Chevron, TD Bank Hope to Tap Tablets' Potential

The companies are testing devices like the iPad and BlackBerry PlayBook to see if they can enhance decision-making.

Information technology executives at Chevron Corp. and TD Bank NA are hoping that tablets like Apple Inc.'s iPad and the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook from Research In Motion Ltd. can significantly improve their companies' work and decision-making processes.

Both companies are evaluating and running internal trials of such devices.

"New mobility strategies are going to change the average workflow in companies," said Peter Breunig, general manager of technology management and architecture at Chevron, prior to speaking at the Innovation Value Institute's Winter Summit earlier this month in Toronto.

Breunig said that Chevron has started pilot programs using multiple mobile devices and will soon try out the BlackBerry PlayBook 7-in. tablet that RIM expects to ship this quarter.

Connecting corporate executives with business intelligence data while they are away from their desktop computers could have a profound effect on the speed of decision-making, Breunig predicted.

"In 1990, it was the PC desktop with Excel. Now you can give them mobile platforms that are more powerful and more compact," he said. "That's like having calculators on steroids, with tie-ins back to corporate data stores. That's an opportunity, in my mind."

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