The Smartsheet team announced an impressive set of improvements / new features at the virtual Engage 20 conference last week. Over 50,000 people had registered for the event, which was way higher than the 4,000 who attended last year in Seattle. Here are the key highlights.
1.1 WorkApps is a no-code platform that can help you streamline your work and simplifies collaboration with easy-to-navigate apps built directly from Smartsheet dashboards, sheets, forms, and more. It’s currently under preview / testing and is due for formal launch in Jan 21.
The aim of WorkApps is to make it easy for various users to engage with Smartsheet, with little or no prior knowledge. The current experience within Smartsheet isn’t ideal, and as an example, if you wanted a field worker to use a form via the mobile app, they would have to navigate to the workspace, any folder, sheet, form, then click on the right form, and it would take up to 6 clicks to see the form. This is too long. With WorkApps, workers can get to the form with one click. This is a game changer in terms of usability.
The key benefit of WorkApps is that you can determine who sees what Smartsheet asset – this will make it intuitive and easy for users to interact, without them having to see all assets. The preview is now live, with a formal launch in January. You will need to have an Enterprise or Premier account to access WorkApps or buy a packet of WorkApp licences to access (cheaper than the standard licence).
Customers appear to love WorkApps. Hina Patel, Director of Sales Operations at Cisco said “I have been waiting for a solution like WorkApps that can give us quick and easy access to the content we need, when and where we need it. The ability to take our Smartsheet assets, along with other tools we use, and package an entire solution in an intuitive app will make it even easier to drive active participation from everyone involved in the process, no matter their role.”
For more info, visit: https://www.smartsheet.com/platform/workapps
1.2 Bridge by Smartsheet is a no code, automation engine that helps connect data across various systems and automates routine tasks. Business processes and people often rely on multiple systems to store important data and perform work, typically requiring manual steps and human intervention to bridge the gap. With a no-code interface, Smartsheet Bridge connects systems easily, very much the way tools such as Zapier do, to help you focus on more value added work. One great example shown at Engage was of a store refit, where Smartsheet could connect to the UPS delivery service, and have an up to date view of when certain items would be delivered to their location. Other examples include linking to weather sites, currency conversions for oversea expense claims etc.
Smartsheet is building connections to various systems, and these will be available for uses to use. Many more connections are due in the foreseeable future. Other bespoke connections will require some more advanced integrations.
For more info, visit: https://www.smartsheet.com/platform/bridge
1.3 Brandfolder, recently acquired by Smartsheet is a digital asset management (DAM) system, that helps marketing teams store, distribute and analyse digital assets. Brandfolder sits between the creative asset process and content distribution. It integrates with creative tools and plugs into distribution platforms, in an elegant and intuitive interface. Brandfolder was voted in the Top 100 Highest Satisfaction software companies by G2 in 2020.
Customers love Brandfolder too. Here’s what Kathryn Castle – Director of Creative & Design Strategy at Russell Stover says “Brandfolder helps reduce the back-and-forth of asset sharing between internal teams and external retailers. Because of it, we have improved our relationships and set our sales team up for success.”
Read our article on why we think the Smartsheet acquisition of Brandfolder is a game changer.
For more info, visit: https://brandfolder.com
1.4 Integration with 10,000ft via the right hand panel. 10,000ft is a resource management tool – it’s simple, powerful design makes it easy to build the best team for the job, keep project schedules and budgets on track, and confidently forecast business needs. The 10,000ft acquisition was launched at Engage 19, and the team has been working hard to launch the right panel integration. The integration is now formally launched – this means as you update your project plans in Smartsheet, you can see the impact on your resources both in the 10,000ft right hand panel in Smartsheet, and then view in 10,000ft for more details.
For more information of 10,000ft, read our article on how 10,000ft helps businesses build the best team for the job.
2.1 Column formulas – You can apply uniform calculations and expressions consistently to all rows in the sheet. Column formulas will also automatically apply to new rows added anywhere in the sheet. This is a big win, especially when using forms, as this ensures all formulas are carried to an incoming row. We have already been converting many formulas to column formulas and this is fantastic new functionality.
2.2 Document Builder
You can now create multiple documents using data from Smartsheet quickly and easily, e.g. invoices, quotes, purchase orders. These documents are saved as pdfs, available to download in a zip file, and can also be saved to the specific row in Smartsheet.
2.3 Automations – improvements to alerts & notifications
- Date stamp for approvals & status changes
- Auto assign work to team members
- Remove links and data tables from notifications
2.4 Improved Proofing – functionality launched a year ago after the acquisition of Slope. Proofing enables teams to collaborate on assets they produce, requesting feedback and approval from their customer (whether internal or external) – the service is similar in nature for what Docusign does for documents. The various different versions are saved, so its really easy to spot the evolution of an asset from the first draft to the approved version. New assets have now come on board, that include:
- MS office
- Advanced annotations
To understand more, read our article on content proofing.
3.1 Enhancements to Dashboards – big improvements coming based on customer requirements
- New modern look
- Menu on right panel
- Advanced colour options to match your brand guidelines
3.2 Improved reports
- New report builder with better filters
- Grouping at row summarys (sum, min, max)
- Card view in reports
4.1 Baselines in Project plans – many teams want to measure actual performance vs planned performance. The way to do this in Smartsheet is to use 2 sets of dates – actual Start and Finish dates and Planned Start & Finish. The functionality is being released where you can see these in a gantt view. We are really excited to see this launch and know customers are going to find this useful.
- Map and compare Actual dates vs Planed dates
- Track deviations
4.2 New look & feel for Smartsheet. Some people feel that Smartsheet lags the market in terms of appearance. That is about to change. A brand new look & feel is coming in 2021, see video below for a sneak preview.
4.3 E-signatures – this functionality will collect e-signatures on key documents within Smartsheet, and will include some integration with Docusign
We believe Smartsheet has announced a very impresive set of new features at Engage that will help teams manage their dynamic work. We are especially excited around the new feature set available to marketing teams that will help them with the content creation and distribution process. WorkApps will help user adoption, helping users interact only with those assets relevant to them. Bridge can help teams by linking systems and reduce manual work.