Smartsheet has been on a solid growth trajectory since they launched in 2006. In the beginning, the ability to upload and share files became one of the company’s most heavily used features and also the most storage intensive. To meet their customer’s needs, they needed an inexpensive and scalable storage solution that also had a high level of security and reliability for content storage. After examining several solutions for document management, including Rackspace, Smartsheet turned to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) from Amazon Web Services.
“Using Amazon Web Services enables us to focus on core competencies and gives us confidence that they are securely managing an important aspect of our infrastructure,” said Mark Mader, CEO of Smartsheet. “As a leader in Cloud Services, with a proven track record, AWS is a perfect fit with Smartsheet’s managed-service strategy.”
Once Smartsheet made the decision to move to Amazon S3 they found it very easy to get started. It took less than a week from development to implementation. They also found the API very simple to work with and had little trouble integrating it into their existing architecture. The low costs enabled the company to trial the service with little up-front investment or risk. Today, Smartsheet continues to leverage Amazon S3 as their storage and delivery platform for online file sharing and sending. As an example, one of their customers, Specialized, uses Smartsheet to share and manage the document translation process for new bicycle specifications. The documents are uploaded to S3 via Smartsheet and then shared between team members in the U.S. and six European countries.
Since incorporating S3 into its production infrastructure in December of 2006, Smartsheet has successfully integrated with other Amazon Web Services. The company utilizes CloudFront, the global content delivery network, to accelerate the delivery of Smartsheet services to its international customers and EC2 for simulated application load testing.
Smartsheet is pleased with the reliability and cost savings of AWS. “Relative to other leading managed service providers, we save more than 75% on storage, data transfer, and web acceleration. A lower cost structure makes it possible to offer customers reasonably priced plans – something that both large and small businesses value,” explains Mader. “Amazon is a trusted, proven brand and thanks to Amazon Web Services, our users experience a high level of reliability and peace of mind in managing their business and personal information in Smartsheet.”
In addition to using AWS infrastructure services, Smartsheet differentiated its work management and collaboration service by enabling easy point and click access to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk on-demand workforce. This capability, labeled Smartsourcing, was launched in February 2009 and provides general purpose access to paid crowdsourcing to anyone, within any size business, without the need for technical help or process knowhow. Smartsheet’s customers were looking for ways to increase productivity via outsourcing of simple tasks and high volume repetitive work. Embedding the controls to harness Mechanical Turk’s 200,000 always-ready online workers at a fraction the cost of an hourly intern have enabled hundreds of Smartsheet B2B customers to get work done in an endless list of task categories.
For more on Smartsheet and Smartsourcing, go to http://www.smartsheet.com/ .