Introduces Mobile Lite for iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile 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, Twitter, 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 "platform as a service."