Salesforce.com is rolling out Mobile Lite, a free offering that gives its customers access to the Salesforce CRM on their iPhone, BlackBerry or Microsoft Windows Mobile-equipped handsets. As cloud computing has expanded in use, opening its capabilities to mobile devices has become of paramount importance, particularly to the enterprise and its legions of always-on-the-road workers.
introduced on April 7 a free application for its customers to access the
Salesforce CRM via their iPhone, BlackBerry
or Windows Mobile-equipped device.
Mobile Lite will be available to customers who have either Salesforce CRM
Professional Edition, Enterprise Edition or Unlimited Edition; those with the
Professional or Enterprise editions
will be able to upgrade to the full mobile version of CRM
for an additional $50 per user per month, while Unlimited Edition customers can
access the full mobile version at no extra cost.
The full mobile version includes extra functionality.
With Mobile Lite, customers will have access to Salesforce's Sales Cloud and
Service Cloud; they will be able to log calls and e-mails, update activities
and tasks, view account and contact details, and access their dashboard.
For those utilizing the Sales Cloud, that means being able to manage
workload and relationships, and actualize customer requests, while on the road.
Service Cloud mobile functionality includes being able to update tasks and
calendars from the field, checking previous activity, and reviewing cases. An SAAS
(software as a service) solution, the Service
Cloud already allows users access to Google search, Facebook connections,
, and online communities and discussion forums.
Once the application has been downloaded to the iPhone or other device, and
the user has logged in with his or her credentials, the user can see an
account, drill down into it, and note any details added by others in his or her
organization. The Salesforce CRM updates in
real time, with new data being sent from the cloud to the user, who could then
potentially walk into his or her next meeting armed with information even the
client may not be aware of, such as when a shipment is arriving.
Once a meeting is completed, the user can then assign a task through the mobile
device-such as "send contact"-which is then sent to the recipient
within his or her organization via the cloud.
Salesforce has been rapidly adding functionality to its cloud-computing
platform, and also provides real-time updates to its applications. In
a presentation in New York in March, CEO Marc Benioff
predicted that cloud
computing was the future not only for his company, but also Microsoft, IBM and
other IT organizations currently making a massive push into the space.
Started over a decade ago in San Francisco,
Salesforce as a CRM service has evolved to
include the Apex development language, Visualforce, the AppExchange platform
and the Force.com "platform as a service."