Podio is a new cloud based business tool, it is sort of the Facebook for business. It is also clearly a direct competitor to SalesForce.com and LotusLive in my opinion. It looks like it has a really nice set of applications right out of the gate and they are tailored for running a business. It has things like email, calendar, meetings, project planning, crm, and all kinds of tools for different industries.
The application store appears to be free! Meaning all apps are free to use, so I am not sure how application providers make money at this point. The customer relationship manager application looks very nice, reminds me of SugarCRM in a lot of ways. If you want to participate in the beta or do application development you will have to sign up and fill out a form first.
For $99 a month a company of 25 can use it as their primary cloud based business tool. Looks like it is $4 per person after that. They already have iPhone support so I would assume if this is successful the Android will follow. The best thing I like about the site is it is very easy on the eyes with their mixture of blue and white. The toolbar is easy to follow but I think if you have a lot of applications it will be cumbersome very quickly.
The site is excruciatingly slow, probably because it launched today, so I will assume that will get better once they optimize it up a bit. I have already timed out on many pages across the site so its kind of a bummer on the first day. Maybe if I run my business only on weekends it will be responsive!
I really want to read about the application and developer story. I want to see if they based their API’s on any standards like OpenSocial or if they went their own route like Facebook. More to come on that…