BlackBerry, Partners Push CRM

Research In Motion Ltd. and its development partners continue their push to help businesses extend enterprise applications such as CRM to RIM's BlackBerry devices.

Research In Motion Ltd. and its development partners last week continued their push to help businesses extend enterprise applications such as CRM to RIMs BlackBerry devices.

Among those working with RIM to make this happen is iEnterprises Inc., of Murray Hill, N.J., which launched its CRM on the Go offering for the BlackBerry at RIMs Wireless Enterprise Symposium last week in Orlando, Fla.

CRM on the Go can work with any customer relationship management platform so that companies with multiple divisions and systems can integrate their wireless CRM systems on one product. The offering is a client application that runs locally on the wireless device and is offered as a behind-the-firewall deployment, for $200 per user per year, or as a hosted service, for $30 to $60 per user per month.

"I think with the continued use of PDAs in our environment, people have come to rely on PDAs, and so its just sort of the next natural step," said Doug Brady, CIO of Plante & Moran LLP, a RIM customer in Southfield, Mich. "Weve been very happy with the BlackBerrys. The challenge with the Palm- and Pocket PC-based devices is that the sync layer just doesnt seem to be as smooth as wed like it to be."

The company has about 500 employees using a combination of Palm OS-based PDAs and BlackBerry devices, but it will soon add 500 users and standardize on the BlackBerry, said Brady. Plante & Moran plans to deploy CRM on the Go soon. Brady said the value of extending these back-end applications lies in productivity.

In addition, at last weeks show, Sybase Inc. subsidiary iAnywhere Solutions Inc., of Dublin, Calif., launched an early-adopter program for its Mobile Sales for BlackBerry software, which gives BlackBerry users access to CRM systems, such as those from Siebel Systems Inc., Inc. and SAP AG.

iAnywhere also announced at the show it is extending its AvantGo mobile content service to BlackBerry devices. The free service delivers Web content specially formatted for the small screens on mobile devices.

AvantGo for BlackBerry is due within 30 days.


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