Five months ago when the Apple iPad launched, I asked a simple question. Will the iPad make its way into the enterprise? My hypothesis was that the consumerization of IT would create the appropriate conditions where a consumer tablet could find use cases in the enterprise. Early signs are encouraging, particularly with collaboration applications such as Cisco WebEx available on that device.
Today Cisco announced Cius (“see us”, get it?), a business tablet meant to deliver on the promise of Cisco’s Collaboration, Virtualization and Borderless Networks architectures. If somehow you managed to land on this blog without first visiting www.cisco.com I would encourage you to take a look at the cool launch video.
As a mobility marketer this has gotten my attention for three reasons:
- 802.11n: ever since the first customer ship of the Cisco Aironet 1250 access point, and long before the standard’s ratification, we have been talking on this forum about the advantages of this technology. We even developed technology (ClientLink) to enable your non-802.11n devices get better throughput during your device refresh cycles. So any time I see a new mobile device come out with 802.11n radio (and in this case with 3G/4G data and Bluetooth 3.0 as well) I am particularly excited about it.
- Wireless video: today 50% of all Cisco network traffic is attributed to video and consumer research indicates that within the next three years 90% of all network traffic will be attributed to video. Clearly the Cius will take us closer to that number faster. Equipped with dual cameras and designed to interoperate with Cisco Telepresence with HD video, the Cius is one device that will put Cisco’s Medianet capabilities to good use. How many executives do you think will use this technology to broadcast important announcements to all company employees? Fortunately we have already developed technology (VideoStream) that will enable them (executives) to do just that over the wireless network.
- Business device with consumer DNA: nothing encourages mobility more than ease of use. Judging from the Cius form factor, it looks like one of those devices that were designed with “ease-of-use” as a top of mind. Combine the fact that it will be running Android OS, a platform that already many mobile users are familiar with, and I am quickly convinced that the utility users will receive will be significant, right out of the box.
The collaboration team has identified five user categories that will benefit from the Cius: Busy Executives, Sales Representatives, Knowledge Workers, Caseworkers, and Support Staff (read more here). What type of user would you enable with the Cius? And what types of mobile applications would you like see developed over the next few months before the device ships?