Cisco enters the social networking market

In an interesting move last week Cisco announced that it was acquiring Five Across, a social networking “in-a-box” company designed for the corporate environment.  The company will be rolled into Cisco’s Media Solutions Group headed by Dan Scheinman.

On the surface this is a strange move as what does a data networking company need with a social networking company, while they both build networks they are very different sorts of networks?  Dan Scheinman provides some insight with his statement “With the acquisition of Five Across, Cisco is taking an important step towards helping its customers evolve their website experience into something more relevant and valuable to the end-user.”

In looking at the summary feature set of the Five Across Connect 1.8 Community Builder product we get a bit more of an understanding where this could be heading.

“Connect 1.8 Community Builder provides users familiar interactive tools including blogs, group discussions, photos, audio and video podcasts, design tools and more.”
By integrating these community features into a Unified Communications platform you can start to see something building, add linkages with call centre software, and CRM things get more interesting.

But to be honest I feel this is acquisition is a bit like putting a square peg in a round hole, bits will get lost in the process.

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