Herotel works on a companywide collaboration project facilitated by Smartsheet

After bringing 33 owner operated businesses into one group, Herotel needed to align varying standards into one cohesive process. Herotel was able to start this alignment journey to build those standards so much more effectively by using Smartsheet.


improvement on deadlines and monthly targets


less coordination emails sent


entities unified through a common platform and processes


  • Telecommunications

Organization Size

  • Large (2000 - 9999)


  • Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)
Michelle Basson Overachiever Year 2

“I knew within the first week of testing that Smartsheet was the application that would change our company and get staff connected.” 

Michelle Basson

Head of Digital Innovation at Herotel

Herotel is a South African telecommunications company that operates in more than 605 different towns and suburbs across the region. It provides fibre & fixed wireless broadband, VOIP, and Wi-Fi services. 

To bring bigger and better internet to the South African public, Herotel unite 33 Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Then began the process of aligning each entity with Herotel’s standard protocols and unifying different processes. 

Photo courtesy of Herotel

Gathering the processes 

“Starting out with 33 different entities that had now been bought and brought into one environment, everybody was still on their own platforms for various functions. We had multiple accounting systems, telephony platforms and field operation systems being used. We had a mixture of Word or Excel documents, or literally writing things down or merely putting in an email,” remembers Michelle Basson, Head of Digital Innovation at Herotel. That’s where Smartsheet came into play. 

“I had never used Smartsheet before but had tried other program management tools,” Basson begins. “My direct line manager said, ‘We've got this new tool that we want to start implementing in the company. Let’s test it in an operational environment and see what happens.’ At the time, I was a project coordinator and he asked me to try it out as we were kicking off a regional project. I was fascinated by the new platform. I saw how Smartsheet was a Project Management system we could start using from the ground up.” 

Moving to Smartsheet was a drastic change, but Basson recognised its value immediately. “It is in our nature to ‘stick to what we know’ and the move to Smartsheet was no different, but I knew within the first week of testing, that Smartsheet was the application that would change our company and get staff connected,” she says.

Photo courtesy of Herotel

A powerful solution 

Herotel also had to realign its branding across all previous companies and departments, including the offices, the vehicles, and the uniforms. Because it was an organisation-wide effort, the team had to ensure communications were seamless. They also had to make sure nobody duplicated work and used company resources efficiently. Smartsheet provided that single source of truth for everyone involved.

“The genius of Smartsheet is that it can put information out there and allow everybody to add their bit and make positive edits. Not everybody likes change but Smartsheet became a convenient tool to assist that change,” says Basson.

Part of the adoption process was letting people experience the tool on their own. “I remember that initial period of training people on Smartsheet,” continues Basson. “I created sheets for everyone on workspaces, made them admins on it, and let them explore or see what they can do and play around a bit. After some time, people started realising how powerful Smartsheet is.” 

To illustrate Smartsheet’s value, Basson recounts one of her first encounters with forms. “Before Smartsheet I would send out emails to thirty people asking them for a response, and had to check my inbox the whole time, make a list of their responses,” she says.

“The first time I sent out a Smartsheet form, I typed my mail, added the form link and instructed people to respond by completing the form. I sat there eagerly looking at that sheet and saw how the information started coming in. I couldn't believe it. My mind was blown, what had I been doing my entire life? I’ve been working through emails on emails, then all of a sudden, 30 people in a matter of a day responded to this request. I didn't have to put it into a grid or anything, everything was auto populated into one environment.”  

A tool that delivers 

Smartsheet has also enabled teams at Herotel to monitor project deliverables and deadlines much faster. Project information has become much more transparent and accessible. “Making our monthly targets a lot more visible made a massive difference. We could say we have a target of one thousand and hit it by this day. If you're not on track, the flags go off and everybody jumps in to help meet the deadline,” continues Basson. This transparency and increased collaboration have led to a 50% improvement in meeting deadlines and hitting monthly targets. It also reduced the number of coordination emails being sent around the company by 60%. 

With all its functions, Smartsheet has become so integral to Basson’s work that she can’t imagine not using it. “If I should ever find myself at a different company or move into a different role or department that doesn’t use Smartsheet, I would find a way to implement it. I think people are just not fully aware of the capability of it, and I want to fill that gap,” Basson declares.

Photo courtesy of Herotel