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Cloud-Based Smartsheet Challenges Microsoft Office's Dominance

May 07, 2014

In the world of business software, Microsoft has reigned since the early days of desktop computing. But the emergence of the cloud has shifted the rules, and new software solutions are making strides in areas where the big software developers have stumbled.

Once such area is project management — a growing area as more companies look to collaboration tools to improve efficiency and communication.  Smartsheet.com is a software as a service (SaaS (News - Alert)) company that is challenging Microsoft’s dominance with its cloud-based application for work management and collaboration.

Microsoft (News - Alert) Office, once a staple for any business small or large, hadn't kept up with the ways many companies share information today,” wrote Dina Bass in an article for Bloomberg (News - Alert). “Employees expect to be able to quickly access their files on each of their devices without worrying about where the latest version is.”

Smartsheet is filling a gap that Microsoft has left open — online project management, collaboration and file sharing. With an Excel-like interface, Smartsheet tracks and manages typical business needs such as team projects and task lists, customer information, sales pipelines, event schedules and business processes.

“We believe there’s a fundamental shift occurring in how technology influences how work gets done in organizations,” explained Mark Mader, president and CEO of Smartsheet.

Mader clearly has found a gap in the business software market. According to the company, Smartsheet is used by more than 40,000 businesses and millions of users in more than 160 countries. And its customer list includes industry leaders like Google (News - Alert), U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), Netflix, Office Depot, Groupon, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Pearson, Unisource, Oceaneering, McGraw-Hill Education, Bucknell University, Ecova, Extreme Networks, Red Hat (News - Alert), WestEd and Wargaming.net.

The company is attracting attention in financial circles as well, recently securing a $35 million investment from Sutter Hill Ventures.

“We are looking for companies that offer ‘consumer-like’ apps but have the power of enterprise solutions for solving real-world business problems,” said Jim White, managing director at Sutter Hill Ventures. “Smartsheet has the simplicity of a spreadsheet but the power of a database, project management and collaboration solution tied together. The viral nature and deep usage within enterprises is being proven out with their impressive roster of customers.”




Edited by Maurice Nagle

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