Quad is also scheduled to be available as a native iPhone and iPad application this fall, with other mobile devices to follow, says Murali Sitaram, vice president for the enterprise collaboration business unit at Cisco.
Google Buzz and Salesforce Chatter
SaaS pioneers Google and Salesforce.com also have social networking platforms at play, named Buzz and Chatter, respectively.
Google Buzz, launched in February, is built into Gmail and creates a Facebook-like interface for sharing photos, videos and links and status updates with friends and co-workers (that is, if your company is using Gmail).
Designed as a consumer product, Google Buzz has had a limited impact on the enterprise so far, says Koplowitz. But he adds that Buzz could start to challenge SharePoint as more CIOs decide if cloud-based Google Apps and Gmail make sense for their organizations.
"Google is still early in the enterprise and most customers are trying to get their arms around more basic collaborative workloads like e-mail," he says. "But once those customers are stable and looking to expand to more social tools, they may start experimenting with Buzz."
Google Buzz does have deeper smartphone integration than the competition, from a Buzz mobile web app to a Buzz layer in Google Maps for mobile, he says. But as is true for many Google products, enterprises are likely to have security, privacy and customer support concerns with Google Buzz, says Koplowitz.
Salesforce.com's social collaboration platform, called Chatter, became generally available last week after months of hype and a well-received private beta that started in February. Chatter provides the same Facebook-like look and features as Google Buzz and others, but is designed to integrate with both Salesforce's portfolio of business apps and financial and HR apps from the likes of Oracle and Microsoft.
An overview of Salesforce.com's Chatter.
Chatter's key advantage as an enterprise social platform is that it will bring in more customers to Salesforce.com's growing ecosystem. Chatter is accessible from all of the established Salesforce products and the 160,000 applications built on the Force.com, Salesforce's developer platform.
For existing customers, Chatter is free as a new feature. There is also a Chatter-only option for $15 a month for each user.