Every company wants to grow. But there’s such a thing as growing too fast.
That was the case at Smartsheet Inc., makers of the eponymous cloud-based work management and collaboration platform used by more than 82,000 people worldwide.
Last year Smartsheet’s revenue rose by an impressive 60 percent, and this year the company expects full-year revenue to surge again, this time by 50 percent, reaching as high as $268 million. Smartsheet has been on Deloitte Technology’s Fast 500 list for four consecutive years.
While rapid growth pleases investors, it introduces new operational challenges. Rising revenues bring more volume, more complexity and more demands. Any workflow inefficiencies quickly become debilitating bottlenecks that can overwhelm teams as "good enough" manual processes quickly prove unscalable.
At Smartsheet, the root cause of its operational inefficiencies was a disconnect among core applications. Employees were forced into a “swivel chair” work cycle, first capturing information from one system, then manually entering or pasting it into another.
“We had an issue with sales-order operations — manually reviewing orders in Salesforce and then loading them into NetSuite,” says Nathan Fisher, Smartsheet’s senior NetSuite administrator. “We had a similar problem on the invoice side. If Sales requested customer-invoice information, it could take Financial Operations several days to get it to them.”
Learn more about how Boomi helped Smartsheet continue its rapid growth. Read the case study.
To eliminate these order-to-cash bottlenecks, Smartsheet used the Boomi Platform to connect two core applications: Salesforce Sales Cloud for customer-relationship management (CRM) and NetSuite for financials.
The impressive results from this application integration include:
“We’ve scaled to double the volume of sales orders, thanks to Boomi's cloud-integration capabilities,” Fisher says. “It helps align expectations between what Sales says to a customer and what Finance can do.”
Another benefit: The eight-person finance team that handles Smartsheet’s sales orders now does far less work manually. As a result, they can easily manage rising order volumes, even while focusing on higher-value tasks.
In addition, the team no longer has to dig up invoice data to reply to sales reps’ inquiries. Instead, the sales reps themselves can access the NetSuite invoices from the same Salesforce app they use every day. Armed with this data, they can answer customer questions quickly and accurately.
Boomi, a Dell Technologies business, is helping Smartsheet with much more than its finance operations. On the IT side, Smartsheet’s three-person team of integration developers uses Boomi’s unified, cloud-native platform as a powerful integration tool to swiftly address the company’s connectivity needs.
Brett Lemoine, Smartsheet’s lead business systems developer, has found integration projects in Boomi to be at least twice as fast as custom coding.
“Twice as fast is very conservative estimate,” Lemoine adds. “It’s really more like three or four times faster. It was easy to learn Boomi when I first joined the company two years ago, and I haven't looked back since."
That’s thanks to Boomi’s low-code configuration approach and more than 200 connectors to such popular apps as NetSuite and Salesforce. And this ease of use has given Smartsheet a huge gain in speed-to-market.
"We’re a fast-paced company,” Lemoine says. “By using Boomi’s low-code configuration, we can turn business requirements into a functioning integration very, very quickly.”
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Smartsheet is also using Boomi to extend integration into other areas of the business. In one case, Smartsheet is using Boomi to synchronize professional-services engagement data between its SaaS platform and FinancialForce tool.
The company is also moving Boomi log data onto its own platform. Business users will now be able to find records and view integration information themselves, without having to ask IT for help.
“We've made it self-service so that business users can tell that an integration is working,” Lemoine explains. “It’s greatly reduced the number of "drive-by" questions we get from Finance and Sales.”
Throughout Smartsheet’s journey, both Lemoine and Fisher have been impressed by Boomi’s support and account management. They’ve also appreciated the help they’ve received from the Boomi Community, which offers users an extensive knowledge base, free training, active forums and other resources.
“We’ve gotten great support from the organization as whole, and we’ve very rarely ever needed to reach out to support,” Lemoine says. “And the Boomi Community has really fostered an environment in which developers can easily get help and help each other.”
Looking ahead, Fisher believes Boomi will continue to provide an ideal platform for quickly spinning up integrations to meet Smartsheet’s fast-changing business demands.
“In an ever-changing environment, Boomi delivers outstanding value for integrations,” he says. “Because you don’t have to reinvent the wheel for every system, you can focus on giving the business the connectivity it needs."
For Smartsheet, the Boomi unified platform is helping the company address the complexities of growth and continue its high-flying ascent.
Read the case study to learn more about how Boomi helped Smartsheet continue its rapid growth.
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