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Cisco Unveils Voice, Video, Social Networking Collaboration Platform

Cisco Quad integrates content management systems with voice, video, and social networking into a single workspace for desktop, iPhone, or iPad.

Cisco has introduced an enterprise collaboration platform that integrates voice, video and social networking into a single workspace accessible via a desktop or an Apple iPhone or iPad.

Cisco Quad, unveiled Friday, also provides search across all content within an organization, and can also be used to locate people within a corporation. The search capabilities are linked to the new software's ability to be integrated with content management systems, such as Microsoft SharePoint and Documentum.

To expand Quad's capabilities, the product can be integrated with Cisco voice and video communications technologies. In addition, Cisco plans to release mobile applications for accessing the Quad workspace via an iPhone or iPad.

Among the participants in early trials of Quad was INX, a technology infrastructure provider.

"Cisco Quad allows us to work out of one environment that brings all of the other applications, tools and content to the forefront when they are relevant to a meeting or a business process," Derek Downs, INX VP of advanced integration services, said in a Cisco-provided statement. "It enables workers within our company to have relevant content and resources pushed to them automatically versus having them spend so much time trying to find the right document, person or information."

The networking company plans to release Quad by the end of January 2011 in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia/New Zealand. Cisco is scheduled to showcase the collaboration capabilities June 15 at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston.

Quad includes a Cisco "show and share" license that allows users to publish video on the platform. Complementing that capability is Cisco's new online video workspace, called FocalPoint, and its new business-class, four-hour Flip MinoPRO camcorder.

FocalPoint provides cloud-based management and sharing of video taken with the MinoPRO camcorder, which includes preloaded editing software. Video posted to FocalPoint can be integrated into a Quad workspace.

Cisco plans to release FocalPoint and the MinoPRO camcorder through channel partners beginning in August.

Finally, Cisco has introduced a browser-based instant messaging client as part of the latest version of the WebEx Connect IM. Version 6.5 of Connect also includes server-side IM logging, which makes it possible to store messaging traffic to comply with government or legal requirements. Cisco has used the same underlying technology in Connect in the Quad platform.

The latest announcements reflect Cisco strategic push into areas beyond its traditional focus on routers, switches and other networking equipments. Among those areas is the use of collaboration technology that sits on top of the corporate network.

In November 2009, Cisco launched a series of collaboration products that encompassed telepresence, unified communications and WebEx products. The release marked Cisco's entry into two new markets, enterprise social software and hosted e-mail.

Cisco has expanded into new markets through acquisition, the largest of which was the $3 billion purchase of videoconferencing company Tandberg in October 2009. Tandberg technology has been used in Cisco's telepresence and WebEx offerings.

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