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11:34 AM
Nathan Golia
Nathan Golia
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Sun Life Claims First App for RIM PlayBook

The life carrier says that its group pension plan enrollment app was the first created for the tablet computer.

According to this article in The Globe and Mail, Sun Life's app for enrolling employees in its group pension plans is the first developed for Research In Motion's PlayBook, a tablet due out in a few weeks.

From the article:

“It’s the first app actually written anywhere in the world for the PlayBook,” said Thomas Reid, Sun Life’s senior vice-president of group retirement services. (A spokesperson for RIM confirmed that Sun Life’s app was “one of the first,” but was unable to say whether it was the first)

Despite what RIM says, the Toronto Star reported last November that Sun Life had bought 1,000 tablets and Reid said the company had already developed the application then.

Whether or not the claim of having developed the first app is semantics (or if it's important), it's interesting to see how Sun Life is approaching the tablet phenomenon. Sun Life VP of IT Donna Nelson-Duey said at Celent's CIO Roundtable last week that the company doesn't support the iPad, but is focusing on these types of initiatives. RIM is trying to promote it as the business tablet (similar to how its BlackBerry has been traditionally a business-focused smartphone), and it appears that Sun Life, for the moment, agrees that its offerings are the best for carriers' needs.

"Instead of being focused on new products, we have been focused on web services and distribution and have invested much more in our CRM capabilites and mobile computing," Nelson-Duey said. "We want to give [partners] better capabilities on something we are supporting."

Just another battle in the ongoing war between Apple and RIM over enterprise mobile, which I predict will be just as interesting in the coming months as the battle on the consumer side.

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

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