When I meet with customers, one of the most frequent questions I get asked is what makes a tablet suitable for enterprise use. It’s a great question. I then share my thoughts – and they in turn provide theirs.
The timing’s right to consider this – at least when considering projections, such as from Deloitte, which are forecasting that 50% of computing devices in 2011 will NOT be PC’s – but will be tablets or smartphones. The landscape’s changing indeed.
So, for those of you considering a tablet solution to redefine how your employees go about their work, here are some key areas I’ll share that your colleagues are thinking about. That you may want to consider as you sort through the landscape of tablet options available to you to change your business processes:
- How important is it that your tablet solution is fully integrated into your communications capabilities, such as voice and/or video interoperability, secure social messaging or offering full desktop computing?
- Is corporate governance and compliance in your enterprise a factor? For example, are detailed call records, secure call recording with redundant backup systems key record keeping capabilities for your business, due to regulatory requirements?
- Do you have a requirement for, or the desire to, centrally manage tablets as just another endpoint on your network? Consider the impact of software updates and inventory management and if your tablet solution of choice has any impact on you as an IT organization.
- Consider the importance of Quality of Service within your enterprise network. If Quality of Service is mission critical to your business, then make sure your tablet solution easily integrates into your organization’s mobility policy (i.e., appropriate prioritization of real-time multimedia services, such as voice and video).
- Consider whether you have the proper security policies in place to extend your corporate data to mobile devices? Can your tablet solution of choice support them? For example, employees come and go. Is it easy to wipe corporate data from remote tablets?
- Many tablets will advertise that they are not just consumption devices but computing devices as well. So you’ll want to understand how thorough the tablet’s virtualization story is. Ask yourself if you’re getting full desktop capabilities for your users who travel or are remote? Are their communications secured? Can you fully compute on the device, should connectivity be lost?
- Finally, with more and more applications being added to public marketplaces each and every day, how important is it to you to be able to test out applications before your employees download them.Is there a choice with your tablet solution?
I hope you find these questions useful and thought provoking. As always, we’re interested in your thoughts so share with us those elements you feel are important.
Finally, let me take a moment to provide you a progress update on our mobile collaboration tablet solution designed for the enterprise, Cisco Cius since the last time I was with you. We’re excited to have begun taking orders for Cisco Cius this month. It’s now orderable through your Cisco field representative and/or authorized Cisco channel reseller. Customers remain excited about the unique capabilities it offers to truly change the way people work – whether its fixed or mobile connectivity (unique for a tablet), desktop virtualization to bring your computing anywhere you go, HD video (and mobile HD video at that), comprehensive collaboration and the ability to control applications deployments.
Starting this month and throughout May, we’ll be shipping Cius tablets to key customer accounts that have shared with us unique use cases for Cius. These will be scaled production deployments as part of our Cius commercial availability plan, just as we had announced.
If you’d like more information about the opportunities Cisco Cius can offer your business to increase its productivity, check out the Cius link above or contact your Cisco account or authorized channel partner representative for further details.
Set your workforce free!