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What the Heck is Cisco Quad?

by Larry Cannell  |  July 12, 2011  |  Comments Off on What the Heck is Cisco Quad?

If you attended, or were following, the Enterprise 2.0 conference a few weeks ago you are probably aware that Cisco is starting to make a big push into the enterprise collaboration market with Quad. Although the product has officially been available for about a year, many IT professionals still don’t know much about Quad. However, they are keenly interested in understanding what Cisco is doing in this space, especially given the company’s already large footprint in most enterprises.

Earlier this year I had an opportunity to take an extensive look into Quad’s architecture and technical building blocks as well as to talk with the people responsible for the product’s future. Our resulting assessment of Quad is a detailed, roll-up-your-sleeves type of report Burton IT1 is known for. If you need to really know what the heck Quad is (beyond the marketitecture), this is the report for you.

Since Quad’s first appearance at the Enterprise 2.0 conference last year, Cisco has been deploying the product at a select number of customers and working on a new release (which was recently announced). At first glance, Quad appears to be an unremarkable and simple enterprise social network product. However, Quad’s role within an enterprise and its potential impact on the collaboration market goes well beyond providing a social network site.

Cisco Quad could become just what the enterprise collaboration market needs: a competitive product from a large vendor with deep pockets and strong ties throughout most IT organizations. Quad 2.5 is a good start, although it should still be considered an early release product (belying its 2.5 version label). Most importantly though, Quad is built upon a different set of assumptions from which large established enterprise vendors started. Think of Quad as an alternative take on what is possible with an enterprise collaboration platform. In many ways, SharePoint’s popularity has distorted the market’s view and Quad is a possible antidote.

This Burton IT1 assessment of Quad discusses:

  • Cisco’s potential as a collaboration platform competitor
  • Quad’s role in an enterprise
  • How Quad compares to SharePoint and other major vendor products
  • Quad’s strengths (it offers a number of innovative features and uses a cutting-edge approach to deployment and management)
  • Quad’s weaknesses (but, there is still plenty of work to be done and it may not be ready for your enterprise)

In addition, the assessment uses IT1 frameworks and reference architecture templates as a basis to cut through Cisco’s marketing to provide a vendor-neutral opinion of the product. “Cisco Quad: Different From SharePoint, But Does That Matter?” is available now to Gartner’s Burton IT1 customers.

If you aren’t an IT1 customer then you may be interested in attending my session covering Quad at the Catalyst Conference taking place in San Diego in two weeks. We can also schedule a 1-1 session while at Catalyst to talk through our findings.


Tags: cisco  collaboration  quad  sharepoint  

Larry Cannell
Research Director
6 years at Gartner
29 years IT industry

Larry Cannell is a Research Director in the Gartner for Technical Professionals Collaboration and Content Strategies service. Mr. Cannell covers enterprise collaboration and social software, search, content management, and open-source collaboration and content solutions. Read Full Bio

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