"CRM in the Palm of Your Hand"

That's the name of an article in this month's CRM magazine (don't ask me why, but these folks insist that for their purposes the "m" in "magazine" must be lower case). It's written by Jim Dickie of CSO Insights. Although I don't know him personally, I like Jim Dickie's writing in general, as well as the valuable quantitative information CSO Insights consistently provides.

In this article, Jim asserts that interest in mobile CRM is poised to take off because of three factors: 1) improvements in mobile devices themselves; 2) increased sophistication among users; 3) applications and software that are "finally" (Jim's term, not mine!) worth using.

I think these three points are dead on, but Jim sort of buries a "lead" a bit with an item he mentions in the 'improvements in devices' category. And it should qualify as a fourth point. Plainly and simply, it's the faster data speeds of networks themselves, combined with lower prices for unlimited data plans. An unlimited 'all you can eat' data plan is becoming more ubiquitously used at companies like ours. And while 3G isn't as fast as the throughput at your home or office, it's pretty darned speedy for data. How fast? Well, not that this has anything to do with the topic at hand, but this morning on the way to work I streamed WAAF, an FM rock station in Worcester, Massachusetts (3,000 miles from Redwood Shores), and listened to it...loudly...on my car audio system thanks to my iPhone. Not a big deal, you say, because streaming is old hat? It's a big deal! Streaming is a data hog, and I was driving in my car.

But I digress. Another item worth highlighting is Jim's third category. Oracle's approach in building mobile CRM applications "worth using" is to develop task-based software oriented toward the work styles of on-the-go sales people. Our approach is not about seeking to replicate CRM functionality on a smartphone. It is about providing an easy to access and always-on medium for accessing, consuming, and updating vital CRM information on the way to and from meetings.

If you'd like to learn more, click here. We also conducted an informative Webinar on mobile CRM last March with CRM magazine. One of the panelists was Yankee Group analyst Sheryl Kingstone, who has many great perspectives and GOOD DATA on this topic. I won't shamelessly plug our Oracle speakers or me (I moderated the Webinar). Oops...guess I just did.

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