NetSuite Carpools for Mobility
NetSuite has gone mobile. Today, the company announced availability of its software on mobile platforms such as BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Palm Treo via third-party mobile application developers Antenna Software, Explore Mobile, and iEnterprises. This makes NetSuite the first to offer a complete mobile on-demand ERP/CRM/e-commerce suite, according to the company.
Unlike many standalone mobile solutions targeted primarily for sales personnel, NetSuite is targeting mobile users with an end-to-end business management application, allowing mobile users to conduct business activities including accounts receivable, quote and order management, transactions and sales, and customer support from their mobile device. "They've created a real-time environment for users to access data and business-as-usual without having to access a Web browser or the Internet," says Mini Peiris, senior director of product management at NetSuite.
NetSuite partners Antenna Software, Explore Mobile, and iEnterprises leveraged SuiteFlex, NetSuite's application development and integration platform, to develop the new mobile client platforms. The three were chosen for their specialty with certain mobile devices to provide specifically designed apps tailored for device functionality, such as the tracker wheel on the BlackBerry. "Rather than go with a general-purpose application that kind of works with each device, we wanted to build a group of wireless access clients designed to leverage the full functionality of each device," Peiris says. Pricing will be consistent across the board for all three products--Antenna Software's AMPower for NetSuite, Explore Mobile's Explore Order Entry, and iEnterprises' Mobile Edge for NetSuite--and will range from $15 to $25 per user, per month.
The announcement is representative of the move mobile CRM is making from being an SFA-focused application to that of a fully functioning suite, mimicking CRM's alteration during the 1990s, says Sheryl Kingstone, director of Yankee Group's Customer-Centric Strategies Decision Service. "Wireless is extending beyond just sales representatives--now it's required for field service staff, home service providers, and other professionals," she says. "A wireless strategy is critical for today's workforce to remain connected with the real data they work with. It surpasses the need to just access emails and send text messages; now the requirement is for access to real data and the ability to conduct transactions remotely."
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