Tablets and Unified Communications

A couple of things are certain: Tablets are an enterprise and unified communications mainstay and the market is wildly competitive as companies go after each other and acknowledge market leader Apple. It also is a roiling market: Last week, HP pulled the plug on the TouchPad after only a couple of months. 

There still is confusion on whether a particular tablet is aimed solely at consumers, “prosumers” or squarely at workers and the IT departments that support them. Channel Insider juxtaposed the death of the TouchPad, and the approach — the seemingly endless approach — that Cisco is taking with Cius. The bottom line is that a competitor has left the playing field, but there still is tremendous confusion.

The story includes the thoughts of Michelle Warren, president of MW Research & Consulting.

Although there has been a lot of iPad adoption by executives in the business world, IT departments are struggling with managing and securing the devices. They’re looking for an alternative, and the Cisco Cius, which was designed specifically for enterprises in mind (Cisco’s own messaging is not aimed at the consumer at all), is getting some notice. Warren said the Cius is becoming a popular choice, even though it hasn’t even launched yet. When the Cius does launch, it will have one less competitor in the business tablet space, and it’s unlikely Cisco will drop the Cius product line, she said.

It may be that the confusion over whether a device is aimed at consumers or business users is a tempest (or tablet) in a teapot. Virtualization, according to a CRN story, may equalize tablets and, perhaps, provide a way to eat into the lead of the current market leader:

But some virtualization experts feel the whole “enterprise ready” argument is mostly just marketing claptrap. Not only is the iPad suitable for enterprise desktop virtualization, with the exception of a smattering of Android tablets, it’s far and away the device of choice for business deployments.

The implication is that the tablets will be more of a thin client device using applications and services from elsewhere. That would seem to eliminate some of the compatibility problems that using disparate platforms can cause.

This MSP Mentor piece is a bit of a love note to Mondopad, a huge tablet by InFocus. It is interesting for the content, but the bigger picture is the assumption that tablets are an accepted and valuable element of communications and collaboration. A big selling feature, the author writes, is that the Mondopad is “platform agnostic.”

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