SAP To Deploy Up To 17,000 iPads In 12 Months

Eric Lai, Senior Writer | September 7, 2010 in Mobile Data and Messaging,Mobile Industry,Mobility,Sybase News | Comments (0)

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The news that SAP AG has already deployed iPads to 1,000 lucky-duck employees, made a big splash over the American Labor Day weekend (see Twitter).

Turns out that doesn’t even begin to encompass the ambitions of my parent company (if you hadn’t heard, Sybase was bought by SAP last month).

SAP CIO Oliver Bussmann told Computing magazine today that the company could have as many as 17,000 iPads running inside SAP within 12 months.

Folks, 17,000 would equal 35% of SAP’s 48,000-strong global workforce.

Even more significantly, 17,000 would equal the number of BlackBerries used inside SAP today.

So if SAP isn’t, as I speculated, already the single largest corporate champion of iPads today, it’s hard not to see it being so by September next year.

Bussmann also confirmed via e-mail that SAP actually has deployed close to 1,500 iPads today, not 1,000, and that the devices are being used primarily today by sales, marketing and pre-sales employees.

Finally, Bussmann said that SAP plans to take a close look at Sybase’s market-leading Afaria mobile device management software.

Bussmann’s 17,000-iPads-in-1-year target unfortunately overshadows some other very impressive enterprise iPad news.

German financial services firm Deutsche Vermögensberatung has already supplied 1,200 iPads to its 37,000-strong sales team, wrote CIO Christian Glanz in a comment to my ZDNet story.

That’s 3.25% of DVAG’s salesforce, or one of every 30 salespeople.

Also, my compatriot Ian Thain blogged today that 4 leading London insurance brokers plan to try out using iPads in their underwriting room. Besides Lloyds, the others include Marsh, Cooper Gay and RK Harrison Group.

I plan to soon post and maintain an ongoing list of enterprises testing and rolling out iPads. Readers, please send me any tidbits you have in that vein. Thanks!

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