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Does it Feel Like Podio Progress Is Stalled To You?

Have Podio improvements stalled OR if it’s just that bigger, better changes are coming?

Summary

  1. Concerns that Progress is Stalled
  2. Worried that the improvements and features many users want are not feasible in the Podio platform and a rewrite is needed or will just not happen.
  3. Are questioning whether improving Podio using the current user feedback isn’t supported by Podio/Citrix
  4. PODIO can help us, and we can help PODIO, but we need assurance and clarity.

What’s Going On?

Many of us in these support forums love Podio, and some of us love what it could become with some basic improvements.  However, I think many folks are finding that as we dig into some of the details and actually use the applications to help our organizations, we find that we are stopped short and have to backtrack on implementation. Many of us are concerned and even frustrated by the seemingly slow response to user feedback and requests –some of which are basic business requirements - as well as little or no communication about its roadmap.

Many of us absolutely love what Podio could become, but some of us are looking at alternatives...compelling ones-and we really don’t want to!  Many of them, even the big ones like Yammer and Social cast, don’t do what Podio is trying to accomplish.   

Is the platform really capable of core changes?

I worry that many of the changes the user base collectively wants are too difficult to implement based on the way Podio was originally created and a different version-even a rewrite--of Podio is necessary.  Many of us are willing to pay for these improvements, but a lack of a roadmap and commitments to improvements is causing us doubts about getting our organizations to adopt Podio.  Podio feels stalled and the user feedback mechanism is painful and feels disorganized.

I'm not talking just about the feature requests like chat or mobile app development enhancements, I'm talking about basic things like backups, Field ID’s, sorting, copying field sets, and even working more like an internal, enterprise grade CMS/Intranet (to use outdated but familiar terms) that can be manipulated without having to code or rely on an API for the basics.  For example, people want a mini-wiki with levels, nesting, not just a bucket of text blurbs that can be sorted into badge and card views with no functionality.  Many of us have evaluated the other products and conclude that they are just glorified social platforms or bloated To-Do lists. etc., not even close to what PODIO is trying to do.  Therefore we remain hopeful that the Podio team is going to respond.

Strengths:

Huge potential to become THE platform of choice, multi-purpose, collect, and collaborate, speed, UI, flexibility (some freedom within limits), calendar, integrations, Swiss army knife - can do many things well enough.  However, sometimes the Swiss Army knife falls short, and paths to systems that can do this become manual or awkward sometimes.  The many “apps” of Podio are a good example of this.  Sometimes they are just simple containers for things and the data can’t adequately be sorted or reported or even hacked into being more functional.

** Limits**:

a)      Apps – a weakness and a strength. Sometimes Podio feels like a pretty containers and it most certainly feels like there is no plan to get beyond the current limitations of these containers and give us the tools to treat them like data.  They are quick and pretty, and they have descriptive flexibility – but they generally not really apps, but forms that serve to store things in very simple containers and no workflows seem to be forthcoming for most of these buckets of data.  Often, it feels like the data is disposable or even in a temporary location. 

b)      reporting, field manipulation (ordering, hiding, calculations)

c)      archiving, basic backups

d)      filtering, permissions,

e)      wiki - very limited,

f)       tracking, workflow, dependencies/triggers,

g)      mass deletion/creation,

h)      task viewing across the orgs, workspaces,

i)        keeping up on what's assigned and it feels like there is more time and effort spent searching for things and keeping track of them than there really should be.

Is what people asking for here even a direction Citrix even wants PODIO to go?

Not addressing these basic business needs/issues almost suggests that the team is committed to another path.  Some of us wonder whether Citrix has a different set of plans for Podio.  Citrix has always been a leader and innovator, but I think it's fair to say that many of us are weary about Podio's future today and would like assurance sooner than later that these things are getting support and that the Podio team has the support it needs.

Those of us that are still hanging in there are taking the time to be vocal and give feedback do so because we believe the team at Podio set out early on to do something very different – and they did – but we are asking for more because we want it to be THE platform for our organizational knowledge and workflows.  We want PODIO to help us manage the ever-increasing complexity and demands that face all of us, since our brains and organizations are struggling to do this with the current tools we have today.

PODIO can help us, and we can help PODIO, but we need to hear from you!

With all due respect and appreciation,

-Doug

 

Doug Perry

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52 comments

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Nice comprehensive post Doug.

I kind of feel the same way sometimes, especially after last year where it seemed like every month there were new features being released. I'm sure that we'll see a slow down of this as the platform becomes more complicated and testing becomes more drawn out as a result.

I just hope they keep a more agile approach and release features individually as they are ready and not lump them into large dispersed releases.

But as an ex-daylite user, I much prefer having to wait months instead of years for a new update.

James Bryant 0 votes
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"Does it Feel Like Podio Progress Is Stalled To You?"

No, I don't think it is reasonable to expect updates every few weeks ...

But having a roadmap would be nice: To be able to see which features are under development, and which are not.

Btw, I am currently using the free version, so I find it difficult to complain...

Alexander Colson 0 votes
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It doesn't feel like progress is stalled, but you do address the problems that we are all experiencing with Podio right now. A roadmap would help big time, just to know what to expect in the future. This would help us to decide upon work arounds for where Podio is currently lacking (e.g wiki). If we knew that support for a decent wiki isn't feasable in the near future, we would look for an alternative. I we knew that support for a wiki is on the horizon, we would wait for Podio to catch up with us.

Gijs van Dam 0 votes
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Perfect summary. The modularity of Podio is amazing and I want to use it for my company but the lack of some core functionality is keeping me from going anywhere beyond testing.

Tim Brugman 1 vote
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+1 for Asana's approach. Doesn't have to be highly specific, but enough to give you a sense of what they are focusing on next. Right now, it is anyone's guess.

James Bryant 0 votes
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I'd have to completely agree, one of the biggest gaps we see right now is the lack of truly advanced calculations support.  2 fields is not enough in most of my circumstances and would really like to see this developed.  It'd be great to see a roadmap to have some kind of estimate of what/when features are coming down the pipe.  

Jeff Buford 0 votes
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Yes I agree. Customer Service is terrible as well. I have to wait days for a simple question answered. Then when you finally ask a question you usually here..No that's not possible at this time...Very disenchanting and making want to look at other open source competitors like Teamlab. I do give PODIO a lot of credit and I have alot more respect for them that they actually have this thread on the Podio Forum..That shows integrity. 

Andrew Zaino 0 votes
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yeh ok but recently we got a big revision of the interface, improved the chat feature, and no doubt are working on other things. all development teams have this problem, like stick to the goals, satisfy the majority etc.

Jeremy Dawes 0 votes
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Hey Andrew,

Sad to hear you feel customer service is terrible. Do you write us at support@podio.comhttps://help.podio.com/tickets/new? We have average response rates below 3 hours so you shouldn't wait for days? If you submit a ticket as "idea for Podio" you might wait a bit longer since it is only our co-founder and product owner Anders Pollas that answers tickets related to ideas for Podio. 

You can reach me via sara@podio.com, will appreciate some thoughts about your experience and what we can do to improve. 

//Sara - Podio

Sara Høeg Højlund-Rasmussen 0 votes
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I would appreciate it for some concerns or questions to be taken more seriously. Take for instance stream ordering, automatic item numbering and/or being able to add a comment to new file versions, so you don't have to make a whole new entry with x fields. Additionally it would be good to have a take-out service in which records and attachments might be exported. Maybe it would be an idea to involve a 'users-council' (an active enquiry of a reference group in lieu of an open forum) to keep track of this. 

Sicko van Dijk 0 votes
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They definitely need some big improvements - bugs everywhere at the moment in tasks, app reference, messaging - these aren't even in depth areas, simple things! Unfortunately (and i know its a strong word) i am beginning to feel some 'hate' towards podio, we have entered so much info and with all the bugs, no backup, no improvements i have begun looking at other applications and an exit strategy for Podio

Carlo C 0 votes
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I can't relate to the problems Carlo C is voicing. Although I do feel that Podio is in need of a public roadmap, and there are some important (enterpise) features missing, like backup. But Podio doesn't feel buggy at all, and there is certainly improvement in amount of features and support of simple use cases like cloning, etc.

Gijs van Dam 0 votes
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Hey @Sicko van Dijk, just a heads up that the unique ID - automatic running numbers in the app was released yesterday. Hope this is helpful :)

//Sara - Podio

 

 

Sara Høeg Højlund-Rasmussen 0 votes
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I think Podio could go a long way if they created a better way to build visualizations of multiple Apps. Those tiles on my dashboard are not cutting it. They're just lists.

We joined Podio after leaving Basecamp in March 2013. We are a startup trying to run our whole team from Podio. We upgraded to Pro in June 2013. I am the CEO. It is now September 2013 and I can say this: So many of the features I hoped for in Pro (easy, meaningful reporting, a well-organized CEO's dashboard, better visualization of workflow) were all missing. Instead I got Go-To-Meeting.

 

I do like the new calendar view, but this is just catching up to what it should have been from the start. It is one bright spot of good visualization in an otherwise blind morass of "buckets" to use Doug's term. So well said! It seems to me like the founders have decided to work off their earn-out on the golf course, and Podio is now a body without a head inside of a giant corporation.

Also: Podio Support closes tickets as soon as an agent sends a reply email. My "Recent Requests" box is always empty. And yet the link preview pane still causes Firefox and Safari to crash (who wants a giant link preview frame in their project pane, anyway?), and our video calls are still dropped, or somebody gets logged out, when one of one of us saves a deliverable or a task, more than half the time.

The thing is, the concept of a GUI relational database is a powerful one. This is Podio. It is powerful. Or it COULD be. Except it is missing the creative part, exemplified in the total absence of an ability to build meaningful views and dashboards of projects. Here is the strange thing: even though Podio has app references and all those views of projects or deliverables or events, I still feel like I am blind when I am in there. Like I am in a giant mouse maze and I can only see the four (or six?) walls in front of me.

Isaac D. Van Wesep 0 votes
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Hey Isaac

Podio was founded by Jon Froda, Anders Pollas and Kasper Hulthin - they are all 3 a very big part of our small team: https://company.podio.com/team (they can't play golf, trust me) :) 

You can always reply to every request via your email and the request will re-open. We always ask you questions to make sure the request is taken care off. If something is still not working please reply to the request via email, the request will re-open and we will take care of it. You can also reach me directly via sara@podio.com

I agree that it would be awesome to have a list of ALL old and recent requests via your Help Centre page, unfortunately we are currently not able to provide this since we are using a re-design and limited version of a Help Solution (that we can't update easily). It is on the roadmap to move and migrate data to a new version Help Centre, which will give you the option to view all requests at all times :)

//Sara - Podio

Sara Høeg Højlund-Rasmussen 0 votes
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I have never run a software development company ... but it is very difficult to depend on a product (or service for that matter) without a statement of direction (especially on larger requests).  I think the idea a customer council is a good one.  

I will see that I found podio about a year ago and developed some applications, but never fully implemented due to lack of features.  I have recently returned and it seems like the only change is a chat feature (not that valuable for my needs) and auto number (this is a nice enhancement), and a few gui changes (some seem better and some see worse).

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Podio will come out with a new release soon.  Kind of disappointing to see the only response to this post is by customer support.  Even if the post was just some useless PR speak, it would be nice to hear from the executive team members.

Don Begg 0 votes
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There is no reason why Podio cannot provide a roadmap. This is essential if they are going to keep rejecting people's ideas and try to provide insulting "work-arounds" that would accomplish about the fraction of what we're asking for.

Andrew Davis 0 votes
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Hey @Don, I am responsible for support in Podio :) We all work in close collaboration with the product and development team and it is a deliberate decision not to disclose a public roadmap for now since we like the flexibility of working agile - we prefer not to make any promises of coming releases as plans might change along the way. 

You can follow all larger product news via our blog: http://blog.podio.com/category/product-news/ - as you can see we have done quite a bit the past year :)

@Andrew, we make sure to list all ideas and inputs and further provide those work-arounds to give you an option for a solution now (as you know a feature is usually not implemented within the next day so we like to give you a solution you can use the same day. If we implemented all feature requests we get from users and customers Podio would be a mess with way too many features).

@David, we update Podio several times a week with small fixes and enhancements. Yesterday, we released a new update to the iOS app. We are currently discussing how to improve the general app builder and item experience and you will see changes here in the future. 

You are all free to let us know directly (ask for me or Anders Pollas) in the private support channel if you are looking for a specific feature and we can let you know if this is planned or not.

Feel free to reach out to me in person if you have any additional thoughts - sara@podio.com / +45 20140605

//Sara - Podio

Sara Høeg Højlund-Rasmussen 0 votes
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Great post. I agree with the fact that Podio needs a simple wiki to be able to structure files and content. File management seems lacking. While it is great that you can attach a file to any comment you have to dig back into that comment to get the file. There's no tagging of folders possible in the files area of each workspace. Also, how do you combine files across workspaces?

Marilyn Dispensa 0 votes
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I definitely feel this way. There are some basic features that I have been waiting on for more than 2 years. Calculations is an example with many people requesting this feature. It seems like Podio development has stagnated.

Jason Borner 0 votes
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Hey guys,

Just a small update from us at Podio - better and more advanced calculations is in planning and will be released later this year. I will make sure to update you when the improved calculations is out for everyone :)

This also includes a new app builder and item experience

Stay tuned

//Sara

Sara Høeg Højlund-Rasmussen 0 votes
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Checking back in about a year later and it feels like things are getting moving again and we are now looking at taking another run with Podio this summer. I don't know how difficult some of these things are to accomplish, but I can say that what many of us are asking will make the product much more adoptable: true and automated backup/restore, subtasks/dependencies (workflows was started recently!), and-what I believe is desperately needed: a real way to build a knowledge base/wiki (as opposed to containers and lists)-the knowledge and assets people put into Podio can help to make the wiki/knowledge base and so many of us have had to go elsewhere for this solution. I think it's safe to say that many of us, if not most, want "one home" for our activity and assets, and that integration is important to us. It's possible that this is a departure from Podios vision or scope, and if so, we wish that they would relay the contrary more often.

I would say almost everyone on these feedback groups is willing to help, but most of this comes to Podio triaging our requests and matching them up with their strategy and resources-which we want to hear more about!

So they not only need to hear from us, they need to see what we see, done so by continuing to articulate the practical and business reasons and realities for why we believe these things are important.

Doug Perry 0 votes
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ARgghhh,..... the new update has made data entry extremely inefficient. Tab feature to next "cell/field" doesn't work. Gross please fix.

Wishlist - export would export the filtered list I created and using at the time of export

Lindsay McLarty 0 votes