Monday, 12 July 2010 09:02

How the iPad is finding its place in the corporate world

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Despite being written off by some as being nothing more than the latest shiny toy from Apple, the iPad is finding its niche in the corporate world.


The other day, IT solutions provider UXC Connect announced that it had become an authorised iPad reseller. UXC Connect isn't a household name, but its clients are - they include the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Aviva, Canon, Linfox, the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, the Queensland Department of Emergency Services, and Sydney Water.

So why is the company selling iPads? "UXC Connect has seen a significant increase in organisations' desire to embrace Apple products alongside their 'standard' corporate environment," said managing director Paul Timmins.

"A great example of this is the high adoption of the iPhone by corporate users. We see this trend continuing with the iPad as a device that corporate users will want to integrate into their working environment to improve productivity. We see great potential for the iPad as a content delivery platform in industry sectors such as health, education, utilities and government," he explained.

The company is working with other businesses in the UXC group to provide custom application development and integration for the iPad with SAP, Oracle and Microsoft enterprise systems.

So how are corporates using - or planning to use - the iPad? Let's glance at a couple of recent news stories.

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KLIV reported that Redwood City Council in California is considering the use of iPads at council meetings to put all the relevant information at councillors' fingertips and without having to generate a stack of paper.

Bloomberg has reported on the ways several well-known companies are employing the iPad. Wells Fargo is using it to demonstrate financial products, while Tellabs and Mercedes-Benz are using the iPad for various tasks including order approval and financing.

Meanwhile, a Reuters report on corporate adoption in the Asia Pacific region cites companies using the device in sectors including retail, hospitality and field sales.

 

And there are any number of reports about the proliferation of iPads in the hands of senior executives in boardrooms and airport lounges.

If you want to see how 'ordinary people' are using their iPads at work, take a look at the entries in TiPb's iPad At Work contest. You'll see examples from healthcare, IT, architecture, emergency services, education, and sales. The stories are generally of unofficial use at work (or from small business people), but that's exactly how personal computers found their way into the business world back to the late 70s and early 80s.

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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