Cisco WebEx, Sybase Afaria Mobile Management for iPad
Cisco and Sybase are just two of the enterprise heavyweights signing up to support the iPad, as industry veterans expect the mobile device to mirror the iPhone's trajectory in terms of workplace adoption. It wasn't until a year after Apple unveiled the iPhone in 2007 for consumers that it started talking seriously about promoting the device to businesses after it added software support for Microsoft Exchange as well as security features favored by IT. Consumers are still Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) prime focus, but a growing ecosystem of software and support has evolved for the iPhone. The iPad seems to be following a similar pattern in terms of Apple's early marketing emphasis on consumers. But business and enterprise support is coming much faster to support the device. "Apple was looking for early adopters and we said 'sure,'" said Joel Reed, senior vice president of product management for Sterling Commerce, an AT&T company. Sterling Commerce hasn't announced any applications for the iPad yet though Reed sees a logical progression from the apps it already offers for the iPhone that give retail sales associates instant access to real-time inventory information and provide IT managers with the ability to constantly monitor data levels from anywhere. Customers include big name retailers like Best Buy, Nordstrom, Target and DSW.
"The iPad gives us a larger display to work with and opens up opportunities like warehouse management and retail applications," Reed told InternetNews.com. For warehouse applications he notes there could be an opportunity for a third party to ruggedize the device.
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