The networking giant has put the kibosh on its Cius tablet. The business-oriented Android device, marketed to enterprise users, failed to take hold in face of the "bring your own device" movement.
O.J. Winge, Cisco's senior vice president in its TelePresence Technology Group, penned a blog post late Thursday that explained the decision. In it, he discussed how we are facing a workplace that is no longer a physical place, but a blend of virtual and physical environments.
He described it as a place where employees are bringing their preferences to work and "bring your own device" is the new norm, where collaboration has to happen beyond a walled garden, and any-to-any connectivity is a requirement, not a "nice to have."
"As we announced last week, findings from the Cisco IBSG Horizons Study on virtualization and BYOD shows that 95 percent of organizations surveyed allow employee-owned devices in some way, shape or form in the office, and, 36 percent of surveyed enterprises provide full support for employee-owned devices," Winge wrote. "These stats underscore a major shift in the way people are working, in the office, at home and on-the-go, a shift that will continue to gain momentum."
Doubling Down on Software
That shift is causing Cisco to emphasize software rather than hardware. Winge noted that over the past year Cisco had delivered software like Cisco Jabber and Cisco WebEx across a variety of operating systems, tablets and smartphones -- and he reported "tremendous interest" in those software offerings as the world moves toward a post-PC era.
"Based on these market transitions, 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. 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," Winge said.
"Moving forward, we intend to double down on software offerings, like Jabber and WebEx, that provide the anytime, anywhere, and any device experiences. We will leverage key learnings and key collaboration experiences native to Cius in our other collaboration products."
Cisco first announced Cius in June 2010. It was marketed as a first-of-its kind mobile collaboration business tablet that delivers virtual desktop integration with anywhere, anytime access to Cisco's collaboration and communication platforms.
Cisco Cius is an ultra-portable device that weighs 1.15lbs. It offers telepresence interoperability, HD video streaming and real-time video, multi-party conferencing, e-mail, messaging, browsing, and the ability to produce, edit and share content stored locally or centrally in the cloud. It's based on the Android operating system.