Cisco Cius tablet discontinued

Networking infrastructure major Cisco has quietly exited the tablet market after failing to achieve first or second place in the enterprise market, casting further doubt for other vendors looking to provide enterprise oriented tablet devices.

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Cisco Cius tablet discontinued DeBeer says software represents a much larger opportunity for Cisco than its own devices.
By  Manda Banda Published  June 18, 2012

Networking infrastructure major Cisco has quietly exited the tablet market after failing to achieve first or second place in the enterprise market, casting further doubt for other vendors looking to provide enterprise oriented tablet devices.

Acknowledging that its attempts to market a business-class Android tablet are over, networking infrastructure giant Cisco Systems, has said the company is halting investments in the fledgling Cius product line.

The Cisco Cius was part of the Petrobras Gas Station of the Future technology portfolio launched by Petrobras Distribuidora, a subsidiary of Petrobras and Intel in Brazil.

Cisco Systems officially announced the end of its Android tablet efforts, discontinuing its enterprise-oriented Cius in the face of continued poor sales.

The Cisco Cius was designed to offer enterprise users a premium tablet experience with a wealth of features including centralised management, remote security functionality and even the ability to interconnect with Cisco-manufactured telephone and videoconferencing systems.

The device’s high price made it a hard sell, however, and in the face of a growing trend for employees to bring their own tablets to work - known as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), the project was not a success.

“Cisco will no longer invest in the Cisco Cius tablet form factor, and no further enhancements will be made to the current Cius endpoint beyond what’s available today”, senior vice president OJ Winge, in charge of the Telepresence Technology group at Cisco, explained in a statement. “However, as we evaluate the market further, we will continue to offer Cius in a limited fashion to customers with specific needs or use cases.”

Marthin DeBeer, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Video and Collaboration Group, added that Cisco is going to continue leveraging other people’s tablets and move to deploy Jabber, as well as its other software on top of that. “We’re not going to bring out additional models of Cius because that would be like swimming upstream. The software represents a much larger opportunity for us,” he said. “We might make it available in a very limited way for specific use cases, but our future business is going into software-based solutions.”

DeBeer’s statement was echoed in a blog posted by OJ Winge, Cisco’s senior vice president of the TelePresence Technology Group. “Moving forward, we intend to double down on software offerings, like Jabber and WebEx, that provide the anytime, anywhere and any-device experiences,” Winge wrote. “We will leverage key learnings and key collaboration experiences native to Cius in our other collaboration products.”

Winge described a world where ‘any-to-any connectivity is a requirement, not a nice to have’, adding that Cisco’s software offerings are well placed to get companies there.

Meanwhile, Cisco is looking for channel partners interested in helping the networking vendor extend its reach into video and collaboration. With more than 90% of the Internet’s bandwidth being used to support video, the channel is seen as instrumental in fine-tuning the video installations, and in beefing up the back-end infrastructure necessary to carry the bandwidth-intensive traffic.

“Resources are very widely deployed and very scarce nowadays,” said DeBeer. “Having the technology that allows you to bring the right people together at the right time has become a real competitive advantage. So from a business-case scenario, these capabilities enhance the speed of doing business, reduce travel expenses and drive additional productivity because the same person can have a lot more interactions in any given day.

“From a channel standpoint, the emphasis is on upgrading the network infrastructure and making sure the environment is ready. Plus with video, TelePresence and unified communications, there’s a lot of emphasis on the channel because there are so many moving parts and variables,” he added.

Cisco’s Cius, its first foray into the tablet space, was noticeably absent from its Cisco Partner Summit in March, raising questions about the strength of the vendor’s tablet business.

Cisco has historically only maintained product offerings in technology segments where it can achieve a number one or two market position. The Cius tablet had attained neither.

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