Cisco Launching Online App Store?
Millions of iPhone users download applications from Apple’s App Store. Now, Cisco Systems is considering a similar online App Store approach in the corporate market. Eventually, the networking giant may launch an online service or central repository to help you find Unified Communications applications and Widgets, The VAR Guy has learned. Here’s the scoop.
Cisco is making some major unified communications announcements today. But The VAR Guy often has a hard time focusing on “today’s news” because he always wants to know “what’s next.”
Well, here’s what’s next: Cisco is developing tools to help partners write Widgets and Applets that plug into unified communications networks. As part of the strategy, Cisco has announced the:
“Cisco Unified Applications Environment and the Application eXtension Platform (AXP), which are open development platforms that enable the integration of unified communications and network services with business applications and the development of new applications.”
Open for Business?
Now, the obvious question: Will Cisco launch some sort of online store or online repository to help track and proliferate all of these new unified communications Widgets?
“The ultimate vision is centralized Widgets,” says Richard McLeod, director of unified communications, worldwide channels. “We will make a series of Widgets available. Some [partners and customers] will leverage their own Widgets.” But ultimately, McLeod says, Cisco will explore how to organize all of those Widgets so that they can be shared by partners and customers across the web.
Hmmm. Sounds an awful lot like Cisco needs an online App Store — something like a business alternative to Apple’s consumer-driven iPhone App Store.
Update (5:19 eastern, 9/24/08): The Cisco press release hit the wires a few hours ago. Here are some additional highlights regarding the Cisco app development tools for Unified Communications.
Cisco provides an open application development environments based on Web 2.0 tools and APIs including:
• Cisco Unified Applications Environment (CUAE) to deliver web applications to the Cisco IP Phone screen
• Cisco Applications eXchange Platform (AXP) to expose capabilities within the router to applications in branch offices
• Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance 8.0(4) to provide an open network security platform that makes it possible for employees to connect and communicate remotely via a virtual private network that converges data and voice.
• And now, Cisco WebEx Connect to bring together business applications, web tools and team workspaces.