Charlene O'Hanlon

June 19, 2012

1 Min Read
Cisco Adds Social Media Features to WebEx

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you’ve held or participated in at least one meeting via WebEx. It’s a pretty handy technology that has done much to spur collaboration between disparate groups. Now Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) is adding social media functionality to WebEx to create an even more collaborative environment.

The technology formerly known as Cisco Quad has been merged into WebEx to create WebEx Social, a workspace that includes the virtual meeting capabilities of WebEx as well as integration of Microsoft Office for group document collaboration, e-mail, mobile capabilities and video calling.

“Essentially we are bringing Cisco Quad into the WebEx product family to bring a social theme into broader WebEx context,” said Richard McLeod, senior director of Business Development at Cisco. “Plus, we want to enable flexible deployment model.”

That flexible deployment model of which he speaks is the WebEx Cloud, to which Cisco also has added its Callway hosted telepresence solution and rebranded WebEx Telepresence for a broader collaboration offering.
WebEx Social is being brought to market through Cisco’s channel partners, which include service providers and distributors.

“Cloud-based solutions are moving from just meetings into broader social file-sharing and beyond, which effectively doubles the opportunity for the channel,” McLeod said. “Channel partners moving into mobile brings them into the line-of-business conversation and gives them the ability to tap other budgets.”

The initial version of WebEx Social cloud version will feature collaboration components, but voice and video will not be available, McLeod said, adding simply, “More details to come.”

The on-premise version, however, will have full functionality off the bat. Both versions are slated for release at the end of July in North America.

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