iPads in the Enterprise & How to Share Those PowerPoints

iPads in the Enterprise & How to Share Those PowerPoints
January 28, 2011

The iPad wasn’t just one of the most popular Christmas gifts consumers bought this year. Businesses started buying them up for their employees too…and in large quantities!  It’s a phenomenal device, especially for salespeople, but it can be tricky to share those PowerPoints on it.  Read on to learn how Brainshark can help.

Early corporate adopters of the iPad have included companies like Well Fargo, Mercedes Benz and SAP.  InformationWeek even reported on plans at SAP to roll out 17,000 iPads to employees!  Dreyfus is another organization deploying iPads in a big way.  These are just a few examples; there are hundreds more.  Just recently on their quarterly earnings call, Apple COO Tim Cook said that 80% of the Fortune 100 has deployed or is testing the iPad tablet.  That’s up from the 65% figure Steve Jobs cited back in October.  Apple in the enterprise?  What’s going on here?

Well, what makes the iPad a great consumer device – reading books and articles, playing videos and music, etc. – also makes it a tremendously valuable productivity tool…especially for field sales professionals.  Its ease-of-use, intuitive touch-screen display, reasonable size and weight, 3G and WiFi connectivity, “instant on” capability and remarkably long battery life are making it an indispensable asset for the road warrior.  And, hey, let’s not forget it’s cool and fun to use too! 

We’re starting to see adoption of the iPad across industries, and especially in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, technology, and financial services – where typically there are large, distributed field sales forces who need to show or explain complicated products to customers and prospects.  Brainshark, of course, is commonly used by customers in these industries to produce video presentations quickly and easily – often starting from existing assets like PowerPoints.  Popular uses of Brainshark for salespeople on iPads include accessing product updates and customer testimonials they can view “on the fly” and send to customers and prospects for viewing on-demand. 

But what about when sales reps need to present live in front of customers or prospects using their iPad?  The iPad’s size and fantastic resolution lends itself well to this, but wait…what are they going to share?  It seems not enough thought is being given by businesses regarding what their reps can show on their iPads and how they can do it. Some organizations have existing video assets their reps can use – and that works well if it’s put in the right format – but most corporate presentation material is in PowerPoint, and Apple doesn't necessarily play nicely in the sandbox with Microsoft.

In order to get a PowerPoint presentation on your iPad, a simple way is to email it to yourself and then click on it.  The good news is the default viewer will display your slides, but it won’t typically look quite the way you expect. The graphics, fonts and layout will be a little off, and animations won't work.  And even if you purchase Apple's Keynote app for the iPad, it will only do a slightly better job converting the PPT; even the most basic graphics and fonts still won't be the same, and while some animations will be there, even those won't work quite the way you expect.  There’s also no good way to store, organize and find your PPT files on the device. 

Enter Brainshark!  Simply upload your PowerPoints to Brainshark, and they’ll be instantly converted into video presentations that can be played online or on virtually any mobile device. So if you’re presenting to a customer using an iPad or some other mobile device, you get quick and easy access to your slides – with all graphics, fonts and animations intact.

And now with the Brainshark iPad/iPhone App, salespeople can do even more…the App can serve as “presentation central.”  It will store a history of all recently viewed Brainshark presentations so you can quickly find presentations you want to share.  You can also log in to your own Brainshark or myBrainshark account to access your company’s content or content you created yourself.  So there’s no need to fumble around your email to find the presentation you’re looking for each time.  And when viewing a presentation using the Brainshark iPad App, you have the ability to easily navigate through the slides using the table of contents with slide thumbnail images.  It’s a good idea, too, to attach the original PowerPoint to the presentation as well…the App lets you access and download attachments too!

And don’t forget…after your meeting, you can use the Brainshark iPad App to select and send links to presentations you want the customer or prospect to view on-demand, at their convenience.  Brainshark will let you know if they viewed it, when, and more.  So you can use Brainshark to both sell in-person…and keep selling in your sleep!  Way cool…just like that iPad.