Cisco Blogs

Choosing a Tablet for the Enterprise

- March 2, 2011 - 2 Comments

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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  1. I find articles like this very concerning. It goes without saying that technology in the mobile device space is changing rapidly, especially in the mobile OS and tablet space. So, many people such as IT managers look to industry resources for more information. The concerning thing for me is that this blog article which gets "Cisco credibility" is not entirely accurate. I agree with many points in this article, especially #1. However, I find point 7 to be inaccurate. Mr. Puorro states that an "open source" mOS like Android allows customers to develop their own applications. The inference here is that "closed" mOS's like iOS do not. I'm not here to debate open versus closed. However, a "closed" mOS like iOS DOES allow for customer to develop their own apps. With iOS 4.2, enterprise apps can be written and bypass the app store for "internal" use. The concern is that someone reading this thinks "I need open source mOS like Android for my own custom apps." Now, it's arguable that an open source mOS might (might) make it easier to develop apps. If you believe that, then you will need to revisit #1 on the list.

  2. As a small, mobile business owner I am very excited about the new tablet technology. My only experience is with iProducts, and I find them somewhat limiting. I would part with my cash for a Tablet pc as versatile as a laptop in regard to multi tasking and compatibilty.