Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cisco Cius

vote symbol: information
The Cisco Cius (See Us) is Cisco's first foray into the world of Tablets. It's an Android based device with a seven inch screen that features 1024x600 resolution and the capability to play back and encode 720p high definition video though strictly speaking 720p display would require the capability to display 720 horizontal lines and the Cius only does 600. Given the size of the screen though this isn't really an issue.

Cisco has been careful to position the Cius as a business specific tablet. This is reflected in both the suite of software that comes preinstalled on the and the price tag which is in the $750 range for a unit that is WiFi only with 32 gig of storage. That's very steep when compared to the current generation iPad but if Cisco is successful in their efforts to position the Cius they'll be able to charge a premium over Apple. Apple has had some success in the enterprise but that is much more a measure of how popular Apple products are than it is a reflection of any desire on Apples part to sell to the Enterprise.

I'm of two minds on the Cius. On tthe one hand it's a clever enough idea and the software integration is attractive even if much of it is available for free. The Cius is optimized to be the center piece of a portable office. You can be authenticated to your work network, sending and receiving texts, initiating and answering both voice and video calls and using custom applications all from anywhere in the world that supports a decent level of connectivity. This use case very much fits in with Cisco's "Borderless Networks" campaign which I plan on talking about in more detail at some point in the future.

But will businesses buy into this vision? Cisco certainly hopes so as they've staked a lot of their future prospects on the larger vision that the Cius fits into.

I'll go on records as saying that I think their vision is credible, but I'm not convinced they have what it takes to carry it out. I've run into a lot of Q/A related problems in Cisco products over the past couple of years and that doesn't give me a good feeling. Too often they seem to use their customers and TAC engineers to discover very obvious bugs in their products and find work arounds. This does not inspire confidence in their ability to execute on the highly complex and integrated vision they are trying to sell right now. They did announce at Cisco Live 2011 that they are in the process of reorganization their software efforts under one umbrella which is a very good move that should help move things in a positive direction if executed well.

One minor nit on the Cius. The ones I've seen only say Cisco. They  need to include the "Cius" name prominently. It's a clever name that does a good job of establishing a new kind of device and brand. Cisco isn't doing a bad job of marketing it otherwise but it's a fairly unremarkable looking and without the Cius name it's hard to be sure what you're looking at when you first see it.

I found my interest/excitement over the product tempered by the fact that I wasn't sure I'd found one when I stopped by the Cisco collaboration booth at Cisco Live 2011. Cius isn't just a product, it's a brand. Cisco needs to do a better job of getting the name out there and putting it on the front of the actual units would be an excellent way of doing that.

Image via Wikipedia
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment