Cisco Debuts Social Networking Platform Eos at CES

Social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn offer benefits for midmarket companies. But can Cisco's social networking platform Eos, announced at CES and aimed at media and entertainment companies, hold opportunities for small business owners?

As if there weren't enough online social networking platforms gunning for your attention these days, Cisco Systems announced on Wednesday Eos, or Entertainment Operating System, aimed at helping media and entertainment companies to create, manage and grow online communities around their content.

Cisco says by delivering the Eos platform as a software-as-a-service (SAAS) product, it allows media companies to focus their limited resources on building compelling consumer experiences, rather than on the cost and complexity of building and maintaining their own Web platform. For small and medium-size businesses (SMB) owners, this announcement should serve as another signal that social networking, primarily social networks that serve to enhance your customers' experience, is of major importance.

"Cisco believes that the network is the platform for a new generation of compelling consumer experiences that are more social, personal and visual," Cisco's senior vice president and general manager of media solutions Dan Scheinman said in a prepared statement. "Cisco Eos leverages the power of the human network and enables media and entertainment companies to complement other online channels with an interactive, community-driven experience in their own branding."

Scheinman said Eos gives companies the opportunity to deepen the relationship online audiences have with the content they love, and presumably with the content distributor as well. While Cisco touted large corporations such as Warner Music Group as being benefited by this technology, the announcement of Eos is another development that suggests companies, enterprise or at the midmarket level, need to have a focused strategy around social networking.

Warner, which worked with Cisco to create the platform, has two sites running on Eos now. Scheinman said Eos allowed the music giant to create community-centered Web sites at a fraction of the cost of custom Web designs. In addition, the platform combines the interactivity of social networking with analytics and media and site management tools, which allow media companies to more effectively derive value from their online content and audiences.
"For media companies and content owners and providers, the platform represents a purpose-built solution that will allow them to easily integrate multiple software categories onto a common platform that will allow them to scale the amount of content they can provide to consumers, and significantly increase the overall online consumer experience," IDC's vice president of consumer and broadband markets Danielle Levitas said in a prepared statement.