Free mobile CRM from Salesforce
Software provider Salesforce.com has launched a simplified version of its customer-management software for mobile phones.?? The Mobile Lite software will be available to users of Research in Motion’s BlackBerry smartphones, phones running Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system, and Apple’s iPhone.
The new software gives mobile workers access on the go to customer data. The free version also allows users to update tasks and calendars, review customer service requests, and log in their customer requests and response leads. Salesforce.com, which supplies business software as a service, said it hopes to sign up one million new mobile users with the addition of the free new service. Over 70,000 users have so far downloaded Salesforce’s paid customer relationship management applications for smartphones. The company hopes to gain more paid users by allowing new customers to get a feel for the service with the free Lite edition. Salesforce’s Professional Edition and Enterprise Edition paid apps cost US$50 per user per month. The software allows salespeople to access company accounts and data and update them in real time using their mobile phone. Cloud computing services similar to that of Salesforce are increasing in popularity in the technology sector, with Google, Amazon and Microsoft among the major names employing them for certain services. It is claimed by its proponents to be a more resilient business model than traditional software and better suited to the current economic downturn. Cloud computing enables companies to have someone else run their software remotely for a monthly or annual fee, with users accessing the programs over live Internet connections rather than using software.
Any user with a subscription to Salesforce’s CRM software can download the application now directly to the handsets, but iPhone users will have to go through Apple’s App Store.
Unlike salesforce’s full US$50 per month mobile app, the free version will have limitations on what types of reports can be created and on the number of records available at any one time.
”We want our customers to take the cloud with them wherever they go,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce. “By delivering mobile access to our cloud, for free, we are accelerating adoption of the cloud and delivering value to customers in times when they need it the most.”
Analyst Gartner estimates the cloud-computing market, including web advertising, will be worth US$56bn in 2009.