Are you bringing your iPad or favorite Android gadget to work? You are not alone. According to most analysts, bring-your-own-device or BYOD is happening right now. Enterprise workers are quite dependent on their personal smartphones and tablet computers, constantly finding new applications for them in a business setting. With this surge in enterprise mobile computing, there’s obviously also a large potential for convenient access to IT assets, and, of course, to your CRM database.
As has been written about on this blog recently, the Microsoft Dynamics CRM team announced in their roadmap that they will support tablets and smartphones in the “CRM Anywhere” release slated for 2012. The roadmap calls for native CRM apps on Windows Phone 7.5, iPad, iPhone, Android, and Blackberry devices. This effort goes under the name Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile.
There will also be cross-browser support for Firefox on both PC and Mac, and most intriguingly support of Safari on iPads.
Overall, this is certainly big news in terms of empowering your sales and marketing people to work with the mobile computing they’re most comfortable with.
Of course, more sophisticated IT departments have for some time been exploiting a few of Dynamics CRM’s advanced features to create customized solutions for these devices.
Whether it was taking advantage of specialized web resource that accessed Microsoft CRM’s own web services APIs or simply tapping into its RSS feeds, it has been possible to extend Microsoft Dynamics CRM beyond its traditional comfort zone. In other words, you could gain access to records and data outside of Internet Explorer on a desktop or laptop—say in an RSS reader or in a programmable widget.
But Microsoft CRM’s special support for the Safari browser and the iPad is especially good news for business users. This is scheduled to be released in Q2 of 2012, and will surely spur creative software enhancements to Microsoft Dynamics by developers, IT groups, and other parties. And certainly this Microsoft Dynamics initiative is also a pretty solid acknowledgement that BYOD is here to stay.