announced today its first social CRM tool SocialMiner, along with a "customer care" desktop application called Cisco Finesse. SocialMiner is designed not just to help marketers track customer sentiment on social media site such as Facebook and Twitter, but to staff to interact with social media users. SocialMiner is entering an already crowded but rapidly growing space, as did its internal social networking tool Quad.Cisco
Social CRM is has been heating up quickly this year. Gartner released its first Magic Quadrant report on Social CRM this year, which noted that there were already over 100 vendors in the space by mid-2010. We've covered efforts from Zendesk and KickApps, and Mzinga all of which will be competing with Cisco. Jive and Lithium are the clear analyst favorites at this point, receiving high marks from both Gartner and Forrester in recent reports.
Paul Greenberg has been speculating that Cisco would get into SCRM since the company official announced Quad last summer. Cisco acquired two social networking technologies prior to releasing Quad: FiveAcross, certain assets of Tribe.net parent Utah Street Networks. These may have formed the basis for Cisco's Entertainment OS (Eos). Cisco is presumably using technology from all three in Quad and SocialMiner.
After the Tribe.net acquisition, Ning's Marc Andreessen told the New York Times "The idea that Cisco is going to be a force in social networking is about as plausible as Ning being a force in optical switches." Perhaps we'll be seeing an announcement about optical switches from Ning soon?
Those wanting to know more about the business case for SCRM and how it differs from traditional CRM should read Paul Greenberg's excellent post on the subject and perhaps the free 18 Use Cases of Social CRM, The New Rules of Relationship Management report from The Altimeter Group.