IT alignment today is delivering a customer-centric—instead of an app-centric—experience, which is game changing because of the value it provides in mirroring how people work.

Recently, Smartsheet, www.smartsheet.com, Bellevue, Wash., a provider of spreadsheet-inspired collaborative work management tools, announced the availability of Smartsheet for Outlook, which is currently in beta.

The Smartsheet for Outlook integration highlights the value of working closely with Microsoft, www.microsoft.com, Redmond, Wash., to improve the customer experience. The technology uses Microsoft’s newly announced unified API (application programming interface) as the single interface to all of the Office products. And Smartsheet for Outlook streamlines the process of creating or editing tasks in Smartsheet, directly from within Outlook.

The features are endless: Smartsheet for Outlook allows users to create or edit items in Smartsheet and collaborate on them in realtime, all without leaving the Outlook inbox. There is no more jumping from app to app to track the details of work.

Additionally, to make the integration even more user friendly and accessible, Smartsheet takes advantage of the new Microsoft App Commands. As a result, Smartsheet is available directly in the Outlook ribbon.

Additional features in Smartsheet for Outlook include the ability to: convert any email into a shared item that instantly appears as a row in a Smartsheet project or sheet for all collaborators to see and act on; create or edit a Smartsheet item or task, then assign it to someone, schedule it, or add comments, and other relevant details from the email; attach the entire email as a discussion associated with a Smartsheet item; search Smartsheet for the right sheet or project; and add all or selected email attachments to a Smartsheet item.

This type of integration using an API will ultimately give the construction industry more tools to help improve the overall customer experience.

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