“œYou think you’re the only superhero in the world? Mr. Stark, you’ve become part of a bigger universe. You just don’t know it yet.” – Nick Fury, IRON MAN (post-credit closing scene)
In thinking about our recent Motion launch, I found the confluence of two key factors peppering my thoughts about Cisco’s new Mobility Services Engine: a laser beam focus on enabling IT managers to practically enable mobility applications and the Memorial Day kickoff of movies inspired by comic books. Traditionally wireless and mobility are like”superpowers”: they amaze and astound us, even if we are neither sure how they work nor if they can be controlled. We increasingly run our businesses and lives through mobility but rely on others to provide the capabilities. Our mobile society is overseen by the good graces of a mobility superclass. Cisco’s answer: make our customers, core IT managers,”Mobility Superheroes.” That is, take the province of a few and make it easy for many by separating the deeper physics of the network from the application enablement IT knows cold.Although I am not a comic-book aficionado, I grok the basic thesis of Superhero 101: take an unlikely ordinary individual through a technically transformative experience, add dash of courage or initiative, and, ta da, great things come out on the other side.Cisco’s Business Mobility initiative is bringing 4 superpowers to IT: 1. FLY THROUGH ANY MEDIUM: Through Mobile Intelligent Roaming, dissolve the architectural divisions among business networks (LAN, WAN, Wireless, RFID, etc.) and increase network utilization and seamless application experience;2. PROVIDE A FORCEFIELD TO PROTECT THE GOOD: through Adaptive Wireless Intrusion Prevention (wIPS), efficiently collect and correlate wireless traffic analysis and security status from all reaches of the network to provide a simple, unified view into the security state of the wireless network, using the same wireless network access points that provide service to do it;3. READ MINDS, SEE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, DETECT CHANGES IN PRESSURE, TEMPERATURE, MOTION: enhance the collaboration-effectiveness of mobile networks by making them context-aware. That is, beyond the location of a person or object, understand presence, use-frequency, or need for repair or service;4. SERVE THE MASSES: Address the tsunami of new devices coming into the Enterprise — just say yes to compelling new smart phones and other mobile devices.And, most democratically, use open APIs to facilitate integration of all of these capabilities. Keep the doors of commerce open to all those willing to securely take advantage. Give everyone these superpowers and unlock business transformation.We live in the era of the Mobility Generation. But this is also the Collaboration/Web 2.0 Generation, and, as the father of two teenagers, I can tell you they are an IMPATIENT BUNCH! These new entrants to the workforce instinctively collaborate when they are mobile. They retrieve, inform and decide while mobile. Mobility is the great amplifier, the great catalyst for collaboration. A year ago, we launched our first Mobility Quotient study to begin measuring the benefit of a company’s mobility assets and how a company could benefit from Mobility.Yet I do not think we went far enough. We did not look closely enough at what it took, practically, to make it all happen — how to unite existing networks and applications to provide a consistent, super experience.That is why all Superheroes have civilian aliases and second acts. Truth, justice and the Mobility Way!