• November 13, 2002
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

Salesforce.com's Airforce Wireless Edition Is Set to Fly

Salesforce.com will unveil its first formal wireless solution next week to help its customers, mostly traveling sales professionals, stay connected. Roughly 75 percent of Salesforce.com's more than 70,000 customers are mobile merchants, and at least 50 percent of those need some mobile solution, says Kaiser Mulla-Feroze, senior product marketing manager at Salesforce.com. The solution, dubbed Airforce Wireless Edition, enables sales teams to access and edit real-time, up-to-the-minute customer information in Saleforce.com via their wireless devices. Mobile professionals can retrieve account, contact, and opportunity information, along with events and tasks directly from Salesforce.com using their BlackBerry wireless handheld device, wireless Pocket PC, or Palm OS device. Airforce Wireless Edition is designed specifically for smaller screens and includes natural language querying and custom fields to help minimize click-throughs. Users can make a specific natural language query using common phraseology like "'show all opportunities in New York greater than $5,000 closing this month,'" Mulla-Feroze says. "That's the main feature that's going to allow for better adoption [of wireless applications]." Salesforce.com had previously experimented with a wireless solution that never materialized. Airforce Wireless Edition's attention to ease-of-use, specifically with smaller screens, Mulla-Feroze says, is what distinguishes it from previous wireless solutions. "Every company providing wireless business applications took their existing applications and replicated them on a wireless platform. That is why these applications didn't do well. Customers need to have a different user experience, because they are in a different setting, such as inside a taxi or at the airport," Mulla-Feroze says. "Our new product is designed for small-screen handheld devices, so you can get the information you want with the least amount of click-throughs." Salesforce.com will make the Airforce Wireless Edition generally available on December 2, 2002, for a price of $195 per user, per year for Saleforce.com Professional Edition customers, and will be included at no extra cost to Enterprise Edition subscribers.
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