Cisco, Apple: Happily Ever After?
A lot of pundits are predicting that the battle between Cisco and Apple over the iPhone name could turn ugly. The VAR Guy disagrees. Over the long haul, the iPhone name could unite Cisco and Apple in one of the most exciting enterprise ventures of the decade.
That may sound a little far fetched, but consider the situation at Cisco. The company owns the iPhone name, and the networking giant is making a massive push into
unified communications. That effort calls for smart phones, notebooks, PCs and other devices to easily access Cisco-based VoIP networks and services.
Now, for the problem: Cisco has a difficult time showing unified communication applications in action. Sure, the company can demo a VoIP phone checking your voicemail and email. But what’s next?
How about a slick, intuitive, smart phone that uses Cisco’s network infrastructure to download movies, play videos, view Web seminars and even interact with B2B applications?
Translation: Apple and Cisco are the perfect partners to bring B2B applications to the mobile masses. Cisco delivers the VoIP infrastructure and Apple delivers the iPhone with Mac OS X — a great platform for software developers to design Web 2.0 applications. Such a relationship would also put intense pressure on the
Microsoft-Nortel VoIP alliance.
Now for the problem. Cisco isn’t too thrilled with Apple’s attempt to use the iPhone name. But Today’s Wall Street Journal speculates that Cisco will give Apple rights to the name — if Apple agrees to work more closely on interoperability issues.
Sounds like a big potential win for Cisco, Apple — and VARs who design mobile applications.