PPS Visit Smartsheet ENGAGE2022
ENGAGE is the annual conference organised by Smartsheet, held in Seattle, USA. With a return to an in-person event after COVID-19, this year the PPS team were back once more and were very excited to meet up with Smartsheet colleagues, fellow partners and customers alike. It was an opportunity for us to network directly with our peers and bring ourselves up to speed with the latest innovations, and gain an understanding of the Smartsheet roadmap and ongoing strategy in order to deliver on-point service and support to our clients.
The main event kicked off with the keynote address by Mark Mader, Smartsheet CEO, where he welcomed us back and remarked that as a result of COVID, the world of business has changed significantly and we've had to learn to adapt and collaborate, moving more work and tasks online than ever before.
Mader was very proud of the way the Smartsheet customers had innovated throughout the pandemic and assisted healthcare organisations with mitigation by organising vaccination bookings using Smartsheet forms and tracking protective equipment. His message was that this innovation will not slow down and the pressure to manage teams bringing products to market at speed has never been greater. As Smartsheet is a no-code application, solutions can be built by anyone within the organisation immediately without waiting for “someone” else to do it.
Smartsheet assists with managing projects programmes and processes of all shapes and sizes; collaborative work management (CWM); project portfolio management (PPM), digital asset management (DAM) and no code apps. There was a reminder that we need to adapt quickly within short time windows, be flexible and work together and scale confidently. Gone are the days when you can essentially spend your way out of trouble, We need to be embracing technology to be ever more efficient. Mader touched on something he called “asynchronous” working which is the ability to collaborate and get things done between meetings. We all have meetings where we spend perhaps 25% of the time reviewing information or catching up on progress and there are time periods in between those meetings so why not cut down the duration of that future meeting by getting things done by collaborating by having conversations, reviewing progress and updating progress before that next meeting occurs using technical collaboration capabilities and platforms just like Smartsheet to be able to do that, making your next meeting more efficient and effective,
Mader highlighted Smartsheet’s move away from their previous, simple document management functionality that had the ability to upload attachments and carry out some very basic version control. The Smartsheet acquisition of Brandfolder in 2020 now allows far more integration between Smartsheet and Brandfolder to manage valuable digital assets across the whole organisation. A recent upgrade to the integration now means you can pull and manage your assets in Smartsheet directly from Brandfolder whilst also adding them. Thus providing a true cohesion between CWM and DAM and ultimately a tool that goes beyond Marketing and Design teams.
During the keynote address, there were several guest speakers such as Maya Draisin of Time Magazine. Time has been using Smartsheet to connect teams all around the world to collaboratively plan and react to situations as they changed in real time. It was demonstrated how integral this capability was recently when they had to pull together very quickly a special edition feature to commemorate the passing of Queen Elizabeth the 2nd.
Mader reflected on the success of Smartsheet Advance with around 700 customers globally already harnessing the benefits of this great enterprise platform. With Smartsheet Advance your organisation can access all the capabilities to integrate your systems of record such as CRM and ERP with the power of Smartsheet CWM to create full end-to-end business workflows. There was a recap of previous feature releases, one noticeable new release is the Portfolio WorkApps which we will be reviewing and reporting on shortly but essentially, it is the ability to provide the existing WorkApps capability through Smartsheet Control Center to deploy no-code WorkApps automatically at scale.
Outside of the Keynote and other special interest seminars, the conference hall comprised of numerous individual Smartsheet booths each focusing on a core capability of Smartsheet for example Control Center, Resource management, Web Forms, Automation Workflows etc. The PPS team were busy going around speaking to the experts on each stand checking up on the very latest innovations, what was coming soon on the road map and directly representing our customers by asking detailed and challenging questions that our customers wanted us to put directly to the Smartsheet. One noticeable conversation was with the Resource Management team, discussing the upcoming feature within Resource Management, Capacity View. This will be in an additional view that will show team members aggregated into groups that will be “heat mapped” to provide an indication of demand and remaining capacity.
The PPS team also took part in a dedicated Smartsheet Partner Summit, this was organised by the global Smartsheet Partner Aligned Team and it was an opportunity to get all the partners across the world together in one room and to talk through the various sort of hot topics that affect us as Smartsheet Partners but also to introduce us to the new iteration of the Partner Aligned Programme. The new upgraded programme seeks to introduce several new accreditations that Partners will have to undertake in order to continue to demonstrate their competencies to build solutions. PPS very much welcomes this introduction of new qualifications and being able to distinguish competencies between different industry verticals. This focus helps us continue to improve the quality of the experience and knowledge we can offer our customers. Throughout the remainder of the day, we covered various best practice topics and experiences gained from the partner community.
PPS found ENGAGE2022 extremely beneficial and the knowledge, insights and inspiration gained will be extremely beneficial to delight our customers with even greater business solutions and outcomes so they can make an impact on their customers and the lives of others.