Cisco Unveils AppHQ for the Cius

by Jeff Wiener on June 30, 2011

It will be more than a year from its initial unveiling when the enterprise ready Cisco Cius tablet hits store shelves at the end of July (cost: $750), a lengthy wait that has seen the steady rise of enterprise adoption of Apple’s consumer oriented iPad as well as the release of several enterprise specific devices/platforms.

But that doesn’t seem to matter to Cisco, a company that has seen its profits wane these past few months, as the telecommunications giant plans to offer the enterprise sector things its never seen before, unprecedented customization qualities and unrivalled IT control.

To that end, Cisco unveiled its own unique application ecosystem yesterday, dubbed AppHQ, a platform that will allow companies to build their own apps, mange their own app stores, manage the devices in use, and one that will, of course, usher in the next generation of portable video, telepresence, and teleconferencing technologies that will run on the Cius.

Cisco’s AppHQ is similar to Avaya’s Flare Experience, in that both are unique communications platforms designed around full integration with each company’s respective communication solutions. But clearly Cisco is taking a different approach with its AppHQ, choosing an application-centric focus that allows companies to create and test apps that work specifically for them.

Simply put, unlike the open source consumer app-focused Android Marketplace, Cisco’s AppHQ will centre primarily around both general enterprise specific applications and specific professional use cases. For example, Cisco’s AppHQ will allow the IT department of a high powered finance company to create specific applications useful for its corporate executives, or allow the medical services field to develop communication and diagnostic apps that would be useful for doctors…its just that versatile.

The bottom line is, rather than telling companies what apps they can use—although many general collaboration and communication apps will be available—the application platform will simply empower companies to address their own specific needs, with Cisco’s guidance along the way of course.

But it doesn’t stop there, as the Cisco press release states. “Additionally, companies can create private, custom-branded application storefronts for their organizations where employees can find, publish and procure applications that complement their business environments.”

Aside from allowing companies to create user specific apps and app stores, aside from whatever actual sales figures Cisco hits with the Cius, in my mind the real upside to Cisco’s tablet is how it fosters creativity from the enterprise sector, allowing IT departments and other interested parties to really sink their teeth into app development and create things that will likely advance the entire mobile communications market. Let the app creation begin!

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