Smartsheet targets government agencies with new workplace software powered by AWS

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Gene Farrell, Chief Product Officer for Smartsheet. (GeekWire Photo / Nat Levy)

With hundreds of federal agencies eager to modernize their processes, competition in government tech is hot. Take the Department of Defense’s JEDI contract, a $10 billion cloud migration project that has spawned a fierce contest among the nation’s biggest tech companies and a high-profile lawsuit.

But the Microsofts and Amazons of the world aren’t the only ones making a play for government dollars. Smaller tech companies like Seattle-based Smartsheet are just as eager to get in on the action.

Today the company is officially launching Smartsheet Gov, a tool that allows government agencies to collaborate and manage their workflows. The software offers secure information sharing and automates common tasks that public servants perform.

Smartsheet Gov has been in beta testing since February by several government agencies, including NOAA and NASA. In April, Smartsheet became the first workplace management tool to receive a government-awarded IT security credential known as FedRAMP.

The new tools will be unveiled today during the Amazon Web Services Public Sector Summit. Smartsheet Gov was built using Amazon Web Services GovCloud, a designation Amazon gives to cloud server regions with increased security for sensitive data. Gene Farrell, Smartsheet’s product chief, called AWS “a great partner on this journey,” in a statement.

Previously: Smartsheet reports $56.2M in Q1 revenue, reveals acquisition price for recent Seattle startup deal

Despite that friendly tone, Amazon and Smartsheet haven’t always been on the same team. The two Seattle companies found themselves on opposite sides of a legal dispute in 2017 that centered around Farrell.

That year, Farrell left his role as Amazon’s vice president of AWS Enterprise Applications and took a job as Smartsheet’s new chief product officer. Amazon sued, claiming the career change violated a non-competition agreement Farrell had signed with the retail giant. Amazon dropped the lawsuit shortly thereafter.

Smartsheet launched in 2005 and went public in 2018, raising $150 million in its initial public offering. The company has made three acquisitions in its quest to dominate the workplace collaboration industry.

Editor’s note: The photo caption of this story was updated with Farrell’s current title.

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