The invention of iPad has changed the way businesses work over a period of time. iPad has always been thought of as an Entertainment Toy meant for the social media buffs. It is generally believed to be a device that can be used to surf the internet, to mail, to have event reminders like birthdays, anniversary etc., to hook on to social media sites likes Facebook, twitter, to use different apps available on app store that make our life easy, read any kind of documents etc. with a great mobility. But this is not all that iPad can do.
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These days iPads are becoming very popular in the education sector. Nowadays, we know children go to their school with their iPads. They don’t have paper work; all their work is done just with iPad.
There are about 8, 00,000 apps available on iPad (more than 3, 00,000 native to iPad) and according to one survey, people have downloaded about 40 billion apps by 2013 from app store. So we can assume what we can do with an iPad or what an iPad can do?
But, this is not all, an iPad can be efficiently used for a variety of other business related purposes. In fact we can use an iPad for doing just about anything we do using our computers, it’s a mini mobile computer in your hand.
This article states the top five ways in which businesses can benefit by using iPads.
1) Document Management
In general we know, an iPad, is widely used for reading many kind of documents whether it is a PDF file, an epub file, a doc, an image etc. but this is not all, an iPad can be efficiently used for creating and managing documents.
There are lots of apps available on iPad application store that can be used to read any kind of documents. For example “iBooks” app, is a great app for the user to read pdf, epub or other files. It provides great functionalists such as while reading, one can put bookmarks, select some of the text as highlight while reading it, increase or decrease font size, do your own hand drawing in any file and also save it permanently so that when you see or read again you can get the particulars very easily.
Now let’s just extend this a bit and think what if I want to add my own content or create my own document and want to send it somebody via email or via any site, is there a way in which I can achieve this using an iPad?
The answer is “Yes”. Besides reading documents you can also create the documents and manage them your way and annotate them. There are some very good apps that provide these functionalists. For example “PDF Reader Pro”: using this app you can read your document, annotate the content of that document and also can attach to the mail and can send it to somebody.
Now lets talk of some advance features. Think of a situation where your signature is required on some document and someone is sending you the document on fax but you don’t have access to a fax machine. Now the problem is that how you will sign, scan and send it back again? There are some apps available on app store that can help in achieving this For example “EasySign”, this app allows you to create or edit and also you can attach your signature in a document and also attach the document to the mail and send it anywhere you want.
2) Online Payments & E-Commerce
As we have seen, now iPad is not just a device to use for limited features. iPad can also be used for accepting and processing payments. There are some card readers available that can be used for accepting the cards and using this we can process the payment transaction with an iPad or iPhone. This external chip will convert the whole iPad or iPhone into a credit card terminal. So it becomes very easy for anybody to accept and process the payment transaction.
For example an app available on app store named “Square” provides a great ability to process this type of transactions. This app provides its own card reader as you register in this app. Using this card reader you can read your card. This app provides you a wide range of services using which you don’t need to go anywhere for payments. This app will directly handle your payment transactions from your iPad or iPhone from the card reader provided by this app. Thus, an iPad can also work as credit card terminal.
There are some other apps also available, which can be used for the same purpose. For example: “Intuit GoPayment” and “VeriFone’s PAYware Mobile”, using these apps businesses can sell merchandise, tickets and other goods anywhere. So an iPad makes a very easy way for the purchase and sale transactions using this type of apps.
3) Business Presentation Tool
An iPad has a large variety of usage. It can be a great tool for making presentations. With VGA or HDMI iPad adapter one can directly run the presentation on TV or Projector or to a secondary monitor. So just think that if you are going for a business presentation, then all you need to carry is an iPad instead of a bulky laptop and you don’t need any other device for the presentation.
An iPad can also be used to create graphs, charts or presentations. There are some apps available on iPad application store that can help to create presentation. For example: “OmniGraphSketcher”, this app can be very useful to create charts and graphs with great visualization.
4) Web Conferencing
In today’s world as all businesses are expanding globally, being physically present for meetings can become very challenging. So for this, an iPad can be very useful. An iPad can make it possible to be present in the meeting virtually. There are some apps available that allow web conferencing. Before iPad 2, there were apps like “WebEx” and “GoToMeeting” that made it possible to do web conferencing, but now with iPad 2 having a front camera also, web conferencing becomes easier with applications like FaceTime using which video chat can be done in a fast and easy way.
5) Sales Force Automation
Another great usage of iPad is for the sales force on the move. Managing field data like orders, surveys etc. can be managed using an iPad easily. It’s a great tool to manage inventory data as well. There are some apps that provide functionalists like create and manage databases and projects in an easy way. For example “Bento”: using this app you can create and manage databases and projects very easily.
Using an iPad, you need not be connected to internet all the time. It has facility to create and manage database locally and then connect to the server and share the changes. These apps have a facility to allow users to create customized views and access it from home office through a mobile device or an iPad. This provides a great mobility to access data and manage it in different ways.
Now won’t you agree that iPad is not just an entertainment tool but a great piece of invention that will take businesses to the next level. It’s not just advice, it’s a great gift provided by “Steve Jobs”.
Source : http://blog.spec-india.com/5-ways-to-take-business-advantage-from-ipad