You're waiting to board your plane and have just enough time to conduct a quick remote meeting with your business colleagues -- through your iPad. That vision of leading meetings anywhere with Apple's hit tablet is behind the release Tuesday of Fuze Meeting, and it's only the latest indication of the iPad's progress in becoming a business tool.
The software is a web-conferencing tool designed specifically for the iPad. Unlike other such products for the iPad, Fuze Meeting allows a meeting to be initiated and run from the iPad rather than just attended. The San Francisco, Calif.-based Fuze is touting its new app for conducting sales presentations, demonstrating products, training, remote team management, and telecommuting from home.
No Video Chat, Workspace Yet
Fuze Meeting, which joins similar products from the same company for the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry platforms, and for desktops within a browser, includes access to Fuze Cloud for sharing, managing and presenting content.
In the app, a finger can become a virtual laser pointer, and there is voice communication through VoIP. However, video chat, live video presentations, and collaborative whiteboarding or workspaces are not yet available, although they are planned. Instant messaging can be conducted through AIM, Yahoo, Google, OCS and other clients.
Fuze Meeting is "yet another indication that the iPad is being used more and more as a mainstream business tool," said Laura DiDio, an analyst with industry research firm Information Technology Intelligence Corp.
She noted that the iPad is already making inroads into companies beyond what Apple's iPhone and Mac products have been able to do. A survey by her company indicated that "83 percent of the people who have iPads are using them for both business and consumer needs," DiDio said.
SAP, Mercedes-Benz, Wells Fargo
The impact on businesses can only increase if iPads continue to sell as fast as they are, while laptops and netbooks have hit a soft spot in sales. Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn recently told The Wall Street Journal that his company's analysis was that the iPad had cannibalized sales of laptops, including netbooks, by as much as 50 percent. Although he has since downplayed that sentiment, and other industry observers have pushed back, iPad sales are spiking at a time when laptop/notebook sales are at a plateau.
iPads have already been deployed in a variety of companies, covering an array of industries. The largest deployment to date was 1,500 iPads at SAP, and that company's CIO has told news media that, within 12 months, there could be as many iPads at SAP as there are BlackBerrys -- 17,000.
The Chicago law firm of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, which had previously banned the iPhone, has purchased more than four dozen iPads. Other iPad-using companies include Mercedes-Benz dealerships, medical labs such as the California-based Kaiser Permanente, Wells Fargo, Tellabs, Bausch & Lomb, and Lloyd's of London.
Posted: 2011-12-03 @ 4:45am PT
I use also the Ghostwriter Notes app to take down notes. I love it!