It’s happened again. Cool, slick technology that first captured the attention of consumers, has infiltrated the workplace. Like instant messaging and smartphones, tablet computers have found a solid place in the world of corporate presentations and “road warrior” travelling kits. It hasn’t been that long since the debut of the iPad, but the progress has been so fast and the uptake so incredible, that it seems as though, like the notebook computer, we simply cannot survive without it.
“Technology levels the playing field for companies like ours,” said Chris Salvador, partner at South Bend, Indiana-based NewGroup Media, a full service, international creative communications firm that produces documentaries, television programs and commercials, industrial and institutional videos and much more. For Chris and his team at NewGroup Media, demonstrating their sizeable body of work to potential clients doesn’t have to mean lugging heavy projection equipment to meetings. “Tablets have been a big help to us. We were just at a conference in New Orleans, and without having giant pieces of equipment, we were still able to show hundreds of samples of our work from a tablet. And people would sit and look, and say, ‘Oh my God, it’s amazing.”
[ The Great Video Conferencing Debate: Cost Vs Quality, debates if whether higher quality business grade video conferencing solutions are worth the higher cost, or do the cost savings from consumer grade versions justify their lower quality user experience? ]
NewGroup Media isn’t alone in making good use of tablet computers. An infographic sponsored by Lenovo and Qualcomm provides some insight into uptake, and just what types of tablets people are using. As one might expect, the iPad rules the day, with over 80 percent of tablet sales, but cheapskates like me will go for the Android and other models as appearance, form factor and functionality rise towards a level of equilibrium. In the enterprise environment however, availability of useful programmes and communications tools on the tablet are essential, and Apple is an even bigger favourite in the enterprise, where the adoption rate for the iPad as the tablet of choice is closer to 96 percent.
Infographic Source: MobileBeat – Click Infographic to enlarge
As much as we are all connected via the Internet with email, videoconferencing and unified communications, we still need to venture out of the office from time to time and actually sit across the table from a live person – and when that happens, it helps to not have to carry 10 or 15 stone of heavy equipment into the room. As seen in the infographic, nearly 75% of workers still have some mobility associated with their jobs.
Just what are workers using their tablets for in the business world? On the consumer side, 84% of tablet users play games on them. I suspect that a good number of office workers do as well, but those numbers won’t make it into the survey – according to the infographic, the five biggest enterprise uses for tablets are browsing, email, working remotely, sales support, and customer presentations. Communications and conferencing apps are becoming an essential part of the enterprise tablet, especially with useful tablet tools like Polycom’s video conferencing app, which works on both the iPad and Android platforms.
Dan Blacharski is the author several books on technology, finance, and business. He has been a freelance writer and editorial consultant for over 15 years and currently covers high-tech topics.
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