The web-based help desk service Zendesk has today rolled out a spiffy iPad app to allow companies and their employees to manage customer help desks on the go. The iPad application joins the existing offerings of iPhone, Android and BlackBerry apps that have a total of over 80,000 downloads.
The iPad app contains similar functionality to those existing mobile apps with some additions such as the ability for users to view a real-time list of tickets assigned and bookmark tickets for later response or reference. Zendesk’s CEO Zack Urlocker said to TechCrunch that he believes the iPad app will become their most popular mobile application as companies adopt the iPad in their businesses.
In spite of Microsoft’s attempts to convince the enterprise folks that the iPad is inadequate, iOS devices, and especially the iPad, are doing well in the enterprise market segment. Apparently, they’re doing so well that RIM itself has fallen behind and SAP rolled out 1,000 iPads to its employees a few months ago. The recent additions in iOS 4 and 4.2 for business users surely helped along the way in getting iPhones and iPads into offices and large companies. But the iPad, thanks to its larger screen and notebook-like features, is set to produce even bigger results in 2011.
According to Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes, the iPad is “far ahead” of competitors in the tablet market; without setting up a salesforce, Apple is “listening to enterprise customers”. More and more corporate users are quickly shifting to the iOS environment and, most of all, they are bringing these devices to work. The popularity of the App Store and the fact that thousands of applications are available and continually updated in the Business category helps these users install work-related software on their devices, which are also used for personal purposes. As Reitzes notes, this is “the consumerization of IT”. And when the App Store doesn’t provide the right tools to deploy applications on a large scale, wireless app distribution introduced in iOS 4.2 allows enterprises to host and wirelessly distribute their own in-house apps, both on WiFi and 3G.
Last, Reitzes believes 47 million tablets will be sold in 2011, including 33.7 million iPads. Similar numbers were shared by analysts Wolf and Fidacaro earlier this week.
What happens when a successful and large company like semiconductor maker KLA-Tencor decides to give away iPads to all its employees? Well, it means the IT department is in trouble. After posting revenue of $1.8 billion, the CEO of the company gave each employee an iPad as a reward for the hard work; and not only did he gave people iPads, he also made sure the CIO of KLA-Tencor and IT folks would help everyone with the setup process. That leads to iTunes account creation, email setup, apps installation, secure VPN connections. For 5,400 iPads, that’s a bit of work.
KLA-Tencor’s Ballal didn’t have a choice about the speed and timing of an iPad rollout. The CEO had made a promise to give iPads to employees as a form of appreciation; when you promise someone an iPad, you can’t wait six months to deliver one.
So why couldn’t KLA-Tencor just ship the iPads to employees? Employees wanted the gadgets right away, even though half lived outside the United States. “The big thing was the logistics of getting these devices to different parts of the world,” Ballal says. “It was all the nightmare of shipping. The iPad wasn’t yet released in the different countries when we rolled this thing out. We learned a lot about logistics.
At its Q1 2011 earnings call, Apple announced over 80% of Fortune 500 are deploying or piloting iPads, and 88 of Fortune 100, 60% of Financial Times Europe testing or deploying iPhones. In the past we’ve seen school adopting iPads with special educational programs and corporate America “falling in love” with the device in a matter of months. [via TUAW]
iPad “Best Thing to Happen to Meetings Since the 1960s”
Ben Brooks is right about the iPad as a device for meetings:
There is an artificial barrier between you and everyone else because of those damned laptop screens.
The iPad changes all of this, it can sit slightly angled on the table and not be a a barrier to anyone, or even completely flat on the table mimicking a notepad. Further, because the screen is not staring you in the face, participants get a more open sense about how you are using it — that is people can see what you are doing on it. This is crucial to making the other meeting attendees feel like you are actually paying attention.
The real difference, though, is once again made by apps: easy-to-use yet powerful software like Screens, iFiles, Omnifocus, Dropbox and FileBrowser can turn the tablet into a killer machine for business purposes. “Apps” is where the competitors will need to catch up with.
Apple says the iPhone is more than a mere appliance for sending e-mail. The device, with its sleek touch screen and ability to run hundreds of thousands of Web-connected applications, games and utilities, can be used for nearly any purpose, business or personal, a line that Apple hopes to blur out of existence.
“Most people now want to use a single device to handle both their personal and professional lives,” said Shaw Wu, an analyst at Kaufman Bros. “That’s what Apple’s really good at — and now RIM is playing catch-up.”
I guess the question is: can they even catch up at this point? 275,000 apps is no small difference. [via]
Apple CEO Steve Jobs said months ago they didn’t see RIM catching up with Cupertino’s extraordinary success in the “foreseeable future”, and everyone’s been talking about the fast growth of Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPad in the business market (and enterprise). Businesses were already “jumping on the iPad” back in August (and July too, we recall), now the deployment of iOS devices continues with JPMorgan Chase & Co giving iPads to investment bankers.
Bankers will be able to use the iPad for both business and personal use, they’ll be able to download personal apps on the tablet while keeping tabs on their tasks using business apps sold in the App Store or developed internally. Of course the Wall Street folks will have the ability to access their emails, calendars and meeting notes on the iPad. (more…)
Today Apple appointed a new member of the Board of Directors: Ron Sugar, former CEO of Northrop Grumman Corp. “Dr. Sugar will serve as the Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee”, the press release reports. He takes the spot left by Jerry York, who passed away in March.
Steve Jobs is very happy about the decisions, as “Ron is an engineer at heart, who then became a very successful business leader” that has been involved in the development “of some very sophisticated technology.” Being Apple an engineering-driven company, it’s no surprise Ron Sugar is a new member of the Board of Directors. Press release follows below. (more…)
The Mac Pro is a great box, but it is not designed to be a server. That matters. The Mac Pro, in trying to equal the Xserve takes up 12 times the space, uses more power, and ends up costing you twice as much if you don’t want a single component able to turn your server setup into a brick. If you’re collocating your servers, the cost to colo a Mac Pro or two is going to be a lot higher than for an Xserve, because you’re going to pay more for power and a lot more for the rack space.
IT folks clearly aren’t happy about Apple’s decision. As far as the iOS environment is concerned, Apple needs to do a lot more there, too.