Top 25 European Cloud Computing Rising Stars: Podio

Podio Provides Highly-Customizable Collaborative Web-Based Platform

Anders Pollas and Jon Froda founded Podio in early 2009 with the idea to create a work platform that works like average customers do in their everyday job. Initially, the project was named Hoist, but entered the web space as Podio in August 2009. Actually, Podio offers a connected work platform boasting it is revolutionizing the way employees and professionals work and interact, and one cannot miss that its graphic design resembles the one of Facebook. Media experts and analysts called the new collaborative platform Facebook for professionals and enterprises that prefer to work in the cloud and Podio is exactly what it claims to be. In addition, it enables customers to build their own applications as tools with their own structure, logic and flow.

WEB-BASED SOCIAL PLATFORM

The web-based social platform features work spaces functionality that allows users to create as many work spaces as they want. Later, users are able to invite other people to work within these spaces, providing also social features functionality.

Another main feature of the platform is its stream functionality, which means users can receive information fast when co-working with partners and colleagues. As a matter of fact, users can get an easy overview on their entire working process by looking at the aggregated stream, which can include all work spaces or an individual space. The platform offers possibility to link, share and comment on one’s work, providing very useful communication capabilities.

Tasks are part of each and every collaborative work platform and Podio is no exception from the rule. The platform allows users to track who is working on a particular project and when. Tasks functionality includes option to share and comment as well as functionality allowing integration of tasks into your application, which helps make work-flows smoother. Tasks can be added to individual objects like meetings, milestones, etc.

Podio describes its calendar as one that understands time and focuses on what’s next. The platform’s built-in calendar automatically pulls users’ tasks, deadlines etc., providing customers with more information than meetings.

APPLICATIONS MODULE

Applications module is probably the most innovative one, especially for those working in cloud computing environment. The application allows users to build applications that best suit their needs with their own structure, logic, and flow. Actually, users can build applications related to all kinds of business tasks one can imagine. This high-customizable functionality is a great advantage since no special software developer’s skills are required.

Podio features practically unlimited number of spaces, allowing users to collaborate with people both inside and outside their organization. Company managers can create a space to handle the entire internal company communication while adding special spaces for particular departments, the top management, etc.

Contact list is populated automatically in Podio, with the software adding all the people users are working with to their contact list. In fact, Podio offers a new technology in the Enterprise 2.0 space, providing a highly-customizable web-based work environment that can used in company intranets and extranets, project management and recruiting solutions, CRM, business intelligence and company-wide social platforms. According to Tommy Ahlers, CEO of Podio, the platform attracts the interest of growing number of customers with more than 6,000 organizations on the service.

FUNDING

Actually, Tommy Ahlers boosted the project in August 2010, providing $500,000 in angel investment which secured him also the position of CEO.

In 2011, the company managed to secure USD 4 million in Series A funding, with Sunstone Capital leading the round. The funds raised will be used to hire new key figures in the company and further develop the product.

Ours is the only product out there that puts people instead of technology at the center by allowing them to create their own tools and work environment. Hundreds of paying customers already see the benefit in that, and we expect this trend to dominate the space of Enterprise 2.0 in the coming years,” Tommy Ahlers commented in a press release after the round was closed.

Although currently in private commercial beta phase, Podio is definitely a web-based platform one should watch in the next couple of years. Podio founders bet on innovative approach toward cloud-based applications and one should expect that such a business and technology model must start paying-off in the near future.

By Kiril Kirilov

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