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May 23, 2011

Tablet Use Surges Among SMBs

By Lance Whitney, Journalist, IT Consultant, Web Developer

More than half of employees at small and mid-sized businesses would rather have a tablet than a laptop with them when traveling, according to a new survey from cloud-based phone system provider RingCentral (News - Alert).

In its second annual survey on the use of smartphones and mobile devices in the workplace, RingCentral found that one in every three professionals now owns a tablet. Among those, 62 percent said they use their tablets several times a day for business, primarily for checking email, viewing Websites, and reviewing business presentations.

Beyond tablets, smartphones have also experienced dramatic growth in the business world, according to the survey. Almost half of the workers questioned said they’re “addicted” to their smartphones. A majority 58 percent said they’d take an urgent call in the bathroom, while 49 percent said they check their phones first thing in the morning after getting out of bed.

Drilling down further, 64 percent of the professionals said they now use their smartphones for business more than they did last year. Most strive to stay connected, with 85 percent saying they use their phones at least a few times a day. Email is seen as the most vital activity—47 percent feel that the ability to answer an email anytime and anywhere is the best aspect of having a smartphone.

Which smartphones are most in demand among SMB professionals? Apple’s (News - Alert) iPhone is the top choice among 34 percent of those polled. Another 29 percent said they use an Android device, while 15 percent are BlackBerry users.

In line with RingCentral’s survey results, IT is increasingly being called upon to manage, support, or at the very least, allow tablets and smartphones among their user population. The ease of use and portability of these devices are driving their demand among business professionals, especially those who are on the road a lot. And it’s a trend that will continue to grow as more smartphones and tablets hit the marketplace, and they become more advanced and capable, providing even more of the same features now found only on laptops and desktops.

To compile its results, RingCentral surveyed more than 400 of its business customers via email from March 16 to March 28.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

Lance Whitney is a journalist, IT consultant, and Web Developer with almost 20 years of experience in the IT world. To read more of Lance's articles, please visit his columnist page

Edited by Jennifer Russell
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