Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Smartsheet : An Innovative Online EPM Tool !!


One of my hobbies is exploring new technologies and comparing them with existing ones. It means you find yourself with a new technology every other couple of weeks or so. And I love this kind of work!! Here are some glimpse of something i recently explored: Smartsheet!!


‘Smartsheet’ is an innovative technology, an online project management, collaboration and file sharing tool, very easy to learn and handy to use. It can be used to track and manage projects, event schedules, task lists etc. It is available as 30 day free trail, but it has a great internal mechanism to make users understand and learn things so fast, that anyone can manage to work with it as a professional within three days. Already a user of excel and project, this time reduces to just one day. Simple to adopt templates, familiar (Excel looking) tools, good connectivity options with existing applications (Excel, MS Project, Google Spreadsheets, Box), and direct export/publish options makes it real easy-to-use tool.

Combining these with the additional options for Sharing and Collaborating with teams do provides it an additional advantages for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and allows them to overcome their own limitations of resources and infrastructure. Though large and established enterprises having whole setup for their own sharing and collaboration infrastructure might find little use of it (I din’t find any options to plug it in with IBM Lotus Notes / Microsoft SharePoint / Microsoft Outlook etc.). With such integration options, it might become an additional handy option for project management within teams/departments of large enterprises also. 

Quick options for publishing and online forms for information gathering also provides an additional edge over other similar tools in market. Even the enterprise level publishing and reporting tools needs complex configurations and deployment, which gives this tool extra points for its time-saving innovation. The ‘Smartsourcing’ concept, still need more exploration, so would be covering that later. But besides that too, there and many-many more options (like sending specific rows via email, working with multiple collaborators, Mobile access etc.) that users would want to explore on their own.

Few limitations observed/noted as provided in Smartsheet->Help section:
  • Size limit of the working (new) sheets: Max limits - 5000 Rows, 200 Columns, 200,000 Cells.
  • Size limit for imported sheets: Max limits - 5000 rows, 100 columns.
  • Max size of file that can be uploaded : 30 MB (Free collaborators), 250 MB (Licensed Users)
  • No Integration with any presentation tool: To give a presentation about the project schedule, you would have to externally use some third party tool.

Some useful links users can use in-handy:
If you give it a hands-on and want to share your feedback, i would love to hear that. So please post your feedback/comments about this tool.

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