“The next wave of business mobility, fueled by iPad and iPhone-equipped ‘productivity warriors,’ is delivering real ROI by automating processes in the building and on the company campus,” said Ryan Rosenberg, Vice President of Marketing and Services for FileMaker. Many businesses are replacing paper-based processes with mobile processes.
FileMaker makes database software that allows users to build custom databases, produce reports, keep track of inventory and more. Other database software solutions include Microsoft Access and Oracle.
FileMaker’s survey and research into their customers revealed that there are many ways businesses are connecting workers to their servers, but the most common method (59% of the time) is a direct connection over local wireless network, which allows for iPhones and iPads to be integrated into the workflow.
The survey found organizations also are creating solutions that connect workers to servers when out of the office. Popular methods include remote connections via the Internet (35%) and connections via a VPN (21%).
More than half (51%) of the mobility case studies involved replacing paper-based processes. For instace, Boston University’s Center for English Language and Orientation Programs (CELOP), one of the leading intensive English as a Second Language (ESL) schools with 1,700 students per year, replaced its cumbersome, paper-based admissions processes – which occur 10 or more times a year – with a new, automated document management system on the FileMaker platform. The system includes a custom solution running on iPads and desktops. The new system has replaced photocopiers with iPads, slashed up-front document collection time by more than 50%, and reduced wait times for students.
Organizations are also “mobilizing” many traditional business tasks, not just “mobile” tasks. We recently reported on three businesses who used Filemaker to build apps that helped grow their businesses. The top 10 tasks automated with FileMaker are: 1) contact and customer management; 2) inventory; 3) invoicing/quotes/orders/estimates; 4) field data collection and field surveys; 5) project management; 6) general data tracking and logging; 7) timesheets; 8) reports and analysis; 9) work tickets and scheduling; and 10) medical records.
This survey is just one company’s data on their particular customers, but it’s clear that iPhones, iPads and similar devices are here to stay and will be affecting the way we all do business more and more with each passing year. Check out our list of must-have travel apps for business owners.
Let us know in the comments how you use mobile devices and apps in your business!