Today’s Guest

Willem Dewulf
CEO, Momentum Tools

Episode Summary

In today’s episode we talk with Willem Dewulf, CEO of Momentum Tools.

Momentum tools have built a solid reputation as a leader in the Podio add-on marketplace withe their three main tools:

  • Backup & Restore – a comprehensive and easy to use backup tool for your Podio Organisation

  • Power Tools – a suite of helpful tools to make working in Podio easier

  • Forms – a supercharged way of building powerful forms for Podio

Momentum is offering a discount on their tools for listeners of this podcast, so please check them out at https://momentumtools.io/

Listen Now

Audio Transcription

[00:00] 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 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.

[00:44] 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 guest is Willem, CEO of Momentum Tools. They’re good friends of ours with three Podio extensions which they are continuing to focus on, and they’re also looking for an experience go lang developer. So if you’re out there, have a look at them. Willem, welcome to the podcast. Introduce yourself to the audience.

[01:11] Hey, hi Jordan. First of all, thanks for having me on this quite cool podcast. My name is Willem. I run Momentum and we are a Belgian company. And like you mentioned, we have built three powerful and complementary extensions exclusively for the Podio platform.

[01:30] Absolutely. And we all know for, you know, we all know you are from Belgium because every time we have a European partner meetup, you guys bring us great chocolates, uh, which is, which is pretty much there, the reason why we keep having these European partner meet ups. Uh, so, um, I always like to start with, I’m talking to a partner and fellow partner with a little bit about how you first got started with Podio. So before we dive into your actual tools, how did you guys get started?

[01:55] Yeah, so able, I have a background as a it business consultants and PJ, the founder of momentum, he’s the one who discovered Podio actually. And so I think now, three years ago, he contacted me and say, Hey, well I know we’ve seen, so my people at forms, cause I was working with platforms, both corporate and startup companies, but I found something and it’s really dynamite. Um, and so as you know, with Podio, it’s quite simple to explain the concept and I was quite blown away by it for two reasons. Mainly it’s first, it’s super simple to explain the basic concept. I often explain it to my friends, like, and I just literally built a simple IT system in front of the rise in like five minutes. But then because of its API first approach, it also opens a door to like build a whole complex and automated it system, which is what we do as a Podio integrator. So it has such a wide range of, of features and capabilities. It’s also the reason why it competes with all different types of tools. Crm, Trello, Asana. Yeah. You know, the jam. Um, but yeah, it’s still to this day, I don’t think there’s any platform that’s coming close to what you’re doing.

[03:04] Yeah. I, um, I remember when I was talking to Andreas on this podcast, Andreas from GlobiFlow, GlobiMail and procFu. Uh, he described Podio number one as APP Lego, which I thought was actually quite clever because it really is, you can build anything. And the second is he mentioned that API first approach. Now I’m not a technical guy, so, um, I wasn’t really kind of, that’s not in my kind of frame of view, but clearly for you and Andreas and more technical people, there’s, that’s a different approach from other systems you’ve seen. Correct.

[03:37] Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah. It kinda is a kind of, enables you to really do what you want with the system. Um, I think porter is really an amazing product, but at the same time it’s mainly, I see it mainly as a backend tool meant for the administrator of the system. Um, cause you mean you see all of the raw data into Podio? Uh, what we did first as a porter at the integrator was mainly building and providing a front end for the end user. Um, but because of the Podio first API approach you really can like pull in and talk to, to pull you in the way you wanted to.

[04:11] So you mentioned what you did first. So, uh, in terms of what you did first as an extension, I guess for Podio, uh, what drove you to create the, uh, current momentum suite of tools? How did that develop?

[04:25] Yeah, good question. So we first started off actually as a using Podio as a platform specifically built for youth camp organizations. And by doing so, yeah, we quite like quite quickly build it our own internal tools. And, um, then maybe after a few disaster moments, uh, where people have deleted their data, we realized that we need to have a more rock solid backup solution. So that was the idea for the first extension. And then from then on, we, we thought of all the things that we are building for, for a client meeting the youth camp organizations. Then we were looking, um, like, which of these tools can be used by every Podio user? And so that’s why we’ve now built after a few years, three different extensions.

[05:10] So just give us an overview of the three extensions you’ve got right now.

[05:15] Yeah, so the first one was, is called backup and restore for Podio. Um, it’s a backup solution dedicated for the Podio platform. It’s very simple and it backs up your data, all of your Podio data automatically and every day. The second one is called power tools and power tools, bundles four features, soon five features, in one package. And this one we mainly built, uh, like it allows you to do a bulk edit directly into Podio on a very fast and secure way. It also allows you to build reports where you combine data from related apps and it also allows you to filter on data from related apps. So those were three key features that we, our clients. Uh, so do you escape organizations needed. Um, but we see a huge benefit for the, uh, average per user as well. And then the third one is called dynamic forms for Podio, which we’ve launched a six months ago. That’s actually, funnily enough, the first tool we’ve built for clients. Uh, it’s the last one we’ve kind of reshaped and developed for the entire Podio market. Um, and Dynamic Forms basically adds a lot of extra features compared to the standard standards, Podio web forms. And it basically allows you to do anything what you want in terms of web forms and automated workflows using webforms.

[06:37] No, I’ve, uh, I’ve, I’ve got a very direct experience of two of your three products. Um, we as, as Podio partners, we resell isn’t the right word, but we certainly recommend to our clients and we put people who are becoming part of our support contract network. We’ve pretty much automatically insist, um, one of your backup solutions. Um, and I also started to use dynamic forms more. Um, so I’ve got very kind of key views on, on those two. Then in terms of the backup, um, I mean obviously Podio and Citrix has their own kind of backup bits. Um, but of course we can’t access those. So what was the driver for the backup? The ability to undo or the ability for an insurance policy or both?

[07:30] Kind of both. Really. Um, so when we had to leave the data, we learned that Podio can only provide you a raw cs, freedom of your app data, but they cannot really help you too. Let’s say restore APP templates or GlobiFlow workflows or comments and tasks and files. So their restore capabilities are, are quite limited. But then also secondly, for more general perspective, um, I think the main, the reason people buy our backup is this is just that like, as you know in Podio, it’s quite easy to delete data. But also if you use a cloud platform to manage all of your company information, um, it just makes common sense to have a third party independent backup of all your data. Um, just because it’s so easy to delete and to update or change data. Um, it’s of course critical for them to have kind of a fail safe and turn in case something that happens.

[08:25] And, uh, you know, uh, I always like to go to the positive, not the negative, but you know, I think we all who have been involved with Podio for many years, remember the dark days? Um, uh, a couple, I guess it was now a year and a half ago or a year ago where we’re Podio went down for, yeah, like 36 hours, I think it was 30 hours. The irony actually just, I, I shouldn’t say this boldly, but the irony of that was I was genuinely in a client meeting, like an hour before they’d all kicked off and they were asking about could Podio go down? And of course, in the seven years I’ve been in Podio, I had never seen it go down for more than a minute or so. And so I sort of very confidently said, oh yeah, I mean, you know, this is a big company. Um, you know, the thought of them being down for, you know, 24 hours is almost unheard of. And then an hour later it kicked in and 36 hours later is, I had to eat my words. But, um, you know, that was, I remember you guys specifically when that happened and we haven’t had that situation again. And I know Citrix has worked very hard on, on their stability, but that situation really shined a light onto your solution I think. And, and you learn some things and you change some things to make it better. Can you tell us a bit about what, what, what happened there and how you benefited?

[09:49] Yeah, you’re right. It was definitely, um, very hectic 30 hours and indeed put light on our backup solution quite a bit. Um, so initially, so let’s say the first version of our backup and restore allowed you to have your own Podio backup on your own server. So that meant that for instance if you had a Dropbox account. It was possible for you to have your, all of your app data in your Dropbox accounts. Of course, the way we did it, we were pushing, let’s say only the recently deleted items and a new excel file everyday to your Dropbox. So theoretically you all, you had all of your Podio data. But then also because the backup, when during the downtime of Podio, we quickly realized that it’s not very user friendly for clients to say scramble all of these excel files to built the latest version of their, um, audio apps.

[10:39] So that’s why we came up with the idea of a continuous sync to Google sheets. And so, um, it’s basically you mentioned the use example of App Lego. So just with that, like Podio apps or basically just a bunch of excel sheets, right? Um, so what we do now is just, we sync all of your Podio apps to a separate Google sheets, um, once per day. So that means if Podio were now to go off line for a longer time, you can just go directly to your, uh, personal secure Google drive folder and see all of your app data as structured nicely in Google sheets. We also push all of your comments, all of your tasks, all of your files to the same Google drive folder. So if this were now to happen again, and I hope it doesn’t happen, of course. Um, but that means for people they can just, okay, Podio’s of line that you need just go to the let’s say leads APP and do my work, uh, just directly in Google sheets for a few hours. Um, so it really huge, it was a huge improvement, um, for let’s say the continued continuity of your, of your business and it also for people, it gives them more clearer view. Like it’s so easy for them to now access their own Podio backup or the backup data. Like they can just check it for themselves is the, are the latest items they are not. So it makes it really transparent and I think efficient a backup system.

[11:57] Absolutely. Um, and I’ve, you know, as I said at the start, I’ve used, you know, I use it myself for my companies and I install it from my, my, a lot of my clients is they as depending on what support contract they’re in. So I definitely can see the improvements you’ve made since when you first started and, and how that can really make a much more powerful backup solution that is usable and, and that you’re able to really use not only as an insurance policy to, oh my God, I just deleted something, which we hope it doesn’t happen that often, but also in, I like the, you know, with your new Google sheets integration, that ability to be like, you know, what, if the worst happens, we’ve got a fail safe. And I think that’s really, that’s really clever. And now the second integration that I really wanted to focus on today, uh, was dynamic forms is that if that’s okay. Um, mainly because it’s the two I know best. Um, uh, you know, and I’ve started to integrate dynamic forms. I’ve think I’ve got three more clients who signed up in the last week. Um, and, uh, you know, talk me through, uh, you know, what you focused on when developing this. was it from your experience just with your customers or was it from identifying a need and the partner in market space or the clients work space? How did you get to the dynamic forms?

[13:19] Um, a bit of both though. Initially it was a neat to have the need to do more with web forms than what’s possible with the, uh, Podio, uh, web forms. But then as we already have two extensions, so the backup and the power tools, we got more and more in contact with, with Podio partners. And it became more and more clear first how important forms are for the average Podio users. Like, as you said a few times you went and we saw each other in Copenhagen. When I talked to other Podio partners, they were like, yeah, we have to do crazy stuff to make the web forms work or we have to rebuild them ourselves or we have to build new crazy stuff with a combination of let’s say JotForm Zapier and globiflow, which is a pain to maintain. Um, so that was really, let’s say, the, the key driver to, to build it for the, uh, for everybody. Um, so really maybe the input of other Podio partners I’d say.

[14:11] And um, you know, I remember when you launched dynamic forms in our last year of Peon, um, meet up or maybe not launched it, but you certainly showcased it. Um, and I was blown away and I immediately signed up for an account, um, and began using it. Uh, when you look at the kind of, when you hear from people and when you look at the use cases, what are people using? What are the things that are hurt that are bad about the podio web forms or bad is not the right word, are not flexible enough. And, and what do you see in the biggest kind of key parts of the, of the dynamic forms that are being used?

[14:47] Yeah, it’s a good question. I think in general, as you know, we’ve added a lot of features. So I think we solved the main issue that if both people want to use Podio web forums, there’s something they cannot do well then it’s usually possible with our web forms. Um, but before we started to build the extension, I did lots and lots of interviews with all types of Podio users, from heavy power users to let’s say the more light users. And then I think the number one feature that’s missing today in Podio APP forms is the conditional logic. Um, so that allows you to, um, show or hide certain fields based on a certain, a parameter. So he can, for instance, ask the first question, Hey, do you have any dietary restrictions? Yes or no? And if they select only when they select yes and then an extra question appears or if they select no, then they can submit the form. So, which kind is, it’s a simple concept, but it really allows you to make two hugely improve the user experience for people filling in the form. Cause it can also, let’s say show them the different fields one by one as they go through the form. Um, which makes it a much nicer experience to fill in the form. Um, Yup,

[15:54] absolutely. And, uh, what about in terms of kind of, you know, if I think about people using forms, uh, in the everyday business, um, you know, you’ve either got just straight submissions, but sometimes you have it where people are having to submit something a much larger and they want to go back and edit the data before they’re finished. Is that possible with dynamic forms?

[16:16] That’s definitely possible. And it’s indeed is one of the, I would say the second most use case mainly used by the more, let’s say tech savvy users, but indeed so you can edit existing, Podio items. Um, and so what many people do is that you just, they ask for your basic details, you submit an imported item is created in the backend and then leveraging the power of GlobiFlow can send them a direct email where they get the link to update their, uh, previous records. So it really allows you to get a lot of data from your end users, but you can phase it out in different rep. Um, it’s also possible to build multiple web forms for the same Podio APP, which are not possible with just a normal Podio webforms. Um, and if you really push that like concept of update existing items, you can really bring it really far. And I’ve seen some amazing setups, uh, maybe other Podio partners. You can basically build your own it system or your own dashboard or provides a personal like account page, uh, to end user fee or the dynamic forms.

[17:17] Sure. I could see that actually cause you can, um, you know, you can get so much information, uh, and you can contextually display it. You’ve also got something I was impressed with, you know, the, just those abilities to create multiple pages and to create, um, you know, and, and to make sure that you have control over things like columns, etc. Which is something that again, the, the native web forms in Podio and which I think by the way, just as a preface here, if you’ve never used web forms and you’re a Podio user, um, web forms are an amazing tool because they allow you to guide submission of data in a very direct way. What momentum’s dynamic forms does I think is just put that on steroids and, and really, uh, uh, give you huge amounts of capability and flexibility with the way you gather that data. Uh, it’s very, very, very impressive. So how many people right now, I mean you guys are or are well known Podio partners, um, roughly how many people are using the, the, the integrations and add ons right now.

[18:27] So for dynamic forms, we, we’ve launched a couple of months ago, like a small house year ago and we were excited that a few weeks ago we crossed the mark of 500 trial users. So it’s growing slowly but steadily. And I’ve also pulled some, some, um, information just for this podcast I’ve checked and we have now more than thousand active web forms. And I was surprised to see that the average of submissions is 35. So they are really being, users are really building a lot of web forms and they are really being used quite intensively. Um, Yup.

[19:00] Fantastic. And, and, and what about in terms of a backup? I mean, uh, roughly like do you have a rough idea of how many people are using it?

[19:10] Yeah, so we are, the pricing is based on organizations or we are now close to 1,500 organizations being backed up.

[19:18] Wow. That’s very, that’s really, that’s fantastic. Uh, that’s really good. Now, um, what are like you guys, um, I, I confess, I don’t know as much about the power tools. I love backup. I love dynamic forms. Uh, what sort of a, what do you, what are you thinking about, uh, what, what developments can we be expecting as a, as dedicated Podio users?

[19:42] Um, yeah, we’re still like, uh, improving web forms. Uh, recently we’ve launched the, the more advanced feature of Stripe integrations. So you can now use just a, our rep forms to push payments through your Podio accounts. Um, will soon launch a more advanced way to use nested forms as well in the web forms. Um, and then there are few, like let’s say minor feature requests that we will still develop in the next few months. Um, but maybe more excitingly is the new feature for the power tools, uh, which will basically be a power sync. It’s called power sync and it will allow you to sync data to Google sheets. Um, and it’s a bit similar to what we’ve done for the backup thing, but by, by building the second version of our backup tool. So where we think of the Podio data that we will sheets, we got a lot of requests of users that wanted to use that data to do reporting on those Google sheets. Everybody’s used to work with Google sheets or excel. Um, and so it allows them to really easily make their own tables directly based on the data in Podio. Um, however, the backup and restore is mainly used or built to really just to backup all of your data, whereas the power sync will really be built, um, to allow you to do reporting in directly in Google sheets. Um, and that will be pretty cool cause we, we can also then leverage the power of Google data studio. Um, you might not be familiar with it, but it’s basically an insane tool to build your own life dashboards. Um, so which will be a lot of fun to play with. So that’s I think a key feature that’s coming up. It’s then being tested by the team right now, but I’m hopeful that it will be live in the next few weeks.

[21:30] Excellent. And um, you know, when you think about the main people who, uh, who use your tools right now, I mean our partners, like are you getting a lot of people via partners or is it mostly end users directly? What, what are you seeing in terms of how difficult it is to really run those tools or to to do, do you need to have a partner involved?

[21:56] No, it’s, it’s so every user can, can really go ahead and try dynamic forms. It’s really simply just go, you go to our landing page, uh, you start your free trial and you connect your Podio accounts. And then at the next step you just choose the workspace and approach. You want to build a web form. And from then on it should be quite similar to the standard Podio up forms. We’ve written quite an extensive user guides as well for dynamic forms, so we can find a lot of stuff there. We have also quite a, an active user community and do, which we will invite you in as you start a free trial. Um, so it’s, it’s really straightforward. The basics are really simple. Um, and I think in general it’s, it’s quite similar to Podio. Like it’s the basic concept is really easy. Um, but we also enable you to do crazy stuff because in dynamic forms you can also do complex stuff with javascripts or, um, another language show you can really like for the tech savvy people, it really opens the door to do whatever they want with it. Um,

[22:57] excellent. And, uh, finally, just, uh, uh, obviously I’m going to be posting a link in the podcast to, to directly to you guys. Um, do you guys, uh, across your suite are their trial periods so people can take a look at for if they’re not very familiar, they can try it out. What, how does that work across the suite?

[23:17] Yeah, so for backup, when we store, we have a two week trial. Um, so which I think enough to test our backup solution. Then for power tools and dynamic forms, they have a freemium plan, which gives the users unlimited time to just fool around the playgrounds with the key features and then sign up when they are satisfied. Um, Yup. So I have a freemium plan for power tools and dynamic forms and then each of them has like a plus and a Turbo plan.

[23:44] Excellent. Excellent. Well, listen absolutely pleasure to, uh, to be able to dive a bit into these tools. If you are a, you know, if you’re relatively new to Podio, uh, please check the link out in this podcast because they are two and three of the best tools out there. They provide you an enormous amount of capability. Um, Willem, thank, I appreciate you coming on and uh, you know, do you have anything final to say to the people out there?

[24:13] Yeah. First of all, yeah, you’re most welcome. Jordan it was a real pleasure to be here. I just wanted to mention that we offer a 20% discount for anyone who signs up in the next few weeks with mention of this podcast. So if you’re hearing this, just give us a shout at Willem@momentumtools.io . Say that you heard about this amazing discounts and then I will sort this for you. And like Jordan said, just go ahead and try it. It’s really easy. All of our tools should be really easy. And so, uh, yeah, I would appreciate if you try all of them weeks.

[24:46] Absolutely. I definitely, I’ll put a link, check them all out there. There’s an easy way of getting access to them without any sort of payment, uh, necessary to try them out and you will not be disappointed. Um, they are fantastic tools. You’ve got a discount code you can use as well. You can get in touch with Willem directed get that. I’ll be posting into the podcast. Thank you so much. Willem and uh, have a great week.

[25:10] You too, Jordan, thanks so much.

[25:12] You’ve been listening to supercharged! With Jordan Samuel Fleming. Subscribe today on Itunes, Google play or Spotify for your weekly dive into how you can supercharge your business by making it Powered by Podio. Be sure to check out our website: www.wearegamechangers.com where you can learn more and arranger 30 minute call with Jordan to understand how Podio can supercharge you.