I’ve written a few times about Cisco, nee WebEx Connect and it’s role as a potential SharePoint killer, so it was with interest that I looked at the release of Cisco’s Quad. The video below says more than I can at present, so just some 1st blush observations here.
1) Easy sociality. The app lacks the pure 2.0 finesse of Connect. It reminds me somewhat of the days when companies that made CD ROM based training made a web version and it ended up looking like a web version of their CD. (Who remembers Linksys manuals?) Nonetheless, Cisco Quad looks robust and usable in a corporate environment. I didn’t get the impression that it would take lengthy training sessions to use and that it could be deployed pretty much out the box. These are vital to success.
2) Presence. On the P word Presence, it’s hot on this. Potential tie in with other products, especially TelePresence, LibreStream and expert locator is powerful. Find the expert and communicate (with video maybe) now. This is key to the battle with Microsoft on unified comms.
3) Corporate Directory. Looks good but what powers this? Does it run alongside an ‘official’ one, it is dependent on there being in this environment, or as the presenter said “So long as people are on the community and are active….”. This raises a whole lot of questions that I’ll look at in more depth in a future post. Is this a standalone, or is it integrated (probably both, but to what degree and with what functionality?)
4) Corporate Directory navigation. I’d also like to see the 3D type navigation that SharePoint offers – I want to navigate up the directory tree and down, but I also want to see who someone’s peers are and to navigate horizontally (just like the elevators in Star Trek).
5) Content Management. We’ve all got content that we talk about – presentations, sales collaterals, white papers, product release docs, and more. These will be talked about galore on a system like this. Where in Cisco’s universe do these live? Where’s the content management? (Do we need one is maybe pertinent, but it needs answering in context.)
& finally the really big one….
6) T-Shirts. These play a massive role in Cisco and it was because of a Cisco t-Shirt was worn outside Google’s HQ that the new logo got released early. There was also a near riot when T-Shirt & sweatshirt production was cut back a few years back, as for some engineers this was a good 80% of their upper-body wardrobe. Good to see that this has now been overcome and that some are back to that high fashion cut of using double layering of Cisco corporate wares to keep warm.
7) Governance, dis-aggregation & the morphing of the intranet to follow…