Cisco to Optimize Networking Products for iPhones, iPads in the Enterprise

Apple wants to make sure that enterprise users reach for their iPads and iPhones more quickly than Windows or Android devices; that’s the quick take from Monday’s announcement on Apple’s partnership with Cisco.

Cisco, with its huge network presence both on company premises and in-cloud, wants to be sure to leverage consumers’ love for Apple when those same consumers make mobile enterprise IT decisions. Cisco network optimization for iPhone works well, too, with Cisco’s big presence in enterprise collaboration, voice and unified communications through acquisition of Webex (2007) and Tropo (just this May).

Monday’s release heralds the two titans’ agreement to optimize Cisco networks for iOS devices and apps, “integrating iPhone with Cisco enterprise environments and providing unique collaboration on iPhone and iPad.” iPads are already seeing widespread deployment in retail environments, where they run as self-service kiosks, point-of-sale systems, menus, and mobile manager app devices.

Going forward, look for Webex to give iPads and iPhones some advantage over rival mobile endpoints in the depth of its remote meeting integration and performance. Same goes for Cisco Spark, the real-time voice/video/chat/collaboration tool, and Cisco Telepresence systems, based on the network vendor’s Tandberg acquisition. According to Jonny Evans at ComputerWorld, part of that favoritism may derive from Apple’s end-to-end control over hardware and software, with the greater security that affords.

Apple and Cisco also intend to provide a seamless experience between iPhones and desk phones, in a fixed-mobile convergence play that keeps one end of a call connected across the two devices. Not incidentally, Cisco also has a historic lead in sales of IP desk phones.

The release also gives a shout-out to Cisco’s 70,000 partners; presumably a channel, too, for Apple products as enterprise endpoints.

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