Cisco revs up mobility engine

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Cisco revs up mobility engine

Network equipment maker Cisco has unveiled a new mobility appliance, which it claims will ease businesses' path to unified collaboration.

The Cisco 3350 Mobility Services Engine helps users unify fixed line, mobile, and Wi-Fi networks to improve collaboration using mobile devices. It enables users to secure and centralise device provisioning, simplifying the task of monitoring devices.

The device will incorporate four new software modules, including: context-aware software capable of recognising what device a user is utilising; wireless intrusion prevention capabilities; Cisco's Secure Client Manager; and software which provides an intelligent method of switching between mobile and fixed devices.

"It's really about delivering an architecture that's device-independent, network-independent, which gives users business critical apps 'on tap'," said Cisco's unified communications senior marketing manager Tim Stone.

It is also intended to provide access to key parts of the enterprise infrastructure, said Cisco's European business development manager Bryan Pelham.

"We're trying to build a comprehensive ecosystem of partners, with the likes of Oracle and Nokia. Opening up our application programming interfaces (APIs) for developers to build applications on top of the architecture, will be key here."

The release forms part of Cisco's Motion framework for managing the proliferation of mobile devices in the enterprise.

The problem for enterprise IT managers was emphasised by a recent report, "Enterprise Mobility: Trend Analysis to 2012," from analyst firm Datamonitor.

It noted that security was regarded as the biggest barrier to firms' mobile device deployment plans – especially the risks associated with employees losing devices.

"The popularity of mobile devices in the consumer markets is forcing enterprises to consider how best to manage these devices in the workplace and they need to ensure they have clear policies in place to manage employee expectations," said Datamonitor analyst Daniel Okubu. @ 2010 Incisive Media

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