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Will an iPad change the life and experience of an Exact user?

Written by Michiel Dorjee on . Posted in Exact Synergy

If you look around almost any public space these days, your chances to spot an iPad are quite high. People play games on iPads, browse the web, tweet and send mails, and yes, make notes and to-do lists.

Now, you could do all of this before with your laptop or a netbook, but that is no longer cool enough, and the magic is that Apple is indeed replacing manual transmissions in our everyday computers with automatic ones. Apple is building computers for regular people, remember, and Apple is keen on making iPad’s user experience second to nothing.

But apart from that, it looks like the rest of the industry is struggling to discover what else can be done with an iPad in a completely new way. Will iPad be fully embraced by the enterprise? There are interesting examples already, but otherwise, to quote Deng Xiaoping, it is too early to tell.

The only guys who figured it out completely are the newspapers and magazines. It is clear to them that it is more fun to carry around an iPad than a stack of issues to read. And sky is the limit to what they can do with their content: the Economist is on iPad, Wired is, and so is the New Yorker. Rupert Murdoch claims that it is a game-changing device for his industry.

The question that we naturally ponder at Exact is whether iPads can change the game drastically for our solutions.

There are interesting applications already out there in the wilderness, ranging from secure document access to specific field service clients that we can take inspiration from, but is there more than that?

Before we start discussing individual solutions in the following articles, we want to turn the tables — what do you think? Will an iPad application make an Exact user fitter (for purpose)? Happier? More productive?

Photo by Nick Mokey.

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Comments (10)

  • Jurgen de Jong

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    I think the answer to your question is definitely yes!

    Not only the iPad will make the difference but also other tablets cq. handheld pc’s will integrate more and more in our future need for information.

    I’m convinced, in business the number of these devices will pass the total number of laptops, like laptops did 8 years ago with desktops

    The core business for enterprise usage of iPads is: ‘Getting and giving information as fast as you can and where ever you are’.

    iPad is by far suitable to fullfill this needs…also for Exact Synergy Enterprise (and supported BI tools)

    Reply

  • matthewbather

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    We are finally seeing the promise of Convergence that has been discussed, as nauseum for the past 7 years. I remember I gave a presentation at a conference on Convergence 5 years ago.

    The tablet concept is not new. this was tried 4 or so years ago, and failed. Why? Well, it is simple..the devices were nothing more than laptops with a swivel screen and touch screen. There were no special apps either. it was just an idea for something different.

    Enter stage left, Apple, who make really cool products, entirely with the user in mind. In one fell swoop, Apple now owns the “tablet” market with a product that is relevant. They also have over 200,000 applications within the community.

    I have already seen the iPad being deployed in sensible, simple and user relevant deployments. Fir example, the local meter reader comes around, reads the meter, either types in the reading or reads from a bar code, and done. Your account is updated real time. At the same time, he / she is able to see where they need to be next, get their messages and view the weather, all from the same small form factor device, that is O so cool to use. One device…Convergence at it’s best, all with the user in mind.

    People started off by asking what one would use the iPad for. I am afraid I was one of those skeptics at first, until I got myself one of these cool devices. then I let my imagination run away with me. I tell you what, if you can imagine it, I bet you there is an application available in iTines for it. For example, I like to fly privately. Yup, there are some brilliant, highly professional apps for navigation, planning, logging etc. I have no shortage of uses for MY iPad!

    Opportunities abound for the adoption of the iPad within the Exact community of customers and Resellers. Time entry, scheduling, document creation, contact management are just some of the already mentioned areas where a powerful, relevant iPad app will help prove that we understand our customers.

    Reply

  • Aad 't Hart

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    Yes the iPad and any new form of computing device will change the life and experience of an Exact user. The tablet computers bring a new form factor, endless battery live and does influence peoples behavior. Compare this with the introduction of the mobile phone, it hasn’t changed the ‘calling someone’ concept, but it has changed our behavior. We expect to call a person instead of a home or office. It has enhanced the person to person communication, even thought it’s still making a phone call.

    The tablet computers will do the same for us. We we adapt our computing behavior to the new form factor, for instance we will carry around a computer more often for 2 reasons: one it fits in a women’s purse and second it has a battery that lasts a day. This behavior creates new demands for applications, it’s still early to say what they are, but guaranteed they need to be innovative.

    Just translating the existing functionality into the new form factor will not make the difference, it might even be counter productive, but the mobility and the ‘I can use it for 3 minutes while waiting for the bus’ create new opportunities.

    Just to give you an idea: Today we still think in the traditional copied from paper time sheets (those that Matthew wants to enter on a tablet), but are those still relevant. Why not using all the bite size information we create during the day (Tweets, Foursquare checkins, modified documents, read emails etc… to pre fill a timesheet that the user only needs to sort out with a few swipes. Make time entry something that is fun, has some gaming elements, earns you badges while you are waiting for the bus.

    Tables, Location and constant connectivity are the biggest opportunities to innovate in business software. It’s a choice weather you want to be the first or follower.

    Reply

  • CliveB

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    Yes. The Millennials have been brought up expecting real-time everything. Boomers will mimic to compete.

    Instant feedback changes how people expect to work:
    Touch a button, something happens. Swipe, something happens. Click, something gets done.

    Inputing paper in batch is over. The computing device has changed to work in realtime.

    Reply

  • matthewbather

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    The GPS and Location services applications that are now abundant on Ipad and iPhone will provide a unique and completely hands off way to capture and record time on and time off. Turn the iPad on, and GPS knows where you are and what time you fired up. your route is preplanned and highlighted in Google Maps. You follow the route and your progress is plotted. You get the tasks done and return to base. Both your rouote and time, and tasks have been recorded. All you did was to do them. Time entry can be many, many thing, not just time sheets in batch.

    Reply

  • Robert Klein

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    Sales organizations are adopting iPads, but they dont expect them to replace their mobile, nor the laptop. Some want to use the iPad to demonstrate presentation materials, such as digital brochures, videos and other doucmentation. 3 example scenarios that I know of, were all from the medical industry. A sale rep sells to a doctor, or some medical professional affiliated with a hospital or medical group. Rather than the sales rep open up their heavy, slow booting PC, they will grab their iPad instead and quickly navigate to what they need. Some are asking what will Synergy Mobile do for me today. Some what to view web-based reports, dashboards, while others have asked about Office 2011 integration.

    Reply

  • Synergy user

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    3 examples? I counted 1

    Reply

  • Robert Klein

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    @Synergy User, I should have said, that I interviewed 3 companies that have the same exact scenario of how they plan to use the iPad! Also, go read “46% of iPad Users Say They Are Now More Productive” via Citrix blog: http://bit.ly/dSHSNI

    Reply

  • Fred Wevers

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    http://www.optimizers.nl/

    They (Optimizers – Exact Business Partner) and I think yes! Not only Apple but an Android app will also be nice!

    Free iPad with an new Exact Online registration (min. 2 years) including a free nice Exact app.

    Reply

  • Heiko van der Vlugt

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    Thank you Fred for recommending us.

    Since march this year we sell our iSynergy iPhone app to our customers on e-Synergy as well as Synergy Enterprise.

    From this summer 3 of our customers asked me about the possibility of Field Service Management within the app. Within 6 months we created a complete Field Service solution based on iSynergy for the iPhone and iPad.

    We released a new HD version last week, so iPad users can use the App in a good resolution. Feel free to see and test the app on your iPad and give us feedback.

    About the discussion: companies who are serious about mobile working will invest in solutions like ours and see the benefits. Read on the nieuws section on out site a nice example.

    Reply

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