deep sea diver
Smartsheet introduced integrations with Skype for Business Online, making good on its promise from last year's Ignite conference PHOTO: Jakob Boman

Smartsheet made good on a year-old promise this week with the announcement of deeper integrations into Microsoft's Office 365 productivity suite.

The SaaS-based collaborative work management platform now integrates with Skype for Business Online, and includes a new add-in for Microsoft Outlook on iOS and tighter security for Smartsheet Mobile using Microsoft Azure Active Directory.

The announcement comes at a time of expansion for the Bellevue, Wash.-based company, which could see it more than doubling its workforce to around 1000 employees in the next three years.

Deeper Office 365 Integration

The integration will improve work processes and governance rules for users of both Smartsheet and Office 365, with new single sign on and secure log in provided through the Azure Active Directory.

Mark Mader, CEO of Smartsheet told CMSWire both Smartsheet and Microsoft are driving the deep integration.

“If you look at Office 365, there are 85 million users. We watch the market closely and we look to where we would be fit best. In this case Office 365 is an obvious choice,” Mader said.

“However, none of that would be possible without Microsoft opening up the Office 365 API, which it is doing at the moment. It’s amazing. It’s letting independent software vendors deep into Office 365. That is really something and making these kind of integrations possible."

Capitalizing on a Maturing Collaboration Market

Smartsheet's history with Microsoft started in 2014 with the introduction of Office 365 and Azure integrations and has only expanded these integrations in the ensuing years.

The company released features in April 2016 which allowed users to attach documents from either OneDrive or OneDrive for Business directly to their Smartsheet projects and tasks. That same release also allowed users to combine work management data in Smartsheet with other data sources in Power BI.

Mader pointed out that the interest in collaborative work management tools is exploding as the collaboration market starts to mature.

“The collaboration market now has matured. Most enterprises have the tools they want to collaborate across the enterprise and even outside it,” Mader added.

“What they need now is something that will help organize and manage those tools and to manage the work that is being done on them."

Smartsheet’s Growth

The deeper Office 365 integration is just the latest in a number of moves that has seen Smartsheet build its portfolio of customers to include, according to the company, half of the organizations on the Fortune 500 list.

Co-founders Eric Browne and Brent Frei launched the company in 2006. Last month it opened a new office in Boston to service Europe and the east coast of the US, and it announced plans to hire another 300 people over the next 12 months. It should have as many as 1000 people working for it by 2020.

It has been preparing for this expansion for quite some time. Last year, it hired financial heavyweight Jenny Ceran to help the company map is future growth.

Ceran served as Chief Financial Officer of Quotient as well as VP of Finance at Box and Ebay/PayPal. Prior to that she served as director of Corporate Finance at Cisco.

Smartsheet reported revenues of more than $70 million in subscriptions in 2016, a number that has grown year-on-year for the past five years. Mader doesn’t see any sign of it slowing down.