September 13, 2010

Cisco Quad: Facebook for the Suit-and-Briefcase Crowd


The timing couldn’t be better. As more and more companies strive to satisfy their employees’ need to feel connected, Cisco is sharpening its corporate social networks prowess with its new Quad technology.

Twitter and Facebook have long captured the attention – and keystrokes – of consumers. But the race is on for enterprise technology companies to position themselves as the go-to destination for collaboration in the enterprise space.

Enter Cisco’s Quad initiative, a virtual meeting place that combines a social-networking friendly interface with security technology such as virtual private networks, as well as search capabilities and real-time communications.

The goal of Quad is to help companies combine their existing communications, along with social networking, content management, and business systems, into an integrated, one-stop-shop for employees. By offering an integrated experience, the platform promises to lower deployment costs and provide instant social networking capabilities. The product also comes pre-integrated with enterprise communications, business applications, and content management systems. What’s more, Cisco claims, Quad lowers overall risk by providing IT-ready social networking managed through enterprise policy.

To date, about a dozen Cisco customers have started deploying Quad, and the product is expected to become fully launched within the next 12 months. Quad is targeted at enterprises with 100,000 users. By borrowing from the Web 2.0 world, Cisco believes Quad will be able to help employees swap status updates, instant message, share documents, and communicate via video in the same way consumers do using Facebook. 

"There are a few very real business reasons to seriously consider enterprise social networking and without a doubt providing a familiar workspace for the 'Facebook generation' is one," blogged TMC's CEO Rich Tehrani. "Beyond that it is apparent to me after a brief demo of Quad that enterprise social networks can become a living and breathing repository of knowledge and business process."

Interestingly enough, in a recent survey conducted for Cisco Systems, half of the 2,000 employees from corporations around the globe admitted that at least once a week they ignore corporate policies prohibiting social media in the workplace. No doubt Cisco is hoping its Quad technology passes muster among today’s corporate policymakers.




Edited by Erin Harrison




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