November 2009 | Volume 28 / Number 6
CRM, BPO & Teleservices
Short Message Service (SMS)
On The Go CRM
By Brendan B. Read,
Senior Contributing Editor
The days of being tied down and/or rushing back to desks to manage customer relationships are fast drawing to a close thanks to new and rapidly evolving mobile CRM tools, aided and abetted by powerful netbooks and smartphones operating on 3G and very soon 4G/LTE networks. Mobile CRM apps are delivering functionality that is quickly approaching that of CRM solutions used at fixed locations.
Here is a sample of the latest developments in mobile CRM from leading suppliers:
Maximizer Mobile CRM has been certified for Bell Mobility, Sprint (News - Alert) Smartphone, and AT&T networks. The AT&T certification validates that Maximizer Mobile CRM solutions for BlackBerry and Windows Mobile smartphones that are fully supported on the AT&T network and devices. Maximizer Software is also a RIM BlackBerry ISV Alliance Member and Microsoft (News - Alert) Gold Certified Partner. Maximizer Mobile CRM, which is aimed at small-midsized businesses, gives users instant access to information in the field, including customers' history, leads, sales opportunities, dashboards, customer service cases, documents, and schedules.
Netsuite has developed what it says is the first cloud computing mobile ERP (enterprise resource planning) suite to Apple's iPhone (News - Alert) and iPod touch. The app delivers on-the-go access to NetSuite's integrated business management suite, including real-time dashboards that deliver key ERP, CRM, and e-commerce operational data.
The dashboards are interactive, allowing users to drill down and explore trends with the touch of a finger. The calendar supports accepting or declining events and marking tasks complete. Lead, prospect, and customer records are tailored to mobile sales, service, and executive leadership. They get access to associated contacts, marketing campaigns, opportunities, quotes, orders, purchase history, financial history, cases, and issues. There are productivity tools that leverage the wireless devices’ native capabilities. These include click-to-call from any NetSuite (News - Alert) record containing a phone number, click-to-e-mail from any record containing an e-mail address, and click-to-map (via Google Maps) from any record containing a physical address.
Salesforce.com now offers Mobile Lite, a new free mobile offering that provides customers with instant access anywhere to Salesforce CRM. Mobile Lite available for iPhone, BlackBerry (News - Alert) smartphones, and Windows Mobile devices. Mobile Lite provides salesforce.com customers basic access to some of the most common Salesforce CRM features. It allows end users to log calls and e-mails, update activities and tasks, and view account and contact details, leads, opportunities, cases, solutions, assets and dashboards from their mobile devices. With just a few clicks, customers can upgrade to the full functionality of Salesforce CRM Mobile application.
Salesforce CRM Mobile has been updated with new features for iPhone and iPod touch. Customers now have access to new features including the ability to cut, paste and copy, clone records, create custom filters, and manage tasks using a new calendar interface.
SAP offers the BlackBerry Sales Client for SAP CRM, which gives users simple, secure, real-time access to customer information in SAP CRM with the same seamless and intuitive experience they have come to expect from BlackBerry smartphones.
The integrated solution also has several key innovations. There is instant access to up-to-date information; in just one or two clicks, users can gain access to up-to-date client data including contacts, sales leads and logged activities. The new solution can automatically deliver or “push” all customer data updates in the SAP CRM system to users as well as push sales leads to the BlackBerry smartphone inbox: With one-click access to the new information. Contacts and account information are also continuously accessible on BlackBerries; a local cache system allows access to certain information even if the users are outside of network coverage.
The SAP CRM and BlackBerry integration also combines both suppliers’ security systems, enabling end-to-end encryption to help protect confidential customer information whether stored on a BlackBerry smartphone, in transit or in the SAP CRM application. IT administrators can also securely deploy the BlackBerry Sales Client for SAP CRM to users over-the-air.