Wrike: a new desktop Windows app with a 360-degree view of your work

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Far from being “legacy” software, Windows desktop applications are making a comeback as users seek a foothold for their work.

The Wrike desktop app has tabs for multiple views.

Image: Mary Branscombe / TechRepublic

Wrike is part of a new generation of modern business applications that aren’t about document creation – like traditional business tools like Office – or exchanging information through email or chat channels, but managing the collaboration and collaboration process. CEO Andrew Filev calls it a “collaborative work management platform.” Wrike integrates with existing tools like Outlook, Teams, OneDrive, Box, and Hangouts, and you can use it in your browser or on your smartphone, but it now also has its own desktop app.

A few years ago, desktop software was considered ‘legacy’, with new tools moved to the browser as SaaS or available only as smartphone or iPad apps. But not only have we seen subsets of powerful desktop apps like Photoshop appear as web or mobile apps, but even modern tools like Slack, Teams, Zenkit, Trello, and Wrike now show up as mobile apps. desktop applications.

Part of the reason is how Electron makes it easy to build a web application that runs on both Mac and Windows and integrates with native desktop features like the taskbar or dock and system notifications, but is also updated at website speed. It’s also that users always want desktop software, Filev told TechRepublic.

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Andrew Filev, CEO of Wrike

Image: Wrike

“We’ve had a lot of success with our web and mobile apps, but one of the things we’ve noticed is that people who use business apps on a daily basis would like to have a desktop app. Partly because it’s easy to get distracted in your web browser or lose track of which tab your work is in, especially if you’re working on multiple projects in Wrike with a different tab open. for each. “They want an anchor,” says Filev.

“The browser tabs are fluid; I might have five tabs open now, but 35 in the next hour, so the position of a specific tab may float a bit. Some users are more sophisticated and they have their own system for accessing tabs and it works for them, but a lot of users don’t have that, ”says Wrike. “With a desktop app, it’s anchored; they know exactly where it is and that eliminates the distraction of having multiple different tabs with Facebook, CNN, Email, and Wrike. This gives you one place for all of your Wrike tabs and you have more control. “

It matters most to what Filev calls “real-time” applications, be it Skype, Slack or Wrike. “People will always want desktop apps for themselves because you want instant collaboration rather than waiting for you to stumble upon that tab. It is as if Outlook was launched on startup; it’s there when they need it and they can use it right away. If you use an app once a month it probably doesn’t matter, but if you want to use the app multiple times throughout the day these spots are important. “

Wrike also integrates with Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams, because users want to see what they’re working on in the context of their conversations. Teams not only provides “the basic messaging infrastructure for the modern workplace,” as Filev puts it, but also connections to other components of digital work. “Our bread and butter are task-oriented processing; If you are working on a project, you are certainly interested in all the posts related to that project, but you can also integrate priorities and schedules directly into this environment. With Teams, you can exchange messages, but then you can easily click a tab and see a visual timeline of what your team is working on. This gives you more context and allows you to be better oriented, allowing the whole team to sync up and move faster. You can create projects and tasks in Teams, view project calendars, and receive notifications: it’s a 360-degree view of work, which is also part of a larger picture that includes Office 365 with OneDrive and Outlook, and various Office products.

Different perspectives on data

Not all work fits into formal, neat projects or breaks down into tasks easily, and one of Wrike’s most useful features is how you can view the same data in different ways, including as a process. “For some users, it may be easier to consume job information in the form of a project plan, spreadsheet, or table; for others it may be easier to use them as a planning board or calendar, ”says Filev. Now, Wrike can also display information as a calendar, not only for meetings, but also for project milestones, deadlines, invoice payment dates, planned marketing campaigns, or anything else that has a date.

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Wrike’s calendar display gives everyone a clear idea of ​​the company’s plans.

Image: Mary Branscombe / TechRepublic

Unlike manual calendars where you have to create meetings and deadlines by hand, which means they’re often out of date, the Wrike calendar view is automatically built on the fly from the underlying graphic. This means sales teams and customer support staff can see when a marketing campaign is launched or when a new product goes on sale, which could mean more calls to process.

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“Wouldn’t it be great if every employee in the company knew where we are? For a lot of people a project plan is too complicated, but if you then give a nice high level real-time schedule that comes from the data live it unlocks that information for the entire company – it’s a familiar vision that any employee, from the most recent hire to an executive, can understand, ”says Filev.

Visibility in the workplace

Collaborative work management is all about making it easier to visualize what everyone is working on; it’s like the idea of ​​“working out loud”, but without making people take the extra time to tell everyone what they’re working on.

“One of the big challenges of the modern workplace is the lack of visibility,” suggests Filev. “People feel overworked and at the same time they cannot produce a report that shows what they are working on. ‘I work on so many things, people send me all these messages but at the same time my boss is not happy and wondering why we have 20 people on this team and what all they do do? ‘ I need to understand where my work is at, I need to understand the status of this important project for which I am responsible. The whole category started from the idea that everyone in the company must have full visibility If we can turn this hidden work that is under the radar into more transparent and prioritized work, people will be less stressed and companies will accelerate their strategic goals. ”

And for most employees, much of this work still takes place on the desk.

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