Sorry for the word choice, but Cisco Motion vision marketing can make you dizzy;)
The marketing folks at Cisco have been busy creating a mobility vision, in response to real enterprise challenges of Hyperconnectivity. The formula is all too familiar. Identify all the right user challenges... Spin a vision story around a not-so-exciting product announcement.... Usually add a five phase picture (magically you're already at phase 3!) and .... Create industry buzz around the works.
But Cisco's recent Motion vision announcement (and related 'phase 0' product announcement of a glorified location-based WiFi controller) raises more questions than it answers.
Why would enterprises want to invest in a network-centric approach at the expense of application agility?
What if you want to deploy best-of-breed wireless intrusion prevention from another vendor?
Will you be constrained in your RFID or UWB vendor selection under Motion?
How does a WiFi-centric appliance 'unify disparate networks' and 'facilitate collaboration'?
But the biggest question in my mind is that Motion is an architectural no-man's land (or is it sea?).
Cisco says that their vision 'abstracts the application layer from the network layer'. This sounds like SOA but it's not! SOA is software centric and network agnostic. Application developers don't want to know about appliances.
Cisco has introduced a network embedded appliance that is specific to the in-building wireless- actually to the WiFi- network. This sounds like SONA, but it's not- maybe Cisco is giving up on SONA, which has had minimal traction anyway!).
Application developers tell us they want a SOA-enabled framework into which to work, that is totally independent of the underlying infrastructure, whether wired or wireless, enterprise or carrier. For example, does it make any sense to bring public network location-based information into the enterprise via a WiFi appliance? Among other things, this seems to create a bottleneck for application innovation and scalability.
There are already solutions that offer context/location aware services, roaming and FMC, end point security and wireless IPS. A key differentiator in our approach to Communications Enabled Applications, is the Nortel Agile Communication Environment (ACE).
Nortel ACE truly abstracts the application layer from the network layer; supports aggregated presence, and in-building and wide area context (location, policy, identity) services; has adaptors to various network infrastructures (including Nortel and Cisco Call Manager), and is built on SOA (in fact, integrating IBM's Websphere today and other frameworks in the near future).
Are you starting to feel a little queasy about Cisco's Motion vision marketing?