Cisco Delivers On Open Promise - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile
Commentary
5/28/2008
01:19 PM
Richard Martin
Richard Martin
Commentary
50%
50%

Cisco Delivers On Open Promise

John Chambers has been talking about transforming the way enterprises use and manage IT resources for a couple of years now. With "Cisco Motion," he's finally delivered.

John Chambers has been talking about transforming the way enterprises use and manage IT resources for a couple of years now. With "Cisco Motion," he's finally delivered.It'd be easy to write off the new Motion strategy as an exercise in re-branding -- after all, Cisco already owns nearly two-thirds of the enterprise wireless LAN market -- except for two things. One, it includes an open API, and two, it really is an attempt at a comprehensive solution to a multifaceted set of challenges.

Taking those in reverse order: Cisco has recognized that mobile devices and applications can no longer be managed separately from the overall business network architecture. Laptops, smartphones, dual-mode devices that run over cellular or Wi-Fi networks -- all are now as integral as the traditional desktop PC, and must be treated the same.

To accomplish that, the Cisco engineers have accomplished the neat trick of re-locating mobile middleware -- the software that collects and stores data on individual clients and the apps they run -- in the network. It's a concrete example of Chambers' koan-like slogan, "The network is the platform."

"They are doing what OSes have done over the years, gathering common functionality into a common point" (the box in this case), wireless analyst Craig Mathias tells me in an e-mail, "and then making that box a network resource."

More important, Cisco, which made its fortune on all-inclusive proprietary networking gear, has embraced the movement toward open standards and open systems that is sweeping the telecom (see Verizon Wireless), Web-based applications (see Google), and mobile devices (see Apple's iPhone and Google's Android) worlds. The new Mobility Services Engine features an open API, meaning that third-party applications will run on top of Cisco networking equipment, thus creating an underlying platform that could give the San Jose-based networking giant an even bigger chunk of customer companies' IT budgets.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps only Cisco has the networking muscle, the engineering chops, and the marketing elan to really pull together wired and wireless networks in a way that serves businesses. Chambers' aim is to create a unified software layer that spans multiple network types -- wireline Ethernet, public cellular, in-building Wi-Fi, RFID, even wireless sensor nets like Zigbee -- along with virtually any type of device, from laptops to RFID tags to embedded sensors. That's a goal that enterprise CIOs should cheer.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Commentary
AI Regulation: Has the Time Arrived?
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  2/24/2020
News
Fighting the Coronavirus with Analytics and GIS
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  2/3/2020
Slideshows
IT Careers: 10 Job Skills in High Demand This Year
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  2/3/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Video
Current Issue
IT Careers: Tech Drives Constant Change
Advances in information technology and management concepts mean that IT professionals must update their skill sets, even their career goals on an almost yearly basis. In this IT Trend Report, experts share advice on how IT pros can keep up with this every-changing job market. Read it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll