Wrike Takes Google Docs Cue: Collaborative Editing - InformationWeek

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Wrike Takes Google Docs Cue: Collaborative Editing

Social software for organizing work and projects gets real-time collaborative editing.

Enterprise Social Networks: Must-Have Features Guide
Enterprise Social Networks: Must-Have Features Guide
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When collaborating on a project plan, multiple users of Wrike's social software will now be able to make changes simultaneously with new Google Docs-style real-time collaborative editing.

Wrike is cloud-based social software for project management, part of a trend toward focusing enterprise social networking on getting work done that's also reflected in the rise of Asana, founded by a team of Facebook engineers, and Salesforce's Do.com.

Andrew Filev, CEO and founder of Wrike, said collaborative editing is important in this context because project plans are often drafted by more than one person, and now two or more users can make changes to a planning document and see each other's edits appear on screen as they are made. "We believe we're the first one that has brought this to our market," he said in an interview. "We're obviously not the first in the mass market."

[ Building on social: Why Bechtel Chose Chatter (Not To Boost Sales). ]

Wrike isn't the only social software maker striving to integrate this style of editing. Prior to its acquisition by Microsoft, Yammer invested in both creating Yammer Pages for real-time collaborative editing of Web content and the acquisition of OneDrum for collaborative editing of desktop documents.

Because all the content in Wrike is associated with a project, the documents that users edit in this Web-based editor all are associated with tasks, requirements, and other work items. Being able to update them in context saves time, compared with switching to Google Docs or any other Web or desktop editor, Filev said.

Users now can edit project documents simultaneously in Wrike.

Wrike makes use of social software conventions such as an activity stream of updates, but the update to the service announced this week tweaks it a bit, borrowing a lesson from (gasp!) email. The new user interface makes use of a three-panel layout familiar to any Outlook user, where you can scan a listing of status posts associated with different project folders, but you can also preview a more detailed record associated with a status line in the bottom panel.

"We've kind of extended activity streams into something for longer discussions," Filev said.

Wrike introduced a freemium option in May, with five free "power users"--the people who initiate and manage projects--and an unlimited number of collaborators. Premium versions of the service start at $49 per month and add features such as Gantt chart views of activity, Outlook integration, and workload tracking.

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard and facebook.com/thebyard

Social media make the customer more powerful than ever. Here's how to listen and react. Also in the new, all-digital The Customer Really Comes First issue of The BrainYard: The right tools can help smooth over the rough edges in your social business architecture. (Free registration required.)

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