Citrix is out with an iPad version of Podio, a cloud-based collaborative work platform. Podio, previously available in native versions for iPhone and Android smartphones, provides customizable workspaces and social apps.
Using the Podio App Builder, non-technical users can drag-and-drop to create custom apps for managing projects, interfacing with clients, coordinating e-mail or receiving feedback. The platform is free for up to five employees. Currently, more than 700 pre-built apps populate the Podio App Market, half created by Citrix and the other half by Podio users.
Citrix has described building Podio apps as "easy as creating a spreadsheet." Podio apps are commonly used to streamline workflows, manage business processes or improve efficiency or productivity within a project.
Citrix uses a term employed by industry firm Gartner -- "citizen developers" -- to describe non-technical workers who create or assemble new business apps for themselves and their fellow workers. Gartner's research indicates that at least a quarter of new business apps by 2014 will be created by these citizen developers.
We asked Ryan Nichols, who heads up product marketing and demand generation for Podio, about new features in the iPad version.
He said that this native iPad app provides several new functions, such as the ability to take a picture of a whiteboard using the iPad, and adding that image to meeting notes. Nichols also noted that the new version takes advantages of the iPad's touch interface, through the use of such interaction as "the infinite scroll of your activity feed or swiping from project to project within a workspace."
Podio has also implemented 15 integrations with other tools to date, such as the ability to access and send files from YouSendIt as part of status updates, app items, tasks and private messages. The platform also integrates with ShareFile, Box, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Zendesk, Gmail, GoToMeeting, Evernote, and Google Docs.
Nichols said Citrix is "seeing more and more users take advantage of our integration with GoToMeeting, which allows you to use Podio to prepare and follow up on your meetings in a work app that fits the type of meeting you are holding."
In addition to pre-built apps and the ability to customize apps, Podio for iPad features collaborative workspaces, assignable tasks, files and document management, social activity streams, universal search, e-mail integration that offers unique e-mail addresses for projects or workspaces, calendars, and the ability to launch a GoToMeeting session or connect a Podio calendar to Outlook Exchange or Google Calendar.
In its announcement of the iPad version, Citrix cited a Filipino food company, Ramar Foods, which manages its operations through Podio apps that provide customized , inventory management and product marketing. Another example: an Australian IT consultancy, Olikka, said it has replaced its project management tool, enterprise social network, and and accounting software with workspaces and pre-built apps.