Seeking to increase its stature in the increasingly competitive social collaboration market, Citrix announced the purchase of a startup that specializes in cloud-based workplace tools.
Citrix is buying San Francisco-based Podio for an undisclosed sum (See "2012's hottest tech M&A deals" for a rundown of other buyouts this year). The startup offers a series of cloud-based applications that allow businesses to manage projects, share files and encourage worker collaboration. For example, the system features an activity stream, which allows users to create, assign and manage tasks, and it gives real-time status updates and the ability to link, share and manage projects. Podio's software works with cloud-based offerings such as DropBox, Box, Google Docs and Evernote for file storing.
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Podio, which launched in 2009, focuses mainly small and midsize businesses, but Citrix is expected to bring the company's technology to enterprise accounts, says Bill Pray, who covers communications and collaboration tools for Gartner. The buyout should help Citrix better compete with VMware, Adobe, IBM, Cisco and other social collaboration product vendors, some of which have gone the acquisition route themselves. VMware, for example has purchased Zimbra and Socialcast.
Pray says the move also fits nicely with Citrix's strength in web conferencing with its GoToMeeting offering. Adding social collaboration tools to conferencing and business process applications is a "natural evolution," he says.
Network World staff writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing and social media. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.