• January 29, 2004
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

Salesforce.com meets Nextel's Walkie-Talkie

On-the-go mobile workers can be forced to downshift when it comes to checking and updating client databases. However, Salesforce.com aims to help mobile employees stay in high gear with the availability of its hosted CRM solution on Nextel's nationwide wireless network. The partnership puts Salesforce.com's Wireless Edition onto the screens of BlackBerry handheld devices so employees can update account, contact, and lead information, and can obtain reports remotely about events and tasks. Using Nextel's wireless service mobile sales teams can remotely connect to Salesforce.com through RIM BlackBerry models 6510 and 7510, the only BlackBerry handheld with a speakerphone and coast-to-coast digital walkie-talkie service. According to Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com, the combination of Nextel's wireless service and mobile devices with Salesforce.com's on-demand model will help mobile sales reps access their critical customer and deal information any time, anywhere. Salesforce.com launched its Wireless Edition in November 2002. At the time roughly 75 percent of Salesforce.com's customers were mobile merchants, and at least 50 percent of those needed some mobile solution, Kaiser Mulla-Feroze, senior product marketing manager at Salesforce.com, told CRM magazine. "The reaction to the Wireless Edition has been positive. It is a huge plus for many customers," says Roger Goulart, vice president of alliances at Salesforce.com. "We are dealing with people like pharmaceutical sales reps who are on the road very often, who can't boot up their laptop. So we're working with Nextel to make sure we provide the best [wireless] service." Wireless Edition is included in Salesforce.com's Enterprise Edition, which costs $125 per user per month. For $195 per user per year, Wireless Edition can be bundled with the Professional Edition, which is available for $65 per user per month. Salesforce.com is not the only hosted CRM vendor to offer wireless access. NetSuite made its wireless version available on BlackBerry devices and other wireless email devices in September 2003.
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