From Cisco, a Buttoned-Down 'YouTube'

Cisco's expansion continues with plans to launch a YouTube-style technology for enterprises.
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) -- Networking giant


(CSCO) - Get Report

is planning to launch a YouTube-style service for enterprises later this year, in an attempt to tap into the social-networking revolution.

The phenomenal rise of services such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube has completely transformed the way people communicate with each other but has not been without its problems. Many organizations, for example, have banned or limited access to social networking sites, fearing lost productivity and the potential for an embarrassing data breach.

At the same time, large organizations are searching for ways to share information across their businesses, which are staffed by increasingly tech-savvy employees. With budgets for corporate travel and events shrinking, online collaboration tools, as they are known, are being touted as the solution.

Cisco already sells video-conferencing technology, as well as its WebEx meeting software but is now pushing into secure video sharing, according to Sheila Jordan, the company's vice president of IT.

"We have a video product

that we will launch in November," she said, during a multi-city video conference Tuesday. "We called it C-Vision internally, and it's like YouTube for the enterprise."

Cisco is clearly aiming C-Vision at firms that need to quickly distribute marketing, training and other corporate information, although specific details of the technology have not yet been revealed. A brief note on the Cisco Web site describes C-Vision as a "video wiki" that also encompasses audio and photos, as well as enabling users to rate content.

Crucially, C-Vision is expected to run within firms' corporate firewalls, providing a heightened level of security then traditional social networking.

Cisco competes with


(CTXS) - Get Report

around Web conferencing and collaboration technology, and has been using C-Vision within its own business for some time, according to Jordan. The San Jose, Calif.-based firm spent $500,000 on C-Vision and video blogs during fiscal 2008, an investment which shaved $10 million off costs elsewhere in its business, according to figures presented by Cisco.

"Collaboration is the next wave of productivity, it's the next wave of the Internet," said Rick Hutley, vice president of Cisco's internet business solutions group, during the video conference. "Cisco is absolutely committed to the collaboration vision."

YouTube, which was acquired by


(GOOG) - Get Report

for $1.65 billion in 2006, has become one of the most influential consumer technologies of the last 10 years. Google has since been questioned over its ability to

wring revenue

out of the video-sharing site, although it recently said it was pleased with YouTube's "trajectory."

Cisco is not the only tech company that has attempted to get into the video-sharing space. Software giant


(MSFT) - Get Report

, for example, launched its Soapbox!, its YouTube rival, in 2006, but recently retired the technology. The Redmond, Wash.-based firm, however, also offers MSN Video for TV, music and movie clips, as well as viral videos.

In May, Cisco said it estimated that 60% of all Internet traffic is video-related, a figure that could rise to almost 90% by the end of 2012.

Despite striking a

cautious tone

after its recent

fourth-quarter results

, Cisco CEO John Chambers is clearly confident that his company can extend beyond its core networking business.

Cisco, which


video camera maker


earlier this year, is in the midst of a metamorphosis. With the firm's networking products already widely deployed on customer sites, CEO Chambers has been targeting new areas, such as


, and is even eyeing opportunities in

home entertainment


Shares of Cisco were falling slightly to $21.51 in Thursday morning trading.