Citrix Buys Podio For Go-To Social Collaboration

Social startup Podio brings its tools for organizing projects, and work in general, to GoToMeeting company.
That makes Podio "not only a place you can talk about your work, but you can actually get your work done there," Ahlers said. "We made a platform to enable [workers] to go in and build their own apps to manage and organize any kind of work using that simple drag-and-drop tool," he said. Although it's possible to use Podio for formal project management, as for a software development process, it's also been applied to processes such as mergers and acquisitions planning and public relations campaigns, he said.

Larry Hawes, founder of the software industry advisory firm Dow Brook Advisory Services, speculated in a post on Google+ that the addition of Podio has the potential to "transform Citrix Online from a division that offers multiple, stand-alone collaboration tools into a cloud-based platform-as-a-service vendor."

In an interview, Hawes said he sees Podio as a visionary company with strengths that go deeper than an attractive Web user interface. "You get some collaborative apps, some project management apps, right out of the box, but if you like you can quickly customize those to fit your business process, your way of getting work done, either for your team or on an individual level. It's about bringing together different features and functionality in a way that lets you work the way you want to work," he said. Hawes suspects what Citrix is really excited about is the platform that enables that flexibility.

Podio's Ahlers said he sees Podio positioned at the intersection of three other categories of social software, defined as:

-- Social streaming products such as Yammer and Chatter.

-- Social portal products such as Jive Software, which put enterprise applications in a social context.

-- Specialty applications for functions such as project management (Basecamp) or employee recognition (Rypple).

As Ahlers paints the picture, vendors in all three categories are converging on the areas where they overlap. This is precisely where Podio has positioned itself--as a tool that includes social streaming functionality, social productivity applications, and a framework for bringing it all together.

Although at first glance Podio seems to put the greatest emphasis on project and task management, Ahlers said that's only natural because it represents "a core case where you need to set up a cross-functional team to get something accomplished in three months, but it's not a project that just happens inside sales, or marketing, or HR."

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard and

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