Our integration and implementation partners are the lifeblood of MediaValet. They help our customers maximize their digital asset management (DAM) adoption, optimize their workflow across technologies, and more. In our new Partner Showcase series, we’re highlighting the amazing people behind our partnerships that help champion our initiatives and help our customers take their MediaValet DAM to the next level.
To kick off the series, we interviewed Gary Colon, Manager of Strategic Partnerships at Wrike, a leading work management platform and key MediaValet partner. As our primary point of contact, Gary works with the MediaValet team to identify opportunities to bring the best solution and experience to MediaValet and Wrike customers.
First off, can you tell us a little bit about Wrike?
Wrike is an enterprise-ready, cloud-based collaborative work management solution for managing cross-functional work at scale. We help over 20,000 companies achieve the best work of their lives, by enabling them to work as one. Many teams have called us their “virtual office,” even before 2020.
Tell us a little bit more about your background and your role at Wrike.
I've been at Wrike for almost six years now. I started in sales as an account executive and now I’m the strategic partner manager for the majority of our partnerships, including MediaValet and chat partners, like Microsoft, Slack, and Zoom. My role now is mainly focused on managing the revenue from our partnerships, but it also allows me to be creative in helping Wrike bring new or deeper product integration to market.
Six years is a long time, you obviously love it! What do you think makes Wrike stand out in the collaborative work management space?
I would say that the number one thing is our ability to scale while keeping things simple. And while the solution is great for scalability, it's not overly complex that you would need custom development or heavy configuration to change the way that you work. It's very adaptable to growing needs. We put our customers, innovation, and the demands of an ever-changing market first, and that is one of the reasons Forrester named us a leader with the best offering in the Work Management Wave report in 2020.
When people adopt Wrike, what are the top challenges they're trying to solve?
When they adopt Wrike, they’re most often trying to solve for either a dispersed team or dispersed work in general, where things are all over the place. The common thread among everyone is that they're looking for a single source of truth for their work management. They want one place to go to not only manage or create a project, but to actually work on the project. There’s a difference between project planning/management and work execution. Clients that come to us need both.
And to that point, what would you say are some of the immediate benefits that users experience and once they've implemented Wrike?
I'd say that they experienced time savings, of course. With Wrike, they really have a cut-and-dry central workspace to find everything. That, along with the ability to find work quickly is something that everyone can benefit from by using Wrike. Another benefit that Wrike brings is that our partnerships and integrations allow us to easily integrate into companies’ technology stacks. Quite frankly, we wouldn't be in the position we are today without our partnerships and integrations, like MediaValet.
Is there a customer success story that you can share with us that demonstrates the power of Wrike as a solution?
Sure, a story that excites me is the way we’ve helped Walmart Canada centralize their workspace with Wrike. With the heavy adoption of Wrike at Walmart Canada the teams have drastically improved the way they work. Now, Walmart has a single source of truth for work management, eliminated non-value-added work, and are now able to easily work cross-functionally with other departments. We have a case study online, with a short video from the Vice President of Transportation at Walmart, covering how Wrike has enabled them to identify one version of the truth and really work as one.
What promoted Wrike to pursue a partnership with MediaValet?
Well, from my perspective, over the past few years we've really seen the collaborative work management space and creative and marketing use case really come together nicely. So much so, that in 2016 we created our Wrike for Marketers (WfM) package. Shortly after, WfM became our number one product because it was dynamic, feature-rich, and applicable to all departments.
We chose to partner with MediaValet specifically because of the combination of having a great product that customers love and also being very partner-friendly. This was a win-win opportunity for both of us to deliver more value out of the box, while providing a best-in-class approach to our customers (work management and digital asset management)
What value is the MediaValet partnership going to bring to Wrike users?
The MediaValet partnership brings our clients and users a native experience that is extremely easy to set up and use, and thus maximizes a team’s workflow. That speaks mostly to the integration itself, but what I think is just as valuable is MediaValet’s willingness to partner with another best-in-class product to better serve our clients’ mission. What people don’t see is the knowledge sharing and collaboration that goes into truly serving a client to have a world-class experience. When we collaborate, we’re able to share industry challenges and solutions that can relate with the clients we interact with. Our partnership is truly one that betters everyone involved.
In addition to the actual product integration, the collaboration between our two companies helps us push past any limits to deliver extreme value to those involved.
What makes you excited about the MediaValet and Wrike partnership?
We’re starting to see very positive trends of working closely together and I’m excited about where we’re going. We’ve been able to work with some amazing clients, and the list keeps growing. I’m excited to take what was our best year working together, take our learnings, and apply it to this year to make 2021 exceptional.
What advice can you share with companies looking to connect a DAM and collaboration tool, like Wrike?
I tend to ask a lot of questions, so if a company was looking to connect a DAM to Wrike, I would ask a series of questions around how they are tracking workflows, managing requests, and how they are getting their work done and/or approved. All of this is critical in the work management umbrella and incorporating a DAM into a collaboration solution is a part of the puzzle that is very meaningful to save time, reduce wasted efforts, and make it easy for users to adopt. The benefit is quite simple; when you have solutions that speak to each other, it makes work more meaningful and productive, and I think everyone can benefit from that.
2020 was a very unexpected year (to say the least) and many agree that it has potentially reshaped the way organizations work. In your opinion, how do you see the way we work evolving over the next year?
I would say that in the next 12 months, there's going to be a great amount of pressure on software, like Wrike and MediaValet, to continue innovating in this new work environment. And for us — I can probably say jointly — it's not entirely new, since we’ve supported cloud-based and remote work since the start of our companies. The key is to keep innovating and help teams work as one, whether remote or in office. So, in short, the main change I think we’ll continue to see is this “work from anywhere” mantra.
To that point, what technologies do you think will have the greatest impact on the way we work in the next few years?
I would say that the collaborative tools, like Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Zoom, are not going anywhere — and I think there will be a growing need for tools that can complement those platforms. You know, it used to be email — now it's Slack or Microsoft Teams. Finding a way to integrate with those tools to make it more powerful is going to be extremely important, so we'll likely see an increase in that type of functionality across SaaS platforms.
Do you think the work-from-home policies are here to stay?
I think that once it's healthy and safe, we'll go back to working in a hybrid environment that's more structured. I really miss the in-office lunches, I mean collaboration, that happens between departments, and I truly think people are a company's greatest assets. Wrike is an awesome company because of the people, and I miss them.
There’s a lot of magic that happens when you're collaborating in person. I'm a fan of virtual meetings, but I don’t believe they have the same effectiveness as an in-person coffee, department sync or collaborative kickoff event. There’s something special that comes from working together in person that, again, I look forward to once we can do it safely and in a meaningful way.
Now, for one final, fun question. What are you currently binge-watching?
This is so funny and maybe unpredictable, but there's an anime called “Dragon Ball Super” that my wife and I have been binge-watching for no good reason at all! We started by saying, “They're only 30-minute episodes, let’s just try it.” Next thing you know, we're three, four, five episodes in! It’s something I used to watch as a kid, so it’s fun to watch it again.
Learn more about our Wrike integration
Ready to streamline your workflow and improve collaboration? See how MediaValet and Wrike work together to bring the best out of DAM and project management.