This week's Enterprise 2.0 conference is bubbling over with interesting tidbits, and not just from well-known players. Cisco Systems revealed a slew of new products, including a collaboration platform poised to stiffen the competition with giants like Microsoft and Google. Meanwhile, our fine-feathered, 140 character friend acquired some analytics tools for commercial partners.
Cisco Quad: A New Collaboration Platform for the Enterprise
Named after a place of learning, Cisco Quad is an enterprise-level platform that combines key business apps with the trappings of social networking, and a generous helping of security.
While bringing social networking into the business world is neither new nor lackluster, it's likely to be Cisco's focus on policy and security that turns heads. Security features include rules-based policies, encryption for communications and the ability to manage restricted and private communities.
For example, microblogging posts that are made within the company can also be pushed out to popular services like Twitter. Built to reflect the understanding that a broader audience is both beneficial and occasionally unfavorable, Cisco's settings are such that rules can be made to limit an employee's ability to make posts outside the company about certain topics.
Google Rolls Out Docs Updates, Will They Beat Microsoft?
No surprise here: hot on the heels of Microsoft's Web-based Office solutions are Google Docs updates. The company started this week with the release of a new editor for all users, which offers better collaboration features.
New sharing settings are also on the way, such as the ability to assign a setting to a file in just one step and see at-a-glance how each document is shared. Google spreadsheets is also seeing some action, with a new editor that can access the formula bar, cell auto-complete, and faster performance.
Hopefully these welcome updates will inspire more users go Google. Surprisingly, a Forrester's Consumer Technographics PC and Gaming survey recently revealed that only 4% of U.S. online consumers say they regularly use Google Docs.
SharePoint 2010: Third Party Add-On Round Up
Naturally, the release of SharePoint 2010 has inspired many, many developers to kick out complementary solutions. We threw together a list of some of our faves, including:
Bamboo offers Web parts to help streamline processes and improve agility within SharePoint. Available as Web Parts to back up PM Central are Alert Plus that offers customizable alerting, Chart Plus which helps create quick pie charts and other data without the need for Excel.
CorasWorks offers a Help Desk, a Knowledge Base, and a newly updated version of Idea Management that was unveiled at TechEd.
Virto's social aggregator offers RSS, Twitter and Facebook aggregation services for both SharePoint 2007 and 2010.
Crowdcast Brings Fun and Games to Business Intelligence
The enterprise saw a little bit of fun-having this week as well. Crowdcast, the brain child of ex Electronic Arts employee, Mat Fogarty, mixes business intelligence with gaming. The crowdsourcing tool essentially enables users to bet virtual money on what they perceive as the most probable outcome of the issue in question (for example: when will the product be released?)
“As the gamer generation moves into the mainstream workforce, they are willing and eager to apply the culture and learning techniques they bring with them from games," said Lee Sheldon, an assistant professor from Indiana University's department of telecommunications, adding that managers from older generations would do well to figure out how to educate themselves to this culture.
Twitter to Integrate Analytics Tool For Commercial Partners
Lastly, Twitter's dabbling in analytics has been all over the headlines. The company isn't say much, but plenty of folks are speculating over what their acquisition of Smallthought Systems means.
According to Twitter, they've had a relationship with Smallthought Systems for quite some time now. "They have joined our analytics team and will focus on integrating ideas from Trendly into our current tools and building innovative realtime products for our future commercial partners," wrote Kevin Weil on Twitter's official blog.