Convergint builds on Smartsheet to connect teams globally, and empower them locally
Global systems integrator Convergint uses Smartsheet to unify project portfolio across teams in over 180 worldwide locations while enabling local users to independently build tools they need to excel.
days saved with a self-made tool for customer invoice collections
growth in external collaborators
“Smartsheet gives us consistency throughout the company and empowers our colleagues in local teams to do what they need to get the job done, no matter what.”
Business Architect at Convergint
Since 2001, Convergint has evolved from a garage security business into a multi-billion dollar technology enterprise employing over 9,000 people across more than 180 locations worldwide. “We’re a systems integrator that designs, installs, and services electronic security, cybersecurity, fire and life safety, building automation, and audio-visual systems,” starts Jennifer Hilber, Business Architect, Operations at Convergint. “We are growing fast as the industry is evolving. With expansions across the globe and time zones, we wondered how we could manage the growing complexity of our business.”
Scaling solution from a local success
“We work differently in different areas. For example, we don't do business the same way in Latin America as we do in the United States. So we needed a uniform process that we could tweak to serve specific local goals,” explains Hilber.
To better track project portfolios globally and enable effective collaborations, the company invested in 25 Smartsheet licenses for its Program Manager colleagues.
“At a global level we started small, with one Smartsheet Control Center blueprint to streamline a specific workflow,” Hilber says. “Locally, the first users were building a spreadsheet or two, using them as a replacement for their existing project trackers. Soon, more people wanted the same solution, so we expanded.”
Consolidating data across the globe
Hilber’s team built on Control Center to create its own global program management tool called iControls. “We use it to gather data of all our programs from project managers and teams across Asia, the United States, Europe, and Latin America,” she says. Having one portfolio planning and management tool helps align work internationally while keeping the team all on the same goal.
Meanwhile, the flexibility of Smartsheet also enables Convergint to meet the needs of its customers. “We are able to show the same data consistently to our customers. But Smartsheet also allows us to customize the data according to what our customers want to see. That has really improved our transparency and communications with them,” says Hilber.
Empowering local teams on a global scale
Power users–licensed users who are proficient at using Smartsheet–are driving the company’s adoption of iControls. “About 10% of our users are power users,” says Hilber. “We give them the freedom to build what they need, such as sheets, dashboards, or other project management tools. This way, we're not bottlenecking requests through a single person, which helps speed things up.”
As an example, Hilber describes one tool she built herself. “I built a solution for our New York billing colleagues to track unpaid customer invoices for collections,” she explains. “That simple solution helped us reduce the time for cash collections by over 30 days, which is a huge time-saver.”
Convergint’s power users are also helping to drive the adoption of Smartsheet throughout the organization. Through a bi-weekly program led by power users, employees receive a 30-minute training session. “We inspired a knowledge-sharing initiative to assist colleagues with Smartsheet. Through a managed community channel, everyone pitches in to solve challenges, answer questions or get information,” shares Hilber.
Additionally, users can access a resource portal that serves as a knowledge base for all things related to Smartsheet. “We also have a customer success manager who hosts Convergint-specific training every quarter so everyone is up to speed with the newest features and capabilities.”
Sharing goals and operating efficiently
Convergint teams have been using Smartsheet for more than five years now. Throughout that time, the user base has grown from 230 to 9,900 users globally with 4,100 external collaborators. “That number also includes external collaborators, which has grown from 20% to 40%. We now work with 3,500 people outside the company who use sheets we have created,” says Hilber.
The two-pronged approach to portfolio management adopted by Convergint brings twofold advantages—on the local and global levels.
“Smartsheet gives us consistency throughout the company and empowers our colleagues in local teams to do what they need to get the job done, no matter what,” says Hilber.