In his Cisco Subnet blog on Network World, Jim Duffy recently reacted to Cisco's foray into the business tablet computing market. In the cloud computing world of tomorrow, people will be wandering around corporate campuses with thin clients – and Apple has always had somewhat of an uphill battle in the enterprise space.
Cisco's tablet play, the Cius, includes Unified Communications and collaboration tools. The introduction will definitely have an impact, because more than half of the battle with a cloud computing paradigm is making the information available anytime and anywhere. That requires connectivity; but the corporate world requires significantly more: complex authentication and encryption as information passes through networks of "boxes."
Cisco, of course, makes those boxes. And if you've ever tried to get one vendor's security implementation to work with another's, you will see why Cisco could have such a leg up in this area. Cisco develops proprietary protocols whenever industry standards don't quite cut it or haven't been determined yet. When it comes to authenticating thin clients through a wireless access point, something tells me there will need to be a few more handshakes to make it all work smoothly. Cisco shines when it comes to boxes that shake hands politely and play nice together in the sandbox.
There is no doubt that Apple's iPad will have a significant impact as well, so it isn't really as much of a "Beta vs. VHS" issue as one might think. The point is that enterprise-class tablet computing is a whole new beast. It's not Windows in a tablet, it's not a bigger iPhone, and it’s not a Cisco IP deskphone that is now flat and has a bigger screen. It will be a combination of all these things. I just hope they all take the same power adapters.
Read Jim Duffy's blog on Cisco Subnet at Network World about Cisco's foray into the business tablet computing market