Apple Taking Corporate Customers By Storm! Only Gets More Bullish. Target Price $450.00 + This Year.
Apple iPad Tablet Shaking Up How Firms Do Business
By PATRICK SEITZ , INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY
Posted 09/16/2011 02:52 PM ET
First pitched as a consumer product, Apple’s (AAPL) iPad has taken the corporate market by storm less than a year and a half after its debut.
Companies such as Boston Scientific (BSX), Salesforce.com (CRM) and SAP (SAP) have deployed thousands of iPads to their employees. Apple’s popular media tablet is replacing notebook computers in many cases and is rapidly changing how companies do business, users say.
Competing tablets have a long way to go to come close to Apple’s reach into enterprise and business environments. Some companies are only now starting to pilot test tablets from Samsung and others running Google’s (GOOG) Android software.
A customer at a restaurant in Torrance, Calif., uses an iPad to order lunch. The Apple device is rapidly changing how companies do business, users… View Enlarged Image
“You go to a meeting at Salesforce today and people show up with iPads,” Salesforce.com Senior Vice President Woodson Martin said. “It’s replaced the laptop for a lot of people.”
‘On The Front Line’
The customer relationship management software maker has given tablets to its executives for communication, collaboration and checking real-time data. It’s also equipping customer-facing employees worldwide with iPads that can be used for presentations and demonstrations.
“The iPad is on the front line of how we communicate with customers,” Martin said. The iPad 2 added the ability to plug in a projector, which increased its usefulness for business customers doing presentations, he says.
Since the iPad was designed as a cloud-computing device, data are not stored on the device itself, making it inherently secure, he says. “I don’t have to worry about it falling into the wrong hands,” he said.
Some recent high-profile security breaches have raised doubts about cloud security. But tablets with data stored remotely do avoid the risk of notebook PCs with data stored on them.
Salesforce.com has deployed roughly 3,000 iPads to its staff.
Business software giant SAP is using more than 7,000 iPads worldwide and plans to ramp up to 10,000 or 11,000 units this year.
Apple’s iPad already is impacting how SAP and its customers operate, says SAP’s Chief Information Officer Oliver Bussmann.
“The device is perfect for accessing information anywhere,” he said. “The No. 1 use case is mobile business intelligence.”
Executives are using their tablets as mobile dashboards to access critical information about their companies, Bussmann says .
“I can see already that our power-user executives are monitoring their business in almost real-time,” he said. They’re accessing data on sales, profits, human resources and other areas.
In July, Apple made it easier for firms to get applications on their iPads by opening a business-to-business app store. That lets companies make volume purchases of apps. It also provides a way for businesses to buy custom B2B apps by third-party developers to meet their unique needs.