Cisco Cius Android Tablet Surprises at Collaboration Summit
Cisco Systems is preparing some Cius Android tablet surprises at the Cisco Collaboration Summit (Nov. 14-17, Miami, Fla.), a major channel partner event. Key efforts apparently involve AppHQ, a Cisco-developed app store for the Cius tablet. Here’s the early chatter.
Cisco plans to invite 150 top collaboration partners — from across the United States, Canada, Latin America and Asia Pacific — to Cisco Collaboration Summit 2011. Cisco will likely make some Cius moves during the summit, according to Kirk McNeill, marketing manager for collaboration solutions at Cisco. McNeill is promoting the Cius this week at Oracle OpenWorld.
Generally speaking, Cisco’s Cius tablet is designed for large enterprises that already leverage Cisco’s unified communications and collaboration infrastructure. (Here’s a deep dive on Cius with more tech specs and positioning info.)
Over time, Cisco expects Cius to gain traction with midmarket customers. SMB customers are not a big target for Cius. But that could change over time — if big service providers host Cisco’s services and, therefore, make Cius a cost-effective endpoint for SMBs. (That’s only a theory from The VAR Guy.)
Nuts and Bolts
Cius is a small tablet with a seven-inch diagonal, high-resolution color screen. It supports touch-based interactions. An optional HD media station — resembling a phone docking station — links Cius to wired networks Cius allows users to instantly roam between wired and WiFi connections. Future enhancements will allow Cius users to instantly jump between wired, WiFi and cellular networks, according to McNeill. The VAR Guy wonders: Will that capability arrive at Collaboration Summit? Hmmm…
Perhaps Cisco’s primary Cius focus ahead of Collaboration Summit involves the AppHQ — a Cisco-organized app store. Enterprises can pick-and-choose which apps their users can access from the AppHQ app store. Enterprises can also blog access to AppHQ, or even blend Cisco’s AppHQ offerings with Amazon’s Android app offerings.
At $750 each and heavily dependent of Cisco’s back-end infrastructure, Cius certainly doesn’t compete in the consumer market, nor does it compete with mainstream tablets like Apple’s iPad. But enhancements are coming. Really soon…