I recently had the opportunity to be interviewed by Apple for its Tech Talk series, taped at Apple’s Palo Alto retail store, on the topic of BYOD.

What prompted the invitation to speak was Cisco’s substantial use of Apple devices – Cisco is one of the largest enterprise users of Apple products today across the world. This is not just iPhones (33,000) and iPads (16,000) which are purchased by employees themselves as part of our BYOD program, but we also deploy nearly 33,000 Macs – almost half of our regular employees select Macs over PCs (these are company provided). Moreover, all of these figures are growing – and have grown significantly over the last three years.

So, it is clear that Apple products are a clear favorite with our employees – and for many reasons:  superior functionality, the “cool” factor, simplicity of the Apple OS and overall great user experience.

Because Cisco is such a large user of Apple devices, particularly mobile devices, Apple asks us frequently about how they can better improve the enterprise experience. I participate regularly on an Apple-led IT leadership board to help Apple work better with corporations. This is an important first step for a company that has traditionally focused on just the consumer audience.

If you’ve followed my blog, you know that Cisco IT defines collaboration as five pillars: video, mobile, social, apps and content, all of which integrate with each other.  Just pick up your iPhone and you’ll see what I mean:  many, many times a day we are collaborating using these five pillars on our smart phones.

With this in mind, we at Cisco want to emulate what Apple has created for consumers in terms of user experience and bring that into the enterprise. The Apple experience is easy, simple, intuitive and fast. We as enterprise companies can learn a lot from that great Apple user experience. We are also creating a new Cisco eStore for employees, officially called the Cisco Prime Service Catalog. Just announced last month at Cisco Live, Cisco Prime will house all types of applications for employees including communication and collaboration technology apps and transactional systems apps.

I invite you to take a look at the full Tech Talk interview (broken down into nine segments) which is found on iTunes. As always, I look forward to hearing your comments.

Happy Collaborating!

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