Michael Finneran
Michael F. Finneran, is President of dBrn Associates, Inc., a full service advisory firm specializing in wireless and mobility; services...
Read Full Bio >>

Michael Finneran | June 29, 2011 |


Cisco Announces Internal App Store For Cius

Cisco Announces Internal App Store For Cius Cisco seems to be stuck on the idea that you can "add mobility to UC". The truth of the matter is mobility is a lot bigger market than UC, and one with its own ecosystems, issues and imperatives.

Cisco seems to be stuck on the idea that you can "add mobility to UC". The truth of the matter is mobility is a lot bigger market than UC, and one with its own ecosystems, issues and imperatives.

In a combined Live/Web conference today, Cisco announced an application distribution system for their Cius tablet, called AppHQ. It will be supported by a second product called AppHQ Manager, which will let IT managers allow or deny access to application marketplaces by user role or device and to grant or deny access to applications by type, source or category. While they didn’t use the term "mobile device management system", that along with the ability to manage policies on a network of Cius tablets and do functions like remote wipe seems to indicate that's what they're up to.

While Tom Puorro, Sr. Director, Product Management at Cisco described AppHQ as the "first enterprise grade app store", mobile device management products like those from MobileIron, Zenprise, and AirWatch have included these sorts of capabilities (and then some) in their products for years. What's more, unlike AppHQ, which supports the Cisco Cius exclusively, those solutions support other Android devices, iPads, iPhones, and even BlackBerry devices. Some of those will also query the device to determine what applications are on it, the versions, and alert the user if an updated version is available.

Despite that, Cisco provided a cool demo of the Cius, which is developing nicely as an enterprise-grade tablet device that integrates smoothly with Cisco Unified Call Manager and their other UC&C and social networking products like WebEx and Quad.

Unlike other tablet devices (e.g. iPad, PlayBook, Galaxy, Xoom, etc.) that are designed as stand alone products (or "smartphone adjuncts" in the PlayBook's case), Cisco seems to be following Avaya's track in positioning the Cius as an enhanced desk phone. Key to the Cius configuration is the desktop base station with built-in handset and speakerphone. When docked, the Cius (with all of its inherent touch screen functions) acts as the user interface as well as a mini telepresence station on the desk phone. However, it allows you to grab-it-and-go., and will transition from the wired connection to Wi-Fi seamlessly, even with a call (or video) in progress.

The Jabber mobile UC client looks clean and functional and uses all of the touch screen functions of the tablet for navigation; that's true in the docked and undocked modes. You can touch a buddy's image on the screen and then call, IM, email, video, or WebEx them with a second tap on the window that pops up. It's not the Avaya "Flare Experience", but a nice functional interface nonetheless.

They also seem to have covered the basics with regard to mobile device security, and incorporated Cisco VPN technology for remote access from public hot spots (very important). While it was unclear and nobody who was present seemed to recognize the importance, they may have actually addressed one of the main security shortcomings of Android 2.x:

One of the reasons we do not recommend Android for enterprise use is that it lacks the ability to do onboard encryption, which is a major issue in the mobile arena where lost and stolen devices are an ongoing concern. In any event, the description alluded to "hardware accelerated encryption", which would indeed be significant if it were included. There are other third-party vendors working on Android encryption, so if Cisco's got it, they won't be the only ones for long.

The current wireless implementation is Wi-Fi only, and they do support 802.11a/b/g and n, and most importantly n in the 5 GHz band. Avaya's Flare does 802.11b/g/ and n, which means it doesn’t have a 5 GHz radio so you could only use n in 2.4 GHz. The problem is enterprise 802.11n deployments are almost universally in 5 GHz, so the Flare is essentially 802.11g, a 5+ year old wireless technology.

Verizon and AT&T have both announced the intention to introduce 3G/4G versions of the Cius in the fall of this year; Verizon Wireless also participated in the presentation as one of the trial customers for the Cius. Chetan Sharma of Chetan Sharma Consulting estimates that 85% of iPads sold are the Wi-Fi only models, but with Cius's enterprise focus, the continuous access required for using it while at customer or partner sites might result in greater success for a 3G/4G model. There were no pricing details for the 3G/4G model nor any guidance as to whether Cisco and their partners would sell it or if it would be distributed through the mobile operators, possibly subsidized with a contract data plan.

The Cius (Wi-Fi version) will be globally available July 31, but I'm not sure Cisco gets this mobility thing. On one hand, I think the grab-it-and-go model for a tablet is dead on. For smartphones, the docking station idea is stupid because you're too likely to leave without it, and you don't want to be without your smartphone. However, tying a tablet to a desk set might be hitching your wagon to a dead horse. The life expectancy in desk phones is a decade, but with mobile devices six-months is "middle age" and two-years is "geriatric". Is the next model of the Cius going to fit in the same base?

Having an internal app store is a plus, but having one that only supports one model device will knock it off the evaluation list when we're shopping for mobile management solutions. Cisco seems to be stuck on the idea that you can "add mobility to UC". That's a nice thought (one shared by other IP PBX and UC vendors as well), but the truth of the matter is mobility is a lot bigger market than UC, and one with its own ecosystems, issues and imperatives. They may find they've mistaken the tail for the dog.


Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem

Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

March 7, 2018

Video collaboration is experiencing significant change and innovation-how can your enterprise take advantage? In this webinar, leading industry analyst Ira Weinstein will present detailed analysis

February 21, 2018

Business agility has become the strongest driver for enterprises to begin migrating their communications to the cloud-and its a benefit that enterprises are already realizing. To gain this benefit

February 7, 2018

Enterprises are starting to grasp the critical importance of security and compliance in their team collaboration deployments. And once the risks are mitigated, your enterprise can integrate these n

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.