Almost 70 of Cisco's partners in the UK will have exclusive access to the vendor's Cius tablet device when it hits the market later this month.
The device is targeted squarely at the business marketplace and will not be sold through etail or high-street routes to market. Partners will need Cisco Advanced specialisations in wireless and unified communications (UC) to get their hands on the device.
All of the vendor's 36 UK Gold partners hold these badges, as do eight of its nine Silver partners. Some 18 UK VARs at Premier level, three at Select and two at Registered also hold the requisite certifications.
The recommended retail price for the Cius will be $750 (£470), but customers could find themselves paying less than $700 if they buy in large enough quantities. The list price for resellers will allow them to make "healthier margins than the typical consumer tablet", according to Jeroen Sourbron, manager for collaboration channels at the Cisco Worldwide Partner Organisation.
Launched alongside the Android-based device is Cisco AppHQ, an app store exclusively featuring Cisco-ratified apps. End users can also avail themselves of a private corporate app store, as well as downloading apps from the open Android marketplace.
Sourbron claimed Cisco's app setup is one of three key factors that differentiate Cius as a true enterprise device and give channel partners key sales opportunities; the others being the device's credentials as a UC and HD video endpoint, and the scope for implementing desktop virtualisation.
"Developers can now bring value to the customer, not just another Android application," said Sourbron. "We see that the application opportunity [for partners] is to take a managed service model. There are compelling opportunities for the channel to be a lot more transformational to a customer."
What others are saying
Ten compelling apps for Cisco Cius – Computerworld
Cisco prices its tablet, talks apps – Wall Street Journal
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