Smartsheet Gen AI - Next generation release 2023Smartsheet Unveils the Next Generation of its Enterprise Work Management Platform. To Unlock Customer Potential at Scale New AI-powered platform features include unparalleled scale, democratized resource management, and modern simplified views.

At its annual ENGAGE customer conference, Smartsheet unveiled the next generation of its work management platform. Smartsheet believes that this release, powered by AI, will provide a scalable platform to meet customers’ requirements. With this release, it aims to advance its leadership position in the work management category.

Mark Mader, President and CEO Smartsheet
Mark Mader, President and CEO Smartsheet

Mark Mader, CEO of Smartsheet, commented, “Business is being disrupted, and companies are looking for a platform that will revolutionize how they work and innovate at scale. We are investing in our leading enterprise work management platform to meet customers where they are and help them scale with our new and enhanced features.”

Ben Canning, SVP of Product Experiences, summarised the improvements in the new release, saying that it will “include an enhanced user experience, unparalleled scale, the democratization of resource management, advanced security and AI-driven data insights.”

Improving the user experience

Smartsheet has added a new timeline view that delivers a big-picture visualisation of data-based work across multiple projects. It will give portfolio or marketing managers a clearer view of how work interacts. Users can organise data into groups by assignee or status. Or make key milestones more prominent, making it easier to see the critical points.

Smartsheet has also updated the Grid and Card views that users can interact with. Real-time updates ensure visibility across the organisation of changes, enhancing collaboration. The card view is a Kanban-style view rather than a grid, to see and action tasks. They can view tasks by team or individual to re-assign tasks. Automation can send alerts to the affected people if an assignment is changed. From the grid view, the user can switch to Card View, Timeline View or Gantt View with a single click.

New dashboard themes enable users to create and edit rich dashboards easily. The dashboard creator enables users to add widgets, change alignments and resize widgets within the dashboard. Thus ensuring that the optimal layout is created to maximise data visualisation. The dashboard reveals relevant information in real-time, enabling every level of employee to be aware of what is happening.

A new dashboard snapshot feature enables users to schedule regular automatic delivery of any dashboard. This will ensure every stakeholder is updated with the latest information. Dashboard content can also be saved as an image so that users can quickly add to PowerPoint or export a dashboard for archiving. Perhaps in later releases, Smartsheet might enable dashboard features within PowerPoint and enable customers to gain live updates.


Ben Canning, SVP of Product Experiences, Smartsheet
Ben Canning, SVP of Product Experiences, Smartsheet

While Smartsheet works admirably for small and medium-sized companies, it also has many enterprise customers, including 80% of the Fortune 500. It has, therefore, spent on the platform to enable the product to scale. With this release, it intends to enable customers to manage 20,000 active projects for every business program by January 2024. This is a 20X year-over increase in capacity. It also committed to supporting 5 million cells and 5 million sheet links in 2024. 250 times what is currently enabled. Canning infers that this scaling work will continue. Other improvements include less than a second to load project pages and 10x faster formula calculations.

The need for Smartsheet to scale will also speed up the application for all users. As Canning notes, “Effective scale is what allows people to do their work faster, more consistently, and with less cost.”

Canning went on to use Uber as an example. It cut customer lifecycle creation time by 45%, freeing up time to run more experiments and improve campaign design. After it acquired Postmates, it was able to leverage Smartsheet to help integrate performance marketing teams in less than four months.

The (almost) democratization of resource management

While Smartsheet waxes about democratising resource management, the new features are only available for business and enterprise customers (not Pro and free). Workload Heat Map and Workload Schedule are the two new features for business and enterprise customers.

The new features deliver transparency across the organisation, whether in the project management office, a creative studio or in charge of an IT team. These new features will enable users to have resource management visibility.

Smartsheet Heatmap
Smartsheet Heatmap

Heatmap enabled the user to quickly identify whether a resource is over or under-utilised with a graphical display. Users can address over allocations and see who is working on what, using the new Workload Schedule. The intent is to enable organisations to ease bottlenecks and ensure that projects are completed on time.

Advanced security

Enterprise customers now have access to Smartsheet Safeguard, though not called out. The inference is that this is at no additional cost.

Clarification: Smartsheet has clarified that Safeguard does have an additional cost and is available to purchase for Enterprise Customers

Smartsheet Safeguard includes:

  • Customer Managed Encryption keys (CMEK)
  • Event reporting
  • Data Egress policies
  • Data retention controls

Canning explained further, “Safeguard gives organizations that work with sensitive content, or within regulated industries, an entry point to create a foundation of stringent security.”

AI-driven data insights

Generative AI is a hot topic for every vendor and organisation. Canning explained that Smartsheet is taking a practical and principled approach to adding Generative AI to its platform. He explained:

“First, we’re taking a very practical approach. We want to make sure that we are providing practical capabilities that use AI to empower our customers to achieve their goals faster, and remove some of the drudgery from work. We’ve embedded it in the middle of places you’re already going. So it’s conveniently in the flow of work you’re already doing.

“Second, we’re taking a principled approach to AI, so that when you use it your data is never shared or co-mingled with any other customer’s data or added to any public AI models. We’re taking great care to make sure that AI is returning trustworthy information, because we know our customers are making business decisions based on it. And we’re making sure customers always know when they’re interacting with AI so that they can make informed choices.”

Smartsheet revealed the latest AI-powered features for its platform. Several of these features are already in private beta. No date for GA was given.

  • Analyze data using simple conversational prompts to create graphs such as pie charts from project data. Initially, this skill will focus on individual sheets; in the future, insights will be derived from data across thousands of active projects and data stores, unlocking new portfolio-level insights.
  • Smartsheet now has an AI-powered help assistant. Customers can ask questions in natural language and receive customized, natural language responses tailored to their work.
  • A new guided experience to create a custom solution in seconds. This skill generates tailored solutions for customers based on their response to the question, “What do you want to do?” It uses predetermined templates to guide the user through the relevant prompts.
  • The ability to generate formulas or content, such as sheet summaries and translations, based on a simple description of what information a user wants.
  • Effortlessly generate image captions in the digital asset management solution Brandfolder by Smartsheet to streamline content management and save hours of work.

Smartsheet customers are already using AI. Canning shared that the McLaren F1 marketing team are using AI tools from Smartsheet to automatically tag images on their data. With millions of images, this is a huge time-saving; it recognises drivers, logos and cars.

Targeting for the enterprise

With these latest updates, Smartsheet will aim to expand its use across larger enterprises and continue attracting smaller businesses with its work management platform. This is an impressive update, though much is promised for 2024.

Canning commented, “Every team needs three interconnected dimensions to accomplish something great: how you manage work, the people doing the work, and the content they’re creating. It’s the foundation of what makes every project a success, but to get there, teams need to have the right tools in place. The next generation of Smartsheet will help our customers better connect the three dimensions of work, and we cannot wait to see how they test the limits of what’s possible.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean?

The focus on scalability will enable Smartsheet to expand its customer base further, especially through upselling within its existing customers. As organisations grow through acquisition and organically, Smartsheet is promising to support that growth effectively.

Its new resource management solutions will help deliver transparency across organisations as they look to remove the silos and enable project delivery.

Melinda Ballou, Research Director, Agile ALM, Quality & Portfolio Strategies, concluded, “Businesses are increasingly relying on intuitive, collaborative work management (CWM) to help them adapt quickly and keep pace with change in today’s rapidly evolving environments. Improving platform scale to support larger, more complex workloads and functional capabilities that enterprises require given global drivers for flexible work are key to expand and deepen CWM adoption.”

Smartsheet and McLaren Racing highlighting nonprofit organisations



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