The popularity of the iPad has reached the enterprise. Many companies are already replacing (or at least supplementing) employee laptops with iPads, and that trend is expected to continue. Even Apple is pushing the iPad to the enterprise market; the App Store Volume Purchase Program offers discounts for bulk app purchases.

There are now numerous iPad apps for enterprise business management — so many that it’s hard to sort through the trash to find the most effective solutions. Here are 12 of the top contenders — we promise they won’t disappoint.

Strategy and Business Intelligence iPad Apps

The iPad makes it easy for enterprise employees and managers to access business intelligence information, manipulate that data, present it to clients, and make decisions on the go. Here’s a sample of some of the best business intelligence iPad apps available today.

1. Roambi Visualizer: Using the Roambi Analytics Visualizer iPad app, which works with most business intelligence applications, enterprise businesses can access documents, spreadsheets, and analytics on the go in order to make effective decisions in real-time.

2. GoodReader: With GoodReader, employees can access and edit PDF, Microsoft Office, and iWork documents from enterprise servers.

3. SAP BusinessObjects Explorer: For enterprise businesses that use SAP, the SAP BusinessObjects Explorer app provides access to all data and includes mobile search and visualization features to answer business questions and make decisions on the fly.

4. BoardVantage Collaborate: With the BoardVantage Collaborate iPad app, members of the board and executives can access the information they need for board meetings and decision-making.

Sales and Marketing iPad Apps

Salespeople and marketing staff members are often some of the first employees to get mobile devices. It makes sense that there are many iPad apps that can enhance the work that these people do on a daily basis. Here are some great iPad apps for sales and marketing staff to try.

5. Salesforce Chatter: Salesforce Chatter has been dubbed the Facebook for enterprises because it helps employees collaborate efficiently and effectively. The Salesforce Chatter iPad app brings the popular tool to the iPad.

6. WebEx: The WebEx iPad app enables employees to participate in meetings directly from their iPads. The app even allows two-way video meetings.

7. Dropbox: Being able to access and share documents from an employee’s desktop when he or she is out of the office is critical to enterprise businesses these days. Dropbox not only enables employees to access files but also synchronizes those files so they can be accessed in their updated state from the employee’s mobile devices or desktop.

8. 1Password: For enterprise businesses with a lot of employees using iPads to access various company accounts, it’s a good idea to use a password management tool. The 1Password iPad app is a great option.

Other Business Management iPad Apps

A company’s IT staff no longer needs to be tied down to its desks to manage servers, data storage, and so on. Now, there are iPad apps that give IT employees greater flexibility to make changes and fix problems at any time and from any place.

9. Wyse PocketCloud: For enterprise businesses that want employees to be able to access their desktops remotely (as if they’re sitting at the desktop computer) from their iPads, the Wyse PocketCloud iPad app is a popular option.

10. Quickoffice Pro HD: With the Quickoffice Pro HD iPad app, employees can view PDF files as well as view, edit, and share Microsoft files, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. For example, the app makes it very easy to open and edit email attachments.

11. iSSH: iSSH – SSH VNC Console is an excellent app for basic remote administration of enterprise servers.

12. MobilIron Sentry: With so many employees accessing company files and data, mobile security is extremely important. The MobilIron Sentry iPad app enables the enterprise IT staff to monitor mobile devices and enforce mobile company policies from their iPads.

Have we missed any killer iPad apps from your list? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

[Image credits: David, ChrisDag, Morten Oddvik, Ville Majander]