Rob Pal, VP, wholesaler distribution and enterprise sales reporting IT for Lincoln Financial Group, spoke at length about the company's commitment to getting iPads in all of its distributor's hands at Insurance & Technology's virtual event last week. With a new version of Apple's tablet computer hitting the market just a few days after his speech, I reached out to find out what he thought of the updated device.
Insurance & Technology: What is your first thought upon seeing the latest version of the iPad?
Rob Pal: There are things there that for the end consumer are going to be compelling: the improved camera, the improved graphics, the retina display. But from a business standpoint, I don't know that it substantially changes anything, but 4G speed certainly helps.
I&T: What's the biggest benefit of a faster device?
Rob Pal: There are a number of applications where a strategic decision has been made to leverage the browser and not necessarily have native iPad apps, so you're going back to a database and pulling information. Certainly this is going to be faster and that's great. That goes with the improved processor as well.
I&T: Have distributors reported issues with the speed of the device?
Rob Pal: We never got feedback that it took too long for data to get back. But as we get more sophisticated and the data needs are greater, that might have come up. Not everyone has easy access to Wi-Fi, so the wireless piece is important.
I&T: How does this compare to the last iPad refresh in terms of whether your field force feels a strong need to upgrade?
Rob Pal: The second iPad 2 definitely had some substantial benefits that made it disadvantageous to use the first one. The most important was the ability to plug into the dongle for a projector, which was huge from a sales perspective. There's not an imperative like that now, though.
Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio