Cisco (news, site) announces today some enhancements to its enterprise collaboration solution, Cisco Quad, along with its availability as a hosted managed service.

Cisco Quad in the Cloud

Cisco has announced that Cisco Quad is now going to be offered as a hosted managed service:

  • In the US and Canada through ACS
  • In Europe through Logicalis UK
  • In Australia and New Zealand through AlphaWest

Note this is a dedicated, hosted offering, it's not a SaaS version of Cisco Quad.

This will broaden Quad's availability to organizations who either can't or don't want the responsibility of managing their own implementation, including many mid market organizations who can't afford to implement on premise.

Cisco also announced that its partners are now able to customized Quad for customers to integrate with backend systems and broaden the usability of the collaboration platform. Capgemini is a key partner mentioned here.

Quad Gets Some Key Enhancements

Cisco is also releasing Quad 2.5 in August, here are some of the enhancements you can expect:

  • Integrated Activity Stream and Watch List: Many are saying the activity stream is contributing to information overload, but implemented correctly, it can be a very useful tool. Quad adds integrates a new Watch List that enables you to define particular content to focus on and filter your stream for that information only.
  • File attachments and multi-media support are added to Microblogs.
  • A new unified model has been developed for posts, that allows you to create, edit, share and view content no matter where you are.
  • Recommendations have been added for people, comments, posts and communities
  • Customizable community templates allow you to provide a consistent user interface, promoting usability and adoption

Cisco has also announced Quad Apps for the iPad, iPhone and Cisco Cius tablet. These are native apps, but Cisco has said that it sees HTML 5 Apps as the future of mobile application development and that long-term they expect to see some combination of the two. Support for Android is coming and they have been in talks with RIM to support a reduced feature app for the Blackberry.

Content Management Integration

You already know the Quad integrates with EMC Documentum to support collaborative content management processes. It's also integrates with SharePoint and can integrate with out content management systems. This is thanks to Quad's open architecture.

But along with content management systems, Quad also integrates unified communications via Lotus Sametime, Microsoft OCS 2007 and Cisco Jabber. This integration supports collaboration with people who are working directly within Quad.

There is a lot of new capabilities in this next version of Quad, but like we said, you'll have to wait until August to get it. For now, get more details on the Quad website.