added to and rewritten, it is important to have the historical versions of these files accessible to see what was written and when. Version control, such as via Git, makes this possible.
CentricMinds offers a single platform that connects teams to work. It can be used as a viable alternative to Confluence, providing a knowledge base for teams, as a place for building communities within the organisation (including building Q&A community), and creating and managing internal communications.
With CentricMinds, you can create wikis, questions and answers channels, search and find answers fast, plus set alerts for when content is getting stale, automatically prompting the owner to update the content. It’s simple to operate for any user once you’re set up, and offers a range of third-party integrations.
Guru is a mutli-purpose knowledge sharing tool, with perhaps its most well-known application as a ‘product enablement’ tool, to be a single source of truth for the whole product delivery process. It’s in this way that it’s similar to the software development lifecycle use case for Confluence.
Guru can also be used company-wide, and encourages short-form, bite-sized information. This is akin to Googling something to get a quick answer, such as “When is our next professional development day?” Guru has a free trial for 30 days.
Notion calls itself the “All-in-one workspace: One tool for your whole team. Write, plan, and get organized.” This itself speaks to the breath of the product. The main uses of the product are for collaborative notes for enterprise and Kanban, but it also includes functionality for wikis and databases.
The software itself is known for its clean and no-fuss whitespace styling, which can suit particular types of businesses perhaps more than others.
Papermind is a better way for your Slack teams to create beautiful documentation. Teams can create Articles and then share them directly with team members in Slack. The Slack integration enables teams to search within articles and files that are managed in Papermind directly from your Slack console. Papermind’s native integration with Slack delivers a seamless workflow experience for teams.
Papermind is a relatively new offering in this space, however the article creation and management process is a very user friendly experience and the ability to create drafts before publishing is a handy way of previewing before committing to the team.
Tettra’s main focus for their software is as a Q&A platform type knowledge base. The software allows companies to ask questions of their knowledge base and experts within the company direct from Slack.
Comparatively, Tettra aligns more with Guru than any of the other software on our list. It’s a way to gather information in the one spot and then provide routing for users to answers to their questions.
CentricMinds brings the benefits of knowledge sharing straight to the user. We’re pretty excited about our product - and we think you might be too. If you are looking for a serious alternative to Confluence, then ask us for a demo of the CentricMinds platform.
If you’re a current Confluence user, we can walk through the matching feature set, plus show you some of our solution’s other features that can help with knowledge management within your organisation. Please reach out to set up a time for your demo to see the CentricMinds platform in action. We have a free 14-day trial that’s ready to go if you’d like to take us for a test drive.