Wrike tunes its social project management tool for large teams

Wrike Enterprise is designed to give managers greater visibility and control over complex projects with many participants

A new enterprise version of Wrike's social project management software has been designed to let business and IT leaders monitor and control large groups of people and resources across departments.

The Wrike product combines project management and social collaboration features so it can be used to plan and track project tasks while also letting participants interact via discussions, email, file sharing and activity streams.

Tools such as Wrike's have become popular in recent years in the enterprise collaboration market because they marry structured task management to the free-form interaction of enterprise social networking (ESN) suites. Another well-known vendor in this space is Asana.

ESN suites, which provide Twitter-like and Facebook-like social media features adapted for workplace use, aren't optimized for assigning tasks and tracking projects' progress. Recognizing this, some ESN vendors have started to build native task and project management capabilities into their suites. For example, Jive Software acquired social task management company Producteev and integrated that software with its ESN suite.

Wrike has a free version of its product for up to 5 users, unlimited "collaborators" with restricted usage rights, 2 gigabytes of storage, and two hierarchical levels of project folders. The Premium version costs $199 per month for up to 50 users, unlimited collaborators, 5 gigabytes of storage, and a set of additional features. Those features include Gantt charts, a manager's "workload view" for visually re-allocating project resources, a time tracker tool, usage reports and a "dashboard view" that shows a user's tasks across multiple projects and deadlines.

The new Enterprise version, for projects involving from hundreds to thousands of users, adds features such as custom calendars for business managers to get an overview of team-members' schedules and more granular IT administration features to control user rights, access to file repositories and application integrations.

Wrike Enterprise also lets managers group employees according to different criteria, such as project or department, and it features a report creator that mines activity data and highlights user performance, plan deviations and other issues that need attention.

Wrike is privately held and recently raised $10 million in funding. It has thousands of customers, including Adobe, EMC, Ticketmaster and Hilton. The tool can be integrated and used in conjunction with a variety of third-party products, including Outlook, Apple Mail, Gmail, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, Microsoft Project, Excel and IBM Connections.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

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