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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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Mobile Videoconferencing: Take Your Meetings on the Road

When The Who sang about going mobile, they were talking about taking a vacation with no particular destination in mind, not smartphones. But that song could be an anthem for the times: These days, just about every one of us uses a smartphone or mobile device, whether to check email, update our Facebook and Twitter accounts, and to attend teleconferences. But using your phone to attend to a videoconference? That’s the new trend.

Wait, what, mobile videoconferencing? Yes, thanks to a slew of different devices, videoconferencing on mobile devices is the next big thing—a trend that’s predicted to hit “critical mass” in 2011. Here at Cisco we recognize that mobility is a key trend—and one that unites our Collaboration, Borderless Networks, and video strategies. Essentially, we should be able to connect anytime, from anywhere, to any device.

So what’s influencing the rise in mobile videoconferencing? Here’s the rundown, as well as a list of Cisco solutions that help with videoconferencing, and an example of one the ways that one of our partners is responding to the trend.

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Santa’s Supply Chain – Get Something NEW and EXCITING!

December 22, 2010 at 12:20 pm PST

I was thinking about all the supply chain agility issues Santa would have this year – probably the same every year. Like the fact that he has to deliver to hundreds of millions of folks on one particular day of the year.

He’s been doing this for hundreds of years with only one workshop -- not located anywhere near any major distribution routes and with a small but obviously highly productive workforce. Add to this his orders come in only a few weeks before 25th December – some on the 24th! And somehow he hasn’t any carry over stock on the 26th. Miss the 25th and you’ve had it!

Downside of this squeeze is that you can often get that same ol’ pair of socks, that boring polyester tie or that colorful sweater that you’ll never wear. Maybe even a lump of coal if you’re really unlucky. So here’s a message to  Santa… Read More »

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How do I keep iPads off of my factory floor?

This question was posed by the Manufacturing IT Director for a major Pharma producer, as part of an annual customer advisory board hosted jointly by Cisco and Rockwell Automation. One answer:  Good luck! …And why would you want to?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diHUhLh5VH4

Chet Namboodri talks about how consumer products are entering production and maintenance workflows and how “Rockwell and Cisco are in the forefront of enabling those solutions” during a recent customer innovation council session.

The migration of technology and applications from Consumer to Business to Industrial has become a well worn path, and the use of Smart Phones, Tablets, Mobile Video and other Operator Interfaces powering work flows and industrial intelligence has become a mainstay for Manufacturers.  Read More »

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Defining the Virtualized Collaborative Workspace

Today Cisco announced the Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI).  I wanted to take the opportunity to discuss this new system, and offer some thoughts on what it means, relative to desktop virtualization.

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