theCUBE Insights | Smartsheet Engage 2019


>>Narrator: Live from
Seattle, Washington, it’s theCube. Covering Smartsheet Engage 2019. Brought to you by Smartsheet.>>Hello everyone, we are
wrapping up one day of coverage at Smartsheet Engage here in Seattle. I’m Rebecca Knight, been
co-hosting all day with Jeff Rick. It’s been a pleasure
sitting next to you all day.>>Yes it’s been awhile
since we hosted together.>>It has, it has, and it
has just been so much fun.>>Yes.
>>And it’s a great show.>>And you’ve never
been to Seattle before? So that is good.>>My first time in the
Emerald City, exactly.>>So you’ve covered this space, Rebecca, in your non-Cube life–>>Yes, yes.
>>For a very long time?>>Yes.
>>So first off, kind of general impressions
of new way to work? And we hear about it
at every show we go to, talks about new way to work so, you know kind a your global
prospective a little bit and then you know kind a some takeaways from some of the conversations today.>>Rebecca: Well we know that the situation is pretty bleak right now, that there are, the statistics
are horrible just in terms of the number of employees
that are really checked out. totally disengaged, would love to quit but they need health insurance, and so we are already starting
from a pretty low place where in terms of people’s
engagement at work, and I think a lot of the things that drive people nuts about their work, of course it’s a bad boss and not a great parking
spot and everything but it’s the little things
that get in your way of doing your job, and it’s the things just drive you nuts about some sort of process that takes forever and oh I have to keep doing keep this and I just already sent you that email and how come you’re looking
at this other version and it’s all of those impediments that really drive people crazy. And that make people stressed
out and unhappy in their jobs. So I do think that if you are a company like Smartsheet and you realize this and you can slowly chip away
at those impediments and the aggravations that people feel, I think that’s not a bad business model>>Jeff: Right right.>>I thinks they’re on to something here.>>Jeff: Right. I think the weird is sometimes
is just additive, right? Is it just another thing we talked about one of the interviews
and when I’m at work, I have three big monitors, each one split into two screens, I’ve got mail open, calendar
open, sales force open, slack open, Asana open, YouTube, Twitter there’s probably a
couple and I have to like to look something up. And there’s this constant confusion as to what is the screen
that’s open when you work and it used to be just email which is not a good solution at all. So I think if you know
they can become the place that people do their work, right? And we talked about the integrations like does it integrated with Slack, so maybe the people that worked primarily on Slack are primarily there and maybe the people on some other department
are primarily on Smartsheet and somebody else is primarily on another tool. But it just seems still like keep adding tools we’re
not necessarily taking a lot them away.>>Well that will be
the job for Anna Griffin who is the first ever CMO of this company who just started in April,>>Right right.
>>and she’s got her work cut out for her, because you’re right. There are a lot of screens,
that is not describe my work day but I know it describes a lot of people’s work day. And but that will be
she needs to figure out is how to be your number one,>>Right.
>>Your go to, the one you rely on to get you job done.>>The part that I took
away from her interview is really you know she talked a lot about engagement and you just talked about engagement
and empowerment, you know not only getting the
obstacles out of the way but making me feel like what I do matters. Matters to me, matters to my boss, matters to my clients and matters and then I think
that does finally drive to innovation which is the holy grail. That everyone talks about, but it’s really not that easy to execute.>>No everyone wants more innovation!>>And everyone is crazy.
>>Yeah of course.>>And then last thing
what she talked about why part of the reason she
came here is leadership. And I think you know we really
can’t have this conversation around engagement without
talking about leadership cause it’s such a critical
piece to the puzzle for everyone to rally around you know, a mission, so this is
the execution details but you also need some
type of a mission that you could feel good about as well as feeling that
you can contribute to.>>Absolutely and I think
that what you were just talking about with the
ownership piece and so these are these employees as we
said they’re removing the impediments to their job but then also able to then focus on higher level tasks, assignments, thinking strategy, they’re able to use their brains for what they’re hired for.>>Right right.
>>Not thinking about certain tasks and other files that are old versions. And so if they can do those things and then as you said
feel like they matter, feel like their workday
matters to their boss, however you are right in that if you get a bad boss all bets are off work’s still going to stink and there’s nothing you can do about it.>>The other piece that came up which was I thought was interesting is really that prioritization and what do you optimizing for.>>Yeah>>and my favorite part
of Clayton Christensen’s innovator’s dilemma is
the conversation about that you must prioritize, you cannot engineer
for everything equally.>>Rebecca: Right.>>and you have to force
that prioritization. I think what’s interesting
here about Smartsheet is for all the talk about
digital transformation most people talk about
the products and services that they sell. They talk about the engagement
with their customers they don’t talk about transforming the life of their employees and the way their employees get stuff done and the way the employees
actually engage with the company through the applications and
I thought that was a really interesting an insightful take especially in the day where everything is a service. And again your people
walkout the door every night and you hope they come back the next day. So I think you know spinning
the digital transformation story into more of a employee enablement and engagement
story is pretty powerful.>>I could not agree more because that that is the critical piece,
if you have a bunch of people coming to work everyday
who hate their jobs they’re not going to be giving
your customers the experience that you want your customers to have.>>Jeff: Right.>>So really does start
with happy workers.>>Jeff: Right.>>And I think that , I think Smartsheet really gets that.
>>Yeah.>>So that’s what I am struck by tonight.>>Yeah, it’s just those other ones that we’re going to bring along and Dion made a good point
and said you know some people don’t want to be, engage
work, some people don’t want>>Right.
>>to do next level thinking.>>Right.>>They like the road in the routine gives them comfort they come
to work they their routine and they go home. So it’s going to be interesting
time for those people. Going to be a interesting time for people to not necessarily have
expertise in the broad range of categories formally
siloed categories like product marketing, product
management, finance, sales Biz Dev production but you at least have to have you know kind of inch deep>>Yeah.
>>Mile wide.>>Exactly, generalists, more generalists,>>Right, so you can
engage with those teams, so you put together a
SWAT team if you will to accomplish the task and that’s what I’m curious to see, some of the 451 research
one research on how he was pointing to kind of restructuring of the silos of teams and organizations within a company. That we don’t hear much about
how’s that going to restructure>>Rebecca: No no>>On kind of a dev ops
fast assembly, fast complete you know and kind of
assembling and disassemble around projects, which is what dev ops is. We’ll see you know how that impacts organizational structure.>>And I think that could be very cool and very different
particularly with different, I mean we know that diverse
groups make better decisions than lone geniuses and so we
have a bunch of people who have different perspectives,
different levels of expertise and even if it’s not
expertise it’s just a sort of general knowledge about a
lot of different things.>>Jeff: Right.>>We know that if we
get those people working together, on a task it’s
got a lot of potential.>>Right right
>>So I think you’re right. I think you’re right.>>The last thing that I think
is really interesting here is the acknowledgement of team beyond even the company walls. So you got your core team you know cross-departmental collaboration and then as we heard
over and over here today collaboration outside the
walls to external teams and it was Mark talking about putting on these big events. I mean there’s so many
external stakeholders and placeholders and vendors involved in this humongous dance that becomes our enjoyment of the final floor event. I think that’s a really insightful kind of take that you have
to have the ability to engage, collaborate with a
large group or an extended group for a particular project. And that really changes
the way you think about what the application is
how you share information.>>And they all to feel
ownership in the process too.>>Yes, very important.
>>Yeah.>>All right Rebecca, well.>>This was so much fun.>>Yes.>>Jeff, I had a great
time working with you and we are a great team we
had Andrew and Jay and Brenden and Taylor, we welcome Taylor
to the show so it was great.>>All right.>>I can’t wait to come
back and do it again.>>It will be big next time. (laughing)>>All right, thanks again.>>That is wrapping up our
coverage of Engage 2019, I’m Rebecca Knight for Jeff Rick. Thanks a lot for watching. (techno music)

Gene Farrell, Smartsheet | Smartsheet ENGAGE’18


(upbeat music)>>Live from Bellevue,
Washington, it’s The Cube! Covering Smartsheet ENGAGE 18. Brought to you by, Smartsheet.>>Welcome back to the
Cube’s continuing coverage of Smartsheet ENGAGED 2018, their second now annual
event, our first one here. I’m Lisa Martin with Jeff Frick and Jeff and I are pleased to be joined right off the keynote stage,
the SVP product Gene Farrell. Gene, welcome to the Cube!>>Well, thanks for having me. I’m thrilled to be here today.>>So, packed house, this
event has doubled in size from your first one last year. It’s about a couple thousand people here representing 1100
companies from 20 countries and you had a really cool
interactive keynote this morning where you clearly showed very, I thought, organically how much Smartsheet is collaborating with your customers to drive the innovation
of Smartsheet technology. Tell us a little about some of those enhancements and
how you got the crowd to burst into applause at least three times.>>Well, I, thank you, I would
tell you that Smartsheet, our whole product development process is driven by the customer. 95% of what we decided
to build in our roadmap is grounded in customer feedback. And so, for us anytime we
can engage with customers to learn not just what do they want, but what is the problem
they’re trying to solve. And that’s really the art
of great product management is going beyond just the suggestion to how are you going to use it? How does this help your business? Because, many times there’s
a better way to do it than what they come up with. And so, for us, coming to
this ENGAGE conference, I think we announced
over 20 new capabilities that are going to be available either now or in the next couple of months. And it was really easy to know we were going to get that applause because they pretty much
told us what to build. So, we looked really
smart but it’s actually we’re just listening. And so today we launched
a number of great things like multi sign to, new automations, multi-step workflow,
bunch of new connectors, a really cool dashboard widget for all sorts of web content. And we just can’t wait to
see how customers use it.>>It’s pretty interesting
when you’re up there because we see this at
a lot of little shows, when they’re just getting started and, I’ll still call you guys
one of the little shows, where kind of the intimacy
is so much tighter and really the knowledge
sharing is very, very different than when you go to a
big giant show that’s got tens and tens of thousands of people. And you can feel that it was palatable, I thought that was pretty brave of Mark to walk out into the crowd and stick a microphone in somebody’s face, the guy responded and he had an answer to the question of the way
Smartsheet has helped him and I think he had two other people. But, what’s really critical, we talked about automation a lot and processes a lot but
it’s the scale of the simple that becomes a big challenge and that’s something that squarely right in your guys’ roadmap.>>Well, it’s definitely what we focus on and one of the things we
have as a value as a company is being authentic. And for us, regardless
of however big we get we know it’s important to show up and be, you know, the best of who we are and engage with our customers
in a real and authentic way and so, I think that really
helps us have that connection and I hope when we’re a billion
dollar plus revenue company that we have that same feeling. And this conference hopefully will grow to tens of thousands but
I think staying grounded in customers is just critically important. And I think how we differ
from maybe some other folks in the technology space is we really focus on that every day user. How do we provide practical innovation that has the power they need
without all the complexity that turns them off or scares them? And that’s not, it’s
something that nobody else really focuses on and you hear a lot from technical companies about their powerful new innovation and
these great breakthrough ideas but too many times it’s engineers building for technically minded folks. And we’ve just chosen to
go after a different group.>>I’m just curious how the people usually come into Smartsheet because, you know, the workflow space and, you know, there’s just so many things out there that are all about the new way to work and you know, competing for my screen that I’m working on the
majority of the time. So, I’m just curious
where do people find you? How do they usually enter? ‘Cause you got a pretty
broad suite of applications and you integrate with a lot
of different desktop tools so what’s kind of that process do you see?>>I would say it’s
probably two primary ways. First is, we still have
over a 100 thousand people every month that show up at our door and sign up for a free trial. Because they’re looking
for a better solution. They’ve been living hand to mouth with email and spreadsheets and they’re just kind of overwhelmed by the velocity of work that’s happening, the pace of change, and the old way isn’t working for them anymore. And so, a big part of how
people find Smartsheet is just they go out on
the internet and say I’m looking for a better
way to be more effective or I’m looking for a new way to manage a workflow or a project. The other way, and about
40% of our new customers that sign up for licenses come through our collaboration model. And it’s actually kind of
unique for us at Smartsheet. When you buy a Smartsheet license you are entitled to share your work with an unlimited number of collaborators both inside and outside your company. And those collaborators can view the work but also participate in the process. They can update sheets, they can provide input to the flow, and they actually get to
engage and be part of that. And what we find is when
people see the power of how other people manage
and they participate they realize, hey, I want to
use this for some of my work.>>So, it’s not read-only? They can actually engage in my project that I’ve invited them to participate in?>>Absolutely, and the great they for you as the license owner is
you never have to worry, hey, I want to share this with Sue. Does she have a license? Or do I have to go let
her know ahead of time? You can share freely and not worry about people being able to participate.>>Well you have a big pipeline ’cause I was reading over the weekend that there’s about 650,000
active individual users but about 3 million collaborators.>>Absolutely, yeah.>>Is that a differentiator for Smartsheet in terms of enabling that
waterfall of demand generation?>>Well, we certainly
think it’s unique, right? There’s lots of folks that kind of go down the free tier path. Where they say I’m going to give you all the capabilities in a free tier but I’m going to try and ratchet it down so you run into these
pay walls at every turn where you then have to kind of license the organization wall to wall. And we just feel that
doesn’t really work for us. For us, we think it’s
important that anybody that’s creating value in Smartsheet should have to pay for the value that they’re using it to go create things with. But, the people that they
enroll in that process, until they actually are
creating their own stuff they should be able to
participate for free. We think it really fits nicely with how modern work is evolving
with a lot of teams and frankly a lot of teams
across organizations. So, interesting fact is almost
40% of sharing in Smartsheet is with people that are
outside of the company sharing. So, if you’re sharing with all those folks in different companies and working across different organizations,
trying to figure out who has what licenses and how to do things is just going to be a nightmare. So we want to make that just
completely frictionless.>>So one of the things that
is interesting about Smartsheet is that this is designed
for the business user. You know, whether you’re in
sales, IT, finance, engineering, lot of different use
cases you talked about kind of the breadth earlier, Jeff. Walk me through, if I’m at a
large enterprise organization and I need to launch an
omnichannel marketing campaign, but I use email, I use Slack,
we got SalesForce, CRM. Maybe some of my, maybe I’m going to be collaborating with a different function that’s using a competitive solution. How do you help me, I need to mange this campaign and I need to launch and
I need to measure it. How do you help me connect my Slack, my teammates that aren’t
using it, that are on email. You’re smiling big, walk us through that, what does that integration look like?>>Well, I think the
first thing to remember is we really focus on the 60% of work that’s unstructured and dynamic. So, this is the work
that’s constantly changing, and many times left to the business user to figure out how to get things done. And we recognize that in
managing that unstructured work there are kind of different tools for different parts of the job, right? Just like if you go to any
good mechanic’s toolbox he’s got more than just a hammer in there. And so for the business user
they need messaging tools, like Slack or email to communicate. They create new content
with document tools, whether it’s G-Suite or O365. When they bridge the old world
to the new world in the cloud they need file, sync, and share. People still have files, ironically, that sit on desktops and
so they need to able to manage those in the cloud. None of those solutions
is going to go away. You still need those for different things. Where we play is really
helping people manage the what, when, and by whom. How do you actually execute the work? And today there’s not a
great platform to do that outside of Smartsheet. And so what we try do
then is work seamlessly with all the tools that
they’re using today. So, to answer your question. If you’re a Slack user,
to get started with integrating Slack with Smartsheet it’s as simple as from Slack, turning on the Smartsheet bot. That Smartsheet bot that enables you to receive signal directly from Smartsheet into Slack on update
requests, notifications, approval requests that you can then action without ever leaving Slack. You can actually approve an invoice, you can update a Smartsheet directly from that Slack channel. It’s the same type of integrations with file, sync, and share where
you can attach documents from a Dropbox, or a Onedrive or a Box directly to a row or a sheet. And have a connection to the other work.>>So you’re not driving the
user back to do everything through the Smartsheet app, I can share things through Slack but I can also be right in Slack having a conversation with a teammate,>>Absolutely.>>And share everything
through that directly.>>Absolutely. In fact, our integrations with our messaging platform, which is a core part of
our strategy to kind of support how people work today
in these modern platforms, really involves two types of integration. There’s a channel integration. So, let’s so you have a group of folks that are collaborating on some work, you’ve got a common
sheet that you’re using to actually manage the details of how you’re going to get stuff done and then you have a Slack channel
set up for them to engage, communicate, make decisions, collaborate. You can actually send signal
directly from that sheet into the channel where
everybody sees it in real time.>>What about mobile?>>Totally, works on
mobile and on desktop. And then we actually have the bot, intelligent bot based integrations
that are more personal. So, that’s really your signal and the actions that you need to take. So, we’re trying to really cover all bases and how teams want to
engage with messaging.>>Just curious, as you’ve
been rolling this out for a couple years, some
of the crazier applications that you had no idea
that people would use. This application for
this type of use case, you can share us a funny,
some great stories.>>There’s certainly a
broad array of use cases and there’s a lot of times when
you’ll hear about a story and then you’re like, well, yeah, I guess Smartsheet would be
pretty good for that one. But, I would tell you, the ones that to me I
get most excited about are the situations where the customer needs to do something really quickly because they’re reacting to a signal or something that’s
happening in the market. And, so, one of the ones
that I thought was really cool was actually last year’s hurricanes, with Harvey and Irma. One of our large customers, Starbucks, actually used Smartsheet as a tool to connect with their teams and then manage the recovery. And, what they realized going in was they’re team members are
going to be on the ground in these areas that have been
devastated by the hurricane. And they’re not going to
have internet connectivity, they’re probably not going to have power, they got to reach them through mobile. And so they set up a really simple process where every morning they
pushed a mobile form in Smartsheet to all of their
crew members in those markets. And, the first thing they asked them was, are you okay, do you need help. And then once they knew
that they were alright they then said, hey, are
you available to work? Your store’s going to be re-opening we want to know if you can work? And then with the managers
they would poll on what’s the state of the physical location and can we actually get open and start serving this community
that’s been devastated by this disaster? They literally came up with that idea and deployed in a couple of days. And they were getting,
if you talk to their CEO, he would tell that he was
getting reports every day on the status of who was available and how things were coming together. And then, the funny part of that is, they actually then were able to use that same Smartsheet mobile app to capture all the damage in store
and my understanding was it was the first time
they were actually able to get full recovery on insurance claims after an event like that.>>Oh, wow, alright.>>That’s not really funny
but a I really love that.>>Very impactful.>>But it’s super important. But so we’ll lighten it up a little bit before we let you go. In a prior life, your worked at Coca-Cola.>>I did.>>And you worked on the Freestyle. And for those who aren’t familiar, Freestyle is the really
cool vending machine when you go to McDonald’s or Wendy’s or whatever with all the push buttons. And what I find so
interesting about Freestyle, it comes up at all the tech conferences. It was really a digital
transformation of brown sugar water>>Absolutely.>>Into a phenomenal
data stream that provided all types of transformational stories. I wonder if you can tell us
a little bit about that story and add a little color ’cause I think it’s just a fantastic example
of digital transformation of something that probably most people didn’t think was possible.>>Sure, oh no, I’d be happy to. It’s one of my favorite
stories to tell, actually. It was an amazing six year run for me and really what got me into
wanting to be in product. I had spent the first
half of my career at Coke really in Sales, Marketing
and General Management. And, the Freestyle opportunity
really came up because our engineering team at Coke
had come up with an idea that was really designed to
save money on the supply chain. They thought, let’s take
the water out of all these, the syrup that we ship all
over the country and we can make a lot lighter and
we’ll save all this money.>>All kinds of benefits from not drying the water out.>>And our leadership
looked at that and said, hey, we think there might
be something more here. And so, the President of
the Food Service division at the time invited me
to come back to Atlanta and he showed me this
prototype and he said, we’re not really sure
what this is going to be but we want to put a
business leader on this to see if there’s something here. He said, it can be three
months or three years, you never know. So I uprooted my family from Seattle, moved back to Atlanta kind
of a little bit on a whim. Like, we could’ve been over. And the funny thing is he said, there’s lots of jobs in Atlanta. What he didn’t say was there’s lots of jobs at Coke in Atlanta. So, I’m not sure if he was
trying to tell me something. But what was really fun
about that was that Coke took a completely different approach. For a 125 year old company, completely different
approach to innovation than what they traditionally would’ve done. Which would’ve been, hey, let’s give it to
the innovation group. Let’s have senior meetings
every three months to decide what to do next.>>Kick out new Coke and that didn’t work out very well.>>Yeah, well, kick out new Coke. But what they did was they
empowered a small team. I basically ran like a little startup. I reported to a board,
I had no line reporting and we kept it totally confidential. We isolated the team away from
the rest of the organization and we were allowed to just go run. And my board gave us everything we needed as far as resources and money. And we started with the consumer. And we said, hey, what is it that, if we could transform
drinking soda away from home what would that look like? And what we found was people
wanted a lot more variety than what they were getting at that time. Used to be six choices, right? Five of them brown, one
of them caffeine-free, one of them diet, no caffeine-free diet, I mean it was just like we
were missing the boat, right? If you went to a 7-11
there’s 3,000 choices. You go to McDonald’s, six. And so they wanted a lot more choice and they wanted to be able
to pour the drink themselves. And so we thought that was
a really powerful insight. What was interesting about
that is they didn’t trust the kid behind the
counter to get it right. Which, I think is kind of ironic but at the end of the day, we invented the technology
around this idea of providing almost unlimited choice and
really rolling the consumer in the process of creation
and it was amazing. When we delivered that to our end users we saw 50% increases in volume, remember this is a brand
that’s growing 2%, 3%.>>Super mature market.>>Yeah, super mature market,
complete game changer. And it really unleashed
this sense of creativity with consumers around
what’s possible, right, on the drink side. Now, on the business side, what was transformative
for the company was that this was a completely wired experience. And it had had to be, frankly, to pull off delivering
a 125 different choices in a restaurant. You got to arm that customer with lots of information
about what do they need, how to configure, how to service. And so those machines were all connected. And they provided tons of
great data on what consumption was happening inside the restaurant. But, also air logs on the equipment, how everything was performing and so it really led to
a completely rethinking. How do you actually manage a
network of connected devices? And it was kind of funny because we were really kind of pre-cloud.>>Pre-cloud, pre IoT.>>When we first started we
had the machines called home every night using a wireless modem. We actually started, we did a contract with a IT service provider
to provide servers to actually house the data. And we did this contract, oh these will hold you for three years. Within a month we were
running out of server capacity because all of the data we were getting. And so it was really,
it was super, super fun and we iterated that I
spent six years on that and really it was one of the
coolest experiences of my life.>>Probably one of the most relatable digital transformation stories and you guys are also
doing that at Smartsheet. Gene, I wish we had more time. Thank you so much for stopping by the Cube and one of the things I like
that you said in the beginning, and we’ll leave it with this, is that Smartsheet is authentic. I think authenticity is contagious. So, thank you for your time.>>Well, thanks for having
me, it’s a pleasure.>>Thanks.>>And for Jeff Frick, I’m Lisa Martin. You’re watching the Cube
live from Smartsheet ENGAGE in Bellevue, Washington. Stick around, Jeff, and I’ll be right back with our next guest. (upbeat music)