Salesforce.com is bringing a free application for its customer-relationship management software to BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and iPhone users.
The Mobile Lite app is a slimmed-down version of the company's existing mobile program, and it gives mobile workers access on the go to customer data. The free version also allows users to update tasks and calendars, review customer service requests, and log in their customer requests and response leads.
Mobile Lite can be used online or offline, and the app will synchronize with Salesforce's databases when connectivity is restored. Any user with a subscription to Salesforce's CRM software can download the app now directly to the handsets, but iPhone users will have to go through Apple's App Store.
The free app won't be as robust as the company's full mobile app, which can cost about $50 per month per user. For example, the free version will have limitations on what types of reports can be created and on the number of records available at any one time.
"We want our customers to take the cloud with them wherever they go," Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO at Salesforce, said in a statement. "By delivering mobile access to our cloud, for free, we are accelerating adoption of the cloud and delivering value to customers in times when they need it the most."
One major platform missing is Google's Android, and Salesforce executives said they're "working closely" with Google to bring an app to the Linux-based platform. But the move may not be critical, as Salesforce said most of its customers use the three supported platforms.
Low-risk, low-cost technologies help IT ensure that staffers on the road spend more time on work and less on workarounds. InformationWeek wrote an independent report on this issue, and it can be downloaded here (registration required).