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Choosing a Tablet for the Enterprise

Walking the floor of Enterprise Connect (formerly VoiceCon) today, one is immediately struck by the variety of tablets hitting the marketplace.  IT managers have a plethora of devices to choose from and it’s clear the tablet can become more than just another endpoint – it can become a tool for dramatically improving mobile productivity and employee engagement.

Based on what customers are telling us, here are a variety of points we feel are critical to consider as IT managers look to deploy tablets across the enterprise:

1.      Security, Security, Security: When deploying enterprise wide tablets, IT managers should consider how the device will provide business-grade security – including media encryption, device authentication, network security on both wired and wireless networks, and VPN connectivity.

2.      Extension of Collaboration Architecture: Users should be able to easily and seamlessly take advantage of a variety of existing collaboration capabilities such as business-grade voice communications, conferencing in all forms, Instant Messaging (IM), presence, email, and virtual teaming from a single mobile device.

Choosing a tablet that fits enterprise needs

3.      Enterprise Administration & Management: IT administrators are keen on simplifying the administration and management of tablets by retaining a common dialing plan, ensuring interoperability with other user devices, and bulk provisioning for scalable deployments. IT managers should also have the choice, by user, to grant (or deny) permissions to download applications from various marketplaces based on existing security and provisioning policies.

4.      Interoperable Video Communications: Our enterprise customers require a tablet solution that not only natively supports mobile video using a common dialing plan, but is also interoperable with existing multi-vendor video solutions and video standards such as H.264.

5.      Powerful Computing Capability: For business use, our customers think a tablet should have processing power that enables the consumption and sharing of data as well as the creation and editing of content – to deliver a full desktop experience.

6.      It’s In the Cloud: Desktop virtualization lets you flexibly and securely host software applications in the data center and use the network to deliver those applications as a service anytime and anywhere. Our customers are saying this virtualized environment should extend seamlessly to the device.

7.      Commitment to Open Source: Enterprise tablets that use open platforms, such as the Android OS, can tap into an expanding Android developer community for building business-class productivity applications and even allow customers to develop their own custom applications.

What would you add to this list and how do the needs of your enterprise compare? I look forward to seeing your suggestions in the comments below.

For more information about tablet choices and Cisco’s Cius, please visit here.

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In Collaboration, What’s the Next Great Debate?

It seems like every five years a major shift takes place and is debated at the collaboration industry’s premier conference:  VoiceCon. Now called Enterprise Connect, this year’s conference got underway yesterday in Orlando, FL.

In 2001, the great debate was around the convergence of voice and data, as industry leaders took sides over whether the IP-PBX ready was ready for prime time.

In 2006, the buzz was around the topic of Unified Communications, where a single platform emerged to deliver voice, messaging, and basic video.

This year, I predict a great debate over the question, “What does collaboration look like in what Ray Ozzie termed ‘the post-PC world?’”

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Cisco Wins Four Apex Awards at Digital Signage Expo 2011

Last week, Cisco Digital Media Systems (DMS) wrapped up another year at the world’s largest international trade show and conference dedicated to digital signage – the Digital Signage Expo 2011, held in Las Vegas. This year’s event came at an exciting time, just as Cisco was able to announce its 3000-customer milestone in digital signage and our market leadership in this bourgeoning industry after just four short years since joining the market in 2007.

For more insight from the show floor at DSE 2011, check out this video with DMS general manager Janice Litvinoff, outlining key highlights from the event and the unique digital signage applications on display this year at the Cisco booth.

In addition, we were thrilled to receive four Apex Awards, handed out by the Digital Signage Federation. Bringing in the gold award was …

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Cisco redefines what you can do on an Android device

Google’s Android operating system is one of the hottest names in mobility right now. According to a Feb 9 Gartner report, “In the [worldwide] smartphone operating system (OS) market, Android grew 888.8 percent in 2010 and moved to the No. 2 position.” No other mobile OS grew anywhere near as fast as Android.

So it makes perfect sense that Cisco should be a part of the growing Android ecosystem. We are pleased to announce Cisco WebEx Meetings for Android and Cisco Mobile for Android.

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Helping Enterprises Create and Manage Video

Today, Cisco announced a series of new video offerings designed to make it easier for enterprises to create and consume video. Listen below as Cisco’s Director of Marketing for Enterprise Video, Erica Schroeder, outlines these new announcements and what it means for our customers.

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