When Enterprise Apps Today published its Eight CRM Predictions for 2012 a few weeks ago, the predictions were listed in no particular order. However, maybe it isn’t entirely coincidental that a prediction that mobile access to CRM will become the norm in 2012 is listed first.
As Tim Hickernell, an analyst for Info-Tech Research Group, explained, “Users expect ubiquitous access to corporate systems anywhere, anytime on any device.”
Among the software vendors rolling out mobile applications in recent months are SAP and Salesforce.com. The latest vendor to make a mobile move is Infor, which today introduced a cloud-based mobile platform called Infor10 Motion.
Infor10 Motion is built with a loosely coupled architecture on the Infor10 ION framework, which offers the ability to connect to different back office systems such as ERP, CRM, expense management or supply chain management.
Another differentiator is "app awareness," which according to an Infor statement enhances the user experience by detecting when another application on a mobile device could provide additional functionality. This includes not just enterprise apps but consumer apps that that could work in the context of the enterprise.
For example, one of the first two applications built on the Infor10 Motion platform, Infor10 Road Warrior, can incorporate Skype and FaceTime within a customer's contact record so sales personnel can easily use those tools with their customers. Infor Road Warrior also offers users with mobile alerts, approvals and tasks. The app also includes embedded business intelligence to provide an overview of data-heavy screens, which should reduce the amount of time users spend searching for information.
Infor ION ActivityDeck, the other inaugural app, gives users the ability to remain connected to the back office so they are able to remotely respond to important tasks, receive real-time alerts and approve pending requests. Similar to Twitter, ION ActivityDeck provides the ability to define filters based on issues of interest to the user.
Infor10 Road Warrior and Infor ION ActivityDeck are both available through the Apple iTunes Store. Infor intends to introduce additional mobile applications built on the Infor10 Motion platform, including apps that will facilitate creating orders or quotes, approving expense reports, and reviewing key business metrics.