I bet not many people have heard about Socialcast and I also believe not many people know Socialcast has been aquired by VMware in March 2011.
What is Socialcast?
Socialcast is a leading provider of social collaboration solutions for the enterprise. Socialcast enables modern business communication by uniting people, information and enterprise applications within collaborative communities. Delivered as a hosted service, private cloud implementation, or via an on-premise solution
Okay, that’s the official statement from the press release. To me, it is a platform for employees within an organization which will increase collaboration, sharing of ideas, knowledge and even unite people. I have heard people say it is Twitter or Facebook for the enterprise. Well… yes to an extend that is true.
I don’t want to compare Twitter/Facebook to Socialcast but I just want to share my enthousiasm! I’m addicted to Socialcast! In this case, it isn’t a bad thing to be addicted. But why am I addicted?
Well, first of all I can access Socialcast (I should say our implementation of Socialcast) from any of my devices; there are mobile apps for Android, BlackBerry and iPhone and also applications for Mac and Windows. Of course you can access Socialcast with a browser!
In our case, I don’t know if we host Socialcast from a public cloud as a hosted solution or if it is an on-premise implementation (which is a virtual appliance). From a user perspective it doesn’t really matter, right?!
Socialcast is integrated with Active Directory. When I logged on the first time, my profile was filled in with my basic details; my job role, telephone number, my manager etc. I could add more personal details like my Messenger ID, website URL, hobbies etc. Cool, I was setup on the system and good to go!
I started searching for Groups and straight away I found many groups of my interest. I joined them and I started to see messages from those groups on my Home page. So I didn’t have to look for them, they were there in my Home screen. I started to follow people as well. Everything they would post would come up in my Home screen.
I also noticed I could setup my own group. How sweet is that! I am running a demo environment from VMware employees in EMEA, so why not setup a group and post messages and documents there in stead of sending emails. I invited the users of the demo environment and started posting messages about new features, updates etc there.
So, I saw a mixture of groups come to life; work related obviously but also more personal groups. I joined a photography group and can share pictures, ideas, best spots, news about cameras etc. Yes it does unite people. Who would have thought that?!
With our Socialcast, I also noticed information was easier to get, came to me quicker, was shared easier and sooner. For example, unfortunately sometimes it takes a while for someone to answer an email. Post something and the response is there! That quick! For sure people respond quicker than via email.
I believe it made a gap between different groups smaller. People would ask for feedback, or give feedback about products. I saw different groups starting to work together, share information. Seeing that kind of collaboration happening is great!
So, now after a day of work I check my Socialcast, browsing groups, following people, answering questions from others, posting questions, uploading pictures and hitting F5 a lot (yes it will refresh automatically but I’m impatient). I like this kind of networking, socializing, collaborating. I truly like Socialcast.