Collaboration is Hot … A “Bring Your Own Device” Mobility Update

January 11, 2012 - 3 Comments

Cisco kicked off the New Year with a significant milestone:  we’ve reached over 50,000 users of personal mobile devices in the enterprise. In fact, while we’ve seen an upward trajectory of personal devices over the past two years, the major growth spurt was in the last calendar year – our total mobile device count grew 52% in 12 months. And no surprise:  this was primarily seen in Apple devices.

If you think back, the iPhone 4 came out in summer 2010 – this is what jumpstarted the growth as we had many employees waiting to purchase it. We typically add an average of 800 iPhones each month, and expect this trend to continue.

But the fastest growing personal device is the iPad which increased 10% to more than 8,000 devices in the last calendar year. We consider the iPad to be a truly BYOD device because Cisco does not offer any kind of subsidy to employees who want to use it for business purposes. It is also what we call a “third screen” for productivity – meaning that all iPad owners also have a corporate issued laptop and smart phone. So, it’s a third screen that enables employees to work anywhere, any time. We find that employees are willing to buy these expensive devices on their own because they can buy what they want. We are adding an average of 400 iPads a month, and believe this growth will continue.

But what I’m most excited about is the Cisco Cius, the first mobile collaboration business tablet specifically designed for the enterprise. Since mid-November, we have begun rolling it out with limited availability to about 3,200 users so far.  General availability will be offered on a “pay-for-play” basis later this year. In addition to mobility essentials like email and calendaring, employees are able to access the entire Cisco network over Wi-Fi for instant messaging, Unified Communications, HD video conferencing, WebEx, and valuable business apps like My PTO, My Expense Reports and our Integrated Workforce Experience powered by Cisco Quad for Mobile.

The bring-your-own-device phenomenon has made us transform ourselves into a consumer IT department. By this I mean that we are literally now behaving just like a carrier. We want to replicate the same consumer experience that employees have with companies like Apple or AT&T. This includes making the set-up of new devices simple and easy.

Here’s a great example of one of the ways we do this. December is “gadget season,” so knowing that many of our employees will receive mobile devices as gifts for the holidays, we proactively tell employees what to do when they want to use these devices at work. We have two goals: (1) we want to make the experience easy, and (2) we want to avoid a lot of calls to our global IT support team which operates with a skeleton crew during the holiday break. We received much positive feedback from employees who were surprised and delighted, one of our goals!

And speaking of support, through our IT Mobility Services Community within our collaboration platform (our Integrated Workforce Experience powered by Cisco Quad), we have been able to reduce our IT support case load by 24%. We think this is an impressive statistic, and we hope to improve upon it in 2012.

Mobility is an important part of the collaboration equation – I’ll blog more on this topic next time.

Happy New Year and Happy Collaborating!

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  1. Thanks for this update on BYOD – I have my self written about the in relation to schools support for BOYD in Scotland – I have quoted your post in my update today see here Seems to me that it excellent that Cisco is taking a supportive view on BYOD – in the past I have been seen corporations taking a much more restrictive view on this issue. We do need to open things up to meet the expectation of todays younger generation who now expect to connect where ever they happen to be!!!!!

  2. Can you provide more info on how you get the 24% reduction of IT support case load? What is the data range (within 1 month, 1 quarter, 1 year, etc.)?

    • Hi Thanh, thanks for your question. It’s a year over year measure. We have 24% fewer cases at this point this year than we did at this point last year.

      The biggest driver is self service / self support. We deleted our wiki and recreated our presence on IWE, focusing on the end users and the end user experience. It’s paid huge dividends and we’re now taking the same approach for Desktop, Messaging, Home Office, etc.