Summary:

Podio is a new app that aims to shake up the enterprise social networking space by providing a tool that can be customized using a wide range of ready-to-use apps available from its App Store. This allows organizations to create a networking platform to suit employees.

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Podio is aiming to shake up this enterprise social networking space currently occupied by the likes of Yammer, Presently, SocialWok and Salesforce Chatter by providing a tool that can be customized using a wide range of ready-to-use productivity apps available from its built-in App Store. There are apps available for tasks such as tracking shipments, praising employees, CRM, timesheets, project management and many more (and if a required app isn’t available, it can be built using Podio’s API). This makes Podio highly adaptable compared to its competitors, as it allows organizations to create a networking platform to suit their employees.

Here’s a look at the home page, which can look very different from one organization to another:

Note the familiar “activity stream” on the left, which you’ll find in all of the other enterprise social networking solutions. Podio allows you to add apps from the app store to workspace areas  called “Spaces.”  You can create as many Spaces as you need for your private network, or to share with external users such as clients or partners. The App Store makes it easy to set up specific tools for each of your Spaces. Podio also includes useful core tools such as a calendar, contacts area and a task management system like that you would find in solutions like Basecamp. These are all good features to include for a social platform in the workplace. Finally, having the ability to add other tools from the App Store gives each company a great deal of options.

Podio on the Go

There’s a free iPhone app for your Podio network, but I wasn’t as impressed with the it as I was with the Podio website. Currently, the iPhone app only provides access to a few core features such as the main activity stream, messaging, contacts, tasks and profiles; you don’t have access to any of the apps added to your Spaces from the App Store. I think it would make sense to include a way to include apps that you want your workforce to use while on the road on their mobile device.

Comparisons

So how does Podio compare to the current crop of corporate social platforms? Well, some have begun to give more options to add more features and customization, but none of them offer Podio’s range of specialty apps; I think its closest competitor could be a newly launched service called Convofy, which Simon reviewed recently.

Podio offers a free version for up to 10 users and a premium edition for $99/month for up to 25 users, and $4/month per additional user.

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