www.sptnews.ca

News
Mobile game changer will further enable business on the fly

During Security Canada Alberta this past May I was seen walking around with my new iPad. This new expo combined the best of physical, IT and forensic security in a traditional Security Canada trade show and conference program. An appropriate venue, I thought, to use an iPad to show the CANASA website to visitors at the booth, take notes when interacting with members and use during my introductory remarks as my "cue card ".


June 16, 2010
By JF Champagne

What I wasn’t prepared for was the amount of attention the iPad would draw. I probably spent more time talking about the device than anything else, but it did validate my belief that the iPad will be a game changer.

The first quantum shift occurred when laptop overtook Desktop PC five  years ago. Netbooks and smart phones created a second shift by redefining the portable experience and tablets will create an even greater shift. Why?

Because it is all about the user experience with no boot time. This means that the successful products will not run a traditional operating system but rather a mobile device OS. Better experience with less. I predict an explosion of iPad on the floor of Security Canada in October.

For exhibitors, tablets means showing their wares engaging the attendees directly, looking into the aisle rather than crunched down on a laptop with their back turned to the traffic. For the attendees it means a more engaging, fun interaction with exhibitors which will definitely enhance the experience of attending a show.

A tablet can also facilitate the sales process by eliminating the physical barrier a laptop creates between a sales consultant and a customer, it can be used while doing a walkthrough and it also eliminates the infamous boot time.

Did you know there are also apps already that will turn your tablets into point of sales devices? Contracts can be reviewed, signed and paid for using one easy to use device. And what about installation and service crews?

Technicians are going up ladders carrying heavy laptops or have to hold them in one hand and type with the other while standing in a hallway, a closet or an electrical room tethered to a security control unit. They are losing valuable time looking for installation manuals in the back of their vehicles. For technicians, it is all about portability and battery life. How more efficient could you be if you could use a 2 lbs device with eight hours of battery life which would allow you to look up any installation manual, program a security system and look at security camera easily?

Furthermore, you could complete your service ticket, create an invoice for add-on you sold which the customer could sign and would accept credit cards?

Granted not all systems are currently compatible with an iPad or similar device but when Apple sells one million units in the first month of launch, everybody notices. As the leading staff person at CANASA I am definitely mindful of the impact changes in technology will have on our members. As an association, we have to adapt to the ways our members communicate and work towards offering the program and services in ways that are conducive to them. This means having a website which works well on mobile devices, increase use of video and social media. In short, a more interactive experience.

As such, CANASA is currently investing in a new IT infrastructure which will help us offer a better, richer experience on the web while bringing the whole organization into the 21st century. We hope it will look great on your new iPad or existing mobile device.