Cisco Systems has announced the addition to the list of devices on its Cisco Certified Extensions (CCX) program of the Intermec CN3 rugged handheld computer, as well as the fact that the HP iPAQ 600 is en route to certification.
The dual-mode cellular/WiFi devices will join the Nokia Eseries smart phones as certified by the San Jose, California-based networking vendor for use on its wireless LAN infrastructure.
Richard Roberts, Cisco’s director of wireless mobility for the European market, said the CCX program is an engineering-level engagement between his company and another to enable manageability, security, reliability, and QoS when the mobile device is in use on Cisco infrastructure.
It may entail firmware changes on the device so that it can offer an option to be configured for use on a Cisco WLAN, as is already the case on the Nokia E61. This enables the device to appear on the Cisco IP PBX as an extension and benefit from four-digit dialling plans for internal calls, for instance.
Beyond that, Tim Stone, Cisco’s senior marketing manager for its Unified Comms portfolio in both the European and Emerging Markets divisions, said additional features from the company’s UC infrastructure such as directory integration, presence, IM, visual voicemail, and access to the MeetingPlace conferencing capability, are possible by loading the Cisco Unified Mobile Communicator client onto the device. At the moment that’s available only for Nokia, but we’ll be extending it to other handsets, he said, adding that the Intermec and HP devices would be logical next steps.
The three devices on or heading toward the CCX list for use on Cisco’s WLAN infrastructure fall into different classes for a wider addressable market. The Eseries is a generally more voice-centric family of devices, the iPAQ comes from the PDA data-centric world, and the Intermec is a full-blown handheld computer, a more costly piece of kit for use in places like warehouses and factory floors.