Redefining Mobility in the Workplace with Cisco Cius

Cisco has introduced the AppHQ -- an application ecosystem built specifically for Cisco Cius that provides new ways to create, manage and rapidly deploy tablet applications in the enterprise.

Cisco Cius, an Android-based tablet created for the enterprise, combines voice, video, collaboration, and virtualization capabilities unlike any other tablet on the market today. With Cisco Cius, organizations can now deliver an optimized tablet with enterprise-grade security, as a natural extension of the enterprise network.

The device provides customers with mobility, centralized manageability, virtual content creation and computing capabilities, and a comprehensive suite of collaboration applications.

AppHQ provides developers with tools and resources to create, test and market applications for Cisco Cius, and allows IT managers to control which applications can be used on the devices. Additionally, companies can create private, custom-branded application storefronts for their organizations where employees can find, publish and procure applications that complement their business environments.

Introducing Cisco AppHQ: A Trusted Source for Business Applications

Cisco AppHQ is a highly secure, cloud-based user storefront that provides capabilities for end users and IT managers not found in other application stores today. Some of these capabilities include:
  • Testing and validation: IT managers want to know that applications deployed in their environment are appropriate for the enterprise. Cisco AppHQ provides IT managers and users with a trusted source for applications, ensuring that every application within AppHQ goes through Cisco validation testing, whether developed by Cisco, third-party Android developer partners, or users within the enterprise. The validation process includes interoperability testing both for the application itself and in typical configurations within the device.
  • Store-within-a-Store: Enterprises will have a Cisco hosted, highly-secure and private application store within AppHQ. Businesses can customize the storefront, following their corporate branding guidelines, including use of logos, icons and color schemes. Beyond customization, the store-within-a-store is a platform that customers can use to deploy applications efficiently in their organizations.  For example, a financial services company could deploy applications pertaining to their back office operations, such as human resources or payroll apps, and populate those applications on the devices of relevant employees. 
  • Empowers IT management: With AppHQ Manager, IT will have the ability to allow (or deny) access to application marketplaces by user role or device and to grant (or deny) access to applications by type, source or category. This unique capability will let IT organizations balance the individual freedom of users with the enterprise-class policies on security and cost efficiency.
"The promise of mobile Unified Communications and Collaboration for decentralized, accelerated decision-making is coming to light with the advent of intelligent 4G LTE networks, the cloud and enterprise tools such as the Cisco Cius. Our sales teams and customers will continue to benefit from cloud-based enterprise apps that help them get the job done from virtually anywhere with greater collaboration and speedier service delivery to their customers," said Mike Smith, vice president enterprise communications, network and mobility, Verizon.

Cloud Services are Instrumental to IT Transformation

According to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC), cloud computing will continue to reshape the business technology landscape over the next five years -- as spending on public cloud services expands at a CAGR of 27.6 percent, from $21.5 billion in 2010 to $72.9 billion in 2015.

That said, apparently the trend and resulting impact of cloud services will extend well beyond information technology (IT) spending. Managed cloud services are a critical component in a much larger transformation that IDC expects will be instrumental in driving IT industry growth for the next 25 years.

"Cloud services are interconnected with and accelerated by other disruptive technologies, including mobile devices, wireless networks, big data analytics, and social networking," said Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst at IDC.

This collective group of technologies are merging into the industry's third major platform for long-term growth. Similar to the mainframe and PC eras, managed cloud services promises to radically expand the applications of IT infrastructure, resulting in a variety of unified service delivery solutions.

As a critical component to the third platform, cloud services represent a strategic growth area for traditional managed IT services and broadband service providers.

A Pathway Through the Disruptive Transformation

With spending for public IT cloud services growing at more than four times the rate of the worldwide IT market as whole, IDC expects one of every seven dollars spent on packaged software, servers, and storage offerings in 2015 will be related to the public cloud model.

Moreover, the eventual winners of the ongoing competition within the managed cloud service delivery marketplace will likely be the new business productivity trend leaders.

Highlights from IDC's latest market study include:
  • In 2015, public cloud services will account for 46 percent of net new growth in overall IT spending in five key product categories -- applications, application development and deployment, systems infrastructure software, basic storage, and servers.
  • Software-oriented cloud services (SaaS) will account for roughly three quarters of all spending on public cloud IT services throughout the forecast. This includes all three software-oriented cloud categories, not just applications. Spending on hardware-oriented cloud services (servers and storage) will be largely driven by SaaS providers building out their infrastructure.
  • The United States will dominate overall spending throughout the forecast period, with nearly 50 percent of all public IT cloud services revenues coming from the U.S. in 2015. But regions outside the U.S. will show much stronger growth as cloud services adoption accelerates.
  • In particular, IDC found that there are more cloud services vendors and greater end user spending in Asia-Pacific and Western Europe than previously thought.
  • IDC defines public IT cloud services as those offerings designed for, and commercially offered to, a largely unrestricted marketplace of potential users. The forecast does not include revenue from private cloud deployments, which are dedicated to a specific customer.
  •  While private clouds provide businesses with the ability to specify access limitations and the level of resource dedication beyond what is currently available in public cloud offerings, IDC's expectation is that public clouds will mature and eventually incorporate many of the capabilities  -- particularly security and availability -- that make private clouds a more attractive option today.

Verizon Expands Telepresence with Tata Communications

Verizon Communications is extending the range of its TelePresence offering to enable virtual face-to-face collaboration in more locations around the world, made possible by a new agreement with Tata Communications.

The collaboration enables meetings to take place between Verizon's telepresence customers and any public or private telepresence room on the Tata Communications Global Meeting Exchange -- one of the broadest telepresence networks accessible today and a gateway to the company's public room network spanning 31 cities on five continents.

This will supplement Verizon's telepresence offering powered by its expansive global Private Internet Protocol (IP) Network service. Similarly, Tata Communications telepresence customers can use Verizon's facilities to communicate with Verizon customers.

Enterprise TelePresence replicates face-to-face interactions so realistically that it feels as though everyone is in the same room, even though they may be hundreds or thousands of miles apart.

By leveraging collaboration technology to replace in-person meetings, telepresence reduces travel time and cost while lowering the carbon emissions associated with business travel.

As a result, the service makes collaboration among employees, customers, suppliers and business partners more efficient and economical.

"Video is the new voice for business, and it's becoming more and more available to meet the changing nature of work," said Farooq Muzaffar, Verizon vice president of enterprise network and communications solutions.

"As businesses expand beyond the traditional four walls of an office building, we're seeing more of our customers turning to advanced collaboration tools like telepresence for a bigger impact on their overall productivity and performance."

Verizon and Tata Communications customers currently can use Cisco TelePresence to conduct intercarrier telepresence meetings. Plans are under way to establish similar agreements with other immersive video providers and services to further expand the availability of telepresence.

Peter Quinlan, vice president, integrated business video services, Tata Communications, said "We are delighted to welcome Verizon to our global telepresence partner ecosystem. Intercarrier connections such as this one will benefit customers by offering a broader telepresence business ecosystem that connects regardless of network or service provider. It's agreements like this that fundamentally make telepresence a truly global collaboration tool."

Managed Cloud Services: an Aggregated Market Forecast

Broadband service providers gained a 5 percent share of nearly $20 billion annual cloud services market, with 25 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) forecast to 2013 -- according to the latest aggregated market research assessment by STL Partners.

Based upon their observations, most market forecasts estimate that the total cloud services market will reach $45-50 billion revenue by 2013 or 2014 -- including the Bain forecast that was previewed at the "Americas Telco 2.0 Brainstorm" event, which was hosted by STL Partners in April 2011.

At their EMEA brainstorm event, the attendees were given an overview of the component cloud markets and examples of different cloud service approaches. They were then asked for their views on the potential share that service providers might garner from the addressable cloud revenue opportunities within each category.

In total, the attendee consensus view amounted to service providers gaining 18 percent of the revenue for cloud services -- within the next three years.

The following chart contains a summary of their findings (click to enlarge):

Demand for Managed Multi-Service Business Gateways

We're clearly in a period of global IT market transition. Enterprises are moving more applications, data and associated services to the central data center. Meanwhile, more small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are relying on managed service providers to deliver various types of hosted service offerings.

These trends are driven by cost savings that are realized through consolidation -- the impact reaches beyond basic data processing requirements, as it also impacts traditional voice communication needs.

SMBs are turning to hosted Centrex service, and enterprises are moving PBX capability and SIP trunking -- a VoIP solution based on SIP protocol -- to the unified data center.

Looking to support less infrastructure on-site, branch offices and SMBs are able to consolidate multiple services into a multi-service business gateway (MSBG). According to the latest market study by In-Stat, they have forecast that the growth of MSBG revenues in the SMB market will exceed $1 billion in 2015.

"The health of the MSBG market is closely linked to the health of the worldwide economy," says Norm Bogen, VP Research at In-Stat.

Economic growth leads to the establishment of new businesses and branch offices -- essentially driving new demand for MSBGs. However, the pace of new branch offices worldwide is expected to slow over the next five years, but this will be offset by acceleration in the establishment of small businesses.

As the economy recovers, new and evolving small businesses will flourish -- plus new technology, including the MSBG, will enable small firms to be more competitive with larger firms.

In-Stat's latest market study findings include:

- Revenues generated from MSBG sales are expected to grow at a lower rate than unit shipments.

- Worldwide annual shipments of MSBGs will approach 1.8 million units by 2015.

- Cisco has gained an overwhelming share of the MSBG market.

- Nearly all MSBGs marketed for enterprise branch office applications will need to offer some form of unified communications functionality.