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CIOs take to Twitter to crow about Apple-Cisco deal

Last week, the Apple-Cisco deal barely got a rise out of the analysts I spoke to. This is the partnership between Apple and Cisco aimed at assuring enterprise IT professionals that both companies are serious about making sure employees using iOS devices for work purposes will be fully supported on corporate networks. The industry experts I spoke with for last week’s Searchlight column were decidedly lukewarm about the deal, citing the announcement’s glaring lack of specifics, particularly where customer benefits were concerned.

Any mention of user benefits the announcement did contain, according to Forrester’s Andrew Bartels, was little more than “marketing hype” — a predictable move by Apple to fuel enterprise demand for its devices.

While Bartels and other analysts were unconvinced of the enterprise benefits of the deal — at least until more details are released — some of the CIOs I contacted on Twitter see the pair-up as a big step forward for iOS use in the enterprise.

Paul Kerekfy, CIO at King Sigismund Business School in Budapest, believes that the Apple-Cisco partnership will address the misperception that Apple devices don’t play well with corporate networks:

He added that this myth-busting couldn’t come at a better time, considering the popularity of iOS devices among business workers:

David Chou, CIO at University of Mississippi Medical Center, couldn’t agree more:

Teresa Devine, CIO at Serta-Simmons Bedding Co. in Atlanta, was excited about the possibilities around payments:

Bartels himself granted that if there was one specific benefit to be gleaned from the Apple-Cisco announcement, it’s that both companies do plan to improve Cisco products that already support Apple devices.

“There already is a WebEx for iPads or iPhones; they’ll probably work out to enhance that so it is easier to use [and] make it simpler. … Cisco Spark and TelePresence are areas they’re probably working on, too,” he told me.

Check out the Searchlight column to learn more about the Apple-Cisco partnership.

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It's great that vendors are providing enterprises with the tools that they need to keep things in check. Now, the tough part is convincing enterprises that they need to use these tools in the proper ways to actually enhance security rather than enable a feature or two to merely appease an auditor. Documented policies are one thing - reality is quite another, especially obvious in BYOD settings.
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