PeopleSoft launches mobile sales app

PeopleSoft Inc. last week unveiled sales-force automation software designed to let mobile users access customer relationship management data with the same device many road warriors already use for wireless e-mail.

Called PeopleSoft Enterprise Sales for BlackBerry, the software runs on the wireless platform developed by Research In Motion Ltd. It can be integrated with Microsoft Corp.’s Outlook or IBM Corp.’s Lotus Notes, so users can enter, search and update data simultaneously in their CRM and e-mail applications.

There’s no manual synchronization required, says Steve Roop, vice president of CRM product marketing at PeopleSoft. Instead, the application supports “trickle sync,” a data synchronization method based on the BlackBerry architecture that detects when a wireless connection is available and automatically refreshes data.

PeopleSoft has existing SFA applications for mobile users, but this is its first for the BlackBerry.

One advantage of the BlackBerry version is it offers always-on access to data, Roop says. With a lot of wireless SFA products, users need to use a Web browser to view and update data — which makes it tough to get work done when wireless service is unavailable.

In this case, PeopleSoft has embedded its Enterprise CRM 8.9 Sales application on the BlackBerry handheld and included a local data store. “Even when sales reps are outside of wireless coverage areas, they can still see and work their opportunities, leads and contacts,” Roop says.

PeopleSoft also embedded its analytic engine in the application. This lets companies define rules that trigger e-mail alerts, such as an incoming lead that requires immediate follow-up.

To ensure data security, Enterprise Sales for BlackBerry supports AES data encryption and automatic “data wiping” capabilities in case the device is ever lost or stolen.

PeopleSoft expects to begin shipping Enterprise Sales for BlackBerry by the end of the year.

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