In this episode we talk to Andreas Huttenrauch.
If you don’t know his name, and you use Podio, you probably know his work. He’s done more than any partner out there to turn Podio into the powerhouse it is today as the founder of GlobiFlow (Podio’s awesome automation tool), which he subsequently sold to Citrix.
In this episode we talk about his journey with Podio and GlobiFlow, the power of what we see in the Podio Platform, of course, we dive into two of his main products:
ProcFu – check it out at www.procfu.com
GlobiMail – check it out at www.globimail.com
Please make sure you try out these amazing products if you haven’t already!
Get ready for another episode of supercharged with Jordan Samuel Fleming, your weekly dive into the awesome impact workflow and automation you can have on your business when it’s powered by Podio, June, as each week, as we learn 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. I’m pretty thrilled about today’s guest. If you don’t know his name, and you use Podio, you probably know his work. He’s done more than any other partner out there to turn Podio into a powerhouse as the founder of GlobiFlow, which he subsequently sold to Citrix, and is now a core part of Podio is offering. Of course we’re going to spend most of our time focused on his two current major ad-ons ProcFu and GlobiMail, but we’re going to start by diving into his journey with GlobiFlow. Andreas, welcome to the podcast. Introduce yourself a little to the audience.
Hi. I’m Andreas. I have globi web solutions, a company in Canada which started as a web design company. I have a background as a programer which always had me interested in automation and I started tinkering. When I found Podio and the API, I started tinkering some more, became a Podio partner and now have a few products on the market.
Excellent. So when we talk about Podio, GlobiFlow such a big part of it. So when you first came to Podio, was it the API that sort of interested you most about Podio?
Yes, it kind of was. I was on a journey to find a new internal project management tool and I actually touched Podio three times before I picked it up properly.
I think a lot of people did that. I was going to say that is a journey that most of us have probably done. I was there using a different system, found Podio, went, what the hell is this? Tried it. When I don’t understand, tried it again and then went oh, absolutely. So, so it was originally for you to do your own project management. Where did the instigation for what became GlobiFlow came?
Um, well, one of the big deciding factors on using Podio was the Api and the fact that Podio is their own api client. So that is huge. Which most other companies…
What does that mean? I’m, I’m sorry, can you explain that for people who aren’t technical like me.
what most systems do is they have a product and then the API is an afterthought to allow customers to work with the data directly. And Podio was built Api first and everything that you do in Podio actually happens through their API. So they are their own api client as well.
Speaker 2: 3:12
Oh, okay. So from a GlobiFlow, just as we touch on the GlobiFlow product, because I would gather that, you know, anyone who uses Podio with any degree of sophistication uses GlobiFlow. I mean that is just a must. So did you intend on it being a product or was it purely for yourself? Where was it sort of. How did it come about?
Um Actually GlobiFlow was the second product. The initial idea was to have three products. One was GlobiMail for email integration and that was because I use Podio first to adopt the crm part of things. Um, when I went into the project management part, the next idea was going to be automation and the third one was going to be time sheets, but the automation part became so powerful that you could do time sheets right there. And then. So at the time sheets fell away. Um, and yes, if it did start from an internal need first – scratch your own itch and then the community started growing and saying, Hey, can you make it do this? Hey, can you make it do that, you know, day by day and new features came in.
Yeah, I was going to say I was part of that, uh, at a relatively early stage. Uh, I, I remember, I remember when I got, I was trying to remember some of the, like to back to what you looked like when we first started using it and GlobiFlow when we first started using it and things like that. But so did you, are you saying that you have originally saw GlobiFlow as a product like you, you were, you were always intending to make this something that you could sell to people.
I’m 50/ 50, yes it was for internal use, but when I started coding I thought why not just code it in such a way that it can be used by other people and monetize hopefully.
Okay excellent. And that actually kind of brings, like that’s a really core idea around Podio is because it’s such a platform because it’s, you know, it’s not this locked off system like a salesforce or you know, Asana which is like this is what it does and this is the box. It’s in a because of that. I mean we have already built products ourselves. Podio is almost, it’s ripe to make products on, I think. I mean is that, is that what you feel as well?
Absolutely. Like my Aha moment with Podio was when I realized it’s kind of like it’s App Lego.
Each app is nothing more than. I mean you can consider it a table and you can set your relationships and then you’ve got your Api to do your get your records, your records. You can use it as a basic data store and you can use the full UI to do what Podio offers.
Absolutely. I do think that that is something that probably Citrix isn’t really clued up enough on when it comes to Podio in terms of how to push, how to either understand Podio, they keep trying to push it into the: It’s a project management tool or it’s a crm box and I think that’s the wrong, like maybe that’s an easy way to market they think, but anytime we…Like we’ve developed now I don’t even know how many systems we developed for people. Every time the question is around what business processes you’re doing and how are we going to make them awesome with Podio and, and the core of that is usually how is GlobiFlow going to make us do awesome things with Podio to make your business work. I mean, how, uh, by the, by the time you sold it, just how many users, how many organizations were using GlobiFlow
I can’t even remember. And if I could, I probably couldn’t tell you. I’ve got so many ndas.
I wasn’t about that. It was just more, I mean, I know like we’ve all talked as partners, how Podio with GlobiFlow, unless you know how to do api stuff, like if you know how to do the Api directly, then great. But probably 80 percent of people don’t, uh, it may be even more like can’t code it, you know, purely doing the API stuff. But Podio without GlobiFlow is basically just a blue Access. Like it’s, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s just, uh, it’s just a relatively pretty three dimensional database. With GlobiFlow. It’s unbelievable. Um, and, and that’s really, I mean, I think that’s a testament to the strength of that idea of take the, maybe the core of Podio, the API and make it accessible to the person.
Exactly. From what I know, there’s still nothing in the market that even comes close to competing.
I mean, I agree. I mean, I know you don’t maybe build this, like you don’t tend to focus on building solutions for people. Uh, you’re, you’re building your products. Um, but we build systems for businesses all over the world now and there’s just nothing that can equal the power Podio. Like there’s just, there’s nothing at all, no power. That brings us to ProcFu, right? So you’ve got two big things right now that I, I mean, I view because, you know, we, we, we sell your products and we integrate them all the time. ProcFu in GlobiMail are the two I put in every proposal without as a standard. So let’s start with, um, background, what is it to the layman who maybe is, is, is hearing this because they go, oh GlobiFlow, I’ve heard of that. What’s ProcFu do?
well, ProcFu is, it’s actually kind of hard to explain. Um, after the acquisition of GlobiFlow with Citrix, uh, there was still coming back to something you said earlier where I build products and you develop, uh, solutions for your customers. Well, I actually do the same except that you are my customer. So I learned quickly in the early days of GlobiFlow that I need to focus on what your needs are as partners to make you create better products for your customers. And that’s how I drive what I developed. And after GlobiFlow was no longer mine and I couldn’t make changes, all these requests were still coming in. Plus there’s always, I wish it could do this. I wish I could do that. And that’s how ProcFu was born. At first there was just a collection of scripts that you’d call from GlobiFlow using remote posts to do things that GlobiFlow couldn’t do.
So when you say do like again, I’m going to just bring this down a little to the average person because whenever I listened to you guys talk Api and scripts and then that I glaze over because I’m, I’m, you know, I’m the pretty face of the whole thing. I’m not the, I’m not the smarts. So when you say things like, give me an example of something that ProcFu allows you to do, which either like massively saves time or something that just you couldn’t do without either going direct to the API because GlobiFlow can’t do it. Give me an example. What, what kinds of things we talking about?
Oh, there’s been so many, for example, copying files from a comment in Podio up to the item level. This is not possible in GlobiFlow it’s possible using ProcFu. I’m copying files from a Podio item to google drive and vice versa
The file bit. Um, and what about, like I, I looked at ProcFu earlier, um, you know, you’ve got a huge amount of scripts now I’m at some of them that seem to be integrating to other systems. So ProcFu like a can that, can it be a quick, a quicker way of integrating to another system as well?
Yes, I can. There’s, there’s a whole set of API is there for a OATH2 two things. Um, for example, if you want to integrate with quickbooks pro, I’m sorry, quick books online, with Google, with Microsoft, whatever the, if it’s an OATH2 service you can easily do it using ProcFu without having to worry about your tokens, refreshing tokens and all that jazz.
So is that something that, you know from a partner or if you’re developing a system that sort of a time saver, it’s a like, is it a, is it a shortcut or is it a power enhancement or is it both?
I would consider it as both. Um, although ProcFu started as just a collection of scripts to make GllobiFlow more powerful. Um, it has got new things which kind of give you a low code solutions. So instead of having to learn the API and encoding everything from scratch, you can now do a lot of stuff with one or two lines of code in ProcFu
and ProcFu does still work via GlobiFlow flow, correct?
So it is a GlobiFlow hack. Hack may not be their best word, maybe not be the Citrix certified word, but it’s an add-on to GlobiFlow. It is. Do all run scripts run through GlobiFlow or is it a separate thing? I’m just trying to understand that for people who may not use it,
it is completely separate thing and actually you don’t need GlobiFlow to use, but it is designed in such a way to be used from GlobiFlow where GlobiFlow can create all your triggers and do all this stuff that it does. And then for added enhancement, you can post over to a ProcFu script and do what ever you want, especially when you start writing custom scripts that take advantage of all the, the, uh, complex functions that are built into ProcFu.
And in terms of the people who are using proc Fu now, I mean, who are the key people you’re seeing? Are they mainly Podio partners? Is that the kind of core focus for ProcFu?
Uh, yeah. I mainly say partners and there’s a couple of power users which we’ve all seen on the forums and know, um, people had liked to hack, I think.
Well, I know, I know from personal experience that um, you know, Andrew who is the CTO of company, uh, he is a power user now. All I ever hear is, uh, is about, ProcFu and he’s now teaching the rest of my Dev team how to use it, um, because, you know, you know, so I know that it’s opened up a world of things. And I’ll give one quick example. Um, uh, I won’t give everything but one of our clients a very large, uh, international, a food franchise. I think that’s broad enough. Um, but a very, very large, uh, they, they were asking us to do a solution with pdf scanning and we scoured the net and found a bunch of API led or Api Open ocr tools. Um, but, you know, which would have probably taken us 30 hours to figure out and and mark them altogether and, and it would’ve cost the client a $150 a month for the license that OCR and ProcFu script that I think you created for, for Andrew was able to cut that development time down to about five hours and, and give the client exactly what they wanted without having to spend a $150 a month on a, an extra bit of software. So that’s something that Procfu – I can, I can speak directly to what, uh, as a developer or someone who’s trying to build cool things in Podio ProcFu is pretty awesome from what I understand.
It’s been amazing. And I, I mean, uh, I know, you know, if you, if you’re listening to this and you’re wondering about proc fo the website is a procfu.com, right? It sort of looks like an old Atari game when you load it up. So don’t be concerned if you live, you loaded up and you’re like, ah, is this really the technological underpinning of Podio? But it’s, if you’re, if you’re wondering, go over, you can create an accounts. Um, it’s a, you can it and start to look at it. There is a, a user workspace in Podio that you can join and there’s tons of people who are talking, helping each other. I mean, that’s one of the things, just before we move onto GlobiMail, uh, the GlobiFlow forums and now the ProcFu forums from your point of view, those forums are just from your point of view, they must have been the best source for ideas and feedback.
It’s an amazing. I mean, I feel like that whole ecosystem in Podio has got to be one of its biggest strength.
I completely agree. I’ve never seen anything like it anywhere else. And I’ve been on many, many discussion forums and some of the stuff over there over the decades. Um, but yeah, that those partners spaces the Podio partners, the GlobiFlow ProcFu one. It’s just the, the ideas that get thrown around there and the willingness of people to help people. It’s just amazing.
Yeah. I, I, I would, uh, I would, yeah, I hadn’t hardly agree with that. I mean, I, I, I used the GlobiFlow forums when I first starting out to learn. I then became someone back when I was developing more than I am now, but I became someone who I guess would give people more help because I knew what I was doing and now I watch them in, awe you know, particularly the ProcFu workspace where I’m watching people go, oh, how do I do this really complex thing and, you know, 10 people chime in a including yourself and, and, and suddenly someone’s very difficult challenge that they had for client is solved., and that’s, uh, I think that’s one of the best bits about Podio.
Uh, I think it’s also a major inspiration for people because as new people come on, come on and look through what’s being discussed, they get ideas of what’s possible, but then even thought the thought about before.
Absolutely. Well, uh, so if you’re, if you’re hearing this and you’re wondering, go to procfu.com, don’t be intimidated by the fact that it did. It seems like a developer heavy thing because there’s lots of resources there. The workspace a space on Podio, a lots of people are willing to give you a help and trust me when I say it can, if you’re building in Podio, it can be massive. Now, the second one I wanted to talk to you tonight is GlobIMail. So I didn’t realize that that was the first one. GlobiMail. Was your first one? Um, uh, back back when it was, was it, did you call Podio mail first?
Yes, yes, that is correct.
Um, but okay, because, because I was still like, I’m trying to remember back in the day because I, I very, I very specifically recall trying to find a tool to integrate email. Um, and now I have a few views on this and I want to talk to you about this today because I still struggle to get email integrated into Podio for clients. And the biggest thing that is the problem, and it’s not for me because we have that a hundred percent integrated and I love it. I can’t live without my my email in Podio, but for clients, the biggest problem is bloody outlook. Um, without question God, you know, not to be, not the curse on my own podcast, but fucking outlook. Um, I am forever talking to people about this amazing possibility of integrating email into Podio and da Da da. And then we get to this outlook problem. So a GlobiMail was your first one again, it was probably just a hack for yourself. Um, but did you like how has it grown? How has GlobiMaill changed from when you first thought about it to now?
Well, initially it was more of a, more of a relay function, um, where you used your own email client and you used your own email server and it was technically rather complicated to get set up and get working and had strange nuances which only made sense if you had a technical background. Um, so over the years we’ve added, now you can compose your email directly in Podio. They look way better that go through our sendgrid account so that they tracked, you can tell when people read their mail if it gets delivered or not, et cetera. You get a lot more insights into what’s happening with your.
Sure. And you say they go through your sendgrid account. So if, if I’ve got , if I’ve got it set up, if I’ve got GlobiFlow set up via my own smtp server, is GlobiMail still using your sendgrid or is it going through my smtp at that point?
Speaker 3: 20:30
It depends on the settings you put on the app you can send through yours. Um, and now there’s a new way that you can track your emails through a hidden tag and the signature using your own smtp server.
Yes, I’ll take a somewhat credit of that. A driving force. Yes. I’ll take credit in the sense that go to Toronto by Andreas and Beers and some wings and beg and uh, and amazingly something that you’ve always wanted to have happen happens, which is we’re starting to integrate with clients now. And they loving it. Um, so, uh, so in terms of like, let’s just go back to this notion, so GlobiMail started out as this, uh, you know, using your own client, et cetera. I’m still finding the challenge of, of outlook. I mean, what are your thoughts about, about how to approach people or talk to me when you’ve spoken to people about this? Um, it’s a can of worms.
I mean, I absolutely loathe it and most of the problems we have because of outlook,
it just in the world in general in my opinion.
So we don’t actually will, I don’t talk to a lot of people about my products anymore because it’s mostly driven through partners like yourself. Um, so most of the time I really try to get the issues from you guys and see how I can help. Admittedly, outlook does have some issues and some things can be worked around, but if there’s a way around it, I’ll try and find it
now. Uh, in terms of, uh, you know, when you started integrating email into Podio.
Was it because I remember very early on in the GlobiMail days, a lot of the case studies, I think on your own Podio, point website were around like ticketing, like, uh, like the notion of a ticketing system and create a ticketing system by using a GlobiMail. I mean, do you, how many do you, do you have a sense of how many people use GlobiMail as a truly transactional, like GlobiMail? I can tell you right now is my inbox. My inbox is in Podio in an APP. I have an unread visa, my unread inbox. I have no inbox anywhere else in the world but in Podio now. Um, uh, yeah. And, and it has been a absolute, I don’t want to say it, but I will game changer. Um, it’s been a game changer for us because every email goes through a Podio. We have a whole system where you’ve got a centralized email app. So we’ve got a shared a privacy status. Each of us have our own workspace where we’ve got our own email app and in that they’ve got a status that says shared or private, they all come in private and then you mark them as shared. So if I’m, as the CEO get an email from my lawyer about something, I keep it private and nobody sees it. It just goes. I mean, unless you have access to GlobiMail, which you know, and go through the logs or something, but nobody really does it, has that. Um, but then what we do is when we click shared, we use ProcFu to push it up and sync it to a public email, a box which everybody can see and uh, and we use it. So do you, I mean, have you, do you have a sense of how many people using it as a pure, like a true email system and how many people are using it in a ticketing or is that something you don’t really talk to people about?
Um, that’s not really something that I track on my own.
I’d be interested to find that out actually, because I, I, whenever I show people my inbox, they’re always like, wow, um, you know, because, because I, you know, we’ve got status instead of people relentlessly foldering everything, you know, let me create 400 fucking outlook folders, um, and, and, and, and be diligent and filing them. Um, we, uh, we because they’re linked automatically to the contacts and the companies in our crm. Um, and then we can just have a related field to go to projects or sales pipeline or support, whatever. Um, you suddenly can use the power of Podio in your email in a way, you know, so, so instead of having these stupid folders where you’re like, oh, you can be like, okay, show me all the emails from this contact between these dates related to this project. Boom. And that’s a Podio, Podio power.
And I think that’s, it’s all in context.
I mean, is that, how, is that how you use it out of curiosity?
Absolutely, yes. I use it for, for multiple things. That’s the basic crm. Of course, the GlobiMail help desk runs on GlobiMail it has to, right? Just like the ProcFu help desk runs on ProcFu, um, and I actually use it then personally to create threads that I want to, you know, sometimes you want to know if somebody opens an email on that because it’s, it can be important.
Very true, very true. Uh, and uh, so from a, like we ProcFu, we got GlobiMail, I can say to anybody listening, if you’ve not tried either of them, go try them. Um, you know, and, and, and use the GlobiMail and the ProcFu workspaces to find out ideas of Jesus. Hit me up if you don’t, if you want to see my inbox and how it works because genuinely hand on heart, it is, it has revolutionized how we manage email. Um, so I would wholeheartedly support that in terms of what’s like, what’s. Do you have any, what’s next? I mean, what’s, uh, are you, do you have any ideas after ProcFu and GlobiMail? Like, come on, give it, give me stuff that I, you, uh, are you, uh, are you gonna? Revolutionize us in some other way?
If I had to have a free Podio account to keep track of all the ideas I have, it would have to be converted to a paid account at this point. I’m going, I’m trying My best – entrepreneurs have a hard time with this – but I’m trying my best to focus purely on GlobiMail and on ProcFu and do I have some quite amazing things I hope that I’m working on right now for both, um, that I’m not going to spill the beans about workout, you know? Um, but yeah, I’m, I’m solidly working on both products and still helping out in the forums and Podio world. Absolutely.
Well should have 100 percent. Well guys, um, if you, if you’ve been curious about the man behind GlobiFlow, now you know more about him. Um, if you’re someone who’s building in Podio and you’ve not used GlobiMail or ProcFu, it’s a great time to try it out. You can get help on both of them. From the workspaces I can attest to how much development is man does on his products, not just because I buy him beer occasionally and, and, and, and beg but, but just in general as a Podio partner, it’s out. He’s always been incredibly responsive to our needs to, to help us, uh, you know, sell more, uh, of the product to make it a better product. And that means that all of you out there, you know, if you’re, if you’re, if you’re thinking about something, if you’re using something like GlobiMail or ProcFu and you’re going, God, I wish it did this, put it onto the workspace because you never know, right? I mean, Andreas. You must, you must want as many ideas as you as possible.
I do. And it’s, I really love the stuff that comes out of left field where somebody says, I wish that I could integrate Podio with the moon. And then suddenly a hundred people crop up and go, yeah, I’d pay for that.
Absolutely. Well, I think you’re, you’re halfway to the moon already. Uh, anyway, uh, Andreas. It’s been an absolute pleasure speaking with you. Thank you so much for joining us everybody. I will post the links to the two websites, uh, on this, uh, Podio podcast blog. And if you don’t get a chance to hit him up directly in Podio, make sure you take a look at the products. Andreas, thank you so much and have a fantastic week everybody.
Thank you very much, Jordan. Cheers guys.
You’ve been listening to a 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. We are Gamechangers.com where you can learn more and arrange a 30 minute call with Jordan Day. I’ll be you understand how Podio supercharges you.