In this special episode we speak with Vlad Pustiu, one of the co-founders of smrtPhone – the only phone system designed specifically for Podio!
Vlad and Jordan look at the development of the product to date, how the community has grown and how they focus on maintain the company values and agile structure.
This is a great insight into both Podio development and how to build a software company from the ground up without investment.
To check out smrtPhone and get your free 30 day trial: www.smrtPhone.io
Welcome to Powered by Podio. Automation is everything. Supercharge your business with Podio. Get ready for another episode of supercharged with Jordan Samuel Fleming, your weekly dive into the awesome impact workflow and automation can have on your business when it’s powered by Podio. Join us each week as we learned from the top Podio partners in the world as we investigate system integrations and add ons and hear from real business owners who have implemented Podio into their business. Now join your host, Jordan Samuel Fleming, CEO of Gamechangers for this week’s episode.
Hey everybody. Welcome to this episode of supercharged. I’m your host, Jordan Samuel Fleming. Here to talk all about the power of workflow and automation when your business is powered by Podio. Today’s guest is Vlad from a number of companies. You’ll know him from swift pod, from REIvolution and from smrtPhone.io where he and I are partners in that business. Vlad, welcome to the podcast. Why don’t you give a bit of a background about yourself?
Hey Jordan. Uh, yeah, thanks for having me. Yeah, really good to be on your podcast as a background for myself. I am a software developer at the core. Um, I have been doing that for the last 15 years or so. Um, I’m running a software company here in Romania and in the last five years we started using Podio and we loved it from the, from the very first moment. And uh, well we evolved in that direction. As you said previously. I’m a, I’m the CTO of Swiftpod.io And the cofounder of it, well, I’m the co founder of REIvolution and smrtPhone.io also. Um, we do a lot of Podio stuff every day. Um, we do a lot of Podio integrations, uh, all sorts of plugins. Oh, we also have some reporting plugins, some, uh, email plugins. Well, everything Podio centered, uh, live and breathe Podio everyday. Right?
Absolutely. And for those of you who may not be that familiar, although if you’ve listened to this podcast before, you probably are. Um, smrtPhone.io is the only voip phone system that has been made and built a entirely, uh, for Podio. Uh, Vlad and I, and Alex got together, uh, about almost two years ago now and a, and really designed the system. And today what I want to do is really focus on smrtPhone.io because it’s something that people ask us a lot. They asked me a lot, they reach out to me and Podio lot. I’m sure they do. The same with Vlad. Uh, wanted to give a little bit of a deep dive into it where we can talk about what, what you know, a bit about how we got here, but also where we’re going and how we’re working, you know, to how we’re constantly searching for ways to make smrtPhone.io better. Uh, for all of our, so Vlad, I mean, I think let’s just spend a few minutes, um, uh, to, to begin with maybe talking about the development of smrtPhone.io because we all have our own, uh, perspectives on this. What’s yours?
Yeah, the development of smrtPhone.io. First of all, it’s very exciting I absolutely love what we do. We, um, after a year and a half, we are at the point where we practically develop on, on multiple roadmaps. Uh, right now we are excited. We are almost done with the iOS app for a smrtPhone.io. Uh, we wanted to do that. This is the very beginning because yeah, of course we are a smrtPhone.io and we need a smrtPhone.io app. Um, also we do a lot of things with the smart dialer, the power dialerfor Podio that we just launched in December. We have a lot of people coming in. Uh, we are working, we are working behind the scenes, uh, on a predictive dialer, uh, which is going to up the game also. Um, in the meanwhile, we also have a, our roadmap for the, um, a little, um, you know, the little details that, uh, simply add value to, to our customers. Every day. We are working on the Round Robin features, uh, uh, better call tracking, some artificial intelligence with Call scoring. Um, yeah, a lot of stuff. Exciting stuff. Um, yeah, as I said, I absolutely love it every day and we always push the limits.
Well, and I think, uh, you know, one of the things I really like about smrtPhone.io and, and, um, I felt like this in Podio originally with the GlobiFlow workspace. Um, and the Podio partner workspace where were developed a little bit of a community. Um, and, and things got developed because of the community wishes. I think smrtPhone.io because everybody gets added immediately into the smrtPhone.io user workspace. We have started to develop a little community around smrtPhone.io of partners who, who install it and, and, and, and, and help people work with it, of users who answer people’s questions and ask for new features. Um, I really, you know, I’m really enjoying getting people to, to, to sort of buy into smrtPhone.io and, and give us their feedback. You know, how much, how much of you’ve kind of worked with that.
Yeah, man, it’s absolutely amazing for me to, uh, to manage, to build a community of, I don’t know, um, I think more than a thousand users right now on the smrtPhone.io users workspace and to actually have people jumping in and answering a newcomers all of questions, you know, um, are they, uh, they practically do that instead of us. You know, people are very excited in their own smrtPhone.io. We have a lot of partners that really love it and the implemented practically for every CRM that’d be built, you know, and for people who need it. Um, it’s, it’s truly amazing. I love having a community like this. I think, I think I always wanted to have, you know, people around things that I do that because I really do to help, uh, increase performance for businesses too. I love people using the systems that we build, you know, to make their life easier too. Yeah. The bottom, some line date, they increase performance and it’s more revenue for them or a greater value for the services that they provide. And I absolutely love that.
Well, I’m, I’m, you know, I don’t know if this carries over to Romania, but back in the back of the day in North America, there was a television commercial for a hair loss program, hair loss product, and, and the guy at the end would always be like, ah, I’m not only the owner, I’m also a client and then put his hands through his hair. I feel like that with smrtPhone sometimes. I mean in the sense that smrtPhone.io isn’t just, isn’t only a product I just love because of course I helped found it and, and we work in it and we live and breathe it. But I also have integrated smrtPhone.io into my own business and my different businesses. And it is massively, it has been amazing. It’s been a huge, huge, huge improvement in terms of our own business. And so I, when I speak to people, I can honestly say, look guys, having your phone system integrated into Podio is a complete game changer for you. I mean it will bring you all these things you need and a, and I think that’s really a fun thing to be able to, to love the product and use the product as well as just own the product and develop the product.
Yeah. For me that’s a most, you know, your company, your company’s as ours is, a global company. You need, you need to be able to answer people in, uh, uh, in many different areas. And smrtPhone.io give gives you that, that global reach, you know, that flexibility to buy phone numbers in literally every known country almost. Yeah. It’s a game changer. We use it also in our REIvolution music everywhere and we practically love it.
So one of the things I think it would be interesting for me, is given that we, you know, we’ve got two of the founders of smrtPhone.io here and we both worked with a lot of people who have, who have integrated, we’ve listened to a lot of customers. Um, what do you think of, you know, where, what do you think the, the top, if we were to say the top three things we hear from customers about why they switched to smrtPhone.io, uh, from others, what would, what would you say your top three are?
Um, first of all, we shouldn’t overlook pricing, you know, because we have, although we are a small company, a lot smaller company, then they’re all competitors like CallRail. Uh, they have like almost a hundred thousand businesses. You know, we, we actually managed to, uh, to provide better pricing for our customers. You know, um, that’s, I think that’s one of the major things. Uh, another, uh, would be the deep integration that we have in, into Podio. We can do a lot of stuff in regarding to, um, integrating smrtPhone.io into a CRM. We actually launched an, as you well know, we launched the, um, uh, custom development department where we help people integrate smrtPhone.io better into their, uh, into their CRM. And the deep integration really helps the chrome extension with a, with a click to dial contacts. We have some more, more goodies is that will come that way, but I cannot refill them right now. Um, and the third one, um, what would it be? Uh, did I mention pricing?
That’s alright you don’t need to stretch! I think one of the things I just add there is that when we say custom development department, um, you know, obviously we’ve got a, uh, we’ve got a network of partners out there, uh, of smrtPhone.io partners who, who we often refer people to when they want, you know, the globiflow elements done for Sms Api and all that. One of the great things that you can do with smrtPhone.io and that we’re really launching right now, um, and I don’t know if everybody’s aware yet because we’ve just launching it and we’re going to do the marketing push now, but we have the option that you’ll never have with CallRail or RingCentral or anything else of custom building bits of a phone system for you. So, you know, we, we have already had people come to us and say, hey man, can you, can you come up with a way of doing text blasting for us? Hey Man, can you come up with a way of doing a, a predictive dialer? hey Man, can you, can we do other bits of functionality? There are really, really phone-based functionality. It’s not, and that I think that’s hugely, that’s hugely exciting because you can’t just go to most phone systems and be like, Hey, I’m, would it be okay if Skype for now on did this for me? Uh, you know, Skype is not going to turn out and say yes, uh, you know, we, and we have that option. And I think that’s something I’m really looking to the next little while it’s to see, you know, hey guys, if you could, if you could add something to smrtPhone.io, if you could make it do something differently, let us know and we can custom develop a few of you.
Um, one of the advantages of being a small company and, uh, one of the things that I, uh, I deeply care about, uh, since my only beginnings is to, uh, have that agility, you know, and that adaptability. Uh, and we are very agile. I’m very proud of the guys working here. Um, developing smrtPhone.io. We are very agile, we can do a lot of things very fast. And when I say very fast, very fast, you know, we have people asking for really critical things and we can deliver like in a week, have it online for everybody. You know, that’s very important. That practically takes care of the jobs to be done, you know, for, uh, for the people that use smrtPhoneum, yeah, yeah. I want to, I want to stay agile. I want to stay agile.
Huh. So when we’re looking at a, you know, uh, I think one of the things I wanted to do in this podcast, given that we, you know, this is a bit of a different one in that we both own this company. So it’s not like I’m interviewing someone I don’t know really, really well and, uh, but, um, one of the things I wanted to do is look a bit to the future, a smrtPhone.io, and maybe give people a bit of an insight into it. So the first thing I want to do, I wanted to two things right now. Um, the first thing I want to do is I want to talk a bit about the upcoming mobile app cause I’m, I’m incredibly excited by it and we can talk about that. And then the second thing I want to do is I want to, I want to, without giving away any massive secrets, I want it, maybe you and I to both talk a bit about some of the upcoming roadmap things that we’ve got planned and why we’re excited about them. Because I think that’s, that’s again, something that’s going to come down the pipeline and people are going to be interested in. So let’s start just with the mobile APP. Um, I mean, we know we’re in development. I know where we, you know, we’re doing that. Um, what do you think, like how do you think having a mobile app is really going to help people from your side, what do you, what do you see the impact impacting?
Uh, I see, uh, I see a good amount of companies having agents on the field, you know, and they would really, really, really use, uh, the APP because having the mobile app connected to, to your CRM directly, you know, uh, puts everything into perspective. MMM.
yeah. We have a lot of real estate people who have agents on the field, you know, they go to meetings and they go, they need to find their contacts really fast. And the call them, we were, um, well we, we do, we still provide the VoIP, the VoIP functionality and the, we encourage people to have VoIP clients on their phones to be able to connect to the smrtPhone.io. But the mobile APP will really up the game because you’re going to have, first of all, you’re going to have the contacts there. Uh, it’s a native app directly connected to a smrtPhone.io. You have, you have the ability to call your contacts to see the recent calls, the missed calls, everything related to your user, uh, is my phone. And I really, I really think a lot of people are excited that I don’t think, I don’t make an assumptions. I know, uh, from the, from the answers that we got on the smrtPhone.io user’s workspace. A lot of people really wait for the APP. And the, I’m really proud that we got it going and the, we expect for a thing like a month and a half, uh, to be ready for beta testing.
Yeah. I cannot tell you how much I can’t wait for this APP. Not, not just because I can’t wait to see people use it. And I know, I know. It’s just going to blow everybody away. I know it’s going to make smrtPhone.ios. It’s closing a loop, right? Like my focus on smrtPhone.io a lot of times is how do we close all these little loops to make it the complete and utter total phone system. Right.
Yeah. One thing that I need to mention, sorry for interrupting, uh, everybody has to know that a smrtPhone.io is a, is a company really built by, uh, by us. You know, we bootstrapped the whole operations and development and everything. We never got any investors. Uh, it’s really our digital persona phone persona that, that’s out there. And we constantly invest in it. And, uh, we really, really, really, really care about delivering high value to everybody because I, considering we all come to see the, as we are friends and partners, uh, that we must bring the highest value possible and we must be the best that we can in everyday that we live each day of our life. You know, and the, I really appreciate that we don’t have any, uh, so practically a lot of times being smaller and more agile, we are able to have instant decisions, you know, to, to direct, uh, development, uh, in, uh, uh, to our own intuition and how, and, um, directly proportional of how we feel the community, you know, how we feel the people and their needs. Okay. That’s a really, uh, I think I never spoke about with anybody but you guys, but people really should know that we are kind of, we’re, we are in it 100%, you know, and we don’t have any corporate, uh, um, objective.
Well that’s, I mean, that’s a bit of a side tangent, but actually an interesting one because I had the, um, you know, back in the day when I was involved with the sort of technology startup scene, um, in Scotland and, uh, you know, around that scene a lot and working with people a lot. And um, what I, you know, there was this, there was a real drive for everybody. You have to be a tech company, you’ve got to get investment, you gotta, you gotta go straight for an investor, then you’ve got to raise more funding and raise more funding and raise more funding. And I’ve, I see people who I know have done it and, and you know, and they’ve built really good and interesting nice companies and they’re doing nice products. But I’ve always been very proud of the fact that we, you know, we’re sitting here with the same shareholding we’ve always had and we’re sitting here with the same control of the company we’ve always had. And there are essentially three people who make the decisions and we can make the decisions in a split second with not be being beholden to anyone. And when I see people who, you know, all you got to get investment, all you got to invest in, you got an investment. It’s like, well really? Because you know, we, I think, I wouldn’t say it’s easy to do it what we’ve done and I think no, and I think there are some specific ways that we were able to do it from because of the two companies we have already and, and all of this. Uh, but I’m glad we went down that route because I think it, it brings us, we are in such a more powerful position now to be able to control our destiny with the product and, and not lose the values of the product because someone decides to impose the values on us.
Yeah. And not lose our values because that’s very important. Uh, important. Also when you have an investor can pressure you and you kind of, we’ll do a lot of people that are so stepping on their values because there they were forced to do that. And the, yeah, we want to, we, we want to keep the values and we want to practically give value to the people and that’s it. It, you know, for us, it doesn’t take me, it doesn’t, having, I don’t know, bigger profits doesn’t, doesn’t take me to work everyday and to do what I do, you know, having the ability to give greater value and to provide it for, for everybody and to have constant, amazing feedback and all people like saying, guys where were you up to now. You feel now, you know, uh, you do such amazing things. Um, uh, I really appreciate what you, what you’re doing and how you transformed my business. You know, because we cannot, we cannot do that. Although we are in the trenches every day when we don’t realize that. But at the end of the day, we transform people’s business businesses and the, we want to make them better every day without somebody pushing us to make more profits, more profits, more profits. You know, we don’t hear about, we want more value, more value, more value, bring more value, be more valid, bring more value. We kind of feed on that.
I agree. And I am, I think you know that the addition to the iPhone two, the iPhone and an event and then the I android app that’s going to just bring tremendous value to everybody that is going to, being able to, to take that out on the road with you and do all the things you can in smrtPhone.io with it. It’s going to be unbelievable. Um, just just to wind this down, cause we’ve only got about 10 minutes left, um, uh, if I think it’d be interesting for us to think about, you know, towards maybe talking about some of the things we’re excited about that we’re working on, on the roadmap without being, without going into, you know, letting any secrets out. I do think people are interested to know what we’re actively working on and what we’re excited about. So do you want to pick a couple and then I’ll pick a couple of things that we’ve got in the roadmap. We won’t say where we are with them or you’re doing, but yeah, we’re not trying to do that, but just to show people that we are thinking about it. I think it’d be interesting for people.
Yeah. I don’t know. Of course. Of course. So I opened the roadmap.
I was going to say I got to open their own about out.
I did that. So, um, one of the cool things that I uh, I see coming in the short time, it would be the Round Robin. Um, um, capabilities where uh, the system would, um, have the ability to dial users in a group sequentially, you know, one after the other in the round Robin fashion. Then you have the conference calling and queuing where you are able to put people in a queue and to move them from one queue to another. MMM. You have also, mmm. Some call barging, call wee spring. I see here some hold music, a warm transfers where we are able to, to transfer a call while you’re still in the call and you don’t have to uh, well what are you are still in a call with the customer in the other line you are able to call one of your colleagues and the who came in and then you leave the call.
I like, um, I I get to say, and maybe it’s because I put it in, so I like it. I really the idea of upgrading our chrome extension so that the internal, um, when calls happen, the internal notification within Podio is, is, is, is upgraded so that we, you know, you can see who’s calling you. You can maybe have buttons in that then allow you to go straight into answer it or decline it or whatever. Um, I think being in Podio cause being in Podio and having that dropdown right in Podio and give you that kind of warning and give you that visual and give you that direction that you can do things is going to be, oh, just, just one of those little things that is going to be just useful every, every cause. Every time I’m there I, unless I got my headphones on, I don’t always hear it ringing cause I don’t have the audio set up to do that cause I never bother. And then you’re like, oh shit, the phones rang. Um, so that would be very, I can’t wait for that one.
Yeah. Don’t forget about the notifications cause you can enable those.
I know, I know I have them. Thank you very much. But I uh, I still, uh, I do think the round Robin is going to be a good one. Um, because I think that that’s something that are, you know, if I was going to say two things that I’ve been, I would’ve been asked about the most. It would be round Robin and the Mojo dialer integration. And while we killed off Mojo by doing our own better dialer and, and now the call the, the round Robin functionality from CallRail is, is probably the next one that people go, what, what, what, how can you deal with this? So I’m excited by that because I think that is,
yeah, I think that’s going to be done in like 10 days is going to be out. So
I’m excited about that because I think that’s a a like, I don’t want to be cruel, but I think that’s a call rail killer from our point of view. It’s one of those, it’s one of those things where people are going to be like, oh my God, this is amazing.
Yeah, exactly. And another thing that we’re going to launch a, I think at the end of this week is the spam filtering as we have people. Yeah. Getting, getting buzzed by robo calls and the, we’ll give them the ability to do, to add the phone numbers in their spam so they won’t receive any calls from them anymore. That’s another thing that was asked by the community, you know.
Well, I know one of the things that I, I’m, you know, I don’t know if everybody knows this, but um, I, I’ll be putting a blog post on the workspace, but, uh, the SMS API that we’ve got developed for smrtPhone.io means that you can basically control any sort of automation around the SMS flows from GlobiFlow. And that means you can do all sorts of cool triggered SMS is and all that. We use it all the time. But one of the things we’ve just upgraded that to include the item id from where from where you initiated and that allows you to then automatically say, oh and go look and then link it to this APP, this item. Sorry. Because we know, and I’m quite keen from the roadmap point of view to have the same happen for calls because I think that that, that’s going to be one of those awesome things where people in particular in real estate keeps saying, oh, but I’ve got multiple apps and I, you know, and I think the moment we can say, yeah, that’s fine. We have one contact app and then we use that, that AP, the, we use the, the fact that we control, we can identify where you click the call to be able to say and, and link it to this bit is going to be pretty cool.
Exactly. You close another small loop there also. Yeah.
Yeah. I think that’s going to be a, I think that’s gonna be pretty cool.
Yeah. And I, and I, one second, one second. Hold you talking about mojo sales. One thing that I got to, I got a lot off my chest is um, that I’m really proud of, uh, well the team here at smrtPhone.io that we, we managed to actually, you know, we’re talking about pricing the end of the bigger competitors and everything, you know, uh, it’s Kinda okay, it’s kind of amazing to be able for us to launch a, a power dialer, which, uh, practically it has a slightly better capabilities than Mojo sales, you know, and that is half the price of modules. You know, I’m a, I’m a, so you have two, three users, you pay, you pay half than what you pay mojo sales, then it goes, you know, you save a lot of money by, by going to smart dialer. And of course we have our profit there. You know, we don’t do, we don’t do work for nothing, but, uh, like really we, we are so, so small compared to the big ones out there, the big corporations and we are able to come with a better price on the market. That for me is quite amazing
to come with a better price, but also like I just did some tests with a potential client of ours for our boostPM. Our Boostpm product I told you about. Um, uh, we’re integrating smrtPhone.io with that, um, just like you have with our REIvolution. Um, and so I was doing some tests because they’ve got VA’s in the Philippines and um, I did some audio tests and, uh, with ring central, they struggle to get the quality unless they’re using a Philippine based server. And I did tests with smrtPhone.io with this guy. And he wasn’t even using a headset. He was just using his computer audio and the quality, the quality was phenomenal.
Yeah. Because a, we have a node in Singapore, so, uh, the road to to the nearest node. And that’s why you got a good core quality.
It’s fantastic. I mean we were talking right now I’m talking to a couple of call centers out there and they are delighted to be able to think, oh my God, we can use Podio cause they were using Podio and now we could actually have our call center. It goes straight into there. Um, which I think is gonna be exciting. So listen, a guy, you know, this is a, it’s been a fantastic time. I think I’m going to get Vlad, Vlad and Alex who are my partners in smrtPhone.io. You know, obviously we’ve had our REIvolution, which is a on the podcast already. I don’t debt, we’ll also have a pod, a couple more podcasts together over time as we discussed different things. Um, but if you haven’t tried it out, a smrtPhone.io, a smrt, p h, o n e. Dot. Io. Um, it is the only a voip phone system that has been actually designed for Podio. So the integration is complete. We’ve got the smart dialer four line autodialer. Uh, we’ve got mobile apps coming out. It is the complete package. Um, try it out. You get a 30 day free trial and, uh, you know, we, we love it. We live and breathe it Vlad thanks for being on the podcast. Um, and uh, have a fantastic week.
Yeah, man, thanks for having me. You also. Bye Bye
you’ve been listening to Supercharged! With Jordan Samuel Fleming. Subscribe today on Itunes, Google play or Spotify for your weekly dive into how you can supercharge your business by making it Powered by Podio. Be sure to check out our website: www.wearegamechangers.com where you can learn more and arrange for a 30 minute call with Jordan to help you understand how Podio can supercharge you.