Dynamics CRM Coming to iOS and Android Devices
Microsoft announced today that it will bring its Dynamics CRM suite to popular mobile device platforms next quarter.
The move should be a welcome addition to partners who implement Dynamics CRM and its customers as rival Salesforce.com has talked up its iPad and mobile device support for some time. And it comes as there is no slowing down enterprise adoption of iPads. Microsoft's Q2 Service Update of Dynamics CRM will also offer native mobile client support for the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry mobile devices and of course its own Windows Phone 7.5 platform.
Microsoft revealed its plans at the eXtremeCRM 2012 Berlin conference today and in a blog post by the new general manager of Dynamics CRM Dennis Michalis who last month replaced longtime GM Brad Wilson. "We are providing more flexibility in mobility than any other CRM provider. Period. CRM where you want to consume it on the device you use," Michalis wrote.
The company said the new offering, called Mobile CRM, is cloud-based and is designed to provide mobile client service specific to the supported platforms, allowing sales reps to synchronize information such as sales pipelines, providing offline access to the data. Based on Microsoft's xRM, the application development platform, partners and customers will be able to extend their existing CRM apps to CRM Mobile.
Microsoft is also making Dynamics CRM more social with the new updated release, which will offer activity feeds, status updates and the ability to "like" content. Salesforce.com has made social networking a key theme of its cloud-based CRM portfolio.
Partners and customers will be able to manage CRM Mobile centrally, Microsoft said. Administrators will be able to configure record types, forms, views and offline synch rules as well as the navigation structure for the mobile app, according to the Release Preview Guide. The goal is to consolidate management of the CRM app for mobile users. To support the requirements of differing groups within an organization, admins will be able to configure multiple role-specific profiles customized for specific users. It will also support remote wipe in the event a mobile device is stolen or lost.
CRM Mobile will cost $30 per user per month and will be released in 40 global markets supporting 41 languages (though initially in 24 markets supporting 10 languages).
Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.