Today John Chambers at Cisco Live announced a new Cisco product called the Cius. This new tablet is a new collaboration tool suited for business users with a host of Cisco Unified Communications tools inside. Also the Cius will have availability for applications from the Android Market Place. Below are the specifications from the Cisco material,
It seems the Cisco Cius is going to be mainly a product used within a Cisco UC environment. But what if Chambers has other ideas? What if this is his first move into the retail market? We could have a great battle between Cisco and Apple, Chambers and Jobs. That would be good to see.
[Note from Julie Bort, Cisco Subnet editor: Also see Erik Parker's review: Hands on with the Android tablet "Cius" that Cisco announced at Cisco Live]
Ok back to reality ...
Consumers don't have Cisco UC platforms sitting around, not everyone has a WebEx account but everyone wants Telepresence. The Cius talks about HD Telepresence, we really all need to step back a minute before we go and order these. Unless you are on a free WiFi it is not going to work. I wrote about the carriers and how they are capping data plans for 3G and 4G now. How does Cisco think it will get HD Telepresence over a carrier network without an unlimited data plan? The overage charges will be huge if you travel and are always on a 3G or 4G network. I would not even trust a carrier network for HD Telepresence with all of the congestion they have now.
Cisco has to be looking at Verizon or Sprint as AT&T is on overload with Apple.
Apple and Cisco both has the same problem with tablets, the carrier networks and data plans. Jobs did not get AT&T to give unlimited data on the new iPhone or iPad, who thinks Chambers will get that for a non-consumer device?
Also Cisco did not put the Cisco WAAS Mobile product on its new Cius and that is puzzling to me. Maybe it could have reduced some bandwidth and helped with data flow? But with the new version of software that just came out I am sure they did not feel all of the bugs are worked out yet (please see my next blog for my latests thoughts on Cisco WAAS). Since this new product has ties to the cloud and SaaS and Cisco just announced this new push with WAAS software, why would they not use the WAN acceleration? Like I said: puzzling.
But if I was a betting man I would say Jobs was well aware of the Cisco Cius and is working on a front and rear video camera for the iPad. This would also do video calls and more for the iPad. With a loyal customer base such a move would keep Apple out in front of Cisco. There are many companies who have engineers using the iPad for work, I don't see them switching. Also you need to really have Cisco Telepresence and UC for the Cius to even work.
So is it a big gamble for Cisco? Should they have just added some new software to the iPad if/when it moved to video calls? Is Chambers looking to compete with Jobs? Does he really think this will compete with Apple? I hope he is not that vain.
Is this just another product that is getting Cisco farther and farther away from its roots?
Larry Chaffin Ph.D is the Chief Executive Officer/Chairman and founder of Pluto Networks, a Consulting and VAR partner specializing in WAN acceleration, VoIP, WLAN, telepresence and security.
Pluto Networks is a Riverbed reseller. Pluto was previously a Cisco reseller but in June, 2010, ended its reseller relationship with the company and is no longer a Cisco channel partner.
Pluto Networks specializes in the needs of small, large and enterprise companies by always giving them a great ROI on the products they sell. Pluto Networks has a presence in 23 countries around the world enabling all of its consultants to be virtual. Larry was a Judge at Interop for the Best of Interop Awards for 2009.
Larry has also co-authored all of the books listed below:
Managing Cisco Secure Networks, Skype Me, Practical VOIP Security, Configuring Check Point NGX VPN-1/Firewall-1,Configuring Juniper Networks NetScreen & SSG Firewalls,Essential Computer Security: Everyone's Guide to Email, Internet, and Wireless Security, How to Cheat at Microsoft Vista Administration, Microsoft Vista for IT Security Professionals, Asterisk Hacking, 2008 VoIP and Video Conferencing, Infosecurity 2008 Threat Analysis and author of Building a VOIP Network with Nortel's MS5100, along with co-authoring/ghost writing eleven other technology books for VIOP, WLAN, security and optical technologies. Larry is currently working on a follow up to Building a VoIP network with Nortel's MCS 5100 Book as well as new books on Cisco Telepresence Networks, Practical VoIP case studies and WAN Acceleration with Riverbed.
Larry also has more than 29 vendor certifications and has been working on many others. Larry has been a principal architect around the world in 22 countries for many Fortune 100 companies designing VoIP, security, wireless and optical networks. He has expanded over time also to include application acceleration. Larry is working with worldwide company now out of Asia as a Special Assistant to the CEO and CIO as they go through organizational and network changes, helping them with strategic advice from his years of experience.
Pluto Networks is a channel partner of, LifeSize, Riverbed, Call Copy, Fastsoft and Symantec.