Blog Archives

Baby Registries

Jessie decided it’s time to start the baby registries. Similar to Jessie deciding it’s time to start nesting (that was about 2.5 weeks in). So now the registries are up, the garage sale shopping has begun and new, baby-related items magically appear every other week.

During the baby registration process I was given sole responsibility for choosing a baby monitor. A task I took on with an appropriate level of gusto.

My first thought: throw a Cisco 8945 in the baby room with auto-answer on and get a Cius to carry around the house as the ‘monitor’. I pre-wired the bedrooms shortly after we moved in and have an NME etherswitch module in my 2821 providing 24 ports of PoE to the house so all the infrastructure is in place. But Jessie quickly shot that down. I think mostly due to the pricetag slightly north of $1k.

Back to the traditional methods…

  1. Video or no video. I decided no video. If my baby can’t get Cisco video it’s not getting any video.
  2. Next requirement was DECT.
    • There’s no way I was going to let my baby’s babbling duke it out in the 2.4 or 5 GHz range along with the 20-some home wireless networks I can see from my living room.
    • Plus, the extra range lets me hang out in my neighbor’s driveway with a cold beer in hand while still carefully monitoring the baby room.
    • Third DECT benefit.. 120 encrypted channels. The neighbors down the street don’t need to listen to me read the little one Chicka Chicka Boom Boom at 3am.
  3. Read reviews on Amazon and at least two other consumer/baby websites, check.
  4. Download manuals… read manuals…
  5. Price check Amazon, the big box stores & Google

Finally decided on the Philips Avent monitor. I think this is why Jessie only gave me a couple items to pick out. It’d be middle of next year before the baby gets a crib at this rate.


Cius & AppHQ Launch

Everyone is talking about Cisco’s latest Cius announcement today, the AppHQ and July 31st availability.

I won’t disagree that Cisco has a a ways to go yet with the Cius (I’ve been using one the last few weeks), but the reviewers are missing the point here.

First, price. Reviewers, stop freaking out about it. If the Cius is $750 list and Cisco’s standard discounts apply most customers will pay a very “tablet-competitive” price even though it’s not “a tablet”. For reference, Cisco’s 9971 video phone has a list price just under $1000 and many customers are more than willing to buy them. Now you can have everything the 9971 offers and more.

Second, Android & the power of apps. Enterprise-grade video phone + Android apps = unlimited potential. Read Dave Michels great article on re-inventing the desk phone on, The Cius has 80-90% of his wishlist and it’s definitely on the right track here. Beyond these features think about current Cisco developers like Singlewire and the possibilities with their InformaCast notification products. Or the ability for a contact center supervisor to walk around the building with a Cius getting real-time stats and re-skilling agents to meet traffic spikes with a swipe of their finger. This is the future of the enterprise desk phone.

Finally, all the tablet comparisons are fine, but the real value for enterprises is this: VDI & the Cius media dock. Enterprises can buy a Cius and they no longer have to buy that employee a computer. A Cius with the dock connected to a monitor, keyboard & mouse with a Citrix or VMware View virtual desktop to connect to is the power play here. Now even at list price that $750 doesn’t sound so bad.

The strength of the Cius isn’t that it’s a tablet, because as far as that’s concerned it’s mediocre at best as the recent reviews have shown. They’re right. It’s not an iDevice. It’s not slim, aluminum, dual-core. It doesn’t even run recent code (Android 2.2). But Cisco’s positioning this in a perfect mix of their collaboration & data center strengths with a dash of the “consumerization of IT” thrown in. I think the idea & theory is perfect, now Cisco just needs to deliver.