Cisco last week unveiled “Cius” (pronounced “see-us”) a tablet device focused on high-definition collaboration and mobility for business users. While similar to Apple’s iPad device in conception, it runs the Android OS, has front-facing HD video capture and supports several Cisco business applications such as Webex, Cisco Unified Communications Manager and Cisco Telepresence. Cisco is positioning Cius as the next generation user collaboration device, capable of replacing a phone with something that a user can take with them as they travel.
Key features include a docking/charging station that also offers HDMI output, gigabit Ethernet and HD sound, allowing the device to deliver videoconferencing to a big screen or picked up and used as a mobile videoconferencing device with 3G or WiFi. With the adoption of Android, the device can also tap into the Android application marketplace for additional business applications. The Cius can connect to a corporate network via the Cisco AnyConnect VPN.
Cius provides an alternative for those organizations considering adding iPad to the list of supporting devices, though given iPad propagation, supporting Cius and iPad may not be a one or the other choice. Rather, we expect that Cius will see adoption within Cisco UC customer environments, potentially alongside iPad. Those companies focused on collaboration, unified communication and mobility, may find the Cius a better fit for business application that the more consumer-oriented iPad.
Even if you aren’t a Cisco shop, carefully evaluate the Cius as a precursor of Android-based tablets to come in the consumer market, which like the iPad, will find their way into the enterprise.
Irwin Lazar is the Vice President for Communication and Collaboration Research at Nemertes Research, where he develops and manages research projects, develops cost models, conducts strategic seminars and advises clients. His background is in network operations, network engineering, voice-data convergence, and IP telephony. Mr. Lazar is responsible for benchmarking the adoption and use of emerging technologies in the enterprise in areas including VOIP, unified communications, Web 2.0 initiatives, social networking, and collaboration.
A Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and sought-after speaker and author, Mr. Lazar is a columnist for No Jitter and Enterprise2Blog. He is a frequent resource for the business and trade press and is regular speaker at events such as Interop, VoiceCon, and Enterprise 2.0. Mr. Lazar serves as the conference director for FutureNet (formerly MPLScon), and is on the advisory board for the Enterprise 2.0 conference.