I have been covering the iPad in the enterprise meme here at CloudAve and many others are regularly talking about how iPad is changing the business landscape. Clearly, the use of iPad is not a fad. From sales teams to IT admins, enterprises of all sizes are finding iPad to be very convenient, even increasing their productivity manyfold. With iOS 4.2 out of the door, Apple is also taking some baby steps to help enterprises deploy iPad easily inside their organization. We are seeing many enterprise software and services vendors releasing iPad apps targeting enterprise customers.
Yesterday ServiceMax, the Santa Clara based company focussing on rewriting the field service management using clouds, announced the release of their iPad application. This iPad app will let field service techs access everything from customer and route information. product manuals, warranty data, social and collaboration tools, etc., essentially giving everyone from manufacturers and service-based businesses of all sizes an option to make the iPad a key part of their field service solution. Soon, this trend is going to change the way business is done in the enterprises.
Some of the reasons why enterprises like iPads include:
- iPad form factor. Clearly, anything smaller will have the same shortcomings of smartphone for certain use cases and this screen size on netbooks is also a put off. The portability is the single important reason for its success inside the enterprises. This fact has been confirmed by Sumair Dutta, Senior Research Analyst, Service Management, Aberdeen group. According to a survey conducted by Aberdeen Group, nearly a quarter of respondents to our 2010 mobile research indicated interest in evaluating tablets as an alternative to smartphones or semi-ruggedized devices
- Touch screen capabilities which make the entire user experience smooth and seamless
- Easy availability of mobile data either through an inbuilt antenna or through Mifi devices
- Ease with which such apps can be installed
ServiceMax built their iPad app keeping the above trends in mind. ServiceMax iPad app was built on top of Salesforce’s PaaS offering, force.com. ServiceMax iPad app runs in the cloud and is integrated with the ServiceMax suite, providing field technicians with all customer and case history, parts information, logistics, and collaboration at their fingertips on the road. In addition, the iPad application combines ServiceMax with Salesforce CRM data so technicians have access to all CRM information to provide the best possible service and create upsell opportunities while on the road. By combining the power of Force.com, the collaboration of Cloud 2 and the mobility of the iPad, ServiceMax iPad app is offering a great solution for field service market. Salesforce has been pushing Chatter big time ever since Marc Benioff was convinced about the kind of collaboration and productivity such a platform will unleash inside a business organization. ServiceMax has taken advantage of Chatter to bring in a closer collaboration of enterprise iPad users.
The iPad in the enterprise meme is not a fad but it is a serious multi-million dollar business. It is just a matter of time before iPad app becomes a standard feature of any enterprise offering. I am doing some research on enterprise adoption of tablets, in general, and iPads, in particular. If you are an enterprise using iPad heavily, I would like to hear your story. Please get in touch with me.
- 3 Enterprise iPad Apps for People in the Field (readwriteweb.com)
- Measuring iPad enterprise use (asymco.com)
- The iPad as a Social Device (blogs.forbes.com)
- Absolute Manage secures iPhone and iPad for enterprise use (v3.co.uk)
- Enterprise iPad Usage Most Common in Financial Services (readwriteweb.com)
- Delta installs 135 iPads at gates in NY’s JFK airport (electronista.com)