Wow! What a conference Collaborate 2020 turned out to be. Though it was our third annual event, it was a first for our team to host a completely virtual event. Thank you to all who attended and engaged with us. Your involvement was a big part of what made the virtual event such a huge success!
(If you couldn’t attend, don’t fret. All the Virtual Collaborate 2020 content is available on-demand through November 30. Request access to all conference content here.)
The event ran for 48 continuous hours across North America, EMEA, and APAC. We offered both live and on-demand and with content tailored to each region, complete with a virtual expo hall, vendor booths, raffles, prizes, and interactive photo booth. All told, the event attracted a global audience of nearly 6,000. Here’s just a few comments from attendees on their takeaways from Collaborate 2020.
Virtual Collaborate 2020 highlights
The theme of this year’s Collaborate was Work As One, and throughout the two days of the event, attendees were treated to the many ways Wrike transforms how teams work together to maximize performance, accelerate growth, and improve the customer’s experience.
This year’s event featured two “big reveal” keynote sessions, along with celebrity guest speakers Jackie Joyner-Kersee, six-time Olympic Gold Medalist, motivational speaker, and Founder of the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation, and Eniola Aluko, former professional soccer player and current Director of Women's Football at Aston Villa. Both women shared stories of overcoming adversity and leading to triumph, all with the help of team collaboration and working as one.
The event opened with CEO Andrew Filev’s keynote speech, in which he shared his vision of the future of work and how Wrike is leading the digital transformation. Filev also announced the latest product releases. During his speech, he also brought in Aaron Senna from Dish, Francis Lalonde of Walmart Canada, and Nickelodeon's Jeff Hartlieb to share how Wrike has helped them transition to remote work and thrive during the pandemic.
From the product side, the pandemic hasn’t slowed our team down as evidenced by Wrike VP of Product Alexey Korotich’s keynote. As the undisputed leader in collaborative work management, customers tell us they appreciate our complete suite of features to help them do the best work of their lives. It’s feedback like this that pushes us to continue delivering what customers value most so they can be more productive, enjoy their work, and execute outstanding results. This year, we announced eight product releases that you’ll want to check out what’s new and coming soon.
New Wrike Experience
The new Wrike experience is here, offering a more intuitive navigation and distraction-free workspace that's fully customizable, so you can quickly set up your way and manage your relevant work. Among the improvements, we decluttered your view while accommodating your need for better discoverability. We also made Wrike more configurable for a more personalized experience that scales as you add more users and teams — and as your business grows.
The reimagined user experience allows you to focus on the work that matters most. Through this new interface, Wrike becomes the virtual office that supports and aligns distributed, high-performing teams while empowering power users to effectively set up versatile work environments for their various teams. Above all, the new Wrike experience combines the functionality you want with the ease of use you need to be more productive and even enjoy your job more:
Wrike Work Intelligence
Wrike’s new Work Intelligence combines cutting-edge artificial intelligence and machine learning technology trained on Wrike’s robust work graph across 1M+ projects, processes, and activities. Our built-in technology then identifies signals and patterns based on hundreds of factors related to work progress, organization history, and work complexity so that enterprise and hypergrowth organizations can accelerate results. By focusing on work that matters most, you can predict, minimize, and even cut communication delays.
Work Intelligence consists of five components:
- Project Risk Prediction
- Smart Replies (for Android OS)
- OCR Document Processing
- Voice Commands (for iOS, coming soon!)
- Task Prioritization (coming soon!)
Project Risk Prediction uses machine learning technology to predict potential project delays and alert project and team leaders early by providing them with the possible causes for the delay. This allows them to take action fast to reduce or avoid delays. Now, project owners and managers have an efficient way to identify at-risk initiatives at a glance and prioritize them without manually checking in with team members and digging through multiple project levels. Once a potential risk is identified, they can determine next steps, whether it’s notifying stakeholders, removing bottlenecks, adjusting resources, or updating timelines:
Smart Replies lives in your Wrike mobile app inbox where you can choose between three quick, machine-learning generated automated replies for each @mention received in your Wrike Inbox. Each response is contextually relevant based on the conversation thread and allows you to take swift action to move work forward by responding to notifications and activity. Currently, Smart Replies is supported in English for both iOS and Android:
OCR Document Processing allows users to digitize and convert printed documents or handwritten notes into editable text files. Simply use your mobile device camera as a scanner, save the file as a task attachment, and upload to Wrike. Document Processing is available for iOS:
If you’re currently a Wriker user, you know that Wrike Integrate is our low code platform that enables you to integrate with any app (as many apps as you need) and automate cross-app and workflows with complex logic. We didn’t stop there, though, because we released the simplest and most intuitive Automation Engine that eliminates repetitive tasks, reduces operational busywork, and supports team collaboration. It works in tandem with Wrike Integrate in that account administrators can now build automation rules using triggers and actions to create custom reminders and notifications, move and organize work, update work status and assignments, initiate approval workflows, and take action based on project risk levels. Rules can be applied to Spaces, projects, folders, and tasks:
- Automation trigger: Triggers are changes in the system that prompts the rule to take action.
- Automation action: The next steps the engine takes, once a trigger condition has been met.
Available triggers include:
- Task status changes
- Task status doesn’t change in [x] days
- Task or project is created
- Project risk level changes
- All predecessors statuses change
- All children statuses change
Available actions include:
- Change status to
- Assign to
- Add to
- Move to
- Add comment or mention
The Automation Engine automatically moves work into another part of your workspace based on status, thereby decluttering the workspace from completed work, and improves overall reporting and visibility in dashboards. Wrike’s Automation Engine is available for Business and Enterprise plans now.
Wrike for Marketers Performance
Countless B2C and D2C companies have had to pivot to a more digital advertising approach as a result of the pandemic, increasing advertising spends into the billions across multiple channels. Marketers are more competitive than ever and consumer expectations have never been higher, and yet it’s challenging to justify such significant spend without showing results.
Meanwhile, marketing teams are overwhelmed with disparate systems and require better collaboration tools. And with outcomes, C-level marketers struggle to prove marketing value and ROI against broader business objectives. Fortunately, Wrike has the ideal solution to optimize digital marketing investment by connecting effort with results.
Wrike for Marketers Performance is the first-of-its-kind solution because it consolidates all your cross-channel and cross-platform marketing data in one location without requiring data analysts, BI tools, or archaic spreadsheets. Simply integrate with 50 popular digital tools across advertising, social media, and marketing automation, and watch your data roll in automatically, giving you 360-degree visibility into full-funnel performance insights. Once the data is aggregated, it’s standardized so you can compare performance across different channels while sharing with stakeholders via analytics dashboards:
By connecting performance insights to execution, you can instantly respond to market feedback by triggering optimization activities in real time. Now, any organization can justify all their marketing spend and effort by showing tangible results. Wrike for Marketers Performance is available as an add-on solution to complement the Wrike for Marketers plan.
Wrike's Solution for PMO
For PMOs, you’re likely used to traditional PPM tools that frontload the planning and investment decision phase of portfolio management. Yet, the unfortunate reality is that those tools don’t connect to real-time progress and delivery. So PMOs lose sight of actual results and with it the ability to optimize the portfolio as things change.
Wrike’s Solution for PMO is disrupting the PPM market by providing a pragmatic approach where they can take a lighter approach to planning and forecasting to allow for quicker iterations and re-calibration of strategy. Wrike provides a tight alignment to execution, progress, and delivery in real time, so PMOs can optimize with confidence and realign work to deliver planned results.
With this new solution, you’ll get project scorecards, scenario planning and comparison, portfolio health dashboards, and in-depth views of programs by department, owner, status, and more. It offers the complete package as it enables strategic PMOs and adaptive program managers to align effort, investment, and resources for impactful delivery. Wrike’s Solution for PMO also benefits from our signature platform capabilities: collaboration, configurable workflows, templates, and automations, all of which are lacking in many legacy PPM tools. (At Collaborate 2020, this is a demo-only launch, with the full launch and additional details to be released later in Q4.)
Wrike for Professional Services: Budget Management
Every project starts with scoping and planning. Professional services managers plan the resources required to deliver the work and check that the price will meet profits. But as projects unfold many things can change — scope creep, delivery takes more time, resources are swapped or added, etc. All of these fluctuations result in changes to that actual cost. If the actual cost increases and revenue stays the same, the margin shrinks, putting the business at greater risk, so professional services managers must be tuned in to the project financials during delivery.
Most organizations would be managing time tracking, project financials, and collaborative work management in separate tools. Managing these separately makes it difficult to monitor actuals-to-date and estimate the budget or cost needed to complete the work. With Wrike’s new Budget Management, hourly rates define the cost for every resource by job role or individual employee, which can be defined as a standard and then changed for each project or a specific resource on a project. In addition, budget tracking enables the platform to centralize all the required pieces to connect project financials and planned margins with actual project progress and time tracking. This allows professional services managers to keep the pulse on margins in real time and, when needed, execute an action plan to keep margins healthy.
Project hourly rates can be configured by using hourly bill rates (how much a resource costs a professional services company) and cost rates (how much the company charges for a resource) for planned resources. These hourly rates are fully connected to all project financial calculations, including project costing (forecast of the amount of money needed to complete a project) and budget tracking during execution. Hourly rates can be duplicated as a template and reused for future projects so you don’t have to spend time and effort on building from scratch.
You can also set up hourly rates for each team member or initiative, which can then be used to estimate project budgets based on activities required, planned level of effort, and resources required for those resources. Different budget scenarios are automatically calculated by simply switching out hourly rates by assignees or job roles:
During project execution and delivery, budget variance and profit margins can be monitored using budget tracking to monitor actual against planned fees and cost for in-flight projects. This is updated in real time as team members track time spent on each task as billable hours during project progression.
For insights into overall team budget and profitability, you can quickly view project financial status such as planned and remaining budget, actual and planned fees and cost, and any other custom metrics. These metrics include budget variance at every level — task, project, program, and portfolio, with the ability to roll up and drill down for complete visibility into project margins and overall financial performance.
Available in Wrike for Professional Services, this release gives customers real-time financial visibility across their entire portfolio. Wrike is the only collaborative work management solution to natively offer a comprehensive budgeting solution for professional services teams: native hourly rates at the user, individual, and project level and pre-set budget tracking calculated fields in the project plan with rolled-up remaining budget/project progress indicators.
Budgeting features are only available in Wrike for Professional Services and are not included in Wrike Resource.
Nobody wants to be overwhelmed or caught off guard with projects that end up requiring too many team resources that the project can’t be completed on time or on budget. Project and team managers both want to set up their teams for success by allocating appropriate resources ahead of time. Capacity Planning enables teams to estimate effort required for every project prior to execution. This release introduces the ability to set and allocate effort at the project level from the new project-centric Resource View.
With Capacity Planning, both project managers and team managers can assess overall effort, by role, without having to detail the actual activities in the project. For project managers who need to secure the right job roles for specialized projects, Capacity Planning is a high-level resource planner that gives them visibility into available job role capacity so they can define required resources and flag resource scarcity risks before assigning the work. Meanwhile, team managers who need to get the most out of limited resources can ensure team members have a balanced workload.
In the event your team gets stretched thin, you can stay updated on the team’s workload with Wrike’s Workload charts to see the resources available in completing the project and matching demand to resources. Then, a simple drag-and-drop can assign team members who have availability to the project. Overall, the new feature gives both managers visibility into their team’s current and upcoming project workload so they can balance conflicts and prioritize incoming project requests.
Capacity Planning will be available later in Q4 in Wrike for Professional Services and Wrike Resource.
How easy is it to accidentally share Wrike task details simply by mixing up contacts? Quite easy, actually. For enterprise organizations with thousands of team members or agencies with multiple clients in their Wrike account, there’s always a risk of data leakage — more accidental than intentional. That’s not a concern anymore because Locked Spaces prevents that from happening.
It’s a new type of Space in Wrike that prevents any information sharing with other Spaces by offering restricted access for confidential communication like Executive-level collaboration or a working space for a customer. Nobody can see a locked Space or get access to its projects, tasks, and files until they become an approved member of that Space. Users who aren’t members of a locked Space won’t even know it exists or see and interact with users who are in that particular Space.
Locked Spaces is completely unique to Wrike and is the most secure collaborative environment for teams that ensures information sharing only among approved members and prevents any information leaking. This new functionality will only be available in the Enterprise plan. (At Collaborate 2020, this is a beta release, with the full launch and additional details to be coming soon.)
Wrapping up Collaborate 2020
Phew, that’s a lot to recap! Rest assured, there will be many more details coming about these releases in the weeks and months ahead. We wholeheartedly appreciate your support over the years because as our CEO Andrew Filev stated in the opening keynote, “Growing together with you has helped us build better products and a stronger platform to define the future of work.”
It’s those words that consistently inspire and motivate our team to continue building the most robust, configurable collaborative work management platform in the world today. Get access to the Virtual Collaborate 2020 content here.