FirstRain Debuts FirstRain for Touch

Analytics solutions company FirstRain has launched an enterprise-class customer intelligence solution leveraging the new Salesforce Touch Platform, FirstRain for Touch.

FirstRain for Touch is the first enterprise customer intelligence solution built for the Touch platform, the company claims. Touch, which cloud computing company Salesforce.com debuted during this fall's Dreamforce conference, allows developers to write custom mobile apps once and deploy them to myriad mobile devices. The platform supports device-agnostic native, HTML5, and hybrid applications for iPad, iPhone, and Android.

"The whole world is moving to mobile and people are investing in iPads for their large sales teams," comments Penny Herscher, CEO of FirstRain. "We had [developed] our own iPad app a couple of years ago, but we saw more and more of this investment really starting to go into enterprise custom applications."

FirstRain, which has been working closely with Salesforce.com due to the fact that the two companies have a number of "major customers in common," as Herscher puts it, is now able to help its clients embed touch-enabled components of FirstRain's customer intelligence solution into their own custom apps.

FirstRain gives line-of-business users access to real-time intelligence through a visual snapshot of their data across multiple sources, like the Web and social media. Rather than presenting a user with contact data or sales intelligence, he gets direct insight into how a customer's business is changing. That way, a sales rep or marketer can align his or her product pitch or strategy with a customer's business needs. For example, if a company has a client in the petroleum industry, and that company's competitor just discovered oil in the Gulf of Mexico, FirstRain could, in real time, gauge the impact on that company's infrastructure investment strategy and display big data analysis in a graphical manner.

One of the benefits of Touch-enabled applications, the company claims, is the ability for IT teams to directly create and deploy customer intelligence apps for their employees. With the rapid adoption of mobile and touch-enabled devices in the enterprise, the demand is expected to grow.

Essentially, companies that use the Salesforce Touch platform can create and deploy their own enterprise mobile apps. "FirstRain for Touch will provide customers with the right intelligence to help them connect with their customers in entirely new ways and accelerate business success," said Clarence So, executive vice president of mobile strategy for Salesforce.com, in a statement. Salesforce.com's recent launch of Service Cloud for Mobile blends customer service applications and Touch platform capabilities to make deployment of service apps easier.

"One of the reasons why the Touch announcement is so exciting to us is this really joins our mobile strategy with our desktop strategy by putting components directly into a Touch-based CRM deployment," Herscher adds.

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