I had the pleasure of watching a demonstration of Cisco‘s vision for internal collaboration a couple of years ago at a conference I was speaking at. Harbrinder Kang Cisco’s Director of Collaboration Technologies led the demonstration and I remember thinking at the time: “If they ever put this into production it is going to be a game changer”. It looks like the vision deck has become a reality – Cisco just announced Quad their enterprise collaboration tool will be shipping this fall – check out their product tour.
The demo puts the focus, as it should be, on the people in the organization. With tools like: presence detection, click to video call, chat and micro-blogging as well a full smorgasbord of enterprise security and roles based permissions this tool looks capable of beginning the drive toward true virtual enterprise collaboration.
However, the challenge with any collaboration toolset is user adoption. You need to deliver immediate value to your audience and tie it to a tangible ROI for the executive team or your project is doomed before it begins. It will be interesting to see how Cisco approaches designing interaction and engagement for client companies and working with them to create phased, strategic rollout plans.