Monday, October 18, 2010

Ask Your Boss For An iPad: AT&T Plans to Sell iPad Direct to Businesses

The iPad keeps finding new ways into users' hands, the latest being AT&T's just-announced plan to sell them to businesses. AT&T will sell all models of iPad, bundled with 3G as part of its strategy to serve the business community “to help companies increase productivity and flexibility,” the AT&T press release noted.

Businesses of all sizes will be eligible for the enterprise package from AT&T, meaning everyone from corporate giants like MicroSoft down to your local hair salon.

Sales of iPad through the enterprise (business) channel will offer special data plan rates to companies, which will apply only to company-paid data services. Prices for the hardware—the iPad—were not revealed.

AT&T quoted Forrester Research's Ted Schadler, vice president and principal analyst: “Ipads are a tremendously empowering technology that any employee can buy.” He noted Forrester has been receiving “many requests [from companies asking] for iPad strategies” for business.

Wall Street Journal's report  quotes an interview with Michael Antieri, president of AT&T's Advanced Enterprise Mobility solutions group. Antieri indicated other devices, including Research In Motion's Blackberry application and Samsung’s proposed Galaxy tablet are being considered for similar programs. The ipad “is just the first, and this is a great one,” Antieri said in the interview.

The iPad is set to figure in a wide variety of business applications to boost productivity. Order placement is an.  For example, an app for the fashion industry will let buyers place orders via their iPads.  Centric Software's “Collection Book for Fashion App” debuts at an industry event in New York on Nov. 3. Planet iPad readers in any business dealing with Product Lifecycle Management issues might want to take a look.

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