Cisco Wednesday introduced software designed to help companies track social media conversations related to their brand. Seeing as Web users routinely use social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter to rave -- or rant -- about the products they use and the companies that produce them, Cisco's argument is that the ability to track and organize where those conversations are happening is another form of business intelligence.
The tool, Cisco SocialMiner, is free for current Cisco Contact Center customers. According to Cisco, SocialMiner doesn't control opt-in or opt-out settings within social networking platforms themselves, but provides monitoring, queueing and workflow information for companies to track where mentions are being made. Cisco confirmed that its Consumer Products team is using SocialMiner internally to track social media engagements for Cisco consumer products such as the Flip camera.
"Companies are realizing that by ignoring the online chatter, they're opening up opportunities for their competitors and allowing dialogue about their brand to happen without them," said John Hernandez, vice president and general manager, Cisco Customer Collaboration business unit, in a statement. "As an active user of social media, Cisco realizes the value of social media interactions to our business."
Also unveiled Wednesday was Cisco Finesse, a collaboration interface for customer care workers to help them organize their call center priorities more efficiently. In addition, a rich media platform that's part of Finesse offers recording, playback, live streaming, media storage and metadata.
The marriage of business intelligence and analytics with collaboration and social networking technologies has been a focus for Cisco as of late. Chief among its recent efforts is Cisco Quad, a business collaboration platform that offers UC functionality and social networking capabilities, but also what Cisco sees as a key ingredient toward the building of private clouds.