The exciting and also the maddening thing about working in the technology business is the frenetic pace of change and the rapidity with which new technology is introduced and then delivered to market. What technology is impactful for my business and what is merely interesting? I think a lot technology “innovation” falls in the latter category and may be nice to have in the organization some day…when I get around to it. However over the course of technology-time, there are a few product introductions that impel a business executive or technology leader to stop and consider whether this new technology represents an inflection in the market and/or a potential point of differentiation for my business. The CIUS introduced by Cisco may be one of those potential points of differentiation. http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps11156/index.html?POSITION=SEM&COUNTRY_SITE=us&CAMPAIGN=HN&CREATIVE=Cius&REFERRING_SITE=Google&KEYWORD=cisco+cius
I don’t think the CIUS by itself is the point of differentiation for business. Rather, I think that it ties together multiple, strategic yet disparate technology initiatives into a rare “ah-ha!” moment for businesses is what makes the CIUS more than worth a look. While we are just getting the specs on CIUS (and we at TBL are scrambling to get one into our lab) on paper and through demonstrations, it looks like the glue that may bind several I/T investments together. The CIUS can be your desktop, your office, your phone, and your telepresence essentially in a device of similar size and demensions of an iPad. Designed for business, the CIUS will connect via any wireless protocol and also via carrier 3G and 4G networks. If I have a mobile workforce, if I have Cisco Unified Communications, if I am thinking about virtual desktops, if I am considering private cloud as means for service delivery for my business, then I just found a device that can serve as the “catcher” for most any technology I care to pitch to my end user community. One other cool thought about this device as a “desktop” of choice for the truly productive worker in 2011 and beyond – through VMware, I can provide secure, encrypted connectivity for the CIUS user without stressing or without having to use current remote access infrastructure. I can certainly leverage my current VPN infrastructure, but what if I want to get out of the remote access business and leverage the VMware tools instead? That might be cool. What if I was looking to have to refresh 500 laptops for salesman who log hundreds if not thousands of calls into my PC help desk for access, virus, and application issues? What if their “laptop” was a virtual image presented to a CIUS instead of a costly, support-heavy traditional device? And what if the CIUS could also give them high definition video capability? What is this device could “dock” and also be their desk phone? What if there were apps and connections I could write that delivered secure connections into my customized salesforce.com protal? This is starting to get pretty interesting. And the really cool part is that all the investments I made in Cisco UC, VMware, and Cloud Computing just got more valuable through a better access device.
I think this is where I am supposed to come up with an analogy to illustrate the fact that the CIUS leverages up most any investment you have made to your communications and applications infrastructure over the past 5 years…but one escapes me right now, so I will post a good one when it pops in my head, probably over the weekend cutting the grass.