So you’ve just bought a fleet of new iPads. What now?
While the iPad gets all sorts of attention for its consumer applications it also has a rich selection of productivity apps that deliver a multitude of key functions, including sales force support, cloud storage, business intelligence and more. In this slideshow we’ll give you a look at 20 apps that every CIO should consider installing on their iPads before handing them out to the masses (Gartner discussed many of these apps during a webcast this week).
(While most of these apps are free to download, many of them require a subscription to access premium content and services.)
Salesforce for iPad
Salesforce is a popular mobile app that helps company salespeople create and keep track of their records and transactions. The app also acts as personal organizer with its calendar and contact list features.
BIRT Mobile Viewer
BIRT, which stands for “Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools,” is a business intelligence app that gives workers access to business reports, KPIs, documents and dashboards that they’d typically access through their desktop computers. The app also promises “seamless continuity among desktop and iOS mobile devices,” meaning anything you save onto your desktop on BIRT will be ready for you on your iPad when you go home.
MobileIron MyPhone@Work Client
This app gives users access to MobileIron’s Virtual Smartphone Platform, which lets them quickly connect to their corporate network, test local connection speeds and report connectivity problems to IT. From an IT department’s perspective, the Virtual Smartphone Platform lets them enforce enterprise mobile data policies such as encryption and remote wipe, and also to screen third-party applications by publishing a list of recommended apps while simultaneously blocking known malicious apps via a blacklist.
Like MobileIron, Zenprise specializes in developing mobile device management platforms that give users secure access to corporate email, contacts and calendars while giving IT departments an efficient way to manage mobile devices. The ZP MDM also lets users access corporate intranet services by utilizing VPN capabilities and lets users remotely lock and track any lost devices.
VMWare View for iPad
VMWare’s View app gives you access to your Windows work desktop from the comfort of your iPad by connecting it to either your company’s LAN or WAN. The app lets you access your desktop from any wireless connection, whether it’s 3G or Wi-Fi. The app also has a “trackpad” feature that simulates a standard mouse and keyboard experience.
AirWatch MDM Agent
Developer: AirWatch LLC
Yes, it’s another mobile device management application, this one from AirWatch. In addition to all the usual MDM features (i.e., IT policy enforcement, over-the-air enrollment, remote lock and wipe, etc.), AirWatch also features GPS tracking and mapping, intelligent notifications, and centralized, over-the-air configurations management.
BoardVantage isn’t just any collaboration app: It’s a collaboration app for boards of directors. That means it has more extensive security policies to meet regulatory requirements, and is thus SAS70 Type II-certified. If you’re a CIO looking to buy iPads for other higher-ups in the company, this is an app you’ll definitely want to explore. Although the app is free to download, it does require a subscription to use.
Ah, who doesn’t love Dropbox? Your employees will be happy to upload any documents, presentations, pictures and videos onto Dropbox where they’ll be able to access them from anywhere. The app automatically saves any documents you’ve created onto any device that has Dropbox installed, so when you change something at home it will appear that way when you go to work the next morning.
MicroStrategy Mobile for iPad
Developer: MicroStrategy Inc.
MicroStrategy Mobile is a business intelligence app that comes with all the usual fixings, including access to business reports, KPIs, documents and dashboards. This particular version has been customized for the iPad’s multitouch screen, thus giving users the ability to use multitouch when editing graphs, charts, maps and other key visual aids.
Developer: TIBCO Software
Spotfire specializes in helping users visualize large and complex volumes of data by letting them aggregate and plug it into a filter to create bar charts, scatter plots, tree maps, box plots, map charts and any number of different visuals depending on your needs. The app can directly access corporate data sources such as spread sheets, meaning you won’t have to manually enter in data for all the nice charts you’re designing.
Vablet is a collaboration tool that lets you push content (documents, pictures, videos, PDFs, spreadsheets, etc.) out to any devices on your enterprise network. The app also gives IT departments the ability to wipe content and block devices from accessing the network in the event they are stolen or go missing. Data on the app is encrypted with Apple’s Data Protection API and can be pushed out to devices using a variety of secure protocols, including HTTPS, STFP, SSH and VPN.
Cisco WebEx Meetings
Cisco’s hugely popular online meeting application comes to the iPad and includes features such as voice-activated video switching and Cisco TelePresence WebEx OneTouch support. Simply put, this is the first app you’ll want to download if your employees engage in frequent remote meetings with one another.
This collaboration tool bills itself as a “remote whiteboard” where users can create virtual meeting rooms and then use the whiteboard to outline their ideas to their coworkers. Clearing off your whiteboard is a snap as well, as you just need to tap on a trash bin icon to wipe the slate clean. The app comes complete with Dropbox integration, meaning you can store your whiteboard presentations in the cloud for later retrieval.
As you may have guessed by its name, Huddle is a collaboration tool that lets users huddle together virtually to get work done. Huddle can automatically sync documents to your devices for offline viewing as well so you’ll still be able to review the work your team has done even if you aren’t in range of a Wi-Fi connection.
Developer: Citrix Systems
Like VMware’s View app, the Citrix Receiver gives you access to your Windows work desktop from the comfort of your iPad by connecting it to either your company’s LAN or WAN. Citrix also helps you keep your data secure by ensuring your applications and data remain on the corporate network and aren’t downloaded onto your device.
If your employees are going to be collaborating through social media on their work projects, wouldn’t you like to know that they’re using secure, enterprise-friendly social media instead of the very public Facebook or Twitter? That’s where Yammer comes in as it lets users collaborate more privately and securely than other big-name social networks.
Socialcast, acquired in 2011 by VMware, is another enterprise-centered social networking website that has several features familiar to social networking fans, including likes, mentions and following. You can also call or email your coworkers on the app just by clicking on their employee profiles.
Box is just what it sounds like: It’s an online storage box! For your stuff! But it also has some other killer features including file-level encryption, automatic log-outs when you close the app, the ability to open files stored on other apps on your device and the ability to wirelessly stream your files using AirPlay.
Roambi Analytics Visualizer
Roambi is a business intelligence app that gives you plenty of options for ways to display your business reports and analytics. The free version is compatible with Excel documents, CSV and HTML. If you get a $99.99-per-year subscription, you can also get access to Google Docs and Salesforce CRM.
Qlikview lets you search across all the data that you’ve stored while simultaneously providing you with analysis that allows you to make associations across data that you might not otherwise have considered. Using the app requires access to the QlikView server. QlikView makes different versions of its business intelligence app for different industries including consumer marketing, financial services, healthcare and government.