Tennis fans soak up the atmosphere at Melbourne Park.*
Tennis Australia CIO Chris Yates with his iPad. Picture: Robert Prezioso/Getty Images Source: Getty Images
TENNIS Australia dipped its toe in iPad waters this year, arming site workers at the Australian Open championship with the tablet computer.
The hugely popular Apple device has increased workers' productivity by saving up to three hours a day, said Chris Yates, Tennis Australia’s chief information officer.
Four workers are roaming around Melbourne Park armed with computer-aided design (CAD) site plans accessed through their iPads, he said.
If changes to a physical structure are required, for example, they only have to draw these over the CAD diagrams, where in the past staff had to go back and forth to the nearest shed to refer to paper.
Mr Yates ensured there was a proper business case before purchasing the iPads.
When Autodesk released AutoCAD apps for the iPad last year he decided to trial it. "The workers ... they walk around with their iPads and CAD plans in there ... it saves them between two and three hours a day," he said.
Tennis Australia has an app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users keen to keep abreast of scores, schedules, live radio, video and other features during the tournament.
Mr Yates said Tennis Australia was also "doing a lot of work" in the Windows Phone 7 space: "We've got some software development looking at coaching (apps) on Phone 7."
The main mobility goal is to ensure Tennis Australia can deliver apps to all screens and be ubiquitous, he said.
However Tennis Australia doesn't have an app for the BlackBerry.
Mr Yates has some words of advice for Research In Motion, the maker of BlackBerry devices.
"The plus with the BlackBerry is its international coverage,” he said. “Our coaches use BlackBerry for email, but the problem is these apps built for sport are (mostly) for the iPhone."
Mr Yates, who uses an iPad and iPhone at work, said RIM should exit the hardware business and concentrate on messaging.
"They should stop making (BlackBerry) hardware; they should get their secure messaging technology on all (rival) devices," he said.
Tennis Australia's wireless network provider Aruba Networks has a stark prediction for the Canadian smartphone maker.
Aruba Networks president and chief executive Dominic Orr believes RIM's days as a corporate darling are numbered.
"I think it will take less than two years for RIM to be knocked off its enterprise perch by Apple and Android," Mr Orr said.
Fran Foo travelled to Melbourne as a guest of Aruba Networks.