We meet Dustin Avol, Director Strategic Alliances, to explore why the Smartsheet and Workplace integration is a must-have for the enterprise.
Smartsheet is a work execution platform that empowers teams to plan, capture, track, automate, and report on work at scale. Millions of information workers use Smartsheet to accelerate business execution and collaborate on work.
But in a world of multiple platforms and productivity tools, how can people work in a way that suits them - and their organizations?
Productivity through choice“We know that certain people like to collaborate on certain platforms,” Dustin explains. “Whether that's in Workplace or via email or Slack or Google’s Hangouts Chat, it's important for us to support our customers' choices for chat apps and collaboration tools.”
And that's a point of view that fits nicely with the wider integration story Smartsheet tells: open APIs and systems that talk to each other - enabling people to collaborate and communicate using their preferred tools.
Scott Tewel, Technical Product Manager at Smartsheet, agrees. “The Smartsheet and Workplace by Facebook integration was a great opportunity to deliver even more value to our customers,” he says. “We achieved this by extending Smartsheet into Workplace, where people are already communicating about work.”
"Workplace is an app that provides a familiar interface for workers to collaborate and share information,” Dustin continues. “Similarly, as a platform that connects teams and empowers them to execute on work at scale, those of us here at Smartsheet are also geared toward empowering users with a familiar interface that’s easy for non-technical users to understand.”
Combining work and communications to accomplish moreWith Smartsheet for Workplace, in addition to having the option to receive notifications and requests by email or mobile push, you can now also receive them via a bot in Workplace Chat.
An approval request
“We have richer features that enable users to take actions on a record or a row,” says Dustin. “So it’s not just about receiving alerts when work changes in a sheet or reminders of key dates and milestones. We've also enabled automated actions that surface update requests and approval requests, so people can respond to updates and approve requests directly in Workplace Chat. All without leaving Workplace.
And that means project and process managers no longer have to remember individual notification preferences. They can be confident team members will receive important project updates and messages as quickly as possible in their preferred platform. Team members can then respond from their preferred messaging app and have that response captured in Smartsheet.
This was the first Smartsheet integration to use Converse.AI by Smartsheet technology.
A practical exampleDustin gives us a real-life scenario. A production company needs a vendor to update rows in their sheet relating to the delivery of the food and delivery of the drinks for an event.
They'll send the update request through Smartsheet as normal. But the vendor will receive a notification in Workplace because that's their preferred way of collaborating. The vendor can respond directly from within their Workplace community without having to switch systems, and the production company receives the updates directly in Smartsheet.
The result is hassle-free collaboration across systems and productivity gains for everyone.
“It's a great way for users to stay in that context in which they're working, without switching between apps,” says Dustin. “But it also provides the key information that people need to execute the next stage of the project on their side. It’s a ‘better together’ story.”
Smartsheet authorization in Workplace Chat
In short, combining your communication and work execution platforms allows you to have context around the work you are doing. You get real-time visibility into every change and the information you need so you can move work forward more quickly.
And it's not just notifications. It's enabling people to take action - especially on mobile - where people can receive an alert that requires their approval via Workplace Chat wherever they are. And this, Dustin thinks, is what's particularly powerful.
“So when I don't want to use email, or when I don't even have an email address because I'm a frontline worker or contractor, I can still interact with an essential work tool that's pushing info to me—a tool that has real visibility within my organization. And I can engage those stakeholders from Workplace.”
What's next for the Integration?
Some really exciting plans for the product, for one.
“This is V1,” says Dustin. “By including approvals and update requests we made it the most advanced V1 we've ever launched. And we continue to look at opportunities for what’s next.”
Learn more in our upcoming webinar
You can hear more from Dustin at our upcoming webinar on 21 February at 16:00 GMT.
Dustin will join Renee Manuel from Workplace and our partners Generation Digital to explore the benefits and use cases for integrating Smartsheet and Workplace to work more collaboratively.
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With huge thanks to Dustin Avol and team at Smartsheet