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:
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The transformation to a mobile learning environment is underway for today’s K-12 schools. In a generation, we’ve moved from pencil and paper, to the computer lab with static PCs, to a borderless mobility experience where students learn while using wireless-enabled devices, applications, and tools.
Using several Cisco case studies as a guide, I’ll address three major benefits of mobility and high performance 802.11n wireless for today’s K-12 schools.
1. Improvements in Learning. By far the most important benefit of wireless connectivity for schools is the enhancement of learning. Access to the Internet, web-based applications, and new multimedia learning environments from anywhere on campus puts the world at students’ fingertips, enabling innovative learning and better collaboration with fellow students and teachers.
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In my prior life as a management consultant I was often asked to help my clients create business cases for investment in technology. In most of these situations I had to deal with two groups of people: a) those that believed the investment in new technology would bring significant operational improvements/efficiencies, and b) those that questioned if and how those efficiencies would be achieved.
As a marketer for Cisco’s wireless infrastructure my customers tend to fall in the first category, but time and time again they ask me “I get it, but how do I convince my CFO/Controller?”
In response to this need we asked Forrester to build an ROI calculator that would enable you, our customers, evaluate the return on investment a Cisco Unified Wireless Network provides. Forrester interviewed key Cisco customers to collect information about the savings and improvements an investment in wireless networking provided them, and compiled everything into a user friendly excel spreadsheet.
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Ok, I have to admit. Apple marketing gets to me (or is it that Apple marketing gets me?) Yup, iPhone 4 was announced today and I have to say that soon after I started watching the relevant video I am quickly falling out of love with my iPhone 3GS. Joking aside, this is one cool device but what I am most excited about are two things:
First is FaceTime. That opening scene on the video is me, let me explain. A few weeks back I was working from Europe and I was on Skype video with my wife and kid everyday. Granted I would not have paid roaming charges for a voice call from my cell phone but I would have loved the capability of placing a video call over Wi-Fi without having to carry my laptop around. Now if only Apple would allow a FaceTime call from an iPhone 4 to any other device (laptop, Cisco IP video phone, network connected TV, whatever has a camera and a network connection), but they have phones to sell so I have to respect the network externalities that they are pushing for.
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Over the past three years that I have been with the Cisco Mobility Solutions team I have witnessed multiple market transitions that are shaping the communications, collaboration and access landscape.
Today, we are experiencing yet another market transition, one that we have been anticipating for quite a while. AT&T announced the end of unlimited Internet on smartphone devices, such as the Apple iPhone. To non-US mobile users this may not be a big deal as many international service providers already either cap usage or charge on a per MB or GB for data usage. For those of us in the US however, this is major news that will most certainly have implications in:
- User experience and usage patterns
- Guest access network (aka Wi-Fi hotspots) proliferation
- Enterprise wireless network demand -- driven from the continued consumerization of IT
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