Makana launches new flexible work platform for ITnation and CIONET

Makana S.A. is a small IT marketing company based in Luxembourg, […]

May 14, 2013

Makana S.A. is a small IT marketing company based in Luxembourg, which publishes IT media and content services. A well-known brand of Makana is ITnation. ITnation is the leading ICT community and social network in Luxembourg which is responsible for, CIONET Luxembourg, CIOmag, ICTnation, ghost writer solutions and more. In addition, ITnation organizes over 40 IT events each year.

The challenge: consolidate multiple cloud-based tools

Makana invested a lot in best-of-breed solutions like Salesforce and platforms during the last four years and connected numerous cloud services to the platforms. One example is the Basecamp service for project management or VerticalResponse for newsletter mailing . About six months ago, Makana decided to stop using SalesForce, because it was too expensive. Luxembourg is a small country and all Makana’s customers were well known to them. Makana started looking for a cloud-based CRM system that was inexpensive, yet effi cient and feature-rich.

“We tried 15 different CRM tools for many weeks like Nimble, Batchbook, Zoho, Jive, OnePage, HighRise, Zapier and IFTTT that could fi t our needs,” said Alexandre Trân, Project Manager at Makana. “Because we are a marketing company, a publishing house and an event bureau we have different demands for each type of activity. It is very diffi cult to fi nd tools that combine these three into one platform. Then we discovered Citrix Podio.”

The strategy of Makana is to ’invest in champions’. After trying Podio and discovering its multiple capabilities, the organization almost immediately decided to adapt the cloud-based collaboration tool to replace their existing CRM system. “When we saw that Citrix was behind Podio, we defi nitely knew that this is the right choice for us. But Podio is so much more than a cloud-based CRM and can be used for document management, project management and more,” added Raphaël Henry, Journalist at Makana. “So we consolidated numerous cloud services that we used to run and manage our web-based platforms to support business processes – like SalesForce and Basecamp – into a fl exible, online collaborative work platform from Citrix. We were able to consolidate a dozen web solutions into four main platforms, thanks to the numerous usage scenarios in Podio.”

Compared to other cloud-based tools, Podio is very easy to setup. Makana selected Podio Premium Edition, because of the build-in rights management features. Should a workspace not fi t the exact needs of a user, Makana can adjust it for the user of give him rights to administer his own space. Podio is also easy to integrate with other services, including Google Apps for documents, email, agendas and the Freshbooks online billing and invoicing system. “Podio also integrates with the ITnation WordPress site,” continued Henry. “For example, the web form for registering white paper downloads is published from Podio to Wordpress. When a form is fi lled in, the partner automatically receives an email or an alert in the Podio App on the mobile device. This is really efficient.”

Key benefit: providing added value for partners

Last year Makana stopped publishing the monthly paper-based ITnation Magazine and decided to publish only on the web and limit print to one edition per year. The decision to become an online daily news magazine was a great success, as the organization went from 6.000 readers to 25.000 online readers every month.

“Within Podio we can add unlimited number of external customers (partners) for free, we only license Podio for our employees. Our partners – IT organizations in the country Luxembourg – can publish and manage their own content like banners, news, blog messages or white papers for the CIO target audience in a Podio workspace. They have access to calendars and reminders and have insight into the workfl ow of the processes. Podio can be used at the offi ce or from home, but the mobile App also enables functionality on Android and iOS. We especially like the mobile Podio App which enables partners to see what we do for them when on the road. This all adds value to the partnership and increases the amount of content on the platforms,” said Trân.

Citrix Podio contains an App Store with numerous free applications for use within the platform. In addition, Podio has a great App Builder.

“This is very easy to setup and use without any technical skills and reminds me of LEGO building blocks. Also, building a Podio App is really fun to do,” Trân continued. ”Our first application was created for managing subscribers of the yearly magazine. After importing all subscriber contacts in Podio, we now can use Podio to manage campaign subscribers and aggregate data, link the data to track event participation or use the social plugin to link it to LinkedIn. This way we get an aggregated view of the identity of all our CIO members and target campaigns personalized. Without Podio this was impossible, even when combining multiple tools.”

[colored_box color=”yellow”]Keys benefits

  • Increases efficiency consolidating multiple tools
  • Easy-to-build customized workspaces
  • Cost effective,flexible solution
  • Offers business agility by design
  • Easily integrates with many cloud services
  • Key benefit: flexible, easy integration with cloud services.[/colored_box]
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