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Cisco social platform Quad gets WebEx rebranding

Cisco has announced that its social media platform Quad has been renamed Cisco WebEx Social and enhanced with several new features.

Considered a "Facebook for the enterprise," the new Cisco WebEx Social offers enterprises a social media platform for collaboration and real-time communications with enterprise-level security at the back end.

The rebranding also includes enhancements to the WebEx Social iPhone and iPad client, Microsoft Office and Outlook integration and browser-based, high-definition video conferencing. WebEx Social and the mobile clients also have new interfaces.

Organisations can now deploy WebEx Social as a cloud solution, on-premise or hosted.

Quad debuted in 2010. While Cisco wouldn't comment on market share numbers, the new name, new features, and re-branding under Cisco's successful WebEx product begs the question: is Quad in danger? WebEx, according to Cisco, is the world's second largest public cloud for business collaboration applications. That's a big umbrella to fall under and good impetus for re-branding the oddly named "Quad" under the WebEx label.

Cisco Callway, meanwhile, has also been re-branded as Cisco WebEx Telepresence. There are also a host of updates to Telepresence, including the ability to host a video call with up to nine users on the WebEx Telepresence network, support for up to 1080p HD video resolution, and a new online customer portal that allows centralised management for administrators.

"More than ever, companies are rethinking the way they have traditionally done business to take a more social approach," Murali Sitaram, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Cloud Collaboration Technology Group, said in a statement. "With today's announcements, Cisco is marrying the best of consumer social network features with a complete set of integrated collaboration cloud services for a seamless and integrated user experience. This new experience gives customers the option to securely participate in social business from the device and application of their choice."

Cisco has been faced with a series of well-publicised challenges lately, including the acquisition of and eventual demise of the Flip camcorder, the discontinuation of the Cius tablet and the Umi video conferencing product, a period of massive layoffs, and some nervous investors.