Yesterday Apple and Cisco announced that they were teaming up to optimize Cisco networks to support Apple iOS devices. The announcement stated that Cisco will optimize their networks to support Apple devices and also optimize their collaboration solutions, including Spark and WebEx for iOS. Another interesting part of the announcement was that the two companies are working together to make the iPhone a better business tool by providing a seamless experience between iPhones and desk phones. So what does this mean for the enterprise smartphone market in general, and specifically for Spectralink?
First, this is a ringing endorsement of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend in the enterprise. Employees are already bringing their smartphones into the office, so you might as well take advantage of that and optimize the user experience from the network and application perspective. And nobody will argue the popularity of iPhones, so if enterprises are letting employees decide which device they prefer to use, then iPhones better be on the approved list.
The second thing that is apparent from this announcement is that there is room for improvement in supporting BYOD devices on enterprise networks. I don’t know the details of how Cisco will optimize their network infrastructure for iPhones, but bringing consumer devices into the enterprise environment opens up concerns about security, management, and roaming. We haven’t seen Apple or other consumer smartphone vendors put much emphasis on optimizing their devices for enterprise use, so Cisco seems to be seizing the opportunity to optimize things from the network and application side instead.
What is not addressed by the Apple-Cisco partnership is the need for purpose-built devices in enterprise applications where the iPhone is not suitable. iPhones are great personal devices, but they aren’t built for 24x7 shared use in environments with frequent roaming. That’s why Spectralink developed the PIVOT line of enterprise smartphones. PIVOT devices are already optimized for enterprise networks, including support for existing Cisco wireless networks and call control. Spectralink Voice Quality Optimization (VQO) delivers award-winning voice performance over Wi-Fi networks utilizing Spectralink’s unique adaptive algorithms developed through our pioneering efforts in wireless. Unlike iPhones and consumer Android smartphones, PIVOT devices are purpose-built for workplace applications where consumer-grade devices fall short.