Cisco Gets the Tablet Right: Introduces Business Oriented Cius

by Matt Klassen on July 2, 2010

Cisco Cius

With the likes of Google rushing to get a tablet, any tablet, to market, and tech giants like Microsoft and HP having soiled themselves when introduced to Apple’s iPad , subsequently shelving their respective Courier and Slate projects, the prospect of having a legitimate, well-thought out, well-designed answer to the iPad still seems like a long way off. There’s no question that most tech titans are now taking the development of their own tablets very seriously, as I would expect that most tablets will have one kick at the can at offering competition to Apple’s insanely popular device.

That being said, it was just a matter of time before someone utilized the latest tablet craze to produce a model designed strictly for business communication, and it looks like Cisco is the first one out of the gate.

The Cisco Cius, an Android-based tablet platform, was unveiled earlier this week, and for once I must admit, I’m impressed. While the design is suspiciously iPad-like, in fairness, the tablet set for release early next year does everything the iPad doesn’t, meaning that it’s actually a highly functional and indeed, usable, piece of technology.  

In a market where most of the latest and greatest gadgets are aimed at the general tech-loving consumer, Cisco could quickly corner the business tablet market if, like Apple, they produce a device people actually want the first time around. If there’s anything that the business tech market has learned from Research in Motion (RIM), it’s that when it comes to business devices, functionality is the key…otherwise how can you explain the overwhelming success of the Blackberry?

With that in mind, the Cius is set to deliver everything you need to effectively run your business from a device that is reportedly a feather-light 1.5lbs. It’s designed primarily as a “mobile collaboration business tablet,” one that offers unprecedented integration to a full range of Cisco “collaboration and communication applications.”

As the Tech Herald reports, “Cisco’s Cius is being touted as something of an enterprise hybrid that marries a business telephony system with tablet functionality in order to provide users with access to real-time HD video conferencing and one-on-one HD video calls.”

Therefore, rather than competing with the iPad, it looks to me like that Cius will be in direct competition with the desktop computer—a market, I would wager, that will be completely blindsided by the impending mass adoption of tablet devices—as its HD video, multiparty video and voice conferencing, email, messaging, browsing, and not to mention the ability to actually multitask (are you listening Apple?) ostensibly frees employees from the shackles of their desks. 

The language from most business tech analysts, however, seems guarded at best, as many are quick to point out that the business world shouldn’t get too excited yet over tablet technology that’s still in its infancy. But for me, the Cius strikes me as an innovative product that vendors and interconnects can seamlessly incorporate in the entire gamut of Cisco products and solutions, offering businesses yet another way to connect with clients and staff from anywhere in the world.

But does that mean the Cisco Cius will be an immediate success? That remains to be seen. Unlike the general consumer tech market, devices in the business world actually have to be able to perform to become popular. It takes more than a secretive ad campaign and a flashy unveiling to sell to businesses, but again, as RIM as shown us, if Cisco is able to produce a high functioning, intuitive device, they may have cornered the market already.

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Cisco Unveils AppHQ for the Cius —
August 16, 2012 at 6:26 am

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