Cisco provides its customers with an enterprise service, following Apple’s footsteps with the release of its very own app storefront.
Cisco is full of surprises. A year ago we had heard Cisco announce its entry in the tablet market by declaring to have been working on its very own tablet for enterprise customers. Now, we are presented with news stating that the network equipment company is planning to launch AppHQ.
What is AppHQ? AppHQ is basically a platform designed for the development of applications and tablet management. You can even claim it as an app storefront. It is sort of an ‘application ecosystem’ helping users to deploy and create apps specifically for the Cius tablets. This cloud based enterprise software guarantees security and a user friendly way to deal with IT functionality. Since it has been devised for the use of Cisco products, it will come with selected Cisco apps in order to function better with the device.
Why has Cisco created this app portal? Well, for the sheer control of distribution, acquisition and management of apps on its Cius tablets by an enterprise IT personnel. Now if you’re wondering about Cius then to give you a reminder – Cius is basically a Google Android based tablet, made for the use of business professionals wanting to communicate through video, call or virtualization. The tablet runs both Android and Amazon apps and was set to launch at a cost of $750 on July 31, 2011.
AppHQ allows for the testing, marketing, installation and validation of apps, provided by either Cisco or Android developers. The validation helps in the avoidance of security problems and reliability of apps for customers. A highly secure private application store will be provided to enterprise customers within AppHQ, hosted by Cisco. It’s termed to be “the industry’s first enterprise-grade application storefront,” by Kara Wilson, VP of marketing at Cisco. AppHQ also consists of a very useful feature, called AppHQ Manager, especially designed for companies to create custom branded storefronts having a set of AppHQ apps. The IT managers are given the ability to restrict user access to apps on the device and select the ones to be used with the AppHQ manager as well. In this way, the feature hands over the control to IT administrators.
Market Apps, run by Android OS on the Cius tablet, are hosted by AppHQ. Along with that, AppHQ also carries Business Transformation Apps, developed using Cisco Collaboration APIs, which holds features related to communication system activities of Cisco, like call control that can be managed by the developers. Both of these apps are business oriented, as the Cius tablet itself was designed for business professionals.
Users can gain access to any of the 200,000 plus Android market apps from AppHQ. Besides that, other apps will also be included in AppHQ by Cisco according to customer requirement. Smart move by Cisco as it aims to enhance the management benefits for its Cius products. With a recently released tablet in hand and a whole new application platform that works in collaboration with it, this multinational company is clearly spreading its wings to fly high in other IT markets. Let’s see if it is as much successful in it’s out of the box projects as it is in providing network services and communication technology.