iPad in the Enterprise

About a year ago a few members of the team got an iPad, well it is a new gadget and who can resist… 

Being a geek the realisation soon kicked in that the iPad could actually have a lot of mileage as a sales tool. It’s certainly stylish and got that wow factor and lets face what sales rep is not sold on these two factors. Beyond that the thought of the business giving them out had a moral boosting angle as well has a big impact in the sale seems a win win. Not to mention the ease of use, lightweight, fantastic screen etc.

Then the wow factor leads to some realisations, you need iTunes to register and activate the device, how does that scale up? Can you imagine a sales force with an iPad downloading all sorts and having to manage an iTunes account. How does it integrate into the existing infrastructure and co-exist with the desktop applications. In fact what apps does the rep need. Better still how do you deploy it. For me it was question overload.

To cut a long journey a bit shorter I found two key applications, Citrix Receiver for iPad and numerous Office style applications that all did the business. The Citrix Receiver was the way forward to allow a quick and seemless integration into our network and use the local Office apps to present corporate sales media.

So I had a few business wins as well as a loose strategy to integrate the platform into the network. Now all I was thinking was how can this platform be deployed, managed and supported. It seemed to me that these questions were far to early doors for Apple. Whilst there seemed to be a few crude solutions it just didn’t cut it.

Just recently I picked this up again. iPad 2 is up on us, RIM have the new Playbook and Android also have a tablet as well as some others. On top of this with everything I am learning about the Cloud these types of device are soon going to become common place in the enterprise.

A bit of digging shows that Android certainly seems to be behind Apple. I can see the RIM Playbook being a serious business tool as lets face it, the Blackberry is the main stay of the Golf course and offers a great management platform.

However don’t rule the iPad (2) out as it seems that Apple have realised that they are missing out on a big market. Their site now has a whole raft of deployment options for iTunes, allowing for deployment centrally, management and control of the platform. To me this is a huge win.

Whilst I can’t say much more as I have yet to try it and finish reading all the material I would seriously be watching the mobile device space with a close eye.

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