Smartsheet has announced several new features and accelerators to enhance its work management platform. Gene Farrell, Chief Product Officer of Smartsheet commented: “The solutions we’re unveiling today are relevant to a wide range of use cases and industries and make Smartsheet more visual, collaborative and powerful than ever. By streamlining marketing and creative content workflows, we are fixing often disjointed processes and helping individuals and organizations be more agile and effective.” There are three separate components within the announcement.
- New content collaboration features.
- Three new accelerators for marketing.
- Upcoming integrations with Adobe Creative Cloud.
Enhancing content collaboration
The new content collaboration sees the integration of Slope technology into the Smartsheet platform. Smartsheet acquired Slope in January 2019. Following the acquisition, one of its founders Dan Bloom and now Senior Manager, Marketing Solutions & Partnerships at Smartsheet commented: “We created Slope to solve the slow, inefficient process of planning creative projects, tracking progress, collecting feedback, and getting approvals from the right stakeholders. We realized in talking to Smartsheet that they are uniquely able to expose what we’ve built to more people, across more use cases, in more geographies around the world. We’re excited to get started.”
The first phase of that work is now complete and the content collaboration features of Slope are now available from within Smartsheet. Users are able to review, proof and comment of a variety of file types including, documents, images and video. Importantly, the Smartsheet platform enables all stakeholders, both internal and external, to be involved in the collaboration process with version control supported. This means that the entire content creation process can now be managed from within a single location, Smartsheet.
The promised integration with Adobe creative Cloud enables creative workers to access Smartsheet directly from Adobe. A Smartsheet extension appears as a panel within Adobe Creative Cloud so that content can be managed from within the same screen as they work. While Smartsheet delivered no specific release dates for the extension, it indicated that they would be completed for Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator before the end of the year.
As it promised when acquiring Slope, Smartsheet has also introduced some marketing accelerators. These three will provide pre-configured workflows and other tools for rapid adoption of the new collaboration features. The three are:
- Accelerator for Marketing Shared Services helps customers manage high volume, complex service requests from across their entire organization. Teams can manage workflows from intake to completion, while providing transparency for business stakeholders.
- Accelerator for Events combines event planning best practices with Smartsheet’s collaboration features. Event owners can manage everything from planning to scheduling to execution, all the way through to lead collection and processing.
- Accelerator for Campaign Management combines a planning framework with an execution layer to take marketing campaigns to the next level. It also provides real time visibility into campaign status across departments and functions.
Customers have been waiting for these new features and eager to gain the benefits. Kevin Branscum, Manager of Brand Marketing & Content at Blue Nile, an online retailer of certified diamonds and fine jewellery commented: “We’re being asked to support the business with impactful content at an increasingly higher volume—with no change to headcount. It’s crucial that we operate as nimbly as possible while still delivering great work. The right technology can help remove complexity and allow us to focus on what’s truly important, and that’s why we see a lot of value in the Smartsheet platform and roadmap.”
Smartsheet is extending its work collaboration platform intelligently. The addition of content collaboration is one example of this. The acquisition of PSA vendor 10,000ft in May is another. That Smartsheet has integrated the content collaboration, expect to see the 10,000ft functionality added to the platform in due course. Where Smartsheet is differentiating itself is in introducing specific functionality for creative agencies, both embedded and independent. This move should help it to capture a greater share of that market. What will be interesting is whether it adds other accelerators to target other verticals. Other industries also create content for both internal and external consumption. Where will it focus next? Will it continue to build out the functionality for creative agencies?