Cisco's Quad takes social networking to the enterprise

Quad collaboration platform mixes Web 2.0 tools with business apps for the cubicle

Cisco is looking to take popular social networking tools and tricks and bend and meld them into a platform that's focused on business.

It's a social way of dealing with everyday business, according to Murali Sitaram, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Enterprise Collaboration Platform. Sitaram is overseeing the development of Cisco Quad , a Web-based collaboration platform for the enterprise designed to pull together Facebook -like update posts, instant messaging, document sharing, video communication, microblogging and communities.

"We've borrowed from the Web 2.0 world," Sitaram said, noting that Cisco has been working on Quad for about three years. "It's a manifestation of social capabilities."

Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have been hot commodities in the online world where people are eager to share pictures of their kids and updates about their vacations and weekend parties. Enterprises, however, have been slow to see Web 2.0 tools as as resource that could help companies improve their business, and not just a way for employees to waste time.

As Cisco tries to get a leg up in the fairly new enterprise collaboration space, it'll have some competition from the likes of Microsoft's Sharepoint business collaboration platform and Google 's upcoming collaboration and communication tool, Wave .

Cisco Quad went into an initial beta test last fall.

"The Cisco approach to bringing social networking into the enterprise is interesting and different in that it's more than just having an internal Facebook-like mechanism," said Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group. "Cisco is talking about integrating enterprise applications into the mix to give social networking more business functionality. This could be an attractive selling point to customers."

Quad could be coming out just as businesses get their heads around enterprise 2.0 applications , that is, using social networking tools for the enterprise, Olds said.

"Companies are fascinated with the potential benefits associated with social networking," he said. "They want to get their employees engaged on a deeper level and interacting with a wider range of others. Social networking can certainly do this, but most companies are worried about it being too social and not enough business... This is along the lines of something Google is pitching with their Wave platform, but, to me at least, Wave seems to be quite a bit more social than business. Cisco's product, on the other hand, looks to be geared to support business tasks and make it easier for employees to do their jobs."

Cisco Quad is set up to meld various tools into one platform. For instance, Quad is designed to let users microblog inside the platform with posts going out to colleagues who follow them. However, Sitaram pointed out that with a click, the in-house microblogs also can be posted on Twitter, the site that made microblogging a household name.

And for companies that don't want employees posting updates about certain topics outside of company "confines," they can set up rules in Quad that will limit users' ability to make outside posts about certain topics or even on certain days, Sitaram added.

Quad also includes a calendaring application, along with integration of voicemail messages, a Facebook-like feed of updates from colleagues that users have "befriended," workgroup communities, and a place where documents can be stored and made available for collaborative work. The platform also includes live video, recorded video storage, instant messaging and e-mail.

So colleagues can see Sitaram's updated Facebook-like postings, microbloggings, shared documents, and the communities of employees with whom he is working to get a better sense of who he is and his role within the company. "You have a sense of who I am," Sitaram said. "You have a sense of my blogs, what I've been doing and even my reporting structure. You have a sense here of me."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Facebooktwittersocial networkingciscomicroblogsQuad

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

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?