Drawing hybrid teams together with the new standalone Gliffy visual collaboration tool

by Joseph K. Clark

This year has given us a new realm of working — hybrid work — only a short while after many had to learn the complete crash course on remote work during the pandemic. 

With these constantly shifting workspaces, teams are testing uncharted territory while maintaining productivity and effective collaboration, especially for teams that need to share complex concepts such as development workflows or new functionality ideation.

According to Gartner’s research, the net market effect on collaboration tooling is expected to grow from $3.5 billion in 2019 to $6.9 billion by 2024. And, as developers report feeling challenged to be more productive, their ability to collaborate with their team is increasingly important. 

But not all collaboration is created equally. 

“We feel strongly that visual collaboration is one of the most effective ways to share ideas,” said Doug Miller, general manager at Gliffy, a provider of diagramming software that Perforce acquired in January 2019. 

Representing ideas or documenting changes is especially important within an organization’s technical teams. Misunderstanding development requirements can result in costly rework and slow down release schedules. On the other hand, creating detailed plans and keeping the whole crew on the same page can help teams work more efficiently and speed up time to market. Diagrams can be one of the fastest ways to communicate and document those plans.


“Visual collaboration can come in when you have an idea you want to describe to someone, but you’re on a call or in different locations. A lot can get lost in remote or distributed environments — like body language that shows enthusiasm for the idea of accidentally missing a step as you explain an idea. We know visuals like diagrams are a good tool to supplement those conversations — they quickly unlock how someone thinks about something and can help guide teams through the conversation,” Miller added.

An effective visual tool can also act as a single source of truth; after a Zoom stand-up or a meeting where not everyone is in the room to participate, leaders can check in with their team after the fact. Miller explained that diagrams can carry ideas across different modes of communication and collaboration and help teams stay aligned. 

As organizations scrambled to find the best collaboration tools at the height of the pandemic, now they’re sifting out the ones that haven’t served their team or evaluating which ones have the most significant impact in facilitating this shift to hybrid work. In competitive terms, this is the “shakeout.”

That’s why Gliffy launched an enterprise version of its online, standalone diagramming tool to expand on the solution previously focused on the Atlassian Marketplace: to give more users outside of Confluence and Jira the ability to bridge in- and out-of-office communication and visual collaboration.  

Gliffy is already the most popular application available for Confluence, part of the Atlassian Ecosystem, and has over 16 million users. Now, users outside the Atlassian Ecosystem can use the tool to diagram cloud architecture diagrams online for AWS, Azure, and GCP and create standardized current- or future-state charts for any project with the Unified Modeling Language (UML). 

Users can also make entity-relationship (ER) diagrams to make information easy to find and retrieve by clearly documenting database structure and quickly bringing various parts of the organization to speed on projects. 

“We see more teams with different roles using Gliffy — your software architects can use it for those technical reasons, but your marketing team can use it to wireframe,” Miller said. 

“Regardless of whether you’re in Gliffy Online or our Confluence and Jira apps, you’re dragging and dropping shapes, saving and sharing diagrams, and you have access to all the same templates,” Miller said. “Adding Gliffy Online as a solution makes that easy diagramming experience more accessible to any team. Whether it’s technical diagramming or just sketching ideas, it’s our goal to make Gliffy one of the easiest ways to collaborate in this new, hybrid way of working.”

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