Saturday, 12 May 2012 00:57

Podio allows ad hoc team collaboration

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Citrix Podio makes it possible for non-technical users to build their own collaboration workflows, with integration with other cloud-based services including file storage, conferencing and more.

The premise behind Podio is that collaboration should be as simple as using Facebook. Co-founder Jon Froda said the venture started with the goal of allowing people to build their own workflows to reflect the way they run projects, as there was a long tail of projects for which there was no suitable software.

Podio

Recently acquired by Citrix, Podio (Latin for platform, it's pronounced Po-dio not Pod-io) allows users to share their workflows ('apps' in Podio parlance) with others, but in practice most sharing happens within companies rather than among them. When users do adopt shared workflows, they are free to make modifications.

No particular technical skills are needed to build or modify workflows, emphasised Mr Froda. He claimed Podio was the first platform to allow users to create and use workflows on mobile phones.

Podio was designed to put the user at the top of the pyramid, as happens with Facebook and LinkedIn. This recognises the fact that most work involves collaboration within and between teams, as well as across companies and other organisations. So when a user changes job, their Podio account stays the same and all that happens is that they lose access to material that was specific to their previous employment.

"We want to be as good as email" in terms of universally connecting people in different organisations, said Mr Froda. While the target audience was the SME market, CEO Tommy Ahlers pointed out that Podio is used by some big-name companies including Alcatel-Lucent.

Page 2: Integration with cloud apps and services.

 


The relaunch of the service as Citrix Podio included the addition of integration with Citrix ShareFile, Evernote, Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive and SugarSync (in addition to the existing integration with Box, Dropbox and Google Docs) for document storage, along with integration with Citrix GoToMeeting for web conferencing. There's also integration with FreshBooks, Google Apps, Campaign Monitor and Zendesk.

"There will be many, many more [integrations]," said Mr Ahlers, who claimed it was already the most-connected collaboration application.

He demonstrated the use of Podio in conjunction with Citrix Receiver to launch XenApp-hosted applications to edit a file where a compatible native application was not available on the device being used. When the altered file is saved back to a service such as ShareFile, it is immediately available to other participants.

Podio is offered on a freemium basis, and is free for use by teams of up to five people.

Disclosure: the writer travelled to San Francisco as the guest of Citrix.


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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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