In this Episode we talk to Gil Roberts, Alex Shull and Jarett Duker from BrickBridge Consulting.
This is the second time our friends from BrickBridge have joined us and for this first episode of Season 2 we dive into their awesome new SaaS facilitator -SaaSsafras! In this fascinating conversation we look at how SaaSsafras can facilitate the development, deployment and scaling of SaaS-based Podio solutions and help you create your own Podio-based products.
BrickBridge Consulting: https://www.brickbridgeconsulting.com
Podio Solutions Podcast (go subscribe!): https://www.buzzsprout.com/246334
Speaker 1: 0:00
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 learn fr om 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 game changers for this week’s episode.
Hey everybody and 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 guests are returning champions, Gil, Alex and Jarett from Brick Bridge Consulting. I’m really excited about today’s episode because we’re going to be talking about one of their products, which my own company is going to be using really soon and I think i s going to have a big impact on the Podio partner network a nd Podio in general. So guys, uh, welcome to the podcast. Just remind everybody who you are.
Yeah, I’ll start out. My name’s Gil Roberts, Director of Operations here at Brick Bridge Consulting. Alex,
My name’s Alex Shull . I’m the lead developer with BrickBridge.
Good morning again. My name’s Jared Duker . I’m the lead consultant for BrickBridge Consulting .
Excellent. Excellent. Well, and guys today I’m excited. Um, I don’t want to, uh, I’m, I’m not going to steal your thunder and try to describe the product. So why don’t you guys kick, kick in and, and give a little insight into what we’re gonna be talking about today.
Yeah, absolutely. So first, thank you so much for having us on again. We love doing this. I’m very happy about how our two podcasts together, have really grown the community, uh, and just continue to be excited to reach out to the community and have a chance to talk about what we’ve been working on, uh, here lately. So, uh, first, you know, we’ve talked about Sassafras, our product tool kit, uh, several times, both on, on your show, the last time we were on, as well as our own podcast show. Uh, we’ve had some snags and things that have slowed us down. But you know, this is a solution that, that has been working for internal clients. Lately we’ve been able to do some demos for the outside community and we got some exciting news that we want to share on your podcast today about that. So Alex, I’ll let you kind of give everybody, give everybody an update on where we at and where we’re going.
Yeah. We’ve recently hired on a UI developer who’s been working with us named Adam and um, I’ve been focused on developing the backend services primarily to reorganize the security design to support scenarios that would appeal to you, Jordan, because our original design was built around the assumption that people would be deploying these solutions within the same organization and then you came to us and stuff. But that’s not what I want. And we responded to that because we recognize immediately that we were thinking about us and there were a lot of other potential customers out there who had your needs. And so I’ve spent the past, I don’t want to say how long it’s been a, it’s been an important diversion and we’re now through it where I can, um, let you later today actually Jordan as a, the first customer logging in capture your solution. It’s going to be a little bit of hacky . Yeah, it’s, we don’t have the UI finesse, but you’re okay with that. I know you’re going to get through, you’re going to capture your solution and we’re going to do a test deployment for you and we’re going to see how it goes after this podcast today. And uh, but the idea is that when you log in, you are going to be able to select podio workspaces, that you have the correct level of permissions on and when you select them, then you can choose to capture them in a SAS solution. And the Sassafras software will go in and collect all the information that you have in that workspace or workspaces and all of the relationships between the related fields. Get all that data captured inside there. And then when you deploy it, it will recreate it. Um, all keep all of the cross workspace references and relationships preserved and ultimately, um, when you’re ready to try out the Sassafras event engine and will also target all of the podio events that come out of the web hooks into those environments with enough additional information, um, to where you can have a single backend responding to all of the events for a variety of customers. So it’s, um, I want to really emphasize that last part one more time cause it’s a little bit confusing, but the deployment, the capture deployment are actually separate to where you’ll be able to take advantage of captioning solution in deploying it in podio and you’ll have a working copy.
However, this as far as had been an engine also supports not using GlobiFlow . For instance, using the Sassafras engine to respond to events in Podio to build your solution out. The, the deployment will work even if you’re not using the Sassafrass engine though.
Well, let me, let me, yeah, I want to backtrack a little because there’s going to be people who, who may be joining us here and not really be sure what the hell we’re talking about. So, um, as a little backdrop to this, um, Podio aas a solution, as a platform has spurred people on over the years to try and build a off the shelf SaaS based solutions that they can resell to people. Um, that, you know, just as a, as background to the listeners, um, you’ll have seen that if you’re the real estate there are different, um, you know, solutions to do that from InvestorFuse was probably one of the first guys off the block to do that. Um, you know, BeastMode, uh, REIvolution. Uh, we’ve got a property management product called boostpm (www.boostpm.com). You guys have got the products that you did, um, mPact Pro. Thank you. Um, a nd, and t he, the concept is used the power of Podio to build these really I view as enterprise level software solutions, not just a little bits of apps, but a solution, a business solution. And then, um, and then to launch it to many people that w ill, y ou k now, a nd to sell it as a prepackaged solution and gain a ongoing revenue. Now that’s always been stopped or at least been made difficult by the problem that these guys here are fixing, which is how do you take a relatively complex system over multiple workspaces with all the things that work together and duplicate it rapidly. Um, because I can tell you from personal experience and I know these guys can, when you manually duplicate a complex system y eah, eight hours later, um, you’ve got someone who is, you know, sitting in front of a computer, redoing relationship fields, u m, and redoing all the calculation fields and that makes scaling a off the shelf Podio driven product difficult. That is a solution we’ve all been trying to find ways around and why I’m really excited to have these guys, you guys on the podcast is Sassafras is a product that can do it at scale as well. So it’s not just about replicating a once, so you know, making, you know, doing it in a bit, but you can use it to replicate it a lot of times quickly and efficiently. Keeping it all together. So that’s just a little backdrop for everybody that the importance of what this, what this is about is really around how can we then enable people to create SaaS based products in podio. Um,
that’s a, that’s a really good background in Jordan. And I think the, another way that I think about it that might help people, um, kind of put this in context is Podio, um, for me is a rapid application development tool that is that it happens to be web based. It happens to be software as a service. You log in there and you can do a rapid application development. Like you said, you built solutions across workspaces, working full enterprise class software, but then how do you make copies and the copies and capabilities that are provided are inadequate for the really complicated solutions we’re talking about that are spanning, um, GlobiFlow and other systems. And so yeah, that’s exactly what we were targeting. You wanted to take those solutions that were built with this rapid application development tool and then package them to where they could be delivered as their own software, as a service solutions in of themselves. So, um, that’s, that’s really what it as far as aims to provide.
Yeah. And I’m really excited by the possibility of this, not just for the Podio partners that exist in our network, but there’s a lot of people in these different sectors. You know, we’ve seen the growth of these off the shelf products and the real estate market, uh, the, you know, real estate investment, we’ve seen that there are four or five, six, seven, eight, um, I know of a couple in the pipeline that are being worked on. Uh, I CRM a off the shelf CRMs, uh, that can be deployed to hundreds of organizations. And the thing that’s always been as hard is the more complex the system, the harder it is to duplicate manually and like boostpm, which is the one that you guys are working on with us. Um, you know, that’s over seven workspaces and, and to, I mean, you know, so every time as we’ve been deploying the first set of customers, there is a shit load of manual work involved with getting that off the ground per customer. And you’re about to, you’re about to take that down significantly for me, which I’m very happy.
Yeah. Yeah. It’s not a, and it’s also not a fun job, right? Like sitting there and the poor person that’s kind of sit there and make those copies, especially if a over on the GlobiFlow side, not to beat them up, but you know, it’s not a, it’s not a fun or sexy process to make those copies. Um, you know, and a lot of times you can’t just have anybody do it either. You’ve got to have somebody that understands a little bit about development, a little bit about logic and because when you do the copies, they break in different ways, right. It’s not like he breaks the same way every time it comes, always comes up with something new and exciting for you to figure out.
That’s another thing that is interesting about tools that we’ve developed for Sassafras. Soon after we released the ability to capture solutions and deploy them. We also have um, a set of services that allow you to update your solution and create a patch and you can at that point, if you have a customer for instance, who is modifying their environment and they’ve added things to applications, they’ve added applications, you can actually step back and do a full comparison between their environment and the targeted new version of your solution and see exactly what needs to change in order to deploy the new solution. So there’s a bit of control in there and you can maybe you find something that the customers change you need to address before you patch it. There’s a lot of scenarios that we aim to support, let you see what’s going to change before you deploy a patch. But the aim is to let you have controlled versions for multiple clients.
And let me ask you question about that actually , this is, this is not me throwing another spanner in the works. So they just get a kill you for a month and a half. Um, I say hopefully, but, um, I had a, I have a scenario I want to run past you, um, as a, as this, because I mean everything you’ve been saying, you know, oh, all what I am like, I can’t tell you how much are our chops are waiting to get into Sassafras to it and take up. Um, I’m, I’m hugely excited and I have to tell you, we’ve got two more products down the pipeline. Um, you know, because w were real moving to that direction. I’m not, you know, one of them in real estate and one of them in engineering actually. Um, so we’ve got this, so boostpm, we actually, I want to, you know, see, see how Sassafras handles this right now. So we’ve got a core set of, uh, what I would class as a core system. Um, and that’s the one we’ll be setting up in Sassafras. But, um, in property management there are two things, two parts of their process where the core system has a basic version, but we’ve developed a super version which is like, uh, which is an extended module that they can pay for. Um, doing the core system. The APP is basic on the superversion the APP is, um, is souped up. So are you, would that be two separate just installs of an organization or could you replace one app within the souped up one into an organization?
It’s a quick clarifying question. Is this also a part of the scenario? Maybe they’re using the basic version and they want to upgrade to them?
Okay. So let me ask you a quesion about the difference. Are you talking about Podio application and then the other version of the code, your application has different fields that the first one doesn’t have.
Is that the idea? Yeah, it is. The actual relational relationship bits between apps yeah. Are All the same. It’s just that one of the apps is super is is much more involved as a low load, more load, more options and and fields and and and things. Put
it exactly how I would suggest handling that. And this is the way it’s as far as can handle it today. However, it probably requires a little bit of manual configuration, but the, the architecture of Sassafras for us handles that scenario. This way you would have a, a version which would be a named version of your application, say basic, and then you would have a version of your application that is pro and when you, someone has basic and then they want to upgrade to pro, you would patch them to pro and the Sassafras engine can detect which version they’re running and can subscribe them to different backend flows according to which version they’re actually running. So it, it texts, oh this person’s running pro, send them down this pipeline. Oh, this one’s running basic, send them down this pipeline. And so that that’s supported by the Sassafras engine. The best scenario would be if all your flows are written originally there, but there you can always convert. And I can also, um, libraries that if you watch run flows elsewhere, we can send that information downstream. You just have to listen to our events instead of direct podio events. But, um, there, there’s a lot to unpack there, Jordan, but I do have solutions for that scenario. They’re just not.
Yeah. Well why wanted to bring it up is not because I was trying to, um, you know, slap you out with another technical, although I’m be like, if you ever want someone to break shit, I am your guy. I can wade in and break anything. Um, I once actually destroyed a computer. Uh, I remember about 15 years ago before I was a Mac user, I was in, I was like, “I hate Macs” . And a buddy of mine had an apple. This is like 20 years ago. Jesus Christ. Now it is about 20 years ago. And I, I touched it and it died and so I can break anything. But the reason I wanted to bring it up and why I’m so excited by this is, is challenge, challenge, challenge of ruling Podio to customers is how you can upgrade things easily and not fuck around with their data. And this is what’s exciting about your being able to version and, and push these new versions and control that and, and patch is that you’re, you’re not saying, oh Christ, we want to update this to like we’ve got a new version here which changed things around. That means we’ve going to have to build a second bit and then merge their data over, which is how sometimes you have to do it. If there were saying we can just push this patch and, and, and, and not screw around with the data that’s already there.
Yeah. And there, there are a lot of scenarios that can come up depending upon exactly how things change. Our objective is always to really, um, give developers some design principles to use to avoid those situations. If you’re, if you’re removing fields that can be a problem, for instance, you really don’t ever want to have to remove something from it from an application. You don’t want to change the names of fields and things like that. But if you’re adding fields, then it’s really, you know, there’s never a problem from the standpoint of how we manage applications. And as long as you’re not naming fields twice or anything like that, then there’s not a good being any conflict in terms of how we manage deployments in those pieces. So if we can give developers just, um, design guidelines to follow, then all of those scenarios should be handled pretty smoothly if and give you some options of how to handle them if they’re not obvious choices.
What also, I think you bring up a really good point there. And you know, architectural thinking is something that matters in podio more than almost anything, um, about data structure, hierarchy and the way you build things. Um, and so may, you know, the, the, you know, this notion of design kind of principles, you know, um, we’re coming up with our own internal ones. I think because we have to right? The more complex things get, the more you have to have these and that could be also a hidden benefit of working with the Sassafras engine and getting your system ready for Sassafras is it, it forces you into a cleaner data design and clean data is just like is so critical for me.
Yeah, I think you’re right. You, you, you, what you said is very important there. Jordan. I want to just, you know, kind of repeat it from my perspective, which is that when you bring in a architectural perspective, you really zoom out and look at the big picture of what you’re doing, what your data is, who’s using it, who’s bringing it. You really zoom out for a while and you make sure that that picture makes sense. Then on the details, those are the same principles that apply to keeping your applications flexible, to be able to manage change, to be able to deal with um, the, the, you know, the, the natural ways that you want to evolve your Podio application and seeing, having those design principles up front give you that flexibility. And those are things that we’ve been learning a lot about as well in the past several years delivering these solutions because they’re not always obvious. Podio supports them. But Podio is such a flexible tool that it’s possible to go down the wrong path. And uh, those are, those are to foreshadow a little bit. I love the idea of Sassafras, being able to do a little bit of architectural audit so to speak, to encourage people design applications a certain way. But that’s something that’s um, very in, in our, in our future for the time being.
Sure. No, I just think there’s a, like anybody who’s thinking of building a SaaS based solution and Podio, you’re, you’re every I’m get, I’m going to bet, I’m going to bet a lot of money that everybody goes through the same challenges of thinking and we probably all come to very close to the same solutions because, because the challenges and limitations and strengths of Podio are universal. And if you are trying to build a system that can be replicated, that can be flexible but contained within a structure and that can be user friendly so that you can roll it out rapidly and user friendly is a big part of this. Like how many times have I seen people roll out systems or, or, or I have I been brought in as we’ve been brought into companies saying, oh, I system, you know, can you help us make it better? And you’d go in and you’re like, Geez, is this is just hideous? Um, you know, and, and, and bringing a sense of order and cleanliness is something that if you’re trying to roll out a product in a scalable way, you have to, you have to start from that core principle or you are going to in the weeds very quickly. That’s my view on it.
No, I agree. Totally. That’s the, that’s the biggest point of friction you’re going to encounter is those users adopting and being productive with the software. And so having that user friendliness is the, is the, absolutely. That’s the, um, one of the most important principles. And it’s one of the greatest benefits to having this consistent, easy Ui that, um, that provides Jarett. Jarett you can speak to that.
Yes. Um, I think that that secondary documentation is the missing link pretty much across the board for all podio solutions. Um, it’s really easy to get frontline users in. You come in as a consultant, you train all the users, everyone’s on the same page. It works well for a little while, but there’s no turnover in that documentation. Now your lead employee leaves for whatever reason, you bring in someone new and now you start playing a game of telephone and, and two or three employees down the line, people have absolutely no idea how to utilize the tools that we’re working very well inside of the business model that you helped design. Now it’s just an absolute mess. Even if the system is still good, the user, the user continuity is a nightmare because you don’t have established Faq is you don’t have support documentation. There’s nowhere anyone can go to learn what’s going on.
Absolutely. Now let me ask you guys. Um, you know, I mean, this may be a little diversion, but I think it ties right into, to your, you know, to where the power of Sassafras comes in. Um, I, I take a view that when I, when I describe Podio to people, I described the organization is your office building, your workspaces are your rooms, your filing cabinets, you, your apps, your filing cabinets, and your items are your files. And, and so, um, I, and, and, and that leads itself into a workspace architecture, which tries to make sense and say, this is the kitchen, this is the meeting room. They said, you know, the, this is the, the, the, whatever, the staff common room and whatever, so that people can immediately understand architecturally, from a workspace point of view, this is probably where I go, I’m gonna go to the kitchen when I want to make a sandwich. Well, you know, and, and it makes sense. Um, what’s your view on, on that? Because I sometimes, like I, whenever I see it, a workspace that has 40 apps in it, unless that workspace is one of our background, that workspaces, which is just there to contain data. Um, I, I’m constantly going into people and seeing their podio where they only have 25, 30 apps in a workspace. So you have to click the down Arrow and go through more of them. I find that really confusing and I think something, you know, again, the methodology of understanding how these products works together. Part of this is around how do we show people where to go simply and workspaces me are the first key. What, what do you think about that?
Yeah, from a design standpoint, my personal opinion is we follow a very similar philosophy. I want to think of it organizations as businesses and then workspaces departments, maybe you have rooms as apps. Very, very similar, really semantical uh, in an essence. But, uh, we try not to have any apps go past that where you got to click and drop down. Usually at that point that means we’ve, we’ve made it too complicated, right? Most departments are or lines of work inside of a, um, business just don’t require that many apps in particular. One and a lot of times we got some restraints on access since Podio controls access for users via workspace, you know, so a lot of times we try to design around that.
I know that there’s a good rule of thumb and the software development space that I actually, I’m not sure who originated this, but I think I heard it from ??? A very famous.net, architect. Um, that is the rule of seven, which is when you’re designing interfaces that you shouldn’t add, um, more than seven components. It’s kind of a rule of thumb though, if you violate it, it’s not a huge deal, but it’s Kinda the same thing with the principle of human organizations. If you are managing more than seven people, then your effectiveness really goes down. And I think in the same way, if you’re putting more than seven apps in a single workspace, you need to start questioning yet you need to start questioning whether you need more workspaces or a different organization. There there, there needs to be a very quick recognition of what’s in there, how to use it and functionally how you get your job done with it. So, um, that’s, those are the kind of things that I don’t design our first spaces so I should probably not, not speak over Gilc or Jarett , but I think the same, similar, the same rules apply.
Yeah. We, we follow a very similar, similar pattern and a lot of times what we find is like all the extra apps tend to be more like data apps. So they need to go over to that, that big workspace that has data that human beings don’t really, nobody’s ever in there. It’s just there to receive data and push it somewhere else. And it’s literally just the giant file room that nobody goes in inside of the building. So, um, we tend to try to keep it, keep it to that. Sometimes we make our apps a little bit longer down the screen to accommodate some of that, especially if we have some, some larger, um, especially the mpact pro. We have a master client profile that’s a larger APP. It takes while to scroll through bidding, but honestly, it’s all in one place and that’s where it needs to be contained. So there’s appropriate, uh, prescriptions for, for different solutions. Uh, but, uh, got to keep things simple. You users need simple. Uh, Jarett, you always talk about they’re going to take the laziest path right through the end users through the software.
I would say easiest path, but that sometimes is very frequently as the same thing.
Absolutely. Now with Sassafrass for us then, so if I, if you’re launching, if you, if we’ve got this in play and, and we, and we, uh, we create the seven workspaces and everything works with, you know, exactly, you know, everything is created and linked and everything’s working. Um, do, does it have a, like how, how do you manage the, the like dude, can you specify a user or, or set of users that get automatically added from a management point of view or how does that work? Does that curiosity?
We, we have just been deploying them under, um, existing credentials and letting people have their own users. But there’s a very general way that we can run post deployement tasks and if people need us to add users in as one of those steps, then then we can do that. But that’s, um, that’s something that we’ll have to be added in, um, more on the, um, the Sassafras Ui side. Um, but, um, yeah, there’s a lot of cases that we’ve discovered. That’s one of them. There was another one where, um, there are some prepopulation of items into applications before people use them. For instance, a lot of people design applications where there’s an admin space that provides configuration values of a sort that drive the functionality of the other spaces. Well, we’ve discovered that that’s important for, um, anything that’s more advanced I think. And so we have a post deployment tasks that will read into this administrative space that you create that is not actually part of the solution, but we’ll read values out of that administrative space in order to prepopulate the items in the recently deployed solution.
Sure. And, and certainly that’s a, I can see the, it’d be a huge value there. And you know, I’m thinking of some of the systems that we do in the real estate investment space. Um, um, a lot it’s that we’ve got one coming up. Um, that’s, um, it’ll be prepopulated with a series of drip sequences with the content. Yeah. You know, so you and otherwise you gotta, you know, input all that content, but if you can just be like, well, this is the content, um, and that just gets deployed with it, then again, that’s all about saving time. Yeah.
And likewise, we do, we have, um, solutions that are integrated with g suite, and so we have tasks for deployment in that environment that will actually, um, do integrations with drive to move resources around and set the, um, the solution up for, um, being ready with resources out of the Google side. So it’s, it’s useful just to kind of like prep an entire solution. And we, we, um, that, that I could see expanding significantly because there is such a variety and probably we’re going to have to have, um, which we don’t right now, but we’ll probably pretty soon have a pre deployment task that’s open like that to get the stage ready for other applications. As an example, you may have a task that someone is required to go create a stripe account before they can actually set up their entire, um, you know, solution or other accounts. So you can have predeployment tasks that once your client has checked them all off, then they’re podio solution is fully deployed and ready to go. Examples like that. Um, but those are just ideas right now
Stripe a very good example of that actually. Um, if you’re trying to integrate the stripe gateway so that they can process payments for themselves, then yeah, all those things need to be set up and running so that we know what’s going on. Yeah. Um, that’s a, that’s a really interesting one. So what is the, I mean, I know how hard you guys have been working on very fast. Where are you at right now? What’s, uh, what, what, you know, where, where are we at right now?
So right now we have, um, a, you know, you’re going to be our first alpha customer. We’re going to get your solution captured and deployed and we’re going to get feedback from you as you know, honestly, our first customer.
Speaker 5: 31:03
And, um, we want to then go on to a few other people we have lined up, um, try to, um, get them to test out the, the version and once we get some satisfied, um, people, um, with some deployed solutions, then um, we’ll, we will go into a limited alpha where I’m, it’s basically invitation only, but we’d like people to register their interest and will be unlimited Alpha at least through October, I’m guessing. Um, and then in October we want to go into a Beta release and you know, that that’s far enough in the future that I don’t want to really plan out too much from there, but we’re really aiming to have a, um, a good announcement in October for a broader, um, Gil
Yeah. And so yeah. Basically we’re hoping our big target is the conference that’s going to be coming up. Um, which I don’t, I don’t know if you want to talk about that a little bit later on that the show, but the, uh, the Citrix conference that, that’s coming this fall, we, we’d like to have an open Beta available for everybody that’s there. The Citrix, what are the podio partner one? Uh, both. Both. Yeah. I don’t know. I know that we’ve been kind of like going back and forth on,
yeah. I mean I can tell you cause I’m a, um, at the moment the assumption is it’s going to be combined with the Citrix conference. Um, but I would like, um, you know, Citrix and I mean this with all love and respect to the guys. If they’re listening now, um, they do have a habit of trying to take over. And, and push us to do things that we don’t necessarily want to do as a, to partner community. Um, so I’m going to try and make sure that if we’re going to do it, that we’re going to do it either right next to it.Um, so that we can, because if we try and integrate too much, we’re going to get an hour to do podio, partner things together and the rest of the time we’ll be all focused on other bits that Citrix wants to do around workspace and, and everything else. And I think that’s hugely valuable. But the truth is that the most valuable time, and we’ve run four Podio partner meetups now in Europe and the most valuable time is when all the party of partners get together and showcase to each other and talk to each other. Yeah. That’s where we meet each other, that we have beers, we, she see each other’s systems and talk about it, not come up with ideas together. And that’s really where we want to be. So I’m hoping we can do it right next to Citrix so that we can play with them and, and, and hopefully introduce Podio to a lot more of the citrix community. Because honest to God, I speak to Citrix every probably week now. Um, and, um, the outside of the, the podio community, half of them don’t know what podio is or does.
Yeah, we’ve heard that same thing ourselves, even even from some staff. Um, I totally agree with you. My previous conference life, uh, in, in another industry, we always did a preconference that day before, you know, let’s say it’s Thursday, Friday for the conference, we fly in Tuesday, Wednesday off site, do our thing, and then, and then join a larger conference. Well, just let us know what we can do to help with that and if there’s anything going on, but that’s, that’s what we’re, we’re, uh, targeting, uh, for, or we can take signups and hopefully people can actually begin copying solutions right then and there. That’s, that’s our goal.
Well, I, that should be way that we launched smartphone, one of the European partner meetups, and we launched smart dialer at one of them as well. And so, you know, and we’ve, we’ve, funny enough, got another launch coming up for the next one. Uh, and, uh, and so, so I, I, that’s good because it does put you in the room with a bunch of your, of your likeliest people who are gonna, you know, be able to support you, push it out and um, and use it.
I think that that’s the, obviously the community we would like to have see and respond to it. So, um, but yeah, as soon as, um, we have the more information about the readiness for that, um, broader Beta, then we’ll, we’ll, we’ll definitely let everyone know on podcast and let you know and put it on the, the Podio forum as well.
Excellent. Well, I’m s I’m excited about that and I can’t wait to try it. I think that I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m curious to see how it works. I can’t wait to get my, well I’m not going to get my teeth into it, the technical team can and uh, and uh, you know, but I, I know that we’re desperately keen to use it because we’ve got this one product we’ve already launched and it’s going to be great for, and then we’ve got these other two products down the pipeline. Um, and that’s uh, you know, which is, which is phenomenal because the one thing that holds you back is, uh, you know, is, is, is first and foremost, how do you actually get the product duped, replicated.
We’re working on with someone who, they have a enormous solution that took them four days to replicate and the cost of that is just made it to where they’re, they don’t even think they can sell it anymore until they heard about our solution or our Sassafras option. And so it’s kind of creating a business opportunity for them that wasn’t even there because of the cost of deployment. Cause their solution has become so elaborate.
Yeah. I mean at the moment you get anything that’s as relatively complex then you know, then, then though those, if it’s gonna take six to eight hours, if it’s going to take, you know, 12 to 15 hours just for someone to duplicate it, then you know, you’re putting in, that’s 15, that’s probably 1500 to $2,000 of time right there that you’ve lost. Yeah. And, and, and yeah. Okay fine. You know, if you’re charging them enough licensing, maybe it’s worth it. And if they stick around for a couple of years and maybe it is worth it, but it’s just, it makes it a very difficult thing to scale. You can only onboard one or two people at once and, and it becomes a very difficult, um, you know, thing to scale. I think,
and this doesn’t speak to the management nightmare that ensues. That’s the, that’s the broader point is that satisfy the same to help you manage those environments going forward. And not only does it deploy them, but you know, the, the tooling that you’ll have after the fact to do audits and to, you know, make modifications and things like that. We really aim to improve total management of those environments.
Manage all the changes. There’s a lot of maintenance that comes after the deployment. He got the hit. Especially if it’s a complicated solution, you’ve got the mountain to climb up to get a copy out and then now you have all these different ones. As you grow, grow it becomes more and more burdensome. You know, it’s supposed to get easier at scale, not harder. Um, so we had to kind of flip that on a tip
Well it’s funny you say that. We’re, we’re just upgrading what I boostpm system right now. We’re just upgrading and that, that what, what, what would be just a pushed patch from your point of view is actually probably a two day effort. Yeah, yeah. What you’re talking about. Yeah. Cause it’s like well yeah, okay, you’re only doing x, Y and zed. Yeah, but that’s going to take four hours per frigging instance or six hours per instance. Because you got to manually do this and manually do that. And, and, uh, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re already finding that cumbersome when you’re at the very early stages of boostpm , um, put that down the line to 20 more customers. Yeah. I mean, like, that’s just, it’s not sustainable. It’s not possible. This is, it’s not, that’s all there is to it. And, and, uh, you know, and, and we, you know, we knew that and which is why we were, we were so keen when we first started to talk and tell us about Sassafras. We were so keen to get our teeth into it because it’s, it’s, it’s the thing that’s going to allow a lot more of these SaaS based systems. And that’s, I mean that the margins you can make them them and the recurring revenue you can make on those systems is brilliant if you can execute them,
that you bring up a very good point. I think this is something that the larger Podio community should key in on, on this podcast. Um, some value for the listeners here is, is this understanding of how powerful it is to scale a basic solution across the Podio platform and, and what that can do for your business and how you can transform it. I know that there’s a lot of Podio partners out there that are doing one off custom systems, always trying to hunt down new customers. This kind of product model allows you to capture an industry vertical, build some recurring revenue, uh, so that you’re not always deal hunting, uh, and stay to stabilize your business and be able to, to better employee and better bring people on a front from your business side. It can transform your business as a, uh, as a podio developer by looking at it from a product side rather than a one off, each customer gets a custom install side. Now, I know something that I want to quickly touch on is we do Sassafras for us still applies to some of those larger one off custom systems, especially at an enterprise level where you might have, you know, uh, it’s not meant to be a product, but you know, you have like a thousand, 1500 users and 20 workspaces and it’s a large kind of hairy enterprise system.
Yeah, yeah. There’s a different deployment scenarios where we could really provide value. Um, are the first ones were really trying to address her really, you know, obviously close to you Jordan. Um, but when we look at what we’ve built with Sassafras , for us as an entire tool set, our original target was closer to an enterprise scenario with many different agencies spread around the country. And as an example, we have a backend system that aggregates their data into a single SQL database to provide reporting across all those environments. And that’s a solution that would appeal to a lot of enterprise users, but may not make sense to someone in your situation where your clients data is private. Once they’ve, they have, they’re running their application, that’s their data. Um, whereas in the scenario I just mentioned, those are many different installations. Um, it, they’ll almost like a franchise model. So we, we, we aim to support that and um, situation. But I wanted to say goal, what are the situations that it really excites me and that I think Podio speaks to and that Sassafras hopefully enables is that the situation where there are people out there who have, are running a good business and they have some kind of magic sauce. They know, um, you know, how to deliver a service. They know, um, you know, how to get their employees to, you know, do the right thing and they’re able to build processes for their business. But then they run into growth problems because they have difficulty replicating those processes. And these are, I know plumbers and electricians and you know, on and on who are doing a great job in a very small footprint. And I just, that idea that I have about Podio and Sassafras for us is it really enables people in that situation too inexpensively capture that magic in a solution to where they could actually let someone else, you know, use the same kind of system to deliver the same kind of quality service they have in a repeatable, consistent way. And that’s it. A different angle. But I think that it’s, um, it’s true that there are a lot of people out there who have a lot of value. They know about their business, they know, um, you know, how to make themselves successful. But these are, um, technical capabilities that would turn that knowledge into something that could grow into a much larger business. Yeah. I think this is something done
that we’ve done a little bit on the nonprofit side, which was incentivize nonprofits that are successful, are highly known in their field to divulge some of that secret sauce of why there’s works or they’re getting more funding or helping more people than, than their peer industry groups. So finding clients that are best of class, top of class, and translating that into Podio solutions to resell to their friends, right? So they take their magic bottle, it, sell it to their friends. It’s something that we found, especially in the nonprofit sector to be of interest. Uh, Podio allows for us to, as you know, and as our listeners probably are familiar with, allows us to take those business processes and translate them into a solution, uh, with, with some ease. Obviously iteration is always wired, but you know, it, it’s one of the easier ways to get it down quickly and get it in front of people via that rapid application development, which is so important when you’re trying to capture business process and that’d be able to duplicate and replicate that out through an industry. So this is a great, uh, kind of tactic for development firms that are looking to co develop into industries that they may not have expertise in. So, uh, you can find experts in the field and then, and then try to translate what they’ve done into, into software. Obviously you will incentivize them, um, either through revenue share, co development, partnership, uh, there’s many different ways, affiliates, just whatever, whatever the occasion calls for. But there is a ton of ideas out there, especially in niche markets where Podio as a developer and as a product platform can come in and, and own very quickly.
Yeah, you mentioned the franchising. It’s structure. I mean, I worked in franchising for probably 10 years back in a former my life and there’s no question that that is, uh, uh, a that, that your solution is as you just discussed, you know, mentioned that Alex, that you could fit into that sector very well. Um, by being able to provide the, each of the individual units with a very, very strong system, but then also aggregate the data up, um, so that you can have company, you know, the franchise network wide data and, and analysis. Um, so yeah, that, that is an interesting one. I mean, it’s, uh, it’s, the only problem is the franchising world is they’re all cheap bastards. Um, so if you have a single organization, you bring on a new franchise, boom, we just knock out another copy for you. Yeah, no, that’s it.
But there’s, there’s, there’s a world of opportunities there. And what I’m particularly excited about is, you know, we’ve seen in the last sort of three or four years, maybe even more of it probably, but then the, the gradual, um, advanced understanding of Podio as a development platform and we’ve seen it, the development of Podio, the understanding where Podio, where people are, uh, realizing we can build SaaS solutions on it. And, and you know, it’s, it’s, it’s probably made a lot of us come up with ideas, test some things out, come up with the right, the same solutions or come up with the same challenges. And I think Sassafras is shooting right at the heart of one of them. Um, and I’m, I’m hugely excited about that.
That’s great. I want to, I want to throw out just a is, is a segue , a thought that we’ve had and we’ve actually begin to execute. Um, this might be a while thought, maybe not, but we actually have because of the capabilities of Sassafras to deploy things quickly. We’re actually now under the business that disposable workspaces. So it workspaces that you may only use with apps for maybe 10 to 15 minutes or 10 to 15 weeks. But it’s, but the idea is that they, they’re, they’re, they perform a particular function there, opened up the users for a certain amount of time and then those are closed down and remove data may be Agregate to another one. Maybe it’s archive just depending on what it calls for. But the idea that workspaces and apps can be disposable, um, you know, for minutes. So, so the workspace is only around for a minute or maybe for a certain, a number of functions. You know, after they click through a process it disappears. Um,
yeah, because their amount of time, the idea there, Jordan, is that we’ve kicked around for awhile, is that, what’s that for us does, is it takes your application, it takes your workspace, it takes your , entire solution, and it turns it into data. And we can store that data for a long time and then we can go inside all those applications and we can pull out what you think of as your data, all those items. And we can put that in cold storage somewhere and we can go delete everything out of podio. And then your business can close over the summer. And then when you open up in the fall, we bring it all back up for you, restore your data, we restore your application, we wire things back up, we open access back up to you. And so that’s a similar scenario where, or you say you want to share that we’ve, we see this scenario on some of the forums once where someone wants to share an application but they don’t want to share a workspace but they want to share the whole application. Well we could make a full copy of that application in a brand new workspace, give that person access to it and then they do what they want, do what they want when they’re done. Copy the data back, get rid of the workspace. Yeah. So there, there are different ways where you can have things that are more ephemeral or you can spin them up and get rid of them and still preserve all of your logic and structure and uh, and do it over different time periods.
I’ll give you a Jarett, you can, this is a current client with us also on the rei space. I won’t mention their name, but we have a workspace for individual sales agents and as they add agents, we had workspaces as agents leave that way. The agent has
the full set of apps all the time that happens. Customer at there wants to spin it up for the agent and medicines. They leave, get them out. Yeah. Yep.
And we can move the data into other workspaces round Robin. Let’s say a salesperson gets a hundred leads and they leave the company, we can take those hundred leads round robin them out to the other agents, right. Cause we want to continue to work those and then cut his workspace loose. What’s awesome is all the different agents have the same set of apps in their workspaces, but basically they only ever see their data that’s then aggregated up to like a masters.
That’s how we do it. Now, to be fair, that’s how we do it. Now. We just don’t use SAS, right? Like we, we’ve built an engine that’s nothing like that for us, but that literally like, you know, we’ve got a master database and you’ll maybe have an app for sales agents and as you add one, it’ll use the API to create a workspace, create all the apps, we embed everything in the background. The item idea is the field ids, et Cetera, so that we can just push things out. It’s probably like the low key, um, wd 40 version or way of doing it. Um, but it does it over a very small scale, right? Yeah. It’s for this small company whether we do it. Um, so that’s interesting. Well guys, guys, just, I’m, I want to round this up because I don’t like to make these too long.
Um, I mean, I’m hugely excited. I know that the guys are itching and we are itching. They only because we’ve got, we really got to move. Um, but, uh, so I’m, I’m excited. I’m also excited for the products, but I’m, I’m generally excited just because I think this is, this is the next, I see this as a evolution Podio is this poio moving this way. Um, particularly for, you know, for, for people who wanted them to take podio and use it as that a way of building these rapidly building big solutions and offering them to amass a bigger market. This is something which I think is going to be critical. Sassafras really hits that market and hits that helmets. So I’m excited for Ya and I’m really excited and grateful to hear more about it. Do you have any final sort of closing thoughts
at first? I just want to say thank you so much for having us on your podcast. Once again, all the listeners out there, if you have not subscribed to Jordan’s podcast, you needed that subscribe button right away. If you want to know a little bit more about Sassafras. Uh, we are in the process of building the website. It’s out there. It’s still, it’s still under construction, but I go ahead and swing by if you’re interested in being part of the limited Alpha, I just pop your email address on the site. The website is Sassafras, s a s s a Fras .com or we’re going to be working on that here shortly and on the name, but just keep, uh, keep coming by the site. We’ll have more and more updates on that. Again, is under construction at the time of this recording, but there’s an email box in there. If you are interested, put your name and that email box for that. We’ll, we’ll have a little bit more over the next coming weeks also over on our podcast as well. For those that want to continue to follow this story. I don’t, I don’t have anything else, Alex. Go, that’s all for me. Thanks for having us, Jordan. Really appreciate the time and really appreciate what you’re doing for odio.
Fantastic. Jarett, thank you so much, Alex Gil. Um, absolute pleasure to have you guys again and um, I will look forward. I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth and, u h, everybody out there. We will be putting the links in, u m, t o, u h, Sassafras and to BrickBridge itself. So you guys can check in and take a look a t, u h, at the guys and what they do. They’re a phenomenal Podio partner and I recommend you t o go take a look. So thanks very much guys and have a great week. Have a good weekend.
Speaker 1: 53:19
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