Conversation with Wrike - Image credit Pixabay/GeraltWrike recently held its annual conference, Collaborate and showed how quickly it has grown both during its time under the albeit brief Citrix ownership and subsequently. One of the reasons for its optimism was the release of Wrike Lightspeed shortly after separating from Citrix. Enterprise Times had the opportunity to pose some questions of Andrew Filev, CEO and founder of Wrike about life under Citrix and now with new investors.

On life under Citrix

What were the originally identified synergies with Citrix?

Andrew Filev , Wrike Founder and CEO (Image credit Linkedin)
Andrew Filev , Wrike founder and CEO

“Citrix shared in our mission to remove the complexities of modern work and help teams do the best work of their lives. Together, we provided complementary solutions to simplify and upgrade the employee experience while improving work execution for all employees in any location – whether this be in the office, on the road, or at home.

“Citrix delivers a frictionless experience for employees through unified, secure access to work resources. Wrike brings teams, data, and applications together in a digital platform. By combining the power of unified workspace infrastructure and collaborative work management, we were helping organisations accelerate business results by enabling employees to focus on the work that matters the most.”

On the spin-out

How much integration with Citrix was completed, and what were the company’s immediate challenges following the spinout?

“The fact that it took several quarters between signing and closing of the Citrix Tibco deal allowed us to re-build the G&A team, which was the main area of integration prior. At this point, there are no dependencies between our companies. We remain friends and cheer for each other.”

What lessons were learnt from the Citrix acquisition/spinout?

“Staying consistent to our mission and vision, and compounding our success over the years helped a lot. Citrix had valuable plans to accelerate our customer acquisition growth, but as their strategy and corporate status evolved over the last 12 months, it helped everyone that we stayed true to our North Star.”

Life after Citrix

What strategic direction will Wrike take now it is independent?

“Now that Citrix is merged with Tibco and we are run independent again, we can fully focus on our core market once more. With that, we have the freedom to move more aggressively toward our strategic objectives. This presents a net positive for customers and partners, as we have the ability to control our own destiny and continue innovating on the most powerful work management platform.”

How will the Vista and Evergreen partnership affect Wrike?

“Wrike and Vista have worked together before, and both Vista and Evergreen share Wrike’s vision for the market opportunity. The ability to operate autonomously with backing from the world’s largest enterprise software investors allows Wrike to bring a keener edge to the rapidly growing, competitive work management space and capture market leadership as a private player.”

Are there any investment funds available for acquisitions and global expansion?

“Yes, we are always looking for the best opportunities to grow the business.

What type of acquisitions would Wrike look to do?

“We have a couple of areas we keep on our radar, but I’m unable to share more details on the topic for competitive reasons.”

On product

What is on the product roadmap for Wrike?

“There are a few key areas of innovation we are pursuing. First, companies have a lot of workflows right now that live in the dark of spreadsheets and text messages, and we see it as our job to build the best platform to bring those to light. So, naturally, everything from capturing that work, to visualising it, to automating it, to reporting on it, is in the area of focus. This is also a great opportunity to apply AI technologies to assist our customers. We call it “work intelligence,” and it’s a big area of focus for us, with some exciting releases both in the rear view mirror and coming soon.

“Second, we see endless opportunities to deploy our new Custom Item Types capability and automations within our customers’ accounts, and want to make their lives easier by launching more pre-built solutions and templates, as well as building partnership communities around those. 

“Additionally, while we are happy with the UX we’ve just launched, we feel that it’s important to continue to lead the market in simplicity, and to always invest in making the product simple and delightful to use.”

On Pricing

With the cost of living rising and spinout, does Andrew expect Wrike’s pricing to increase?

“Our market is in the innovation phase, so every year, on average, we deliver more value per dollar of our subscription cost, whether you measure it in customer ROI or in features. Over the last 24 months we have dramatically simplified our pricing, delivering more value and features per dollar ever in our Business, Enterprise, and Pinnacle plan, and last week we had a worldwide launch of a new entry level Team plan that packs more per dollar than any direct competitor in the space. That’s the power of SaaS and how it should work for the customers.

“With the economic pressures mounting up, we are seeing another interesting trend. The maturity of deployments and the versatility of our workflow automation platform allows many of our customers to start saving money by consolidating more workflows onto Wrike. We see customers saving on PPM, PSA, ESM, MRM and other legacy tools by consolidating their teams onto Wrike. This is a triple win – they get a better employee experience, save costs, and have a more integrated digital ecosystem.”

Has Wrike Evolved?

What has been the biggest change in Wrike between Wrike pre and post-Citrix?

“Cultures are hard to change. It reminds me of a metal – you can bend and form it a bit, but if you want it to take a very different shape, you need to anneal it, by heating it above the recrystallisation temperature. When you cool off that metal it can settle into the new structure. With the amount of change that we had over the last 24 months, our organisation got above that annealing temperature temporarily, and we had a unique opportunity to think about how we want to see Wrike’s culture of tomorrow.

“We used the temporary plasticity of the organisation to re-settle into the culture that would best suit our future needs. We took the best parts of pre-Citrix culture, the scalable aspects of being part of the public company, and the re-invigorated passion to win and innovate, and brought it all together into an amazing alloy.

“We are very deliberate and methodical about it. It’s not about publishing the values, and not just about modelling them. We are changing our training, our everyday coaching, our competency models, our feedback loops, and our career pathing to reinforce the new shape and form. We are here to help our customers do the best work of their life, to win in our market, and to have fun doing it.”


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