After teething problems, Eli Lilly hails success of transition of 15,000 staff from laptops to iPads

Eli Lilly ($LLY) is hailing its move from laptops to Apple's ($AAPL) iPad as a success. Having committed to the transition several years ago, Lilly now has 15,000 iPad-equipped staffers and is in the process of upgrading to the Pro model, but getting to this point has caused some headaches for the company.

Apple highlighted Lilly as an example of the success of its business-focused partnering program on a recent financial results conference call, with CEO Tim Cook claiming the Big Pharma "boosted sales productivity" by switching over to iPads. Lilly embarked on a drive to switch its sales staff and people in certain medical liaison positions to iPads in a bid to improve interactions with healthcare professionals, boost productivity and cut costs, goals it is claiming to have achieved having worked through some teething problems.

"Despite some initial challenges in the transition to a completely mobile platform, the program has been successful and we continue to assess options as technology and our processes change," Lilly spokesperson Mark Taylor told the Indianapolis Star. As a participant in Apple's "mobility partner program," in which the tech giant collaborates with around 40 companies to make the iPad more business friendly, Lilly would have been well positioned to gain help with fixing the initial problems. Participants in the program give feedback to Apple in return for support and business-focused apps.

The next step for Lilly, according to Cook, is to upgrade some of its staff to iPad Pros, a larger model of the tablet that was introduced late last year. In some regards, the introduction of iPad Pros, which have a screen size bigger than some laptops and can be equipped with a physical keyboard, sees Lilly come back toward the sort of technology it transitioned away from several years ago. 

- read the Indianapolis Star article