In this holiday season, collaborative work platform Podio, a subsidiary of collaboration technology provider Citrix, is giving users of its a thematically appropriate gift – the gift of sharing.

Bypassing Email

Podio has released a new feature called Podio Share that enables users to share content and other data directly within Podio apps and tasks. Podio Share also allows users to share content and data from within their Podio workspace with individuals outside their workspace and/or organization, as well as with people who do not use Podio.

Leveraging the Share feature, Podio users can set visibility parameters of each Podio app item and provide only certain people with access to their private workspace. Podio is promoting Share as a way for companies to bypass email as a tool for sharing information and collaborating on projects with either internal or external partners. Of course Share also extends the functionality of Podio and keeps users on the Podio platform for longer periods of time.

Integrating Email

Interestingly, only a few months ago Podio launched Email to Workspace, a feature that enables users to send an email from their email inbox to Podio as a task, status update or a new project in an existing Podio app. As a result, every workspace and app in Podio now allows users to automatically add special email addresses to their address book.

Thus, when a Podio user receives an email they want to turn into a status update or task,  they can do that directly from their inbox, no matter what device they’re using. Presumably with Share, Podio is hedging its email bets and trying to make its platform as accessible as possible to the widest number of users. As a business strategy, that actually makes a whole lot of sense.

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Podio Moves toward the Future

Share is a step toward the possible future of Podio described by desktop/application blogger Brian Madden back in May 2012. Madden said Podio could potentially evolve into the “desktop” of the future.

Podio could provide access to Windows, SaaS, and native device applications via HTML5 Receiver (just the Receiver could be HTML5 -- the apps can be anything from HTML to HDX), or even the clientless VPN access to internal web pages,” said Madden. “The interface would be completely customizable, and the users would have a single place to go for everything…plus it would provide browser-based access to a user's data via Sharefile.”

As Madden said, Podio is not there yet -- even with the new addition of Share -- but Podio does seem to be trying to establish its workspace as a place where a professional can spend most or all of their working day without having to jump into other tools.