Cisco has announced that it is ending its investment in its Android-based Cius tablet. The company points to consumerization as the reason for the tablet’s demise. OJ Winge, SVP of TelePresence atCisco, said that employees are increasingly bringing their own tablets to work, which has limited the demand for the business-focused Cius.
As Cisco phases the tablet out, it will simultaneously focus on increasing its collaboration software offerings that can be installed on other vendor’s devices like Jabber and WebEx. The company has said it will continue to evaluate the market and may offer the tablet to customers with specific needs. However, since Cisco will not be enhancing Cius, this statement was likely added to avoid saying, “Nobody wants the Cius.”
It’s no secret that consumerization is having a dramatic impact on enterprise technology. Major vendors are rushing to deliver products and services that help strained IT organizations manage the influx of consumer devices. These vendors are simultaneously trying to determine how to handle the consumerization trend within their own organizations.
IBM has been very vocal in its support for consumerization. However, the company is also serving as an example that consumerization doesn’t mean an employee device free-for-all. The company recently attracted attention not for its consumerization offerings, but for its ban of Siri. Initially this might seem like a contradiction, but IBM was justifiably concerned about Apple’s storage of everything Siri hears. The company has also banned personal cloud services like DropBox and iCloud. These moves don’t signal that IBM is against consumerization; it simply shows that organizations still have to be responsible for security even if employees are using a personal device or service.
Dell has also been very vocal about it views on consumerization, but the company doesn’t yet have a strong mobile offering. Dell has said they will introduce a phone by the end of the year. The company will have an uphill journey to gain market traction for its phone. Many vendors have taken this approach, but employees have mostly snubbed these efforts in favor of consumer-focused offerings. Dell has also been very clear that it’s shifting business focus to the enterprise market where margins are higher, but employees aren’t just demanding that they use their own mobile devices; they also want to use their own laptops. This could be a problem for the now business-focused Dell.
Hewlett-Packard (HP), has struggles similar to Dell despite Meg Whitman’s declaration that consumerization is the future of HP at a Global Influencers Summit. Whitman was correct in her assessment of consumerization as requiring expertise in both consumer and enterprise technologies. However, her suggestion that HP is the only company with enough critical mass to bridge the gap between consumer and enterprise technologies is a bit questionable. The company’s ultrabooks are attractive, but it is not clear that the company has found the magic mix of ingredients to create a product that appeals equally to consumers and businesses.