Cisco retires WebEx Social, partners with Jive instead

The companies will market a suite that includes WebEx Meetings, Jabber and Jive enterprise social networking software

Cisco has put out to pasture its WebEx Social enterprise social networking (ESN) suite, opting instead to partner with Jive Software.

Cisco and Jive are marketing a bundle that includes Cisco's WebEx Meetings and Jabber for online meetings, Web conferencing, IM and audio/video communications and Jive's ESN software, which provides "Facebook like" capabilities for workplace collaboration, like employee profiles, activity streams, microblogging, document sharing and group workspaces.

The bundle is already live with some customers, like Thomson Reuters, where 60,000 users can invite colleagues to and launch WebEx meetings from the Jive interface, as well as fire up a Jabber IM session from within Jive. Details on pricing were not immediately available.

Cisco and Jive plan to progressively link these products at a technology level so they work in a more integrated fashion. The companies will also offer consulting and services for customers that need customized implementations.

For Cisco, this partnership represents a shift in strategy. For years, the company pushed WebEx Social -- formerly called Quad -- as an integral part of its overall enterprise collaboration and unified communications (UC) product stack.

Clearly the ESN suite never gained as much traction in the market as Cisco expected it to, so the company is pulling its horse from this race, where competition is broad and intense among vendors like Microsoft with Yammer and Sharepoint; IBM with Connections; Tibco with Tibbr; and Zimbra with Telligent.

Instead, Cisco wants to double-down on WebEx Meetings and Jabber, and also on its UC products, with a particular emphasis on video conferencing, a segment of the market where it sees a ripe opportunity to outfit meeting rooms of all sizes with video collaboration systems.

"We're not going to rest until every single room in every single business all over the world has extraordinary video conferencing and collaboration equipment. That's our mission," Rowan Trollope, senior vice president of Cisco's Collaboration Technology Group, said in March when the company announced an array of new and improved video conferencing products.

The way Cisco sees it, most conference rooms either don't have conferencing equipment or, if they do, the systems don't work properly, so it's zeroing in on that underserved market. Developing WebEx Social further doesn't fit in with this strategy.

Cisco also faces stiff competition in this UC market -- especially from Microsoft and its Lync UC server, IBM, Avaya, Siemens' Unify, Alcatel-Lucent, Mitel and ShoreTel -- so it has its hands full battling these and other rivals.

Implicit in this shift in strategy is an acknowledgement by Cisco that despite being a big player in video conferencing for years -- excelling in the low-end of the market with its WebEx line of desktop products and in the high-end with its whole-room Tandberg systems -- it has left a lot of money on the table by not also targeting small offices and meeting rooms.

Although it will no longer sell WebEx Social, Cisco will continue to support the product until mid-2017.

This is the second high-profile partnership Cisco has struck in the enterprise collaboration market recently. In March, it announced a deal with Google to bundle WebEx Meetings with Chromebooks and also integrate it with Google Apps.

The partnership with Jive isn't exclusive, so Cisco is free to pursue similar deals with other providers of ESN software.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags unified communicationsJive SoftwareapplicationsNetworkingsoftwarecollaborationSoftware as a servicecloud computinginternetCisco Systems

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?