At the recent EnterConf, we caught up with Wrike’s Chief Revenue Officer Seth Shaw, who told us about what Wrike do and their plans to move to Dublin.
I see your product is to do with collaboration how does it actually work?
Our product is for team based collaboration, specifically around tasks and projects that need to be executed across the team. We provide an interactive platform that allows people to track all the important tasks that need to get done and to be able to assign those to folks, put a date on them, visualise the project plan and then collaborate in real time around the status of the tasks and projects.
So it’s kind of like Google Docs and how it works?
Yeah its interesting Google Docs certainly does some components of what we offer. We have a great live editor that kind of works like Google Docs but it does some things that are a little bit more nifty in terms of having a time slider that allows you to version specific documents but what Google Docs doesn’t do super well is associate a time frame for getting a piece of work accomplished and to be able to visualise multiple pieces of work lining up associating with a project plan and really that’s the issue that a lot of teams are dealing with right now. You don’t have a good way to be able to link where the work happens with where the plan happens.
So you’ve got a timeline?
You’ve got a timeline and the capability to collaborate and plan in the same system, which allows you if you are responsible for getting something done to actually be able to provide some intelligence around when that piece of work is going to be accomplished. (Some of our customers are folks like marketing agencies or professional services for firms which run on very tight timelines. They need to have this information so they can appropriately plan resources so they can communicate with their clients so they can set expectations.
So your clients are big and small?
Yeah they’re really all over the board. We’ve got around 8500 clients now in 120 countries
Wow that’s pretty good.
Yeah it’s really cool and they are companies from 5 employees shops to some of the largest companies in the world.
That means your pricing models very good?
We are pretty happy with where we are right now we are seeing a lot of growth in Europe.
Normally with SME’s if you’ve got a price that’s too high they won’t pay it.
Yeah it’s interesting we’ve got a strategy which we call a paymium strategy where we essentially provide a free trial so that people can come in and try the product, map their workflow and process to it, make sure that it works for their team and if they like it we have a number of different plans at different price points that make it super easy for folks to be able to get in and take advantage of the paid features of the product.
So you have different options, so if you pay a certain price you get certain options and the more you pay the more you get?
That’s roughly accurate some of our larger teams use our enterprise product which provides a lot more customisation, the capability to track budgets or to track custom statuses of things that are important to that team around the tasks and projects that they work on. Whereas smaller teams want an out of the box solution and that’s what our lower cost options offer compared to our professional plans.
If you’ve got a company that’s got five employees you are not going to use something that is used at enterprise level as they won’t need it at all. You give them what they need.
We give them what they need, an out of the box solution that gets them up and running with the capability to collaborate and track tasks and projects in real time.
Can they add more to it and customise it?
Yeah, so if you want to customise it we offer this enterprise plan that allows you to be able to do custom statuses and custom workflows which are really important for especially any type of business that has to do some approval process associated with the work that’s coming out of a system like ours.
What about security, how do you guarantee your customers that everything is secure?
Yeah it’s a great question and it’s certainly something we spend a long time thinking about as a company. First and foremost there is kind of two distinct differences in the security world, there is security in privacy. On the security side we spent a tremendous amount of time building out an infrastructure that’s extremely robust, that’s based on online banking standards. So SSL encryption across the entire stack. Our data centres are hosted in level 1 data centres in the United States. We have two redundant data centres that provide essentially full redundancy, should one go down for any specific reason. Within the solution itself we’ve invested a lot in building an infrastructure that’s extremely secure with a chief security officer. We are still a small business, not many companies our size invest in a chief security officer, and the reason we do so is because our customers have their most critical and sensitive information within our system. We provide a tremendous amount of resources on our website around the security architecture that we offer and its best in class.
If the customer is reassured everything is safe they are going to use you and also if you guarantee them and tell them that your data centres are going to be in a certain country or certain place they know where it is.
Yeah, we are EU and US Safe Harbour compliant we’ve taken the steps to make sure we are at the highest level EU and US Safe Harbour. We tell our customers look we are an American company and the data is stored in the United States, we want to be very up front about that and as we continue to expand into Europe we are going to see more of a push for having European data centres which will have data stored in Europe as well.
In certain countries I know of for example if you are a country say somewhere in Asia say Thailand as it’s cheaper to be there and after a while there is a regime change. Suddenly everything you have like a data centre is gone because whoever controls the country takes it over, so if you can reassure your clients basically where ever we are there will be no problems like that and also no problems like floods and acts of god happening. If you have that you are going to reassure them more so and be on to a winner.
Yeah I totally agree, I think you know our strategy with regards to infrastructure is always to go after essentially the most quality locations that we can find and that’s both from a geopolitical standpoint as well as a geography standpoint. We want things to be centrally located so Europe is a great base of operations for us. We are actually in the process of opening up an office in Dublin right now. This will be our European headquarters.
Where is this going to be?.
Dublin 2 and this will be announced next week.
I guess it’s probably going to be the Silicon Docks area?
Well do you know of a space?
I actually live in Silicon Docks and a lot of guys like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin are all there and Yahoo has also got a place there as well. They are all in that area and anyone new that’s up and coming are looking at there because everything is on their doorstep.
Yeah you know just in general we’d like to be in Dublin 2, specifically Silicon Docks the Google Docks area. The challenge for us is just finding space. As you know the Dublin real estate market for a company our size is extremely competitive.