Podio POV

Absolutely agree with +Rawn Shah assessment of Podio in ‘Cooking up Tasks and Workflows on the Social Web‘. Podio excels in its simplicity. Knowledge workers can become ‘app developers’ in mere hours.

Having spent > a decade designing and implementing highly configurable workflow, I was instantly and immediately impressed with the simple process design functionality @Podio offers. Building flows and forms is so easy that most users can learn in a single session, and ultimately build apps to be shared on the developer network. Ideal for verticals. They won’t even know they’ve become ‘developers’ overnight. It’s that simple.

As a process workflow app expert (yeah, I said it because I earned that badge in the trenches,) I’m possibly far more critical than most would be and did offer up some critiques as Podio launched publicly. The CEO, Jon Froda, not only responded, but quickly organized a debrief meeting with development staff. I’ve been impressed with their follow through since.

My biggest complaint at the time was the fact that users would grab apps from the store that were empty, and lacking sample data. Bewildering for those unfamiliar with workflow processes. They’ve since begun to populate web store apps with samples in some cases, offering start-up text guides in the others.  Another issue was the inability to add calculated fields to forms in support of pipeline reports and the like.  Within weeks, the calc fields were added, and with more functionality and formula options than expected.

I walked them through an end-to-end use case I use when testing any ‘social crm’ offering which really piqued the Podio team’s interest. I put every platform I test through and end-to-end trade show campaign to see where their weaknesses are as a practical social business tool for typical CRM processes.  The Podio team jumped at the chance to see how it works in a fully functional ‘traditional’ system, pausing to take screen shots and ask many questions along the way. I’m happy to report that most aspects of the test can now be done within Podio, and with the ability to create reports to measure most of the metrics for each outcome.

I’d also like to point out that interest is so high that one of the CRM Idol semi-finalists, (but I won’t say which one), had me tutor and walk members of their own R&D team through Podio for several hours – including app building and the app store, for ideas and understanding. Frankly, I think they’re wise to look closely at how Podio is doing it right, and might be still wiser to consider a partnership with them.

Although I rely upon an enormously powerful collaboration platform for my daily work with my primary employer and partners, I’ve shifted my other project and contract consulting work over to Podio, and use it almost as often as my main work intranet. When time permits, I’ve got more than a few vertical apps in mind to build & share myself.  Because it’s just so darn easy.

Just this week, Podio released a major face lift and UI design overhaul. They continue to improve based on user and developer feedback, at a rate that few other emerging tech companies can match. The new FlexioGrid is fluid, scalable, and elegant – a framework that will enable many future design enhancements.

Rawn’s right. Podio is evidence of a significant change in how apps can be developed and shared. Check it out if you haven’t yet. It’s going to challenge some of the more popular offerings that Rawn also mentioned in his article.


3 thoughts on “Podio POV

  1. Great Post!!
    I was so intrigued I have done almost nothing but Podio for that past 18 hours.

    It is amazing, and I have barely scratched the surface. I am not a workflow expert, nor an app developer – but I have created my own apps, and modified others to my requirements. The calc field is just what I needed today when creating the Wedding Project budget – as if anyone has ever managed a wedding, will know an accurate tracking of how much is still owing and if going over budget is a must. I then created widgets that display on the front page for the space – and we cannot miss it!

    Other projects that I am working on include WordPress installations and theme setups – which Podio is perfect for collaboration amongst clients and colleagues and to gain quick approvals. Definitely a plus is fact that when dealing with team members across timezones, Podio is always available for tasks that do not require a Skype connection coordination – I can add task, request for approval or update, and leave it. Although I would appreciate a video chat app integrated, but definitely Skype can be used along side of the interface.

    I do not have an iPhone or Android phone, but all works nicely on my iPad.
    Noting that it integrates with Zendesk, and there are Podio WordPress plugins available, I am curious to try these connections.

    There are only a couple of very small UI issues I noted such as the calendar view (others have mentioned) , which I am sure will be updated in the future. Overall it is extremely ‘slick’, easy for the non ‘expert’ to feel like a pro very quickly!

    Thanks for pointing many in the right direction!

    • I want to echo yours and Darleen’s sentiments – I am loving Podio so far – the customization allowed is really amazing and it’s been easy to REALLY make it work exactly for what I need – I am curious though – Darleen – you mentioned you have seen Podio WordPress plugins? Could you point me in the right direction? We also use wordpress and I would love to connect the two!

  2. Hi Angie – The only plugins that are available are for zendesk, but Podio itself doesn’t yet have plugins for WordPress. So … you can manage websites development from Podio, but the 2 do not yet connect. I wish they did, or at least connect.

    It is an amazing tool for sure. I have read that several developers are looking into the API for Podio and ability to connect, but have not yet tested.

    BUT … try this APP available on Podio – Editorial Calendar. You can plan and write Blog Posts. Great for collaboration. I have not yet tested, but looks promising.

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