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Cost analysis of Microsoft CRM mobile access

Microsoft CRM's Outlook integration makes it possible for users with non-Windows mobile devices to access CRM data on the road, expert Richard Smith advises. Learn more about mobile access for Dynamics CRM in this expert tip.

Can you give me some insight into the costs that come with supporting wireless users who have non-Windows mobile devices? Several of our remote workers want offline access to Microsoft CRM and we are trying to weigh the benefits and figure out if it's worth the cost.
Dynamics CRM's Outlook integration makes it possible for users with non-Windows mobile devices to access critical CRM data on the road. When CRM data is synchronized with Outlook, accounts and contacts are synchronized as Outlook contacts, appointments are synchronized as calendar Outlook items, and tasks are synchronized as Outlook tasks. This synchronization occurs automatically for users who are utilizing the Dynamics CRM Outlook client.

Once data has been synchronized to Outlook, this same data can be synchronized to a variety of PDA and cell phone devices over the wireless network or by using the typical desktop synchronization software that is included with the devices. Changes that are made on the wireless device – say a contact update, rescheduled appointment, or completed task – are synchronized back into Dynamics CRM the next time the user synchronizes their device with Outlook.

While the Dynamics CRM mobile client offers a great deal of functionality for Windows-mobile users, it has been our experience in working with sales teams across vertical markets that users typically only use a few features from their PDAs. Specifically, they access contact information, reminders, and to-dos, all of which are supported by Dynamics CRM through the Outlook synchronization on any of the devices.

 


 

For more on evaluating mobile CRM products, explore this buyer's guide on 20/20software.com.

 

This was last published in October 2006

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