Citrix Systems buys online work platform Podio

Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:25am EDT

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(Reuters) - Business software maker Citrix Systems Inc said it acquired Danish online work platform Podio to expand its social media offerings for small and medium-sized companies, hoping to benefit from growing demand for social software with workplace applications.

Under the buzz words "social collaboration," IT vendors are taking a cue from social media used by consumers outside of work to create similar tools for the workplace, making it easier for employees to share information or work together on projects or in groups.

Research firm Forrester said the market for corporate social software will grow rapidly in coming years. It sees the market reaching $6.4 billion by 2016, compared with $600 million in 2010.

Podio, founded in 2009 and based in Copenhagen, allows users to create specific applications for their work projects without having technical skills.

In addition, Podio lets "users create their own preferred workflows and social collaboration activities that best suit their projects and the way they want to work."

Tommy Ahlers, chief executive of Podio, said social media company Twitter uses Podio's services to run an application for merger and acquisition processes, and publishing house Conde Nast uses Podia's offerings to plan their releases.

"What we loved about Podio is that it created the platform where you can download and create," said Bernardo de Albergaria, who heads Citrix's online collaboration unit.

"Other social stream providers are more focused on talking about work instead of getting work done," he added.

Companies such as International Business Machines Corp and Cisco Systems have added social collaboration tools to their broader offerings, while others such as Jive Software, Yammer and SocialText are focused solely on providing social software.

Podio, which has a staff of 27, and Citrix declined to divulge financial details about the deal.

Citrix said it would provide further details on its social collaboration strategy next month.

(Reporting By Nicola Leske; editing by John Wallace)

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