Cisco is lining up its Cius business tablet to act as a user's chief client device, aiming to replace PCs and phones in the workplace, and is readying an enterprise app store that will provide a trusted source for Cisco-certified applications.
The Cius is shipping to the channel now and Cisco said that it is available to order, although the company could not confirm when customers will actually receive units.
However, Cisco is promoting the tablet as an enterprise collaboration device that can replace a Windows PC and a desk phone thanks to its ability to connect to virtual desktop infrastructure and Cisco's Unified Communications Manager.
"The Cius is very much an enterprise play," said Cisco's Marcus O'Sullivan, adding that the device will fully integrate with Cisco's collaboration and communications products.
The 7in tablet runs Android, but is based on a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor instead of an ARM chip because of the need for greater horsepower to handle high-definition video calls and videoconferencing, claimed O'Sullivan.
When combined with a desktop Media Station dock, the Cius can serve as an IP deskphone capable of videoconferencing, plus the dock allows a keyboard and mouse to be connected so the Cius can operate a virtual desktop session.
The dock features an Ethernet connection and is compatible with power over Ethernet, according to Cisco, while users can seamlessly switch between the dock and mobile use of the Cius.
"There's a seamless transition from wired to wireless. If you come back to your desk and dock, whatever conversation or transaction you are participating in remains in place," O'Sullivan explained.
The Cius supports Citrix Receiver, VMware View and Wyse PocketCloud for accessing virtual desktop sessions, but can also run Android applications locally, which is where Cisco's enterprise application store comes in.
Called AppHQ, the store is due to be formally announced at Cisco Live, and will provide a trusted source of applications that have been put through rigorous security checks by Cisco to screen out rogue or unsafe applications.
"Enterprise customers need a place where they can find trusted apps, but we're not trying to create another Android Market. It's about validation of apps and licence management," said O'Sullivan.
Developers will be able to submit apps to Cisco for certification, while customers will also be able to use AppHQ to provision private internal applications to users.
O'Sullivan claimed that Cisco is differentiating itself from the tablet crowd by offering security and manageability features that enterprise customers need. Management is provided via Cisco's Unified Communications Manager.
"It's about how to distribute apps to your workers and implement IT policy, which many of the other tablets on the market aren't addressing," he said.
Climate change likely forced inhabitants of Indus Valley civilisation to resettle in the Himalayan foothills
Shift in weather patterns made agriculture almost impossible in the Indus Valley region
Researchers claim that the magnetic properties of a thin-film material can be controlled by applying a small voltage
Dubbed Antlia 2, the ghost galaxy sits just 130,000 light-years away from the Milky Way
Delays to the roll-out of age verification for adult websites hasn't stopped government from considering extending them to more websites