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Mobile Offline: Back to the Future

by Robert Desisto  |  January 8, 2016  |  Comments Off on Mobile Offline: Back to the Future

Roughly 3 years ago I started receiving Gartner client inquires about support CRM apps supporting mobile offline mode access for smartphones and tablets. The two most common reasons were mobile salespeople needed access to the app in areas with low connectivity, and IT departments were looking to reduce telecommunication costs.  I first thought that these were just special case circumstances until the number of inquiries kept growing.

The problem is most CRM SaaS providers do not support the offline use case, because SaaS implies zero data footprint on a remote device. CRM SaaS providers also have to tackle the gnarly problem of data synchronization and conflict resolution.  Conflict resolution occurs when multiple users edit the same record and then attempt to sync up. Who wins? This is not a new problem, in fact, for years mobile client/server applications on laptops dealt with this problem in sales force automation.

Currently, CRM SaaS providers are moving fast to support offline access on a mobile device. Typically, CRM SaaS providers start off with read-only access, and then move to edit capability. Unlike in the laptop world, special attention also needs to be paid to device storage which will be more limiting than a laptop.

The irony is the very thing that IT departments thought they were getting away from with SaaS or cloud computing is back and that is supporting local software and data on devices that will connect and disconnect on the network.

The claim of a zero footprint is quickly becoming a relic, which is why Mobile Offline is bringing the CRM market Back to the Future.

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Category: cloud-computing  crm  mobile-and-endpoint-technologies  mobile-app  mobile-sales  saas  

Tags: mobile-apps  saas-cloud-computing  

Robert P. Desisto
VP Distinguished Analyst
14 years at Gartner
24 years IT industry

Robert Desisto is a Vice President and Distinguished Analyst in Gartner Research. He is responsible for managing the software as a service (SaaS) research agenda. His research focuses primarily on the use of SaaS as a delivery model for applications. Read Full Bio




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