Citrix Developer Solutions Podcast

S1E4 - How We Built mPact Pro - Distribution (Part 3)

February 06, 2019 Brick Bridge Consulting Season 1 Episode 4
Citrix Developer Solutions Podcast
S1E4 - How We Built mPact Pro - Distribution (Part 3)
Chapters
Citrix Developer Solutions Podcast
S1E4 - How We Built mPact Pro - Distribution (Part 3)
Feb 06, 2019 Season 1 Episode 4
Brick Bridge Consulting

Season 1 – Episode 4 – How we built mPact Pro: Developing Wide-Scale (Part 3 of 3)

Discussion Outline:

1.    Introduction – Welcome to Part 3 of 3 -- How we proceeded from a Closed and Open Beta into a Commercially Viable Product (CVP) and the implications of distributing/implementing/support a mass-market, Podio-based product.

2.    Topic: What were the steps to from Closed/Open Beta to a CVP? What did we learn from that experience?

3.    1st Discussion: Closed & Open Beta selection and its impact on the CVP

4.    Hot Topic: Customer Acquisition & Pricing/Marketing Strategies

5.    2nd Discussion: Distribution Model (technical-side) and Other Considerations of Wide Scale, Podio-based Solutions

6.    Real Talk: Limitations of Podio App Marketplace and GlobiFlow Auto Copying

7.    Deep Dive: Controlling the Implementation Process -- Deployment, Training and Support Considerations

8.    Next Episode: Interview with Jordan Fleming of Gamechangers: His new podcast and a spotlight on smrtPhone.

9.    Audience Engagement: Solving Podio Gaps – Podio Developers and Power users – Submit your gaps!

10. Outro: SUBSCRIBE and Thank you.

Follow us on social media (@PodcastPodio) to stay up to date on all Podio Podcast news.

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/brickbridge)

Show Notes Transcript

Season 1 – Episode 4 – How we built mPact Pro: Developing Wide-Scale (Part 3 of 3)

Discussion Outline:

1.    Introduction – Welcome to Part 3 of 3 -- How we proceeded from a Closed and Open Beta into a Commercially Viable Product (CVP) and the implications of distributing/implementing/support a mass-market, Podio-based product.

2.    Topic: What were the steps to from Closed/Open Beta to a CVP? What did we learn from that experience?

3.    1st Discussion: Closed & Open Beta selection and its impact on the CVP

4.    Hot Topic: Customer Acquisition & Pricing/Marketing Strategies

5.    2nd Discussion: Distribution Model (technical-side) and Other Considerations of Wide Scale, Podio-based Solutions

6.    Real Talk: Limitations of Podio App Marketplace and GlobiFlow Auto Copying

7.    Deep Dive: Controlling the Implementation Process -- Deployment, Training and Support Considerations

8.    Next Episode: Interview with Jordan Fleming of Gamechangers: His new podcast and a spotlight on smrtPhone.

9.    Audience Engagement: Solving Podio Gaps – Podio Developers and Power users – Submit your gaps!

10. Outro: SUBSCRIBE and Thank you.

Follow us on social media (@PodcastPodio) to stay up to date on all Podio Podcast news.

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/brickbridge)

Gil Roberts:

Podio solutions podcast season one, episode four of part three of our impactpro how we built this series. Today we're going to be talking about how we proceeded from the Beta aspect thats something we covered in the last episode i nto a commercially viable product, which we call a CBP and just some of the c omplications of distributing. Implementing and supporting a a mass market product that i s podio based. U h, with me today is J ared Duker and A lex Shull. As you guys remember, Alex, our lead developer

Alex Shull:

Hello

Gil Roberts:

and Jared Duker our lead designer.

Jared Duker:

Good afternoon.

Gil Roberts:

I'm Gil Roberts and uh , we are the principles of brick bridge consulting on this podcast is about the design and development on the podio, uh , platform at podio.com P. O. D. I. O. We use this podcast to discuss your own experiences with polio as well as other interesting topics from the podio developer community. If you're a podio developer or designer working at an agency, small business or enterprise a nd you should immediately hit that subscribe button if you haven't already. Thank you. If you have, u m, we really appreciate the support. Lastly, before we dive into today's topic, if you have any topic issues, solution, problem or anything e lse t hat you would like us to discuss, please let us know, you can hit us on Facebook, linkedin, Twitter, or send us an email or podio message @ podcastatbrickbridgeconsulting.com. W ith that we'll jump right into today's topic, which is wait, what were the steps for us to go from t he closed open beta inside those kind of areas and then move into commercially viable p roduct and what we have learned from that experience. U h, I'm gonna start with you today, Jared, since you're back with us from last week, k ind o f talk about the closed Beta, what o ur intention was that and how that rolled into the open Beta and specifically some of the selection of the people that use.

Jared Duker:

I think anytime we talk about new software on the market, we have to discuss early access, which has become the predominant model for how everything were just released. It's a very rare that we see full on waterfall style design from conception to release a development cycles being what they are, staff costs be what they are. It's just non-viable . Uh , and the cost of failure is just so high. Now in most industries, early access is relatively easy to achieve because you can throw it out on some sort of digital distribution platform and uh , interested parties will come to you with the understanding that it is an incomplete solution. Uh, and that apart of they're getting access to it before it is fully cooked. Is that their responsibility to provide effective feedback to the developers to uh, bring the product forward and they get to help shape the environment.

Gil Roberts:

So is that what you're saying is basically that , uh , they get to test some products out, get that early access, get, get to use it, and then provide their feedback or imprint on the product going forward.

Jared Duker:

The one downside of using a podio as using podio is a primary development platform though, is you can't put podio on another digital distribution platform is the platform. So , um, we have to kind of curate our own active users from the front end because we had to bring them on and spin up their environments with the tools that were available in the marketplace at that time, which we've discussed before were very, very limited. And our experience in dealing with those clients has taught us a lot about how to get these solutions into people's hands quickly and where some market gaps would be, which has really informed on the work that Alex has been doing for the last year to allow for that easier distribution of early stage solutions and then also patching and bringing them forward as we continue the development process.

Gil Roberts:

Interesting. Uh, let's, hone in on Alex?

Alex Shull:

Well, I , just wanted to say this to, uh going to step off from what Jared was speaking to, the idea that , um, it's a constraint that podio is the distribution channel. It's a strength at the same time, but you, you have to know how to leverage it. And I think that's, that's kind of the point there that it does, it is a constraint that you have to understand. Um, you know, the , um, how to work around it.

Speaker 1:

Something , uh, that I also noticed , uh , before I move on , uh , for early access because podio so nice and slick of a unit, a interface, a lot of people felt that the software was a lot closer to done than it really was. You know, we were very early on but they show up and you've got this beautiful interface, everything quote on quote working from a user's eyes even though it may not be working under the hood. So we kinda had to defeat a little bit of that.

Alex Shull:

I think that speaks to the , um, the value of using podio to get that early for you back because it does provide a complete user experience. You can really focus in on those elements that you are controlling to do , to deliver value in the application.

Gil Roberts:

And I think we talked about that last episode, which was just the rapidity of design of being an over constrained . But here, you know , it's kind of a little bit of a weakness because you have to kind of explain, yes, it looks like it's completely done, but no, it is not at the same time. Uh , can add to confusion and we got some of that. Uh , I want to hone in on their closed Beta side. We had for impact pro. We have five. Uh , we actually flew out and drove out to those agencies and kind of quote on quote trained on but more so just kind of showed them the pieces, software and got their reactions. Tell me a little bit about your experience with that. On the side. On our side, I know it was both of us that

Jared Duker:

Well the training's always went very well. People were very attentive. Um, but in later experiences it was clear that they are, what they perceived as their knowledge level was not always reality. And as soon as we left the doors, the questions would just start flooding in. And I think that's another important consideration is that when you're designing software on Podio, there's lots of FAQs and help topics to help you deal with the platform but not necessarily the functionality built into it. And that also caused a fair bit of confusion with early users.

Gil Roberts:

We kind of leaned on that a little bit , uh, too much. Uh, and also did not think enough far ahead, to kind of have some of that maybe even built into the platform. We have several products now that we build an FAQ and member sections in so people can ask questions and we can kind of curate that.

Jared Duker:

As well as just embedding how to videos right into the help topics.

Gil Roberts:

Yeah. That's something that we learned using markdown , uh , in certain places. Actually in the podio interface, you can embed videos so people can click and look through that. I know there's some solutions out there that do it or some, some of them do it in the tiles. I think globiflow uses the tiles to do that, but we figured out to , to actually embed video right there, then click on it. It'll take them to a private youtube channel. Show them, you know , actually show them how to work around the screen and it's kind of contextualized. It's right there. Now when we went from closed Beta, I think one of the big things that we saw as a gap was feedback, right? Like I, and this was kind of our first one, it was our first one for a larger scale solution. So , um, tell me a little bit about some of the issues that we had with the feedback.

Jared Duker:

Um, I think user buy in is what you really want to be tried to find and then where we really went wrong. And , uh , the early stages of the Beta , uh , we didn't create an or in gender a sufficient level of user buyin for our early Beta customers. Um , they wanted the software product full stop and didn't really internalize the notion that their feedback was what was going to make that possible. So nowadays when we do Beta asks, we are explicitly clear , um, and often provide templated forms or feedback channels that allow them to talk directly with the product owner or maybe even the developers. Uh , to really encourage that feedback because that's where the real value is being created by the Beta users. As we moved into an open Beta , uh , we certainly in internalized a lot of the lessons we moved from the closed Beta , uh , but we still struggled to get the level of feedback that would have been nice and not just , uh , this is bad, but actually tried to , to explain to us why it was bad or why our conceptions of their needs may not have been exactly spot on.

Gil Roberts:

Yeah . It's like how we missed, right?

Alex Shull:

Yeah. I think that's really key to the success of this approach is that have the right users because the right users will make all the difference in that initial or early feedback. And if you can find those users you need, you need to hang onto them.

Jared Duker:

Absolutely.

Gil Roberts:

And we had, we had support with a industry expert kind of going from Alpha into Beta. And even even with that huge knowledge base, which was extremely important and really crafted the direction, we still got a mountain of feedback. Good and bad.

Alex Shull:

We did. But I think the , the difference that we are experiencing compared to how the strategy often succeeds and other software efforts is the self selection aspect because these were people who were selected for us as users and it didn't turn out to be the best when users are self selecting to be, those are users, they're the most engaged users typically. And so I think we learned a lesson there about how to make sure that we're getting the right users on board or it's a challenge. It's important

Jared Duker:

and that speaks perfectly to where we're trying to take podio as a platform is a , that issue I mentioned earlier where it is the , the platform is the distribution system to allow for easy distribution and allowing users to self select a mechanism somewhat like the APP store that allows people to quickly and easily sample our products without an incredibly deep buyin or extensive onsite training or anything like that to begin providing that feedback because they do want it not because of a, a deal between two, uh two high playing partners .

Alex Shull:

You know , that's a really good point. And we've , we've had a lot of discussions about the kind of features that we would love to implement and Sassafras and enable those kinds of interactions with software products. And I just a little bit of , um, anticipation of things I think we're going to talk about today. One of the challenges that goes into that is that it's difficult to provision users, licensed users onto podio , um, in , in as and through a third party interaction. So they have to go establish those accounts. And that's enough of , you know, additional clicks of the mouse so to speak, to make it a little harder to get those users on the first page. But those are challenges that we're , you know , we're trying to,

Gil Roberts:

We're going to talk about that next it's good foreshadowing the uh , I do want to make a point right there. We're just talking about usage and coming into Beta customers for feedback, which is just a few extra mouse clicks can be enough to turn somebody off. We stress that we've stressed this a lot in the last episode. I think they have. So before that that the user experience is really important. It's one of the strengths and podio platform is a great user experience out of the box. But in the design episode we talked about, you know, really focusing on that and now when we talk about distribution, it's those extra mouse clicks. They may prevent somebody putting a credit card in there and buying your software, right?

Jared Duker:

It's not just extra mouse clicks. It's also a credibility issue. Anytime your web browser redirects you to a title that is not what you originated on, you lose some small bit of either credibility or just a comfort level in your product.

Alex Shull:

Yeah, modern web applications, people are used to that single page APP experience. The spa is where the page doesn't even refresh. You've clicked a few times, you put your email address and you have an account that's already active. And so that very clean and compact experiences of what a lot of users are expecting.

Jared Duker:

So we had to really battle that initially where , um, our first customers were expecting to purchase a product called impact pro, but they were creating an account on podio.com and that was, it turned out to be a nonissue in all cases. But in the initial conversations that we had, it was always appointed for you

Gil Roberts:

Yeah we had to explain the, I remember having to explain the difference why , you know, why you're going to podio.com to use impact pro.

Alex Shull:

Yeah, it's an education challenge more than than it is a platform challenge.

Speaker 1:

And we explained to people like this is the same thing that happens over at salesforce and they kind of accidentally got that , but I didn't want to try and correlate or translate that over even though the exact same thing is happening

Jared Duker:

Or the analogy that Microsoft office runs on windows. Right . A lot of people like clued in on that with very quickly too

Gil Roberts:

That's a good point as a way to explain it.

Alex Shull:

Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. But I wanted to jump back just to that little sales floors reference there as a point of strength for podio. Podio is , um, has fewer assumptions out of the box such that you do have to build your application in podio. Salesforce has some of those assumptions built in for you, which are limited and directs people. But that's a, that's a tangent maybe especially for a future podcast.

Gil Roberts:

Oh yeah, we're definitely gonna touch on, I will probably have a podio versus the world salesperson versus dynamics versus others where we're definitely going to have that one coming up here shortly. Uh, so I think, I think we talked about that. I think the feedback that we got from our agency users, our end users, not our client , but our end users , uh , really made a large impact overall even with its challenges , uh , into the commercially viable product. Um , I want to talk a little bit about , uh, when we go to commercially viable product, kind of what the customer acquisition strategy that our client, someone employed and what, what we solve with other products as well as some of the pricing and market strategies. And Jared, you put your hand up there. You want to,

Jared Duker:

Well, I just think we really have to mention one other issue that is critical to doing a full Beta development process on podio and that is patching.

Gil Roberts:

Yes. Yeah. We're going to , um , yeah, they'd say what's going on . We talked a little bit about that on the last episode, but let's talk about that. Um, let's talk about that right now about what that meant. Coming from Beta into the CVP with.

Jared Duker:

What it meant was a lot of headaches for human beings. Sure. Keeping track of various podio, front end conditions and versions, matching it against backend systems development. That was actually running all of the automations in the calculations and a constant headache honestly of making sure that all of our early users, which were in a lot of ways, our most enthusiastic adopters actually were receiving all the benefits of their feedback in a timely way.

Alex Shull:

Yeah, if you, if you step back and just your a podio user, you know, how podio works and how we're on site with a, an agency and they make some observations. There are great ideas. You go into Podio, you start making changes and you say, I can do that. I can make that happen. I could change this name. I can know exactly. And they see those changes, they get that benefit and that's the interaction you want. But as soon as you have that environment updated, how do you push those changes out to your other nine customers? The other nine Beta clients. And so that's the challenge. Yeah, exactly. You have to scale up and that's, that's an interaction. That's the kind of um , agile development process you don't want to miss out on. That's the beauty of podio. And so that's the problem we had to solve .

Gil Roberts:

Let's talk about customer acquisition as we , as we transition into our second discussion, which will be about distribution model on a technical side, I, Alex was referencing that previously. Let's talk about customer acquisition for a podio at based product and some pricing and marketing strategies. We have a few examples from impact pro because of nondisclosure. We can't get too deep into it, but we can show some surface examples. Uh , but just some of our general thoughts around that. And I can kick us off on , on customer acquisition. Uh, especially with a B to B product like impact pro. A lot of that was through our industry experts and their relationship. Uh, uh, with the , with the current industry, obviously they're an expert in their industry, thus the name. Uh , so they do have some connections. That's where we got our early adopters and then that's kind of how we, we rode that wave into the first buyers , so to speak of the CVP. So just kinda let's open that up a little bit, why industry experts are kind of important to , uh , especially development houses like ourselves and don't work in some of these industries.

Jared Duker:

Well, I think you have to unpack that question a little bit and there's two primary problems that you have to solve. One is how do you acquire customers? And two , how do you monetize those customers? Because there's not any out of the box mechanism on Podio for a developer who's wanting to bring a product and use the podio as a platform to collect revenue on their intellectual property that they've developed on the platform. So the first question is very much a marketing plan. Most of what you learn in marketing 101 probably applies a strong brand, positive web presence, SEO and good management. All of these things are critical to bringing a professional product to market on the podio platform or off the podium platform. Podio just makes it faster and easier, therefore cheaper for developers to launch new solutions. Um, our use of industry experts has really proved to be a winning formula over the last 18 months or so because of their direct network of experts or , um, potential users, which through just excellent product design become advocates for our product and the web can spread very quickly. These are B, to B products which have large, if ultimately limited customer scopes. We're not looking for a general market offering. We're not trying to reach millions of people. We're trying to reach the right thousand people .

Gil Roberts:

Well, yeah, this isn't a consumer phone APP or anything like it's not a candy crush or something like that. With impact pro and specifically the hudd agency.

Alex Shull:

It's almost like long tail economics. We're looking for, you know, a very stable market even though it's small. When you look at the full national market, you know there's, there's enough there to make it worth your time. But I think it's, I don't know if this is the time to discuss the difference between how you handle Ip and those approaches, but that speaks to the cost that you're going to pass on to your customer if they want to buy the Ip from you. That has to be baked into the cost because the, in some of the situations that we're finding, there's this need for the software and there's not the money up front to fund the full development. But if you get in the right path and you get, you start solving the problems for the market, there's a , um, a set of customers who will definitely make it worthwhile for you to deliver that solution. You just have to find the right partner up front to make sure that you're actually delivering a valuable solution.

Gil Roberts:

And for us what that, what that means. A lot of times it's not just monetary. Right. Right. Going back to the industry expert, it's their knowledge of the industry. We're not certified housing counseling agency. Right? Yeah, absolutely. They're the ones that are experiencing the pain in the market or , or missing out on gains in the market. Um, they're the ones that know everybody, you know , hopefully they have some type of budget, small or large to some type of financial resource. That's three different things that they can bring to the table, the knowledge, the connections, and some money , uh , for what they do. Now, obviously they're not a software development firm like, like us or our listeners. So we bring that side of the equation to the table and there's, there's a boundary on who owns the product and co-ownership is, is 100% possible.

Jared Duker:

They're also not process experts. They know what it is they do, but they've never sat down and codified the details of how they do it, which is essential for breaking those processes in the software .

Gil Roberts:

Just that natural business consulting of creating a product and then watching what they do and, and listening to the industry experts, listening to the sort of early adopters or, or even doing some good old fashioned customer discovery upfront and baking that in as a design. I know, Jared , that's what you do for us primarily. I mean that , that's a task in and on itself at a lot of times our clients cannot pick up for agencies like us that do podio work. This is a great point of revenue , uh, because they not only get the benefit to the product of the consulting, but they also receive their own business process diagrams, right? Which are usually pretty expensive to get in their own rights . So definitely something that our listeners should be thinking about is how can I be that consultative service on the front end to my development.

Jared Duker:

So let's have some real talk just for a second in today. If you want it to sell a product on the podium marketplace, how, how would , how would we go about it? What are the tools that we've discovered?

Gil Roberts:

Yeah, so yeah, that's a , that's a, that's a great question right now. Um, I know procfu just is coming out or just came out with an offering. I know that they're working through that. Um , the, what is it, globi solutions group and Andrea's over there is doing a great job with that. That is globiflow, Podio based. If you're looking for integrations, like what we had to do with HUD or Freddy , um, you know, that's not obviously going to be there. Right? So you might have an Integra matt or Zapier or something that you're trying to mix in there for stuff that's off podio, off Globee flow.

Alex Shull:

Are you talking about a way to charge license fees and?

Gil Roberts:

Not currently. So you're listening out there and maybe

Jared Duker:

So I'm going to just skip to the back of the book on this one. There isn't one. The reality of life is there is not one. They're of terms of service, which Citrix , um, that has seed price. And the question of how can you monetize beyond that, it's largely up to your own business contracts. This was a major hole that we identified and we've developed some work arounds for our solutions, such things as a multiuser accounts. Um,

Alex Shull:

I want us to make , make one little interjection here, which is to talk about the podio marketplace and now it does have value and how it doesn't represent what we're talking about, the differences that in the podio marketplace. You, you primarily have what I would consider orthogonal concerns. So you have your software that accomplish them business purpose and then you have somebody like I need to do backups or I need to do, you know, monitoring or I need to send out emails. And those are solutions in the marketplace by and large that you can bring in. That means extensions. And that's not purely the case, but that's, that's I think what succeeds there largely. And you can license those separately by requiring someone to enter a license key before they can use your product. That's it . That's entirely feasible we'll we're talking about is deploying a full scale solution where you're licensing the use of software that includes all those orthogonal concerns already baked inside so that that is what the marketplace doesn't really even attempt to address. He doesn't at its face, it's not really attempting.

Gil Roberts:

I give you an example when you're talking about here because this is a great point. So for impact pro uh, agencies, their executive director can go to a website, put their credit card in and just buy what they need. It's kind of that data , get the whole package downstream. It's already all that's already bundled.

Alex Shull:

They then receive an email that shows them how to get into their software.

Jared Duker:

And the truth is they don't really have much relationship with Citrix at all. That relationship has already been established between Citrix and impact pro and all of the licensing agreements and all of that is bundled as a part of the impact pro startup process. They write their checks directly to impact pro and then the business relationship exists between impact pro and Citrix to cover the cost of the platform.

Alex Shull:

And , and today at least this, this could change very quickly, but today I believe that requires us to manage that all in a single organization.

Gil Roberts:

Yes.

Alex Shull:

Okay. So this is not a case where you're deploying the workspaces into another organization. You can't manage your costs that way, but if you deploy within your organization, you have your users, you cover all the existing concurrent users fees and all that

Gil Roberts:

To illustrate this for our listeners so you can visualize it when you're inside your podio system. There's wine organization from us and our clients level, we have admin access to that. So there's just hundreds of workspaces listed out underneath this organization, which can be a little bit of an administrative nightmare if you don't have a tool set to manage a lot of that. But it's all under that one organization. And there's some terms of service with Citrix and if there's any development shops out there considering doing widescale would make sure you read that. Uh, we were early, we contacted Citrix early on and they've been very fair , uh , with , uh , how to structure these kind of quote on quote product accounts. Um, so definitely they want to play along and , uh, it's a good idea to just mind your terms of service , uh , with that. Um,

Jared Duker:

should also say that a , I keep waiting for us to begin to test the architecture limits of the podium platform under one organization and it is held up remarkably well, uh , to very large scale solutions . So I was honestly very impressed by the , the system level architecture that they've put together on that. So,

Gil Roberts:

Yeah. And so to your point, that, and what that allows is for all the pricing and the business agreements to , to be held under one organization , uh , Citrix or agree to that because it's much easier for them. I mean, what's faces rather than having to chase down all these different use of licenses and a bunch of different organizations versus everybody that has a log in to this organization just pays internal, external users just to see, to see. And there's a prize for that . So , um, that that kind of allows a , an easy way to also distribute the software as well. You'll have to try to chase down all these different organizations and interject workspaces and apps into them . You can just kind of spin out an instance, a deploy all of what's needed and then invite the user into that organization. Uh , I also want to make a note for our or development agencies here once again is that they'll have their own organization when they come on. So there's some other custom software that you can, you can do under, under your client, your end organization that's maybe separate from,

Alex Shull:

yeah, that's, that's where the of several podcasts as a topic, because the, the, the benefits of the podio flexibility never go away. You have customers who have a very powerful tool set they're using for our primary application and when they need customizations you can do it and you can do it in a way that does not have any impacts on the core software that all of your customers are using. You have to have the right approach. You have to know how to keep those things separate. But podio supports this.

Jared Duker:

And as secondary consideration for management , uh , training employees. They're already logged into the interface, they're already familiar with and basic functionalities. The green create new button is going to be in the same place. So for anyone who's ever tried to manage a large staff doing software conversions, it's a massive boon to be able to build new functionality into an established process.

Gil Roberts:

Yeah. They already know how to use it and the podio interface , looks the, you know, basically the same everywhere you go. Um, so when , when you , when you say you buy impact pro, now you can also buy an HR module or a little accounting module or you know, time off requests type thing and people you can end , you can inject them into those environments and they kind of already basically know how, how it's gonna work, right. Without having the training costs and on , again, more, more, more powerful a software we had in there, the better because everybody has a , has a seed to the platform. Right. And I think that's one of, one of the big advantages of Podio , uh , quickly on, on pricing and marketing strategies obviously. Um , outside of the Citrix side of things, we're going to talk about how, how the client like impact pro or some of these other products through how or agencies that are doing this themselves. Maybe they have their own internal product, kind of a few different ways that people do pricing that we've seen.

Jared Duker:

Well, the obvious one is seed cost plus a premium, your own, your own terms of service costs plus a certain amount for additional usage and uh , access. Uh, there's a lot of other potential costs though. You can capture set up fees , um , training fees, training material fees , uh , onsite consulting, which is often necessary.

Gil Roberts:

Usually. I mean , just general monthly user support. We talked about those FAQ, user forms. Just having to have an agent active in those and answering people's questions. Uh , consumption.

Alex Shull:

Yeah, I was going to say the , the, the, this product especially in a lot of others that were involved in require the , um , some functionality that it doesn't belong and came in podio. And so you need to tie in anytime you're going to you know , call a service through and talking about it or whatever. In this case has to be, it happens to be custom services as well. That's a consumption that we have to um, you know, yes it has recovered factor is cost and that was with a little market .

Gil Roberts:

We've seen monthly fees, we've seen see pride per seed per month. We've seen uh , Jared you mentioned that the setup fee, so like an initial fee. We also see in a yearly on top of some of the other ones as well. I think another one which we just alluded to is also customizations. I think there's a huge potential for that. You give them the core and then you get to sell them all the kind of the micro transactions you see over in video game development where there's like all the extra stuff, all that, all the fries and soft drinks to the burger that you can purchase. There's a lot of different ways to monetize. Go ahead.

Alex Shull:

No, I was going to just agree with you completely that there's actually the two levels, not only is your, if you for instance, have a customer who is purchasing the Ip in an ongoing basis, they still want to pay you for improvements. Then the, the, the model of having the service level agreement with them where you're going to, you know, address their needs and you're going to keep improving the software. That's it . The level of, you have a partner who is strong enough to really sell the software themselves, that actual customers who are using this offer , the end user's, their customization is a totally separate piece of revenue where if they want to have those enhancements that aren't going to be deployed for everyone using that, that says, you know, the software, then they can have a custom customization that sits independently.

Jared Duker:

And finally one that we haven't seen used yet, but certainly has real potential is uh per item basis inside of deployed workspace. It would be very, very easy to do a count all , uh , for active items across workspaces and simply charge for usage. Um , it's not , uh , a little bit more unorthodox but certainly has precedences and other platforms.

Gil Roberts:

Yeah, that's a good point. Yeah .

Alex Shull:

That's a really good point .

Gil Roberts:

You want to do like free or nearly free or really reduced price seeds. You k now, like no s etup fee, no fees, maybe really low cost and c oming to see pricing and i t's just based on item based on u sage, how much data t hat you're running in and out of podio.

Alex Shull:

customers, customers who learned about it's about really liked the idea of having a pricing structure where they control what they spend because they have a fluctuating business. You know, they may want to only spend the value that it's giving them and so as they grow their fees grow, but they don't have to make a big investment in front.

Gil Roberts:

A good example that we've explored is like with a seasonal businesses such as grass cutters or people that window washing, snow removal, that kind of stuff that, you know, they don't, they don't want to pay all year because they only, they do all their business and you a six to nine month window and then they just pay as they get, customers are either you load stuff into the system, they get a new customer, they know that they're making money, so they're willing to pay a certain portion of what they're making into a system to handle all that kind of business. So it might be, that's a great example of an alternative way to work with , uh , businesses that may not utilize the system constantly, right? So giving them where they just pay as they go. Is this a good example? Okay. So that was some of the pricing strategies. Let's talk very briefly about the distribution model from a technical side. We already talked about some of the other considerations, and I don't want to end with just kind of diving into controlling the implementation process, but on a distribution model was, let's talk about that. I think one of the interesting points that we kind of circled around is user management and administration, right? Like obviously you're selling this stuff out as users were just coming onto the system. If they don't pay their bill would say, how do you, how do you control it ? Right? How do you bring the hammer down? Hey, we're going to kick everybody out or whatever. So let's talk about that from a technical perspective on administration of the product.

Alex Shull:

Right? So the um, approach that we took for impact pro was to , um, develop , um, leveraged services that were developed on this, on our Sassaafras platform for managing the entire deployment. So we create spaces that have nothing but the administrative account with access. So this organization where the solution is deployed has a dedicated service account, which is responsible for managing those deployments. One of those deployments are done, then you can add users into a specific space and that, but that is triggered from our request process. Another set of photo applications that the um, our customer uses in order to manage your new requests for deployment. So essentially what comes out of that is a list of clients that are mapped into the specific deployments. And if at any point there is a, an issue with , um, licensing or you know, pay payment for the service from individual agencies, it's simply a matter of taking them out of those individual workspaces. Now I'm Sassaafras services support that and that's something that , um, you know, as we , um , bring that into , um, a, you know, a , a mature enough state to let other people try it out. I'd love to get, let other people try out , um, our, our technique and see if it helps anyone else. That's something that , um , will , uh, let you all know about when it's available.

Jared Duker:

I want to draw out one point there, Alex, when you say into a space, what you really mean is a user into a set of workspaces. In this case, nine independent workspaces that make up the impact pro environment?

Alex Shull:

Well, it's actually more complicated than that because one aspect podio, which , um, is again, it's not necessarily a strength or weakness, it's just a constraint in my opinion, is that it does not bake in a role management , um, um , technique that is more granular really than member or Admin. That's what you get at the level of users when you're adding them to a space. And so the idea is that when we structure spaces, being a member in one space, is that mean you remember in another space. And so when you assign members, you're essentially using those access to spaces as a member or an admin to create roles for the users. And so those spaces are really access gates . Do you need to have access to the functionality in the space? No. Well then you're not a member and that effectively becomes the definition of a role . Which spaces do you have membership in ? Which spaces do you have admin rights in ?

Gil Roberts:

And you can standardize that through an administrative process. You can go, okay, I have this many of the x role , this many of y role and then you to have different combinations of whatever they are invited into. Yeah. Cause we found early on that likely not going to have one or two workspace solutions. Right. Almost any kind of major solutions . It's going to have to have multiple work spaces so that we can define these roles better based on business process. So

Alex Shull:

yeah, I think that any of your, you know, more complex processes are going to warrant that.

Gil Roberts:

Okay. Well let's move on to wrap the show up with just talking to a quick deep dive into controlling the implementation process, kind of that post deployment, the deployment of the solution and , and what that will side from a training and support aspects so that some of our partners can uh , or and listeners and their partners can kind of understand what's on the other side of that wall. You've got to build, everybody loves it. People are starting to put their credit cards into whatever payment method that's going on. What's that next thing that they're going to experience? I'll start with you , Jared.

Jared Duker:

Getting good training going right away. Is essential but not just good training, hands on keyboard training. Uh , I've observed this multiple times where , uh , people will sit in a conference room with me and not along ask great questions and , and give insightful feedback and then they'll come into work the next day and it's like I was not, I didn't even spend eight hours with them and they start with how do I turn it on sort of questions. Because even though they were engaged visually, they weren't really internalizing what was going on. So all of our modern training techniques, all i nvolved people performing the actions themselves, u m, as, as i t's being instructed o nto them.

Gil Roberts:

I think it's important to have demo and even sales demo space and going back a little bit, but just , just so that people can get in and put date in there, what we've told them , you know , hey, bring some real cases, are real files you're working on and just sit there and pretend to do the job right? Like just do it over and over again. Especially with adult learning. It's not like we're, we're teaching down in a primary school or kids are sponges and there's not a lot of other things going on in life. These are adults. They have a cell phone, it's going off in the middle of the training there . They have deadlines. They, a lot of other things that they're dealing with. They really need to be able to just know how to do their job right. Essentially,

Alex Shull:

What are the other things that we did that I think proved beneficial for some users was making a recording of a training session and I don't think a recording is ever going to be as good as interactive but interactive as expensive frankly. And so if you really want to scale something out and you're, you're using podio as your primary Ui, podio is pretty easy to use. And so yeah, a lot of users are going to be able to, you know, take to it very quickly. But if you really want to get that coverage, you really want to have the top level experience. You have to have some guidance. Some videos are good tool tips are good. Anything that helps people know what to do when they first get into the application is going to be beneficial.

Jared Duker:

And I think that's a very important consideration from design. And one that we didn't fully take into account , um, a long time ago, which is we spent a lot of time and resources creating very logical process maps inside of Podio, very good field listings, relationship connections, everything flowed really well together. But we didn't put nearly enough time into writing tool tips and writing app instructions. And if I could do one thing did for differently , uh, you know , two years ago when we were first launching our product to our very first users, I would have invested way more time and resources into writing mundane tool tips. Not even fancy one , but just very clear and concise use.

Alex Shull:

I agree with you so much. And I kind of think of it as the idea is that we built a car with a really big powerful engine and it was ready to run, but we didn't put enough emphasis on the starter motor and you just need that little starter motor to get it , get things moving. And once you get things rolling right direction, then you have a powerful tool behind you, but you gotta get a moving in the right direction.

Gil Roberts:

When we talked about, that earlier about having the embedded videos right there that they can click on because they're going to sit through the training live or recorded or otherwise, and then they're going to pick up like 10 to 30% of that and then they're going to sit down. Yeah , it's always on a Friday. Right? So then people come in on Monday and forgotten a whole thing, your families and stuff, then you over the weekend. Right. So they're going to and having that contextually right there. And I have to agree with you Jared . I think that, I think that's something that a lot of people like to skip over because it's not fun. Oh , it's terrible. Right ? I don't want to be honest, like especially as a development agency like us and our listeners, like who wants to sit there and write tool tips? Right? And where are you going to get, where are you going to get the high power developer that's going to take the time out of the day?

Jared Duker:

Who also is the person who understands the process. Yeah . There's the one who ultimately needs to write that material now .

Alex Shull:

That's something that I want Google, artificial intelligence. Yeah.

Gil Roberts:

Solve the problem , right? Google where you at when you need us ? Um , okay. So , uh , when we talk about support, I think we've touched on a couple things . And one of the things that we found probably for podio based solutions because of that Omni search up there in the top, having a forum or an Faq list right inside of podio has been super effective. So I think I to that, that's something that you can have value, you can take away right from this podcast is , is to do that

Jared Duker:

There's a small expansion to that, which isn't any solution that we create a , which is a , a multi account solution. There's always a community's work space at the top that can contain these resources. And also we actively encourage discussion and commentary between various customer agencies. They can't believe the workspace if for privacy concerns, but as a default we start them in this community's work space and it contains those training videos, those FAQs use , um, feedback mechanisms. And beyond that, just the status page where an organization from LA can talk to someone in Boston about the same industry because if they're using our solution, they're probably doing very similar work, but they very well may be doing it in very different ways. So there's a social, a social networking aspect that we create inside of our solutions as well as creating all of our help material right there in an Omni searchable way that anyone has access to.

Alex Shull:

Yeah, yeah. Just keep it on the same platform and for that. There's no reason not to.

Gil Roberts:

And it's easy because we use that same work space in all the different products that we build or I like it . It's kind of the same format. And we found a format that works and we just, we just build a single workspace inside of the product account, invite all of the users. And it's a great way to get them started, like the first workspace that they're invited into as this where we call gathering spaces. Um, and , and they're free to come and go. I think that's a good point. I'm, for some industries it may not work where you, where you want to expose all everybody to everybody else using the software. But especially in the nonprofit sector, a lot of them like that because a lot of nonprofits do not have access to each other , uh , just for transactional reasons and like to learn from each other. Uh, because they need to add again and not a for profit company . They don't have tons of money. So there's not a lot of, you know, like professional development training . So one of the easiest ways to do that , it's just communicate with other people around the country that do what you do and just see what works. So , you know, might work in California, might be working, better in Boston. Right? So , uh , I just don't know. I think it's a huge value to, we actually do not charge for that. And I , we , we charge into the, if we need to create materials inside of that obviously, but just installing that standardized workspace comes with all of our products. So again, I think it's a big value to us and one of the reasons we don't charge directly for that is it saves us a lot of time and money. I mean , let's be honest, a little selfish, right? Because then we don't, you know, that makes it easier to kind of let him introduce themselves.

Jared Duker:

And beyond that, the topic of support and support models is an entire podcast or possibly even a series of podcasts onto itself. I would just close this down day by saying you're going to have to do it , come to terms with that. Right now there is going to be support. It's going to be a large part of your life. But with good tools and good management, it can be a very rewarding part of the, of the process also.

Gil Roberts:

Well I think we're at , we're at our time here gentlemen. We covered a lot just about both sides of Beta, what it looks like going, going forward and then you know, the marriage which is support. Uh , that happens once a product's out on the market. Tune into us next episode we're going to have Jordan Fleming of game changers on, he's also having his podcast launch next week, I believe that's next week too when we recorded this podcast. He is also one of the partner development agencies in the smartphone product or product that we use and then we actually use inside of some our solutions which has been wonderful for voiceover IP system. Great integration and native right into podio is wonderful. It's very easy to set up. So we'll have him on next week to introduce the podcast and talk a little bit about smartphone . Until then get your podio gaps and we want to have one of our podio gap solution episode before the end of the month. We do need a couple of weeks to be able to work on that. So please, please, please contact us on our Facebook page, Twitter, Linkedin, or a podio message or an email to podcast@brickbridgeconsulting.com

Alex Shull:

Anything that you've tried to do and have trouble doing that you wish was possible. You aren't, sure any challenges.

Gil Roberts:

Globiflow, Globiflow work around, Integra matt, API challenges any of those gaps, especially if you've had it in the user form for awhile and nobody's solved it that we want to take a crack at it and then we're also going to make that solution available, possibly have you on a podcast as well and talk about why it was a problem. Thank you again for listening from podio solutions podcast. Uh , and the same with us today. If you have not, please, please, please subscribe. It helps us out more than you can imagine and we will see you next week. Thanks.