CRM for the iPad: Does It Exist? Can It? You Tell Me

CRM for the iPad: Does It Exist? Can It? You Tell Me

Summary: I'm sitting here trying to figure out a business justification for the use of the iPad by me and interestingly enough there is more than one.


I got my iPad Saturday.  Of course, I'm  TOTALLY LOVE this thing.  As Agent Seely Booth (played by David Boreanz) said in an episode of Bones about a truffle based mac and cheese, "I want to spend time alone with it."  But then, I'm a geek without portfolio anyway - love technology "stuff" without being able to build anything.  But I truly get the iPad.

I'm sitting here trying to figure out a business justification for the use of the iPad by me and interestingly enough there is more than one.  I can do blog posting from it, I can do some VERY cool whiteboarding (not waterboarding, whiteboarding!) using Keynote, a la John Madden's plays on the screen. I can also read all the documents whether they are web pages (Instapaper), PDFs (Good Reader) or presentations (Keynote or several others), plus the Kindle for the iPad app is outstanding too.  All in all lots of business value.

Truthfully, though, my real use of this thing is as a 10" (9.7" to be exact) wireless TV so I can watch the Yankees when I'm on the road.

But I'm not going to go into a gushy review of it. You can find plenty of those out there.  Instead, I'm going to propose something to you.

Is there a CRM for the iPad that doesn't just make mobile CRM on the iPhone bigger, but incorporates some of the unique capabilities of the iPad?   I know that a few vendors are already working on this and as I can, I will show pix and talk about it,  but what I'm interested in is your ideas on the subject and how it would work.  Here's the plan:

  1. Your suggestion can be general or vendor specific (e.g. could.....)
  2. It has to be something that doesn't just blow up the mobile CRM apps out there but takes advantage of the true form factor/tablet nature of the iPad.
  3. It needs to be defensible - meaning you can't tell me that it can be used to behavior modify customers into becoming advocates
  4. However, you can still think outside the box.  Don't worry about whether or not "there's an app for that" as of now.  You might be inventing apps.
  5. If I get more than 20 entries, I'm going to pick my top five and then put them up for a vote for the most creative via a survey on this blog.
  6. The winner gets a $50.00 Amazon gift certificate.
  7. Please post all your ideas in the Talkback section of this post.  (thanks to Mark Tamis for pointing out I forgot this. Senior moment).

Ready to go? The contest will be open through April 15.  Let 'er roll.  Let's see what you Mac fanboys can come up with. I'll bet the winner is a Windows 7 guy... Just sayin'.

Topics: Browser, Enterprise Software, Software

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  • Now, pick up an Archos 9, and do a

    Feldwebel Wolfenstool
    • Archos 9

      What CRM apps could you imagine on the Archos 9?

  • Improved Customer Experience

    Hi Paul,

    I came up with the following thoughts, tell me what you think :)

    I think the iPad is a perfect device for facilitatig a frictionless customer experience in for example food & beverage. Say you want to have a quick bite @ McDonald's (or Starbucks or whatever). You walk in the store, bluetooth picks up on this and activates an app that allows you to order at the quickorder line, or you choose to connect to the store's wifi through that app.

    The app looks at your favourite items and pre-selects if you so wish. You validate and use a micropayment system such as paypal and the app signals when your order is ready so you can go get it at the quickorder line. The shop assistant scans the 3D bar code generated by the app to validate the order.

    Whilst you're having your meal, you can choose your favourite magazine, TV show or content unique to the restaurant and have that streamed to the iPad whilst you're having your drink or meal. You can also provide feedback to the restaurant through the app.

    Potentially you could also choose to seek out 'people like me' in the restaurant to make contact and hook up (taken from FB or whatever as per your permission). You have a more frictionless experience, be entertained without hitting your carrier's datalimit, and have a chance to share the experience with others like you - make new friends!

    The restaurant has fewer and shorter lines, faster order delivery, an insight into your consumption habits and as well as your lifestyle through the content you choose.

    • background

      I thought of this because I think that rather than focus on the benefit the tool can bring to the company, you should focus on the opportunities of bringing new value to the customer beyond your basic products/services.

      "Don't ask what the customer can do for you, but what you can do for your customer" :)
  • RE: CRM for the iPad: Does It Exist? Can It? You Tell Me

    Get the order! Have the customer sign the the line that is dotted at the bottom of the display.
    • Can you Elaborate

      Hey Seamus!
      Draw this one out a bit.
      • Nothing happens until someone sells something.

        As a sales guy, I want to see a sales application to streamline the contract creation and versioning process. That process starts at contract creation and stops in this scenario when the customer signs the contract.

        My dream app would automate that process and allow the customer to sign the Ipad directly. Of course we need the ability to send it to my internal contracts administrator with a press of a button.
  • RE: CRM for the iPad: Does It Exist? Can It? You Tell Me

    My idea would be to provide convergence of several
    local government CRM and ERP solutions that are out
    there. Currently, local governments provide a number
    of services that include planning, building plan
    check, code enforcement, economic development,
    street/sidewalk repair and maintenance, traffic
    controls, police and fire to name a few. Right now,
    all of those various functions are managed by software
    systems that don't talk to each other very well, and
    that are not great in the field. For instance,
    building inspection involves an inspector going to a
    job site carrying 20 lbs of paper plans, taking notes,
    entering the notes in a database, review of the notes
    by a plan checker, adjustments to plans... all before
    the contractor/architect can resume work on any part
    of a structure that has problems. Imagine if a plan
    checker with an iPad could pull up the electronic
    plans, make notes on the plans in the cloud, notify a
    plan checker and receive a response within hours
    rather than days?

    Economic development people interact with existing
    businesses constantly and frequently run into problems
    that range from potholes to crime. Imagine if when
    meeting with a business that had an issue with traffic
    for instance. The economic development person could
    enter the info about the issue, location of the issue
    and appropriate contacts at the business and have that
    info go directly to the appropriate people at public
    works who would then be forced to respond to clear the
    issue out of a to-do list. As an economic development
    person, I find myself spending several hours a week
    following up on customer service issues that a system
    like this would fix.

    If someone could find a way to meld the existing (or
    create new) CRM, ERP, GPS and 311 systems that cities
    use and include a web enabled iPad application
    everything from graffiti abatement to water bills
    could live in one place and allow our very stressed
    employees to realize some efficiencies, improve
    customer service, improve responsiveness and allow
    cities to learn more about the locational component of
    everything we do (by integrating with GPS). I think
    something like the iPad, with its unique footprint, OS
    and interface is the key to getting this sort of thing
    done. You can do the building inspection on a
    toughbook right now, but it isn't very well designed
    in terms of interface, so all the inspectors carry
    around plans. Same for interviewing businesses... it
    isn't very friendly to put a screen between you and
    your customer while you are talking to them. Fire
    departments could pull up building plans while
    standing in front of a burning building (same for
    police). Just a little bit of imagination and someone
    (email me if you want my help) could revolutionize
    this market and reduce complaints about local
    government by 50% (30% of people will never be happy,
    no matter what!). Thoughts?
  • Seriously, I will buy it for a good business reason.

    My wife and I own a bed and breakfast, and our booking engine is web-based. We have a phone system that forwards all incoming calls to our iPhones, and thus we do not miss any reservations (at $150 to $240 each). We CAN use the iPhone to enter the reservations, however the additional screen space of the iPad will make our life much simpler.

    We can check availability, accept the reservation, send a confirmation email, use it as a marketing tool to show full-screen pictures of our B&B to anybody who is remotely interested, bring up our guest reviews on to show what our guests think (TA rates us the #1 B&B in PA), and do all of this anywhere there is an AT&T signal.

    Our website is programmed (by me) in pure html with a little javascript and has optimized images so that it loads quickly even on the Edge network, never mind 3G.

    Really I can think of so many business applications just with the web access, never mind iWorks (which I find more than adequate for my needs).

    You can find my address at to send the Amazon Gift Certificate!
  • RE: CRM for the iPad: Does It Exist? Can It? You Tell Me

    I like these ideas, but they are mostly getting a
    bigger screen for the iPad. To win the Gift
    Certificate (which I will be happy to donate to
    whomever needs it), the CRM app you are looking for
    has to actually leverage the unique features and
    functions of the iPad - not just a bigger screen.

    So, what are these characteristics?

    1. ability to run HTML-4 and HTML-5 apps without
    zooming in and out constantly
    2. ability to run iWork apps
    3. ability to integrate seamlessly, effortlessly, and
    amazingly with multi-media
    4. ability to draw, take-notes, and manipulate images
    and content without using a keyboard, simply by using
    the screen and the tools you indicated above (plus
    5. ability to run very specialized apps, very fast
    refresh screen, and very incredible graphics engine

    I could go on, but you are getting the idea. Now, I
    know this is not going to blow you away -- but this is
    the Sales workstation we always wanted and tried to
    replicate (and never got quite right) in laptops.
    What else could a sales person want that being able to
    use a touch-screen (instead of a keyboard) to share
    the screen with the customer? demos? check, video and
    online. note-taking? check, update records in CRM or
    other systems? check, catalog and price books -- with
    very nice pictures and even video? check, community
    access to solve problems for customers? check, i could
    go on... but, again, you see how it works.

    this is, to me, the business justification. the
    difference between using this an a laptop / other
    tablet is that the speed in this one is incredible,
    the battery life amazing, and the integration between
    apps very well done (not to mention the apps

    Now, if you don't like this idea -- let's talk about
    this becoming the uber-green-screen of the 21st
    century --- but that is another story.
  • And the winner is....
    • Actually, that IS Cool

      Thanks for bringing that to my attention. That IS
      a cool way of using the iPad. Very useful.

  • RE: CRM for the iPad: Does It Exist? Can It? You Tell Me

    MarketCircle's Daylite should be coming soon, at least
    according to AJ. Hopefully it will better than what they put
    together for the iPhone.
  • RE: CRM for the iPad: Does It Exist? Can It? You Tell Me

    Sit down fella. Yes, the app is cool but is it ready for the enterprise?

    All joking aside good luck with it.
  • RE: CRM for the iPad: Does It Exist? Can It? You Tell Me

    No one is going to use an iPad at the office. But just
    as people check personal email at work, they could
    also bring the office home on their iPad. Although
    primarily designed for household use, there are some
    key business functionality that can be accomplished
    with it. For example a sales rep or a marketing
    manager could mix pleasure with work on the weekends
    by switching between watching a movie and checking the
    latest metrics on her online CRM instance. Our company
    (Intelestream) strongly believes in mixing work with
    fun and fun with work. That's why we have made our
    online CRM, intelecrm fully compatible with the
  • RE: CRM for the iPad: Does It Exist? Can It? You Tell Me

    Hello, Paul.

    Here's an interesting development for you.

    Riva Integration Server from Omni now <a href="">syncs CRM contacts and calendar data to the native Address Book and iCal app on the iPad</a>. In addition, it syncs email summary views of CRM opportunities, cases, quotes, projects and other custom modules to Mail on the iPad.

    Riva is a server-side CRM sync solution that supports Salesforce, Dynamics CRM, Oracle CRM, Sugar, NetSuite, SageCRM and others. No CRM plug-ins or additional mobile apps need to be installed on the iPad (or iPhone).

    Many executives and salespeople prefer working with the native mail, calendar and address book apps on the iPad and having updates automatically get synchronized up to the CRM rather than working within a CRM interface on the device. Riva makes this possible.

    All the best - and enjoy those Yankees games! ;-)

    Trevor Poapst
    Director, Global Marketing
    Omni Technology Solutions
    Trevor Poapst
  • RE: CRM for the iPad: Does It Exist? Can It? You Tell Me

    Oh I loooooved The Monster at the End of This Book. would be interesting to see that fleshed out for a whole movie. Would these be movies for kids? Or movies about kids for adults like Where the Wild Things Are? I loved the Boxcar Children.
    good goods
  • RE: CRM for the iPad: Does It Exist? Can It? You Tell Me

    Sylvester and the Magic has some very adult and could be really touching. Hm- I'll have to think some more- there's a book I want to read called Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Children's Book. It's a collection of essays from public figures on what they learned reading as a kid. Sounds pretty great.
    good goods
  • RE: CRM for the iPad: Does It Exist? Can It? You Tell Me

    This is so awful. My sister (ten years older) and I were not all that

    close growing up due to our age difference, but I cannot imagine my life

    without her. The 8 years we shared in the same home were some of my fondest

    childhood memories.
  • RE: CRM for the iPad: Does It Exist? Can It? You Tell Me