Apple & Cisco: 6 Reasons to Settle
The VAR Guy is about to step onto his soapbox. Regardless of whether you side with Cisco or Apple in the iPhone name debate, it’s clear to The VAR Guy that a Cisco/Apple settlement and partnership would be a huge win for VARs.
Skeptical? Here are six reasons to lobby for such a deal:
1. College Students: Imagine the second-coming of Apple on university campuses. As Ball State University CIO H. O’Neal Smitherman recently told The VAR Guy, college students want a single device with cell phone, music and email capabilities. Roughly 50 percent of Harvard Medical School students already carry PDAs, iPods and smart phone devices. All of those kids would certainly welcome tighter integration with WiFi networks. You know, the kind designed by Cisco.
2. Telepresence: Cisco’s next-generation videoconferencing technology was designed for corporate boardrooms. But what if those video sessions could be streamed to executives (equipped with Apple iPhones) on the go?
3. Linksys: The most popular home and small business WiFi networking equipment meets a consumer handheld smart phone. Lots of possibilities there for both Apple and Cisco.
4. Executive Suites: The suits who run Corporate America love their toys. BlackBerrys. Treos. LCD TVs. Those were hip a year or two (or three…) ago. But Apple’s iPhone could emerge as the hot must-have device for executives in late 2007. For that to happen, iPhone will need to integrate very well with corporate VoIP systems.
5. Mac OS X: It’s Unix. It’s reliable. It’s built into Apple’s iPhone. And it provides a rich development environment for writing unified communications applications–the kind of applications that will help Cisco drive more VoIP equipment sales.
6. Ganging Up Against Microsoft: Sure, Cisco and Microsoft partner in a number of areas. But the two companies don’t always see eye to eye. Anyone else remember how Cisco and Microsoft worked to port Microsoft Active Directory to Unix? That effort failed, and Microsoft now works more closely with Nortel to design unified network solutions. Cisco would certainly welcome Apple’s help in a counter-offensive.
Cisco’s new tagline, “Welcome to the human network,” evokes images of elegant, simple, innovative user interfaces–the type designed by Apple. Admittedly, many critics doubt Cisco and Apple will settle. And this blog entry is pure opinion from The VAR Guy. But boy, the possibilities seem endless.