In this episode we talk to Øyvind from WAU. As Podio Partners they launched the amazing WAU Portal which is now used by hundreds of organisations around the world.
We talk a bit about the journey they took getting into Podio (and how they decided to migrate over to Madagascar!) and the initial development of WAU Portal.
We look at the ways WAU Portal can make an impact on an organisation and some of the top use-cases for integrating WAU Portal into your Podio setup.
Finally we look at some cool new features they are working on to make WAU Portal even better.
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 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 SamuelFleming. Here to talk all about the power of workflow and automation when your business is Powered by Podio. Today’s guest is Øyvind from WAU. WAU is a very well known Podio partner who launched the amazing WAU portal, allowing you to build a user portal on top of your Podio system to make it easy to bring your customers and your Podio data together. Welcome to the podcast, Øyvind introduce yourself to the audience.
Thanks Jordan. I’m one of the co-founders of WAU. We are Norwegian company, but we have employees all over the world all using Podio. What we’ll talk about later here is about the Portal extension we built for Podio. So that’s a quick about me.
You know, a professional podcaster would’ve actually bothered to learn how to pronounce your name properly. I’ve known you for years now and I’ve probably got it wrong for all these years, so I’ll just right away. I’ll just apologize profusely for this. Um,
it’s Norwegian letters it’s only for Norwegian’s to pronounce right.
Yeah. Well, I, you know, it’s funny, we have a customer in Norway. I’ve been to Oslo to see them, but uh, yeah, so I apologize. That’s my bad. Everybody. So just tell me, I mean, just uh, let’s just start. I always like to start with the sort of, the story of getting to your integration and that always starts with how you got involved with Podio. Everybody’s got a story around how they first got involved with Podio, how they realized the power, what kind of brought that. So what was your journey into this?
Okay. So, uh, back in 2012 we created WAU. And one of the main things were that we should be able to work from anywhere in the world. We didn’t have to sit in the same room, so we did tons of research and we found Podio and we were quite amazed quite quick. Since then Podio has evolved a lot, but we also have evolved a lot in this. And then we started to set up a when WAU first started we were a travel and technology company. And you went to Madagascar for some reason after David Attenborough documentary and fell in love with the place. And so we decided to create a tourism business in Madagascar. So that’s when we first started to develop WAU on Podio, back in 2012.
Wow. So you just up and went to Madagascar. That is basically, that’s pretty amazing actually.
So the plan was actually to go to Columbia. It was just a stop on the way. So yeah.
That’s amazing. So, so, um, you know, you say you were sort of a travel and technology company, so what was the like before you really started going on the portal, which we’ll get to next, what will you, will you developing custom systems? Were you working with different clients on that? We’re like, what, what, what was the, what was the first step before you got to portal?
Oh, so WAUPortal came quite a long time later. We started to create some custom portals for our clients that are already in not using our crm was Podio uh, and uh, yeah, as we started to get more and more developers on board to develop our own system for the travel agency in the tour operator, actually quite fun to work with Podio and create awesome systems. So we created a new company now called WAU.IO in 2014 that focused on Podio and a business automartion systems basically and consultancies.
And when, what was the, what was the driver for portal then? Was that a customer drive where you were doing it for someone and then realized there was an opportunity or were you talking to people and realized there was a need? What was the driver there?
Basically we wanted to use Podio for everything internal. Uh, so they had everything customer related inside the Podio, you know, the sharing communications that are within Podio with uh, creating the portal. We can just share bits and pieces of information that the customers interacting with this information without seeing all the workspaces or the apps and so on. This quite go ahead. So this is probably the strongest thing do or you can put a, but you can install the portal directly on your Podio system that is already in place and it just take bits and pieces of information and show the, your users and I can interact with it and with GlobiFlow and Zapier and everything else as well through, through Podio.
Yeah. We’ve got a couple of customers who, who, um, are on a WAU portal. And the thing that I love about it is, and you’ve hit it on the nail, is, um, uh, I always tell to, to customers as they’re getting involved in Podio, almost almost, almost every customer at some point will ask me about bringing in clients to Podio or vendors, contractors to Podio and my stock responses unless you’re using Podio all the time. The problem of bringing people in occasionally is you become a Podio support system for them because they’ll come in and they’ll be like, oh, how do I do this? I don’t remember how to do this. And it becomes, you know, it’s one of those things where you’re going to spend all your time supporting people. And what I love about the portal is this ability for all of those people who don’t need to understand how Podio works. They can interact with all the things you want to show them. So, you know, whether it’s, uh, you know, invoices or, or support tickets or projects that are projects that they’re, they’ve contract you to do, you can show them everything they need to see. You can give them all the information in a way that makes sense to them instead of getting them into a Podio ecosystem where they’re going, what the hell is all this? And that must be something you see all the time.
So that’s the problem that we are solving with, uh, with the WAU PORTAL is Podio great for us that is working inside it all the time. In a perfect world, everyone would be inside, but that’s not the case. So let’s say it’s a tenant in a building. He’s not using Podio. You can show him the invoices, you can a request for a maintenance and so on. Uh, it can be a warehouse where people, uh, need to put in orders, for example, they don’t take clients, our stores all over the country, for example, they don’t use and we’re supposed to be in Podio. You have to do a lot of training. So, uh, exactly this is what you are solving. You just show the small bits and pieces are not easy to understand website and allow them to edit or view or it’s all permissions do you for each single field.
So, um, now I’ve, I’ve, I’ve known you guys for years now and we’ve talked and we’ve met each other and now, um, you sort of a, you had portal and then you sort of launched portal 2.0. You did a big upgrade. Uh, so at this point like how many people are using it, was the upgrade really a response to the users that, that you’ve got in there and their feedback. Tell me a bit about the transition from the first one to the second version, which is, I believe the version that’s left up live now, right?
Yeah. So, uh, yeah, the first one was basically a test. We had something called website for Podio back in the days where you can create a space in a set of templates and you just to create a website directly to cms. Have people asked about getting it behind a login. And that’s why we created the first version of the portal. A lot of communication and the users are in the community is quite great. So we get a lot of input from so many people in so many Podio Partners out there. So, uh, basically the 2.0 is almost entirely built on feedback from other partners. It’s a lot easier, it’s a lot quicker. Of course we had some, uh, the users in Podio are getting more and more advanced. So when GlobiFlow became a part of the Podio as well, we see that, uh, the systems that are being built in the portal today are quite. So it’s a lot of cool things to see. So that’s also the way further. We are small group of a very, uh, close partners that really isn’t a lot too. And we decided which new features to roll outs and so on. So the plan is that we will, uh, uh, focus entirely on what the user needs and wants. Basically that is to your partners that are first line to us and you do the features that are most wanted.
sure. I, I, it’s funny and I’m just the other day on the first episode of this podcast, I had Andreas, uh, from, you know, GlobiFlow originally, now procfu and globimail only since he sold Globiflow to Citrix. But one of the things he was saying in the conversation was he learned very early on to focus his customers, his products on the Podio partners to allow them the tools to best serve their customers, um, because that would be getting, you know, they, they are the best conduit for his tools. And in the same way, I mean, I know one of partners that you, I’m pretty sure you work closely with is Pete Pete cuff. Pets’s going to be on this podcast as well. Uh, I, you know, anytime I have a question about wild portal, I, I’ll be honest, I go to pete, um, because, uh, I know I know him well and I can just say, tell me what, how you do this? And he showed me some amazing things of what he’s built now in portal. So that having that kind of community must be a really fascinating opportunity to be able to learn your development cycle and plan the features without knowing that you’ve got a customer base who’s desperate for it.
Yeah, exactly. Working with when the partners like, uh, like pete has taken an investment in it himself and he’s been working a lot with it. It comes with a lot of amazing feedback and it helps us build the product better. So working with partners like Pete, just a just awesome. So and it’s also very good for us to be able to recommend partners to our clients that are very highly skilled in Podio, Globiflow and also the portal because then they will get help. So the same with your smrtphone.io system for example, that can also for the portal and we can just call straight from. Yeah. That’s also another thing to get, get as much other extensions to work well with the, with the Portall. So it’s not a competition when Podio users the users that are already inside Podio, they should stay there. This is a supplement for the users that never will never will use for us.
Absolutely. I had this conversation with a client, a brand new client of ours the other day, and I, I’ll be honest, I tend to just push any portal stuff to Pete because I know I’m never gonna learn it enough. I know what my strengths are and I know what my weaknesses are and I know how much time I have to learn everything and I just, it’s like it’s not going to happen. Pete knows he can do it on a dime and in a way that will take me forever to learn at my team. You know, we’re focused on some other developments of products ourselves. We don’t want to have to, you know, um, we, they’ll use your strength where they can. And when you’ve got partners like Pete and some of the other partners who really know portal, well, why wouldn’t you just pass the stuff over to them? Because they, you know, everybody works out. It works out better for everybody with a question. And now when you, you talked with other integrations, obviously I know that smrtphone. We’ve got a couple people who are, who are using smartphone with WAUportal, I’m pretty certain because of sales pipeline stuff and where they didn’t want their sales pipeline people to see everybody’s else’s stuff, um, you know, they, they’re being very protective portal actually became a much easier way than having to globiflow everything around. Other workspaces are right. I mean that was really, and here’s a little kind of case study I can give the, the, the, the, the audience here where you’ve got a sales pipeline management and you’ve got maybe five or six, 10 whatever salespeople, but you don’t want to see them to see each other’s work. You don’t want them to see each other’s calls, etc. Portal can be the single greatest time and money saving device for this because you can set the portal up to allow your, your sales guys to log in via portal and see only their leads, see only their phone calls click to call using smartphone just like they would in Podio, but you don’t have to jury rig going across, you know, this guy’s workspace in this guy’s workspace and this guy’s workspace. And that’s a great examPle of our WAU portal. While portal can take those limitations, Podio has on sharing and on permissions and really make it amazing and with really very little development time. Yeah,
the perfect where you don’t want to have all the sales people seeing all the leads coming in or stealing each other’s needs and so on, so that you can do quite easily in portal, already have your workspace in Podio. You don’t have to duplicate each workspace for each salesperson. I spend a lot of time in front, of course you can do it directly in Podio, but, uh, with the portal, have it ready to roll. so, uh, and it’s also, uh, we have something that’s called item access setting. So a, you can use GlobiFlow to actually populate the fields in the Podio. The portal actually changes how it’s looking as, for example, a salesperson is taking a lead from one status to another. Then the project can actually change how it looks. So we just see the, some new fields or some fields are or so on.
So conditional almost like if the status is this, different fields show up so that they can see the next state in the Sales pipeline,
Exactly so you write it in JSON and our device, I know that using it they use, it’s our field inside the Podio items and they use just GlobiFlow to populate these field according to what status of different, uh, different items. So yeah, uh, quite big client that is using this display with so and then the portal actually looks different from time to time. They only see the fields they need to see just in that moment. So that’s quite cool.
That’s amazing. So how many, how many companies or how many know how many people are using a portal now?
Okay. So basically we charge per users that is actually logging into the portal. So it varies, it’s quite a bit from month to month. It is, it can be a, some events for example, that are using the portal for a among family or maybe two and that instead for the rest of the year. So say on a, we have around 250 active portals I think, and uh, around between 500-1000 unique logins.
and uh, you know, if you were just so, because for people who may be listening who, uh, who’ve never seen it or never used it, um, you know, can you maybe give a, you know, we’ve talked with the sales management bit, but could you maybe give a two or three very little, um, kind of examples of how they may use the portal, why they may want to do it just so that if they’ve never used it, if they never really heard about it, but they know they use Podio. Uh, just to give the, the, the lay person like a direct way of understanding how they could use portal. Just two or three little examples.
Yeah. okay. Okay. So it’s very flexible, just like a, like Podio is So it’s unlimited use cases, Really. One thing that people are it for is a HR, uh, the staff is probably already inside Podio, but you have maybe an app for your employees and some related vacation requests and some other confidential data. So we can not share this experience with all them employees. So then they add the important for HR. So the employees can just log in and see their data, salary slips and so on. That’s a one use case we see quite often. Uh, some other one is for, it’s a lot of real estate people in, in Podio. So uh, it’s also a for tenants investor portals as well to follow process and yeah, how was their properties are going basically. So tenants iss one. And the other one is investors that can log in, see process from project managers that are using for the real estate investors. Uh, basically, um, we also have schools that are in a Portal with exam papers and so on. So yeah, basically you can use it for all kind of users as long as you can do it in Podio, you, we can use it in portal as well. So you install the portal directly on your use Podio, and then you show data related to this is basically how it works as long as you want.
Yeah. So for, for, for anybody listening out there who’s, who’s wondering if portals right, for them, I mean I can definitely attest to the fact that, you know, there is a real challenge sometimes around the two challenges I see that really throw things towards portal, in my opinion, are number one, where you’ve got people who are your customers or uh, you know, or your vendors, you know, people who are, who you’re working with who are not part of your organization, their external and you want them to see things. But the truth is they’re never going to need to be in Podio very much and right away that’s a perfect use case for portal because we know ourselves from lots of experience. Anytime you bring someone into Podio once a month, they forget how to use it. They log in and they’re like, oh my god, what the hell is all this? How do I do this? What do I do? And so that’s a great use case. And the other, as, as we’ve pointed out a couple times, and this is where you’ve got where you’ve got a system built up and the inbuilt permission sets of Podio aren’t going to do a good enough job for you. And and a great example is as pointed out, was HR and the sales pipeline where you’ve got maybe you don’t want to have, say you’ve got 15 salespeople and you don’t really want 15 workspaces and splitting up all this workflow to push things around 15 workspaces. That’s a, that’s a nightmare. You could then just have the one consistent workspace and have your salespeople attack that data, use it through the portal so that they can only see the things that are associated with government. And one of the things, just to be clear to people is I’m. One of the things I’ve learned about portal is you’ve really got to structure your data in a, in a, in Podio properly, because everything in Portal works off of relationship to, for the most part, relationship to the actual contact. That’s correct. Right?
Yeah. So that’s also where the partners come in. We see a lot of new Podio users that maybe just creating apps and they want to build something and portal needs to have a architecture in Podio that is a related between apps and so on, or else we will not know which data to actually show . You can show single apps also on, for example, I want to show that this app to have all my users, but the, the best is to have your architecture and that’s what partners can help a lot with the Podio and then just at the top. So if you’re new to Podio and they want to install Portal, I would say reach out to a Podio Partner from the beginning. So
Absolutely, and you guys have, I know because I’m a member of it, you’ve got a dedicated workspace, uh, for it, which means people can ask questions, you can connect the partners. They’re finally. Just to round off, let me just ask, um, in terms of the pricing structure, you don’t have upfront fees. Instead, what you do is you pay for every user who logs into your portal each month. So if one month I’ve got 100 people logging in, I pay based on 100 people and you’ve got to scaling amount as the more people log in, the less it is per user. Um, and if the next. yeah, the next month I’ve got 10 people log in, I only pay for those 10. That’s correct, right?
Yeah, that’s correct. So it starts on the minimum $6 per user and then the price per user is lowered according to the number of users. So it’s reset on the last day of every month. So how it, how it works. Yeah.
Excellent. And finally, just as we go, um, is there any, like what’s next, I mean, is there any kind of, any teasers you can give us in terms of things you’re working on or things that you’re excited about? Just just, uh, you know, obviously nothing that’s confidential, but anything that you can give us that may whet people’s appetite for, for taking a look deeper into portal.
And so the next big thing or two things really. Now the front is a, it’s a portal is real time, but for the smaller portals, if someone is changing the data and you will not see change before your eyes. So we now want to realtime portals but a few selected a big clients that are using the real time from now, but that’s also something that will come for, uh, for everyone has maybe as a premium feature in a couple of months. Uh, the second thing is chatrooms. Chatrooms inside the portal that is not working together with Podio, but you can at least have chat rooms for your users using using the portal.
Okay. So, so an ability to have real time communication with your customers or your contacts via the portal. Not, not one that is because that, my memory was you could embed, um, sort of chat in portal which is pushing things into an item a in there. But this is more like a real time chat that you may feel like get from a website.
Yeah, exactly. It basically works exactly like it looks like it and it feels very good. So somebody can also have the desktop something on your phone as well as in the Portal
yeah. Excellent attitude. And, and you, you mentioned your phone just in closing, is just portal scale down to phones or uh, is it only for desktop?
Yeah. So it’s a, it’s a web interface that is responsive so it works on all devices. A chrome if our number one.
Excellent. Excellent. Well listen, thank you so much for your time this morning. I can personally attest to, I’m just what an amazing product you guys have developed. I know. Um, uh, you know, I know Pete well and I know he absolutely adores it. I also know the challenges that you guys are solving, where you know, the, the challenges of having this kind of data and sharing it with people outside of Podio. It’s always been a difficulty, but WAU portal really is an amazing tool to get that done, so I recommend everyone to do. We’ll take a look at it. I will put the link to WAUportal in this podcast. I’m so that you can have an easy click through to it. And finally, I just want to thank you so much for spending some time with me today and I encourage you to go take a look. So, uh, have a great week and thanks so much Øyvind
Thank you for having me.
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