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Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Mark Mader, CEO of Smartsheet (Part 4)

Posted on Monday, Mar 31st 2014

Sramana Mitra: What use cases are you finding adoption in?

Mark Mader: The marketing operations is a big center of gravity within our businesses. They typically have many touch points within an organization who are responsible for either bringing something to market or managing the development of something. They’re usually the coordinators. When we look at the personas within our customers, they are very distinct users. Some of them are people who initiate process but they don’t invite anybody. Others are either invited to a sheet in our world and then they bring people into that process. They may be responsible for providing status and keeping people up to date on where things stand. You have another much larger population who really doesn’t own the process but are participants. They may need to view and update something.

Our entire licensing model is geared around very low friction to include anybody you need to get into that process. Our whole licensing model is predicated on if you own a process and you need to create a sheet to track something, a license is required. But then you can invite anybody to that flow. It makes it easier for people to adapt the product. Another use case which is very common is within core operations – whether it’s on the corporate planning side, process and procedure side – anything that is list-based that is shared and then updated over time. It’s really cross-functional when we see where we start at a company and where we ultimately go.

We focus on the teams that have high touch points to other organizations. Very similar to what you would see happening with a spreadsheet in a business, they take on a life of their own. People define them in a vast number of ways to track a multitude of things that happen within a business. There’s really not one particular area which is 50% of our business. Again, the way we get into a company is very often through the marketing or operations team.

Sramana Mitra: If I try to synthesize what I heard, it sounds like the core application is in project management. Is that accurate?

Mark Mader: It is an area where we excel. I think the term project management often is limiting though. People often think of it as being just Gantt charts and structure information. The power of the app really comes through the fact that you can define – very similar to a spreadsheet – any column of data that you want to track. That extends often far beyond a project. Projects also, very often, have a conclusion. Projects have start and end dates. A lot of our companies use it for process enablement. For instance, if there is a feedback flow, there is no end to that. That goes on forever.

Sramana Mitra: What I’m deriving is workflow and project management?

Mark Mader: Yes, those are very valid terms to use.

This segment is part 4 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Mark Mader, CEO of Smartsheet
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