Salesforce.com CRM offering goes wireless

Salesforce.com will launch a wireless edition of its online CRM product next week designed to allow users to access customer data...

Salesforce.com will launch a wireless edition of its online CRM product next week designed to allow users to access customer data in real-time via wireless devices.

The Salesforce.com Airforce Wireless Edition will allow users to connect directly to the Salesforce.com CRM system via any e-mail-enabled or wireless browser device, so that there is no need for a local database and no synchronisation requirements.

"A lot of our customers tend to be travelling salespeople," said Kaiser Mulla-Feroze, senior product marketing manager at Salesforce.com. "They love our system, but one of the issues is 'how can I get access to Salesforce.com when it is not convenient to hook up my laptop to a live connection?' We want to give our customers a suite of mobile options."

Instead of replicating its online edition for wireless devices, Salesforce.com used natural language querying and custom fields to tailor the application for handheld screens.

"What companies have done is try and replicate whatever application that they have on a wireless device. When people are on the road, they expect a very different user experience. You want to use a fetch metaphor to get what you are looking for in the fastest possible time," Mulla-Feroze said.

The Airforce wireless edition will be available on 2 December at no cost to Salesforce.com Enterprise Edition subscribers and for $195 (£123) per user per year for Professional Edition customers.

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