When most people think about the use of an iPad in their business, the image is of an employee accessing data or communication tools through the device from wherever they happen to be. However, through specific applications and outside the box thinking, businesses are able to do so much more.

A recent article from Tab Times examined one of these applications called Receptionist. The app turns the tablet into a virtual secretary that can be placed at the entrance of the company and direct visitors.

For example, if someone shows up and has an appointment, they touch the iPad, tap on the "Scheduled Meeting" button and then on the name of the person they are meeting with. That employee receives a message on their smartphone indicating someone has arrived for them and can message back to the iPad to let the visitor know they are on the way.

Delivery people are also able to hit a specific button when they enter which notifies the correct employee to make sure no visitor is ever missed. While it is not a perfect system, the free application and $49 through $249 per month fee (depending on number of employee contacts added to the system), is far less than it would cost to hire a full-time secretary. On top of that, the automated system can be more effective.

This is just one example of how a creative iPad deployment can have benefits for any organization that far outreaches what decision-makers would consider traditional.