Streamlining work across teams and tools
Smartsheet is on a mission to align people and technology so that businesses can move faster, drive innovation, and achieve more. Today, the company’s industry-leading work management platform is trusted by over 75% of the Fortune 500 and 82,000+ customers worldwide.
In 2019, the company acquired Slope (an application for managing creative work) to advance its platform integration strategy and bring powerful new content management capabilities into Smartsheet. Following this acquisition, Smartsheet wanted to give its customers an end-to-end solution for managing marketing and creative content workflows by directly integrating its platform with Adobe Creative Cloud. Yet, Smartsheet’s developers were focused on bringing Slope’s capabilities into the core platform.
Smartsheet needed a development partner with a proven track record for building, maintaining, and supporting extensions for Adobe Creative Cloud. As an Adobe Developer Ecosystem Partner, 6kites has built multiple Adobe Creative Cloud extensions for brands such as Atlassian, Powtoon, and Neenah. We were a natural choice for this project and came highly recommended by Adobe’s team.
Agile software development for fast-moving businesses
Smartsheet’s executives were eager to showcase the platform’s enhanced content management capabilities at the company’s 2019 ENGAGE Global Customer Conference, followed by Adobe MAX, the #1 conference for creative professionals from around the world.
The challenge was that ENGAGE was just eight weeks away, and Smartsheet’s developers were still hard at work on the new APIs and implementing Slope’s proofing technology into the core platform. In order to meet the ambitious project schedule, 6kites needed to be agile and work in parallel with Smartsheet’s team, effectively writing code for features that hadn’t been released or fully documented.
Fortunately, 6kites’ developers thrive in the face of challenges. Our Exceptional Software methodology provides a proven framework for accelerating development, without taking costly short cuts. We partnered with Smartsheet’s stakeholders to define an MVP for the ENGAGE conference, along with a roadmap that would enable us to deliver more customer value in future releases. This enabled us to work faster and develop a software architecture that would scale with the product’s long-term requirements.
A smart integration for marketing and creative teams
Smartsheet wanted to create a content platform that would give teams a single place to collaborate on marketing and creative files. To do this, the company needed to seamlessly integrate its platform with Adobe Creative Cloud, which included securely authenticating Smartsheet accounts and enabling the creation of proofs within Adobe. The integration needed to allow Smartsheet users to review, proof, comment, and annotate on a variety of file types, manage stakeholder feedback, and maintain version control.
The ability to create, manage, and collaborate on proofs was seen as a key differentiator for Smartsheet, and was an important reason the company had acquired Slope. But the feature hadn’t been released yet. This meant that we had to work in parallel with Smartsheet developers, as we all raced towards the ENGAGE release. We were in constant communication with Smartsheet’s teams, worked in their Github, and closely collaborated with them to complete the integration and security reviews in time for the ENGAGE launch.
Delivering value beyond release
In October 2019, 6kites developers proudly joined Smartsheet’s team at ENGAGE to demo Smartsheet for Adobe Creative Cloud to industry leaders and the media.
This new integration enables creative teams to share and collaborate on content with Smartsheet users without leaving the comforts of their Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign artboard. Meanwhile, Smartsheet users have the power to review, proof, and comment on a variety of file types, manage feedback from stakeholders, and maintain version control, all in the core Smartsheet application. This gives Smartsheet customers the ability to manage the entire content production process using a single platform.
The successful product launch enabled Smartsheet’s executives to quickly demonstrate the value of the Slope acquisition to investors and the industry. The company has continued to partner with 6kites to support, maintain, and evolve the app to deliver more features and value to users and stakeholders.