Cisco invests €500k in social tools for tomorrow’s workplace

22 Feb 2011

Cisco has signed a deal worth an estimated €500,000 with Irish university NUI Galway’s Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) to create the next wave of enterprise social networking tools for the workplace of tomorrow.

Cisco said this morning that it is investing nearly €400,000 with the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) in NUI Galway, to further develop its enterprise social networking and collaboration platform Cisco Quad.

An additional €100,000 will be invested in a strategic research agreement between Cisco and DERI for a project titled ‘Advances in Real-Time Date Integration, Recommendations and Social Network Analysis for the Social Semantic Enterprise’ (ADVANSSE).

Cisco’s 170-strong R&D operation in Galway is already making significant contributions to the networking giant’s product strategy, especially several unified communications features of Cisco Quad.

Cisco Quad, one of the latest collaboration solutions from Cisco, enables workers to easily connect to the right people and access and share content irrespective of location.

“DERI is a recognised global leader in the semantic web,” said Murali Sitaram, vice-president and general manager, Enterprise Collaboration, Cisco.

“And this partnership with DERI enables us to accelerate our research and development in this area, enabling Quad as a social semantic platform for the enterprise.”

A social semantic platform for the enterprise

Companies can bring their existing communications, along with social networking, content management and business systems into an integrated experience for end users in browser and mobile clients, including Cisco Cius, iPhone and iPad.

Keith Griffin, senior technical leader Cisco Quad in Galway, added: “This investment in software engineering with DERI’s Applied Innovations group demonstrates the institute’s ability to extend beyond world-class semantic web research towards world-class software implementation.”

DERI software engineers, based at Cisco’s research and development facility in Oranmore, Galway, will use semantic search and integration technology to link information in more intelligent and useful ways to improve communication and collaboration within companies. The two-year contract builds on existing research agreements between the two organisations.

“This further demonstrates the quality of our research and people,” the director of DERI, Prof Stefan Decker, said. “We aim to create the environment that makes it possible for the research to also transition into commercial reality, improving the lives of people, instead of staying solely in academia.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years