Citrix Systems has launched Podio Chat, a messaging app combining instant messaging, video and audio chat designed as a mobile solution to help dispersed teams have ad hoc conversations to assist in completing business projects.

The instant messaging feature is available now, with the video and audio chat tools to come to Podio this summer. Both one-on-one and group chat will be available. According to Citrix, Podio will allow ad hoc communications to add context and get quick information needed to move projects along outside of a formal organized meeting structure.

“Any effective team will tell you that the key to success is having open and accessible communications, whether it be in a physical office, face-to-face on a GoToMeeting with HDFaces session, an audio call, through live comments on Podio or via instant messaging,” said Bernardo de Albergaria, vice-president and general manager, SaaS products and markets at Citrix, in a statement. “Podio Chat bridges the gap between ‘real time’ and ‘my time,’ increasing the velocity of communications within Podio and making purposeful collaboration happen faster and more effectively – no more waiting for answers.”

According to Citrix, what sets Podio apart from the myriad of message and collaboration tools out there is context. It’s designed for the business setting, both within the company and its ecosystem of partners and customers, and is tied to projects they’re all working on.

“The real value of IM and video chat is when it’s used in the context of the work in progress – the tasks, projects and deliverables in action that require discussion to get done,” said Tommy Ahlers,  vice-president of social collaboration at Citrix, in a statement. “With Podio Chat, teams can experience seamless, fluid workflow, where questions get answered quickly because the right people are online, available and focused on the same work at the same time. The immediacy of in-context Podio Chat dramatically improves team efficiencies, not only by providing a central hub for communication, but also by retaining the rich history of information exchanged between team members, so nothing gets lost.”

Podio has mobile apps for Android, iPjone and iPad devices, and can synch files from Sharefile, Google Drive, Sugarsync, Dropbox, Box, Microsoft SkyDrive, UbuntoOne and YouSendIt. There’s also an app builder for developers to create additional capabilities.

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