The iPad (s aapl) is doing well among enterprise customers, and for good reason. It facilitates the interaction of businesses and clients. Two new use cases show that, regardless of what you’re using for internal communications, the iPad is where it’s at for client-focused technological initiatives.
First, the iPad continues its well-documented success in the health industry, this time with medical device-maker Medtronic Inc. CIO Michael Hedges has purchased 4,500 iPads for Medtronic, which has around 40,000 employees. The volume purchase came after a successful pilot project with 10 iPads just after the device’s launch.
Hedges bought the 10 tablets for use on Wednesday, April 8 2010 at a trade show in Germany. The iPads replaced larger, more expensive displays traditionally used by the company. People came to check out the booth just to see the iPads, which hadn’t yet been released in Europe at the time.
The 4,500 iPad purchases that followed made sense to Hedges because they work wonderfully for showing off products to clients when you can’t bring physical samples with you. Try fitting an MRI machine in your luggage. The iPad supports video and can grab data in real time, making it better than any glossy sales catalogue. Hedges also pointed out that the iPad is instant-on, a huge boon when it comes to using gadgets with impatient clients and tough-sells.
iPads are also being used by BMW for the South Florida International Auto Show in Miami, taking place right now. Instead of the usual specification panels used by auto-makers at these kinds of shows, BMW wanted to provide potential customers with an interactive experience, and the iPad just fit the bill.
Using BMW’s digital configuration app on the iPads, show attendees can customize car color, interior and wheel options for each model. They can also provide contact information for local BMW dealers if they’re interested in finding out more about a car or scheduling a test drive. The technology clearly has the potential to make its way from the trade show floor to the sales floor of every dealership, which is exactly how some auto-makers are already employing the iPad.
Both cases speak to the same truth: whenever business has to speak to customers or clients, the iPad can help. Even if you’re just using your website via the device to show clients what you have on offer, it’s better than paper because it’s searchable and supports multimedia content. Also, there’s the “wow” factor of the iPad itself, something which it doesn’t seem to be set to lose anytime soon.
Businesses want iPad presence. Canada’s leading grocery chain is working on iOS apps for all of its major lines of business, which include banking and houseware sales, according to a reliable source. That same company also provides iPads to all of its executives, and the CEO is said to be very familiar with the platform. The reason? Apple created an ideal consumer-focused device, and for any industry where working closely with clients and customers is of utmost importance, that’s exactly what business is looking for.
Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):