On July 31, networking and communications company Cisco will launch its first Android tablet computer designed specifically for enterprise customers. The Cisco Cius is a 7" touchscreen tablet that will offer compatibility with Cisco TelePresence, Quad social software, WebEX meeting applications, Jabber messaging, and AnyConnect, and will include the ability to act as a thin client or HD video communications tool in addition to being a "standard" Android device. Its current estimated price is $750, but initial promotions will make it available at under $700 when it first launches.
But what will make businesses adopt the Cius over something like the iPad, or indeed any other Android tablet?
On Wednesday, Cisco unveiled AppHQ, an app store ecosystem designed specifically for the Cius that can be tailored to fit the rigorous security and compatibility standards of enterprise IT, which are often viewed as a major stumbling block for the deployment of consumer mobile tablets in the enterprise.
AppHQ looks a lot like the web-based Android market and behaves the same way. But in addition to featuring only enterprise-friendly applications, it can also be customized and turned into an internal app store for companies to use, and also allows for enterprise-wide app purchasing and distribution, license management, bulk app purchasing, life cycle management, as well as usage and reporting. AppHQ Manager, a related service with the app store platform, lets IT assign permissions to different devices and users, giving them access to applications by type, source, and category.