Cisco’s Cius tablet was supposed to be the “all-in-one collaboration endpoint for enterprises.” The problem of course, as validated by Cisco senior vice president and general manager OJ Winge, is that 63% of the tablets used in enterprises are iPads (with many of those being brought from home or purchased for dual-purpose use).
Well that, and the fact that few people even know the Cius existed.
Cisco’s CEO John Chambers further explained the company’s intentions by saying that “once you realize you’re not going to reach the volumes you need, you should just stop.” Even more than that, Chambers stated that they should have exited the Cius market as many as nine months ago when they first started to recognize the dominance of the iPad with their target demographic.
Described as a ‘purpose-built’ tablet, the Cius was intended to deliver “virtual desktop integration with anywhere, anytime access to the full range of Cisco collaboration and communication applications, including full interoperability with Cisco TelePresence.” Unfortunately for Cisco, nobody seemed to want a enterprise-centric tablet –opting for more multi-function (and partially recreational) alternatives (a lesson also currently being learned by RIM, a company that doesn’t have the capital and diversity that Cisco does to help them bounce back from mistakes like this).
While their tablet is most certainly being left behind, Cisco did express their intentions to continue with developing collaboration software like their popular Jabber client (despite a lackluster showing in recent fiscal reports) which is available for a variety of mobile platforms.
When discussing these plans, Chambers made sure to reinforce that he understands that those using the collaborative software expect ease of use combined with an impressive and extensive feature set (with one-click to TelePresence as an example). His other statement, which couldn’t be more true is that developers “need to make that experience available on any operating system, all operating systems.”