Citrix Acquisition Of Podio Signals SaaS Shift

  • Tweet  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Facebook  
  • Google plus  
  • Send to Kindle
  • Send to  

Citrix's acquisition of Podio may signal a larger shift in the SaaS productivity world. Will the SaaS market start competing on levels of integration and differentiation?

In the SaaS world, the productivity market is a land of opportunity. The land grab, arguably started by the Google Apps phenomena, has disrupted an otherwise stale environment of traditional software productivity suites. Now that the advantages of the cloud world have been fully exploited, it's anyone's game to scoop up as many cloud-clamoring customers as possible.

Case in point, Citrix's latest acquisition of Podio. Citrix, which has traditionally focused on virutalization, has now acquired a company with a sizable cloud application portfolio. It's a smart move, since virtualization and SaaS tend to go together, but more importantly, it complements and completes Citrix's GoTo-portfolio.

Related articles

So what? IBM has SaaS in its arsenal with LotusLive, Microsoft has Office 365 and Zoho offers an expansive suite on par with Podio. How does the marketplace compete? Where can vendors and partners truly make the most money? It's not on functionality alone, but rather differentiation. Customers want SaaS packages that suit their needs perfectly. The cloud world allows that level of flexibility.

So it comes down to use case. For example, LotusLive offers its own documents suite like Google Apps, but IBM heavily touts its expansive integration with 3rd party apps from ISVs. If vendor lock-in is a worry, LotusLive offers that level of freedom. But for some, a complete integration is preferable. Office 365 looks to fill that fully integrated experience, offering everything from documents to unified communications and Dynamics CRM integration, all inside one package. That might make Office 365 popular, but it may not necessarily be the cheapest.

Google's attitude, on the other hand, seems to be laissez-faire. The absence of a completely native CRM module is telling about Google's sentiment towards the product: It's content to let ISVs take up the slack. In some cases, that creates interesting relationships where rivals like Zoho provide CRM of integration for Google Apps, which can simultaneously entices customers to make the next jump to Zoho's platform completely.

What does Citrix see in Podio that truly differentiates? In this case, collaboration seems to be key, since Podio plays up its social communication integration, which fiercely focuses on the ubiquity of information from browser to mobile device. Podio, in addition to integrated CRM, also hosts an ISV app store. Considering Citrix is a friend to the open source community, this level of openness fits Citrix like a glove – not to mention, Podio integrates with Google Docs. For Citrix, the Podio strategy may be to offer the most flexible solution possible, which also offers the most native app connectivity possible. That's a considerable differentiator to have, especially when it's so easy to implement in a one-stop-shop.

Last, but not least, Citrix's acquisition of Podio seems to affirm the eventually of vertically-interated vendor clouds. Citrix now holds all the major pieces for a major cloud ecosystem, from infrastructure backbone to end-user software. As Citrix grows, expect many of its virutalization-focused VARs to reshape their business structure into managed services. It's not the first time we've seen this cloud shift from vendors, and Citrix will certainly not be the last.

  • Tweet  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Facebook  
  • Google plus  
  • Send to Kindle
  • Send to  
More on Channel Business

Value over volume, RackWare says of expanded channel partner program

Aim is to have the right coverage with close relationships, VP says


The velvet divorce? Options and disruptions to come from HP split

News that Hewlett-Packard is breaking into two companies continues to reverberate through the channel. While the ultimate impact on HP partners and customers remains unclear, the new entities will have plenty of options for plying their futures


Channel strikes gold selling to non-techies

Tech sales staff busy selling to business units as much as tech staff, according to Gartner


Welcome to the new Channelnomics

Channelnomics goes live with new-look site. Join us on Twitter to give us your thoughts - @channelnomics

Visitor comments
Add comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Broken heart

An amicable split?

Where will HP and Symantec's conclusion that the sum of their parts is greater than the whole leave partners?


Suspicious minds in the post-Snowden world

Investment in new technologies being avoided with security experts wary of cloud and new technologies post-Snowden

Old-fashioned cash register

Vendors need to get with the times, Channel conference hears

MSPs need up-to-date support from vendors, including working together


‘Internet of Things’ shifting IT spending priorities

Analyst firm Gartner says enterprises spent more than $40 billion on what could be called Internet of Things (IoT) programs. As more IP-enabled devices get connected, enterprises may shift spending patterns and disrupt the way IT is acquired and supported