• September 1, 2008
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

The 2008 CRM Market Awards: Rising Stars -- Apple

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People have been talking about Apple (and cofounder Steve Jobs) as “The Comeback Kid” for years, thanks to a new line of Macs and a little critter called the iPod, but that’s not a story for CRM. What is a story is another Apple item, the iPhone. As CRM users latched onto this consumer gadget and turned it into a business device, CRM vendors—including Oracle and Salesforce.com—have been writing iPhone applications, changing the way we look at mobile CRM, literally and figuratively. “It’s that cool a tool, it’s that visual—and with the 3G version it will have the speed,” says Paul Greenberg, industry luminary, iPhone user, and one of this year’s Influential Leaders. “[Apple has] the quality of an extraordinary user experience, and that’s not to be underestimated.”

Even Microsoft honcho Steve Ballmer is impressed, reportedly writing to staffers that Apple’s a success “because they are good at providing an experience that is narrow but complete, while our commitment to choice often comes with some compromises to the end-to-end experience.” One obstacle for Apple involves another fruit: The RIM BlackBerry has a proven track record, dominance of the business market, and superior security features—for now. “Apple iPhone isn’t RIM yet, but it’s way more promising than a year ago,” Greenberg says. “With rich media, the ability to tie into enterprise networks, and integration with Microsoft Exchange, they’ll get there.” 

To read about the rest of the 2008 Rising Stars, click here.

To read about the full 2008 CRM Market Awards, click here.

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