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:
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.