Talk about eating your own, delicious dog food: SAP CIO Oliver Bussmann tweeted yesterday that the enterprise software vendor has already rolled out iPads to 1,000 employees.
And this isn't just a superficial show of support for SAP's new-found embrace of mobility: according to Bussmann, every iPad comes with e-mail, Virtual Private Network (VPN) access to server-based applications through Citrix software and Business Intelligence tools via BusinessObjects.
iPad-wielding SAP employees are also piloting the Mobile Sales for SAP CRM app built by Sybase for our then-partner, now-parent company.
According to Bussmann, the 1,000 iPads are spread among SAP's 48,000 employees worldwide, not concentrated in either its home country of Germany or within its US operations.
And the 1,000 employee figure - a statistic which already comprises more than 2% of SAP's workforce despite the iPad only being available for 4 months - is set to grow, promised Bussmann, who tweeted "More to come.."
We've seen reports of companies starting to deploy the iPad, such as Mercedes-Benz, Wells-Fargo, Bausch & Lomb, Kaiser Permanente, and others. And there is Apple's statistic that half of the Fortune 100 are testing it.
But SAP's rollout has got to be the single largest in the world. I doubt that Apple (34,000 employees) has anywhere near the same number of employees using an iPad today.
The usefulness of iPads and other tablets will only grow. Sybase is working with SAP to deliver a mobile SDK for SAP and other enterprise apps, as well as directly helping SAP mobilize its vaunted lineup of enterprise software.
Do you think the time is ripe for companies to embrace iPads now? Or is the business and productivity case still unproven?