With Zenkit software, companies should be able to organize everything at the same time. The founders are planning no less than a better SAP. But is there an investor for that?
Their most valuable collaborator is an alien, whenever Zenkit founders Martin Welker and Peter Oehler present their mascot Asmo on a booth, it magically attracts visitors. The creature in brown robe attached to E.T. recalls, squats then sitting cross-legged on a stand and advertises with a light crystal in his hand for the software of the two founders. “People want to know what we’re doing right now,” says Oehler.
Different, magical, calming. That should be Zenkit for customers. And in a market that has exploded like no other in the software world in the past ten years. For example, Asana, founded by two former Facebook employees, has received more than $ 160 million from investors since its inception in 2008. Also planning projects simplify Trello and Wunderlist. Both providers were bought for hundreds of millions of dollars by major tech companies. In addition, there are several latecomers such as Airtable or Monday who want to win over companies with ever new functions.
No wonder that this software chaos on many employees in companies does not pass without a trace. The demand is increasing. According to a representative Emnid poll, 43 percent of working people in Berlin feel disabled by too many digital tools in the workplace. They often use Wunderlist as a to-do list, Trello for project management, Outlook for managing emails, Dropbox for file sharing, and Slack for sharing with colleagues. The consequences: decreasing concentration, more misunderstandings, longer project phases.
Zenkit: A tool for almost everything
Zenkit founder Martin Welker also sees it this way, “We can not afford to lose a good part of the productivity due to the overhead of software usage”. In order to the digital change of the working world to be compatible with the efficiency of employees, there is only one solution. “We need the courage to reduce, to avoid complexity,” says Welker. This should also be reflected in the name of his software: Zenkit, spoken with a soft S, is made up of Zen, the Buddhist doctrine, and the English word kit, which means construction kit.
Co-founder Peter Oehler, who looks after sales at Zenkit, knows that this is in need of explanation. Another tool to master the tool flood? Can that be the solution? Oehler illustrates the advantages of Zenkit with a trivial example: a garden party, which will take place next weekend.
He navigates across the bright interface in the browser and first creates a list of things that are needed for the garden party. A DJ, barbecue, some crates of beer, two fairy lights. Each task assigns to Oehler a due date and a responsible person. “Usually an app like Wunderlist would do the trick. But what’s missing is an accurate overview of the project’s progress, “explains the 43-year-old. With one click, he converts the to-do list into a kanban board, a feature that many companies previously knew, especially from Trello. This tool is no longer necessary. Also with Zenkit every task in the project “garden party” can be assigned to a specific phase. For example, “in progress” or “done”. But that’s not all, says Oehler. The presentation of projects can be further varied. “Even Excel spreadsheets, a calendar view and even mind maps for first sketches are possible.”
The fact that Zenkit combines the functions of many providers in a single software, it wants to stand out from the competition and thus reduce the jumble of tools in the office life of many companies. Welker and Oehler attach great importance to keeping the views slim and airy and inviting them to edit. That’s why many features of Zenkit only pop up when users navigate through a menu item, or hide behind another click.
If you do not want to create your own project data in Zenkit, you can import it from external applications such as Trello or Wunderlist via a programming interface. The vision of the two founders: A software that allows a company’s employees to organize everything simultaneously.