Today was a big day for news on iPad adoption in the enterprise. It was nice to see so much coverage. This post will recap what I think were the most exciting stories today.
How Bausch + Lomb is Embracing the iPad
Larry Dignan from ZDNet wrote a really interesting piece on Bausch + Lomb about how that company is embracing the iPad. They were an early adopter of the iPad and now have over 1700 deployed. One quote from the article stuck me, in a good way, "The workers closest to the customer get iPad 2 devices as the previous versions are given to other employees downstream. Bausch + Lomb is now running iPad pilots on the manufacturing floor." The thinking of Bausch + Lomb CIO Alan Farnsworth seems to line up very consistently with us at Propelics. We are strong believers that one of the biggest use cases for the iPad in the enterprise is on the front lines with sales folks. We talk about this in our Primer on iPad's in the enterprise .
Enterprise iPad Usage in Healthcare Exploding
Carol Fitton from Sybase wrote a good article today in Smart Gorillas on tablet usage in the Healthcare vertical and speaks about how iPad usage has really exploded in this vertical. She writes that "Tablets are being adopted in healthcare in unexpected ways. The initial expectation was that iPads would appear in the medical center or hospital as personally owned devices, similar to how iPhones entered the mobile enterprise. Instead, the more common model is the enterprise IT department purchasing devices for new uses or healthcare applications." Enterprises are starting to really embrace the iPad, and while BYOD (Bring your own device) is still a huge trend that CIOs need to reckon with: we discuss that in another blog , some companies are actively, more strategically embracing the iPad. In healthcare, as Fitton discusses, doctors are using the iPad to view patient images during surgeries, using them to interact with patients in both and explanatory and advisory mode, and pharmaceutical reps are actively embracing the iPad to speed up and enhance the sales cycle. Fitton sites a study from Manhattan research that suggests that within 6 months, 58% of doctors (I'm assuming in the USA) will own an iPad. This is a staggering number, one that will only grow as more and better use cases emerge.
Pilots Have Less to Carry Now Due to iPad Adoption from Major Carriers
Patrick Smith, an airline pilot, wrote an article yesterday in Salon highlighting some of the news that has emerged over the last month or so about how the airline industry has jumped in a big way onto the iPad bandwagon. United, Delta, British Airways, and undoubtedly others soon to follow have purchased iPads for their pilots and even flight attendants to create the concept of a "paperless cockpit". Smith writes how the iPad will save him and his collegues from lugging around "30-pound kits through X-ray machines and up and down flights of stairs. And we can find what we need through the ease of an electronic touchpad. United says the move to iPads will save 16 million sheets of paper annually. I can believe it. It will also save huge amounts of time, fuel and visits to the chiropractor. And yes, it'll be cheaper. Pilots might be thrilled, but airlines aren't doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. Ultimately it's driven by cost." And cost is one of the very good reasons for enterprises to consider adopting a tablet like the iPad.
Using the iPad to Digitize the Lives of Wholesalers
Finally, in this week's roundoup of iPad use in the Enterprise, I was intrigued by an article by Courtney Boyd Myers in TMW about a cool app called Handshake that is helping wholesalers automate and digitize the sales order and inventory management process. The article states that the app "lets you write orders, scan barcodes with your iPhone camera, email order confirmations, print copies instantly with AirPrint and works seamlessly with excel. Sellers can offer their entire catalog and multiple product lines simultaneously with multi-currency support." That's pretty cool. I was struck by a quote at the beginning of the piece from the CTO of Handshake, Glen Coates regarding wholesaler trade shows: "Imagine a aircraft-hangar sized space with thousands of buyers and sellers writing orders. They all have smartphones, and many of them have iPads. Yet, almost all of the reps are writing orders on paper, handing the buyer a yellow-paper carbon copy, hoping that their handwriting is legible, and taking the order back to the office for some poor schmoe to type in by hand. It feels like a timewarp, but it's actually pretty much every tradeshow in the year 2011." This is a great use case for the iPad and I wish them lots of success.
The Propelics team is always looking out for, and dreaming up, new and exciting use cases for the iPad in the enterprise. If you have one, please leave a comment, or hit me up on twitter @adambookman.