Four Important trends in Mobile CRM Space

Last week one of my colleagues bought an iPad. He is currently gripped by something that people call the iPad syndrome. Ipad has helped people understand and appreciate the concept of mobility…in fact it has taken a giant leap in the mobility space. I have been receiving requests for mobility CRM much more in the last 2-3 months as compared to last year. Is it because of Ipad? Not sure, but the requests do translate into providing Mobile solutions that can run on mobile device; 1 out of 3 requests specifically for Ipad. One of our friends has put his thoughts around this revolution  http://social.eyeforpharma.com/story/will-ipad-kickstart-pharma-sales-and-marketing-revolution (read here).

I have been thinking off late on how should we go about designing the overall Mobile CRM solution? What should it contain? How should it be deployed? How will it provide enhanced value to organizations?  

Four Important Trends in Mobile CRM:

  1. Mobile CRM has moved beyond SFA on PDA: It is just not “Contact Management”, “Call Planning” etc. There are Features like Inventory/stock management, order reconciliation & tracking, Service Request Management, Real time analytics and “on demand” collaboration between field sales reps, service reps and customers. The new Mobile CRM needs to support much more functions and not just be a trimmed down version of the enterprise CRM system.
  2. Mobile CRM needs to be componentized: As organizations move away from the typical “arms race” in the sales function, where the sales volumes do not have linearity with the size of the sales force, and small groups of specialized sales force evolve; the need for CRM to accommodate the specific needs for these groups will increase exponentially. One solution fits all is not valid. What will work here is to have a bouquet of functionalities that can be made available depending on the end user need. End users pick and choose what he needs to be part of his Mobile CRM solution.
  3. Mobile CRM solution needs to be “On Demand”: The new age Mobile CRM solution needs to be available to the end user “On Demand”. Nearest parallel that one can draw is the “Blackberry Apps world” or” Ipad apps”. Organizations will maintain (can be a service provider) an application store and users can download needed application or components, use them and get rid of them from the mobile device after use.
  4. Mobile CRM solutions will drive the functionality: There was a time when the Mobile solution was a replica of the CRM solution with lot of restrictions w.r.t functionality and usability. Those days are gone. On Premise or Cloud Based CRM solutions will just provide robust backend and will not limit the Mobile CRM solution scope. The Mobile CRM solutions will have its own identity (the way functionality is achieved and enhanced usability features) and will integrate with the available CRM solution.

What do you think? Do you think that the Mobile CRM space is slowly transforming? Let me know your thoughts and comments.

The Chaos in the Digital Space

A lot is happening in the digital space…I find it tough to follow and keep pace. Having said that I also believe that we are right now living in very interesting times and witnessing the change that will define the future. So does this mean that that what we are experiencing now is far from the future? I think no…The future is already there; it’s just not logically arranged.

So what is the future? Is “Cloud Computing” the future, is “Virtualization” the next big thing or is “empower with simple ideas” the way to go? There is no one concept that will win this race hands down. All these concepts have carved the present and have defined the way we behave, interact and collaborate today.

Cloud computing as defined by Wikipedia is “Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices on demand, like the electricity grid”. My experience with my clients has given enough evidence to believe that the adoption of this concept in on a rise, but still I feel that this space is a bit “cloudy”. There are issues with data security, scalability and performance that needs to be sorted before organizations will go full guns in adopting this as the next platform to support their business.

Virtualization as a concept was always there with us. I think the complete support system for the human clan is virtualized (Religion). So the human community has always understood this concept much better that the concept of “Cloud”. We stay in an almost virtual world of our own; we look alone but we are never alone, we always have resources at our disposal. This has made this world one common meeting place cutting across religions and geographical boundaries. I believe Virtualization will surely accompany us in the future.

Empowerment has been one of the most used/misused terms in the recent past. This term is in the agenda of every top executive and politician; how this gets delivered is a totally different discussion. What I see today is that this plain and simple word has revolutionized the way services/products are delivered. The concept is to create simple ideas and execute them quickly to solve needs (irrespective of the size of the need; big or small). The overall timeframe from idea to execution needs to be relatively small to derive maximum benefits. It’s a dynamic market place so we are pegged against a shifting goal. Look at the mobile applications store from Blackberry or the Apple Apps Store, these stores give you simple but effective applications for your needs… use them and move on…

I cannot predict the future, but what I can do is lay down some clear trends that will impact our lives to a great extend:

  • We will have more virtualization… Getting things done will matter… Who and from where will not be something that we will be bothered about. We will know our neighbors through blogs and chatsJ

 

  • The future is for unwinding and becoming creative at what we do. Break those conventional ways of doing things and come up with simple ideas to uncomplicated matters. Should one talk while driving? Conventional thinking created the Bluetooth enabled hands free…this did solve the need, but can’t we have a small application that sends an SMS to the caller “I cannot take your call as I am driving”. Simple, effective and responsible idea!!!

 

  • Cloud or No Cloud – the writing on the wall is clear: People/Organizations will stick to their core competencies and will demand highest level of commitments and availability from support processes/systems/people. As  a Pharma company, I should focus on my R&D and product development and not on IT systems and its corresponding infrastructure

 

Let’s keep our fingers crossed

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