PeopleSoft unveils mobile CRM solutions

PeopleSoft Inc. on Wednesday rolled out the newest version of its CRM solutions featuring a new mobile architecture designed to give users disconnected access with a smaller footprint on a mobile device.

The new CRM 8.4, which supports mobile field and service functionality, features new mobile synchronization technology that enables users to synchronize up to a year's worth of updates in just 6 minutes.

In addition, PeopleSoft has embedded business application logic directly into synchronization technology, enabling it to intelligently identify relationships between customers, transactions data, and users, officials said.

In previous versions of the CRM solution, a small relational database running on a disconnected PC was used to replicate tables and download customer contacts, said Stan Swete, PeopleSoft general manager of CRM. However, this method required a 100MB installation, he said.

"If you stayed disconnected for a long time ... the corporate database would move on and the replication back to the database would get more and more complex," Swete said. "Our focus now is not to use a copy of the database ... but rather to focus on the transactions at hand and only take down the data that supported those transactions. We have dramatically streamlined the installation process. The process can be bootstrapped up through the synchronization API."

Companies have always had a horrible time supporting mobile sales force automation, said Erin Kinikin, an analyst with Giga Information Group Inc.

"Every time something goes wrong you have to ship the laptop back to IT," she said. "The promise of the PeopleSoft approach is that you can e-mail a new program out and you don't have to have the entire application loaded on your desktop, which should make it easier to maintain. It should be pretty compelling to companies that mainly operate over the Internet but just want to store simple customer information when they are not connected."

The new solution also features a vertical solution designed to allow communications companies to more effectively target, attract, and retain customers by managing the entire customer lifecycle in real time. The CRM for Communications solution is designed to deliver instant sales order capture, order management, service management, and support processes through numerous channels, including call centers, Web self-service, and direct sales. Embedded business analytics in the solution provides visibility into and analysis of customer behavior to reduce customer churn, increase loyalty, and drive profitability, officials said.

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