Last Friday (4/25) we hosted, together with Podio, the breakfast seminar “How do other companies work with Podio?”. Henric Larsson, CEO at The Chimneypot and Kristofer Åberg, responsible for internal communication at SSU (Swedish Social Democratic Youth League) told us about their experiences. In total there were about 40 interested people attending.
The Chimneypot is a well known international production company, which among other things have had a hand in creating ‘Searching for Sugar Man’ and well known TV commercials, such as Tele2’s “Frank”. With 250 co-workers spread across several countries, they had issues establishing good cooperation between offices. Mail and file servers weren’t sufficient and they started the search for better solutions. Eventually Podio was chosen as a collaboration platform and since that they haven’t looked back. We received some advice about what to keep in mind for a successful launch of Podio:
- Few workspaces, it’s supposed to be simple finding your way, it’s good having it categorized by the employees’ interests. For Chimneypot this meant one workspace for every office and one for every professional group.
- Give ambassadors responsibilities for every workspace, the ambassadors’ tasks are keeping the discussion going in the beginning, answering questions and making interesting posts.
- Discussions are to be more personal and less decorous.
- Ban internal mailing, especially all the @-dispatches, it’s better to just put it in Podio. Collective discussions are held but everyone can decide for themselves whether they want to be notified of new comments or not.
Why Chimneypot chose podio
- Outstanding support. In contrast with bigger companies that take days to answer a mail, Podio gave Henric answers in minutes.
- Nice and simple interface. With 200 creators it’s important that it doesn’t feel heavy or tiresome.
- Always available. Podio’s mobile apps make it possible to always carry the crew with you.
- Cut meeting time. With Podio a lot of meetings will already have been discussed and you can review the decisions made quickly. Sometimes you will ask yourself why you even are having a meeting, “everything has already been discussed”.
SSU was a youth league with an old-fashioned way of working, they used all kinds of different tools and it up the member to keep track of where the information resided. A common intranet or forum did not exist and mail was used for communications, even for communication between groups of people. After an extensive evaluation phase of several similar services like Yammer, Chatter, MyLive and IBM connections, it came down to Podio, which according to Kristofer actually was “a whole lot better than the second place contender”.
The future of Podio
Gustav Jonsson from Podio also told us about some new functions they are launching soon. As usual Podio are very secretive about what’s going on, but there seems to be a trend focusing on real-time. A while ago the comments section was upgraded to be updated in real-time, you can now see who’s watching an app item, similar to Skype you can see if someone else is writing a comment and new comments are loaded automatically which makes it possible to chat effectively about an item. At the same time the discussion is kept in its right context, so other users can review it later.
All in all it was a wholesome morning and a lot of people stayed afterwards to get tips and discuss possibilities for their company to start using Podio’s (according to us) fantastic tool.