3 Best iPad CRM Solutions

Sales reps and other professionals are increasingly mobile, demanding that they have the necessary devices to access network data and applications while on the go. Leveraging customer relationship management (CRM) data on the iPad is a great tool for this mobility and there are some powerful apps available. Power players like Microsoft, Salesforce and SugarCRM have all developed iPad CRM applications worth considering.

Microsoft Gets into iPad CRM – in a way

As much animosity as there is between Microsoft and Apple, the former definitely recognizes the market power of the latter. Microsoft Dynamics has extended an iPad CRM application that enables iPad users to instantly access data and functions within the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 or 4.0 Professional and Small Business Editions. All features and capabilities available with Microsoft Dynamics CRM are available on the iPad CRM, including calendars, opportunities, contact information, email integration and more. The difference here is that you will have to implement a mobile client to allow integration. While the company’s CRM solution is a browser app, it requires Windows IE to run, unless you download the MobileEdge from iEnterprises or the iDcrm from Numenes. This doesn’t bode well for Microsoft when trying to compete with the likes of Salesforce.

iPad CRM – Don’t Forget the Sugar

SugarCRM didn’t want to be left behind the curve as mobile sales professionals adopted the iPad as their primary interaction device. The company launched its iPad CRM application as a fully customizable app that leverages the unique user experience capabilities of the iPad. Developed on the Appcelerator Tiranium, SugarCRM’s iPad CRM enables a personalized experience for all users. Features included in this iPad CRM app include a quick view display, customizable modules screen, easy drill-down and data synchronization. Controls on this platform include popovers and split views that are specific to the iPad experience. SugarCRM positions this app as extending the power of its architecture, although development and scalability options are driven by Appcelerator. The downside to this iPad CRM app is not readily apparent, but deep integration is a challenge with the use of native apps, something that is not required in the Salesforce realm.

iPad CRM – Of Course There is a Salesforce Option

Salesforce appears to be the only CRM provider that was able to accommodate iPad CRM right out to of the gate. The fact that Salesforce CRM is completely browser based – and does not favor one browser over another – allowed iPad users to immediately access the platform. Salesforce didn’t stop there, however, they released an iPad CRM app specifically for the Apple tablet. This app sought to take advantage of the powerful and flexible capabilities offered on the iPad. To do so, the company partnered with ISM to implement an open platform that allows reps to use their tablet for CRM whether they have WiFi access or not. The Mobile CRM HD App for iPad extends the notes, scheduling, and follow-up capabilities of the Salesforce CRM platform, while also identifying the products the customer wants to order, as well as quantity and payment information. This offering extends the capabilities of Salesforce for iPad CRM, but doesn’t appear to offer much in the way of customization and personalization, which may still remain with Salesforce to provide.

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