Mobilizing your workforce is old news – some businesses now use iPads and iPhones to get rid of paper

April 24, 2013

Database software maker FileMaker recently surveyed 499 customers who had deployed FileMaker solutions on Apple iPhones and iPads and, when combing this with an analysis of 102 mobility case studies, concluded that mobility is now about automating paper-based processes in business.

“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.

“Of course we see many traditional road warriors using FileMaker, but we were surprised to find how much use was actually occurring inside the building. We were also impressed at how frequently businesses are replacing paper-based processes with iPads and iPhones, thus automating areas of their business not practical before.” 

The research certainly backed up Rosenberg’s comments — 51% of FileMaker’s mobility case studies indicated that these customers have used smartphones or tablets to replace paper-based business processes.

One such example was Boston University’s Center for English Language and Orientation Programs (CELOP), a leading English as a Second Language school, which has been using iPads and desktops (with FileMaker solutions) to deal with student admissions.

This saw the school move away from paper and as a result, it has been able to slash document collection time by 50% and reduce the admission waiting times for students.

Furthermore, and as another encouraging sign that mobile devices are transforming business productivity, FileMaker revealed that the “mobilization” of the workforce is now affecting those more traditional business tasks, like contact and customer management, inventory, project management and medical records.

The study also highlighted that 59% of users are now directly connecting their smartphone or tablet an on-premise server via a local wireless network, while FileMaker noted that businesses get their custom business solutions to connect to FileMaker servers when out of the office in various ways, with Internet (35%) and VPN (21%) being the most popular options.

And when looking at the different business departments to have embraced mobility through FileMaker, the database software provider found that mobile deployments of FileMaker were in “virtually every business areas within organizations”, although operations (31%), information systems (28%), sales (23%) and customer service (21%) led the way.

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