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1HP WebOS Tablet 10 Things It Must Do to Compete With Cisco’s Cius

1. Have a Clear VisionPart of the reason why Cisco’s Cius tablet could be so successful is the company’s clear vision of what it wants to achieve. Unlike Apple’s iPad, which is on one hand a consumer product, and another hand, an enterprise solution, Cisco’s Cius is designed specifically for corporate customers. HP must understand workers and provide them with what they need.

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2. Video ConferencingWith video conferencing on the rise, that functionality could mean the difference between success and failure in the corporate world for HP. HP must respond with similar functionality built into its WebOS tablet. Obviously it won’t have Cisco phones to plug the tablet into, but adding video conferencing could work quite well. It’s at least worth considering as the company starts thinking about how it will beat the Cius.

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3. Rely On the CloudA key component in WebOS is the cloud and how well it integrates into a mobile platform. Currently, the Cisco Cius has no major tie to the cloud. That could be HP’s opening. Since WebOS relies on the Internet to some extent, the company can use that as a selling point with enterprise customers. As 2011 approaches, the corporate world is becoming increasingly Web-focused. If HP can capitalize on that with its own tablet, and beat out Cius for the race to the cloud, the company will have a major advantage that it can capitalize on.

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4. Focus On ProductivityProductivity is key in the corporate world. Windows has been successful because enterprise customers are able to be far more productive on that operating system than they would on Apple’s Mac OS X or even Linux. HP must keep that in mind at all times as it prepares its WebOS tablet for the corporate world. It might be cool to offer entertainment on the device, but for corporate customers, the real value is in productivity. HP can’t forget that.

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5. Work With Microsoft, Not Against ItAlthough HP’s relations with Microsoft are perhaps strained right now, since the company originally planned to deliver a Windows-based tablet before it opted for a WebOS version, it must remember to continue working with Microsoft in the tablet market. There is a significant chance that Windows-based tablets will be making their way to the enterprise market, as well. If HP annoys Microsoft or allows the software company to take the upper hand in the tablet space, it will be in trouble. HP must work with Microsoft. It might not be the most ideal solution, but if it wants to be successful in the tablet space, being cordial with the software giant is a good move.

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6. Design MattersThe enterprise may have historically been home to beige computers and boring smartphones, but that doesn’t mean that the corporate world will stay that way forever. A new generation of workers is entering the market, and they have a keen eye for good design. If the WebOS tablet is better designed than the Cisco Cius, it could significantly help HP’s chances of competing in that space. When visiting a client, executives will want to pull out the best-looking and most functional device they can. If that is the HP tablet, the company is already one step ahead. Just look at the iPad for proof of that.

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7. Make It BigAccording to Cisco, the Cius tablet boasts a 7-inch display. That might be fine for some users, but considering the iPad’s display is 9.7-inches and that has appealed to customers, HP’s best move may be a better screen size. That said, it can’t go overboard and try to offer a 13-inch display. It should deliver a 10-inch screen. That size makes it noticeably bigger than the Cius, but within reason for mobile workers. With such a small display, the Cius could be put in danger if HP delivers a bigger alternative.

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8. Remember to Be HPHP has been successful in the corporate world because it knows what it needs to do in order to achieve. It can’t lose sight of that as it prepares to offer a WebOS-based tablet. HP knows what corporate customers want, it understands how the market is changing, and it has a strong pedigree of success in the enterprise. If it can remember that, it can be successful. But if it tries to be too “Apple,” trouble will ensue.

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9. Make WebOS Enterprise-FriendlyPalm has yet to deliver a product that can even be remotely considered enterprise friendly. Palm’s Pre and Pixi are not enterprise products. WebOS delivers nothing in particular that would appeal to business customers. HP needs to fix that. HP must make WebOS as enterprise-friendly as possible. That means adding support for services companies use on a daily basis, as well as integrating the software into existing HP infrastructure. WebOS is nothing without enterprise functionality.

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10. Get Working On SmartphonesWebOS’s success in the enterprise will be determined by how fast HP can get viable smartphones to the market. By delivering both smartphones and a tablet to enterprise customers, HP gains more momentum against Cisco’s Cius. Palm might not have the best enterprise pedigree, but it understood customers for a long time. If HP can bring that back, it can capitalize.