Atlassian Confluence add-on targets Stack Overflow for enterprises

Australian-based software firm, Atlassian, has created the Quora for enterprises to enable question and answers to take place on a single internal platform.

Professional and enthusiast programmers have been able to ask their questions freely on online community site Stack Overflow for the last six years. Now, Australian-based enterprise software firm, Atlassian, has announced its own version for the enterprise, Confluence Questions 1.0.

Initially launched as a beta version last September, which has since been trialled by Atlassian customers, including Boeing and Dow Jones, Confluence Questions 1.0 is team documentation collaboration add-on for Confluence that allows enable teams or entire companies to share their questions and answers in a central internal location.

Confluence group product manager Bill Arconati described the platform as "Quora for your enterprise where it's a platform that gives employees one place to ask questions and quickly get answers".

Arconati said the Q&A software addresses the main problem companies currently face, which is company knowledge management.

"Often once a question gets answered the answer goes nowhere; it's not reported or made searchable for future generations to benefit from. There is no knowledge capture or value created," he said.

"Meanwhile, the people with the knowledge get bombarded with the same questions over and over again, and if they ever leave the company the knowledge goes out the door with them."

Arconati said users have the opportunity to pose questions based on topics to have them answered by experts within the company in different formats including images, videos, tweets, code snippets, and text. They also have the chance to opt-in and self-identify themselves as experts of other topics.

"People can answer and get multiple answers. You can also, through the wisdom of the crowd, ensure the best quality answer rises to the top and then all of that is searchable later through Confluence like your company intranet and have all your knowledge in one place," he said.

According to Arconati, Confluence Questions 1.0 is the first step for the company in developing knowledge sharing for enterprises. 

"This is the beginning; we have a broader vision for knowledge sharing where we want to allow Q&A to be like googling the minds of your employees, so we have pretty big ambitions there. There is a lot of room to get a lot of knowledge through employees and this is our first step on that," he said.