Will Dell Revitalize The Tablet PC Market?

Ben The secret was out but now it’s official: Dell’s long anticipated plunge into the tablet PC market has finally arrived with today’s release of the Latitude XT. Tablets were first introduced to enterprises over five years ago with great expectations but have long remained a niche solution for industries like healthcare, education, the public sector, retail, and manufacturing. But tablets have recently taken two significant steps forward, which will drive 28% of enterprises to increase their usage of tablets over the next year.

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Cisco’s New CTO: A Sign Of Succession Planning?

Rob
Let me
first say that I haven’t actually spoken to Cisco on the topic, but I find the
news of the new CTO to be very interesting. It was recently announced that Padmasree
Warrior
would be coming over from Motorola. And just a few days later, the
announcement came out regarding the change in its development
organization
.

Why all
the changes? Well I can only speculate, but I think Padmasree can help in two
major ways:

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Online Backup Markets Keeps Sizzling With IBM’s Acquisition of Arsenal Digital

On December 6th, 2007 IBM announced its acquisition of Arsenal Digital Solutions, a major player in the online backup service provider market. Arsenal provides online backup services to customers directly but other service providers (particularly telecommunication providers) rebrand and resell Arsenal's online backup services as their own. So the company is both provider and enabler. Arsenal is profitable, cash flow positive and has not required funding since 2002. It has approximately 3400 customers. IBM did not disclose the value of the acquisition.

This is the second major acquisition in the online backup market in the last year. In December 2006, Seagate Technology acquired Evault for $185 million and in October 2007, EMC acquired Berkeley Data Systems (the company behind Mozy) for $76 million. It all really began however, with Iron Mountain's acquisition of LiveVault in 2005.

It is important to note that the acquisition was made by IBM Global Services (IGS), not IBM Tivoli or IBM System and Technology. This acquisition is not about filling in a product gap (although IBM is lagging in data protection offerings that support deduplication), it's about ensuring a foothold in a critical market. In fact, the engine of Arsenal's service is EMC Avamar - what Arsenal provides is a software as a service (SaasS) wrapper around Avamar, everything you need for SaaS such as multi-tenancy, billing, reporting etc. IGS is clearly indifferent to the technology; they care about a dependable, scaleable online backup service

Cisco In 2008: The March Begins As Cisco Transforms Into A Software Company

Rob
Cisco is at an interesting crossroads. It’s approaching a $40B run rate, which it has achieved mostly through hardware sales. In fact, we recently did a full analysis of Cisco’s business and its current position looks rock solid (see our Q3 analysis here). But how many $40B+ vendors out there sell mostly hardware? None. Cisco has shed its primary network-only bias and is on the way to becoming more of an overall IT vendor, but the competition is stiff. Companies like HP, IBM, and Microsoft have strong software and services revenue streams — as well as a significantly more mindshare with the CIO. As Cisco moves “up the stack” to compete with these IT juggernauts it will inevitably change its business model. I anticipate 2008 will be a turning point for Cisco as it:

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Is Apple's iPhone Ready For The Enterprise?

The iPhone, a consumer powerhouse, has garnered a lot of interest among prosumers that leaves us wondering if it's quite ready for the enterprise. We've received a surprising volume of client inquiries over the past few weeks regarding whether large organizations should add the iPhone to their list of internally supported mobile devices. Forrester strongly believes that the first generation of the iPhone is not an enterprise-class mobile device. Limitations like its lack of support for push email and calendar, third-party applications, and disk or file encryption make the iPhone impossible to secure and manage. However, improvements are already being taken to make the iPhone more business friendly with a new generation that will support 3G networks and will be open to third-party applications.

Is there anyone out there that thinks we're off base here and that has welcomed the iPhone within the walls of your enterprise? If so, we'd love to hear your thoughts. Look out for an upcoming Forrester report on this topic as it is proving to be a hot one in the mobile enterprise space.