Pivotal CRM Whitpapers - Empowering Mobile Enterprise


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In this paper, you will learn how enterprises can achieve a competitive advantage by giving remote workers access to complete CRM application functionality, with or without network connectivity. By ensuring mobile users always have up-to-date customer data and business rules, as well as the latest application updates and platform upgrades, organizations can increase mobile user productivity, and facilitate timely, enterprise-wide implementation of new business process improvements.

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Pivotal CRM Whitpapers - Empowering Mobile Enterprise

  1. 1. W H I T E P A P E REmpowering the Mobile Enterprise Executive Summary In this paper, you will learn how enterprises can achieve a competitive advantage by giving remote workers access to complete CRM application functionality, with or without network connectivity. By ensuring mobile users always have up-to-date customer data and business rules, as well as the latest application updates and platform upgrades, organizations can increase mobile user productivity, and facilitate timely, enterprise-wide implementation of new business process improvements.
  2. 2. The Business Challenge of Disconnected Use—With expectations rising, organizations have even greater need for full offline Mobility and CRM capabilities to ensure they are never without access to critical functionality and data. Effective disconnected use Today’s distributed workforce requires a sophisticated must include 100% of application functionality, a local computing environment with a solid and cost effective database containing the user’s data, and the ability to solution for both data and application synchronization. perform bi-directional synchronization between the offline The complexity and expense involved in keeping data, data and the main system. application upgrades and customizations synchronized with database replicas distributed across WANs, LANs, Wireless Access—When on the road, mobile personnel and mobile clients has become one of the critical factors need to be always connected—always aware of current in evaluating a mobile CRM solution. account and opportunity developments. Real-time access to data is provided by wireless technology via web- Mobile CRM solutions differ in terms of completeness, enabled PDAs and cell phones, and is typically restricted architectural approach, and synchronization method. The to reading/writing contact, company and opportunity data, key to an effective mobile solution is ensuring mobile as well as To-Do lists. users have access to all the functionality of their CRM system wherever and whenever required, facilitating Pivotal CRM’s mobile computing solution allows for all peer collaboration and uninterrupted productivity. three types of access: Pivotal Mobile Sales is designed to support an • Mobile users can employ Pivotal Windows Client™, enterprise’s mobile workforce—whether disconnected or or take advantage of the versatility and convenience connected via broadband, dial-up or wireless—delivering of Pivotal’s web-based client, Pivotal Rich Client™, to 100% of the CRM functionality and access to critical access the entire Pivotal CRM Suite over broadband customer data, anywhere, anytime from the same connections. For more information on the functionality application and user interface as LAN-based systems. offered by the Pivotal CRM Suite, refer to the individual suite brochures. Mobile Work Force Requirements • The Pivotal Mobile Client™ includes all the functionality of the Pivotal Windows or Rich Client, giving mobile Distributed teams are vulnerable to communication workers offline access to the Pivotal CRM Suite, as well breakdown. Nowhere is this more apparent than with as critical prospect, customer, and product information. mobile and remote sales teams where important decisions can be painfully delayed, resulting in lost opportunities. • Pivotal Wireless™ provides continuously connected The key to overcoming broken communication is ensuring access to real-time Pivotal CRMdata and opportunity all relevant prospect, customer and product data is information. available in an offline or disconnected environment seamlessly integrated into other CRM components, Remote and Disconnected Access thereby guaranteeing consistent, integrated business Mobile users away from the office for days or even weeks processes between in-house, remote and offline users. at a time require full access to account/opportunity records and product data. The Pivotal Mobile Client Enterprises with highly mobile workforces require is a complete, scaled-down Pivotal CRM system different degrees of access to critical, accurate business designed to run on a laptop, delivering complete CRM information using a variety of access methods, depending functionality, with or without a network connection. on their current location: When offline, mobile users utilize the local database for Remote Connectivity—With today’s ubiquitous access read/write access to account and product information; to broadband, mobile users are able to work from the can leverage Pivotal Sales functionality such as offline field as if they were in the office. Broadband ubiquity, product catalogs, complex product configuration, quote however, has resulted in the expectation that mobile users creation at the customer site; take advantage of Pivotal always have full access to their CRM application and Service functionality to access complete customer service current data—connectivity failure or unavailability is no records, and so on. longer acceptable.2 Pivotal CRM | White Paper
  3. 3. Full platform functionality is also available in offline mode, customized the Pivotal Wireless solution to create including the ability to reference Pivotal CRM data within a sophisticated task automation and information delivery any Microsoft® Office application, or create, manage and system that tightened the information triangle between queue email for delivery in MS Outlook®. Disconnected its sales, research, and trading departments. The mobile users work as effectively and productively as company recouped their investment in just two months though accessing Pivotal CRM from head office. as a result of dramatically increased productivity, revenues and margins. Mobile users typically work with a subset of Pivotal CRM customer data on their laptop and are expected to intermittently connect to the main or a satellite system The IT Challenges of Supporting in order to synchronize any data changes. Pivotal SyncStream is the synchronization technology powering a Mobile Work Force the Pivotal Mobile Client, enabling mobile users to For mobile applications to achieve maximum value in manually or automatically send/receive data, and gain the enterprise, they must provide full interactive access high performance even over low-band width connections when disconnected. But to support such a disconnected without fear of data conflicts. deployment, organizations need to decentralize enterprise databases without compromising the overall“ Mobile functionality is adifferentiator of CRM salesvendors: The application is either fully integrity of corporate data. Reliable synchronization that can consolidate data from multiple inputs—including connected and disconnected users—is key to ensuring the delivery of consistent, accurate and timely information. functional mobile, or it isn’t: 100-percent disconnected functionality is the ‘gold standard’ Companies considering a synchronization solution should focus special attention on four key criteria—key ” for mobile sales applications. differentiators that must be carefully evaluated when looking for a solid and cost-effective mobile CRM solution: Joe Galvin Vice President and Research Director, Gartner Inc. • Application Synchronization • Data reliability and Integrity Wireless Data Access • Performance All mobile users require the ability to be alerted to critical • Mobile Administration Cost opportunity and account information. Some mobile users only require access to specific data, but need it on demand. PDA-based extensions of standard CRM Application Synchronization applications are not the best answer, because of the Pivotal SyncStream provides for centralized need to navigate through too many screens, which can synchronization of all aspects of the Pivotal CRM system, be a frustrating experience where wireless broadband including customer data, application customizations and is unavailable. platform upgrades across LAN clients, satellite systems and mobile clients. Customizers centrally modify the Pivotal Wireless fulfills these requirements by providing Pivotal CRM system and move customizations from an an out-of-the-box application designed and built for off-line development system into production with a single mobile users. It delivers real-time, secure (HTTPs, with command. the ability to implement 128-bit SSL certificate) read/write access to Pivotal CRM business logic and customer data via wireless handheld devices, such as Web-enabled Pivotal SyncStream is the technology cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs). that synchronizes all aspects of the Pivotal Wireless is a server-side solution that supports Pivotal CRM system, including customer a variety of mobile devices, including RIM BlackBerry, data, application customizations and Palm, and Pocket PC equipped with a micro-browser. No other client-side software is required. This allows platform upgrades across LAN clients, users to quickly find and edit customer data, view current satellite systems and mobile clients. meetings, calls and tasks, as well as edit opportunity information. Called a UFO (Upgrade From Offline), changes made to Custom wireless applications can easily be created to fit the metadata repository are compressed in a message any organization’s mobile requirements. For example, one and placed into the web s enterprise, and ensuring all Pivotal CRM customer, a major capital markets player, users are always operating with erver outbound queue, Pivotal CRM | White Paper 3
  4. 4. thereby distributing all application changes to the extended If a session is interrupted or unsuccessful, the Pivotal the same functionality (for more information on Pivotal CRM’s CRM system automatically coordinates recovery. For metadata-driven architecture, please refer to the white paper, example, if a mobile system receives a message that is “Pivotal CRM’s 3-tier CRM Architecture”). out of its numbering sequence due to line interruptions during a synchronization session, the mobile system LAN updates are performed first, with Pivotal SyncStream sends a message to the parent system requesting that orchestrating an orderly shutdown on the LAN so no the missing data be sent again before any other updates data changes will be made during the upgrade of are made. Once the missing data has been received, the the enterprise server’s metadata. All LAN users are synchronization session resumes. instructed to exit the program to accommodate the application update. Unattended workstations are logged Fundamental Data Integrity off automatically and new metadata is applied on the server. When the update is processed, usually within As organizations grow, the likelihood that two or more minutes, end users can pick up where they left off and users will be working on the same record at the same time begin using the new system. Satellite upgrades follow increases. As a result, the synchronization technology’s a similar process, shutting down attached systems while ability to prevent data corruption becomes vital. It must be the update takes place. able to resolve the inevitable tug of war in a graceful, fully predictable and informative way. When mobile users synchronize their mobile systems, application and data changes are automatically Pivotal SyncStream does not use role-based rules to synchronized in the background, allowing mobile users to resolve the tug of war. Instead, it determines which user continue working in their Pivotal CRM application. Files, made the latest change by comparing the time and date such as service packs and hot fixes, can be delivered to stamp integral to the message—Pivotal SyncStream the mobile system in the same synchronization session, messages carry the timestamp value that a record had making the traditional, resource-intensive, in-office before the update, and the one after the update. upgrade obsolete. To better illustrate how Pivotal SyncStream resolves data conflicts, take the example of an account representative Assured Data Reliability and Integrity and her regional manager who are both attempting to There are many kinds of CRM data synchronization update the same record while on the road. If the account (role-based, time-stamp, etc.), each with its own pros representative’s update reaches the enterprise server first, and cons, making it critical to match requirements to the change is applied because the original timestamp vendor capabilities. For any synchronization solution, data matched the one in the database. Because this update reliability and integrity remain key. When data conflicts succeeded, the record now has a new timestamp. When arise, the ability to gracefully and accurately recover and the regional manager’s update reaches the enterprise resolve them is critical. server, the original timestamp does not match the timestamp in the database, so the update fails. Timestamps can be thought of as version identifiers— Guaranteed Data Delivery every time an update occurs the version is changed. Poor connections, unexpected disconnections, and Data synchronization changes are rejected if the version line interruptions are a fact of the mobile employee’s the change was made on doesn’t match the current life. Robust synchronization solutions build in the ability version in the database. to recover lost or truncated messages automatically, eliminating the possibility of data inconsistency. Employing Pivotal SyncStream’s Pivotal SyncStream verifies the success of each HTTP synchronization can yield a synchronization session. Synchronization messages are not deleted until a confirmation message is received from 60% reduction in connection time over the recipient indicating that the change was successfully traditional email-based systems by carried out. This approach allows for a high degree optimizing available network bandwidth. of confidence that mobile databases will synchronize correctly, and it protects against message loss due to accidental disconnection, viruses, machine crashes, or In this case, the regional manager receives a detailed other connection problems. Lost or out-of-sequence notification message with a shortcut to the Pivotal CRM messages are recovered automatically. record. The message requests that the manager review the record since updates were made to it, and requests a re-submission of changes if those changes still make sense based on the new data in the record.4 Pivotal CRM | White Paper
  5. 5. A High Performance Approach to basis. Since changes are distributed using message packets, mobile systems incorporate changes in aSynchronization disconnected environment. This is a faster method which,Mobile users are too busy to wait for data to be in addition to reducing the load on the database, can alsosynchronized. Any mobile synchronization solution needs result in cost savings over mail-based synchronizationto be simple, fast and powerful, and yet still offer mobile systems due to reduced connection time requirements.users some measure of control. It’s critical to ensure thatthe synchronization solution works in such a way as tominimize the necessity for end user interference, while Based on Microsoft Internet Informationmaximizing the user’s ability to work productively with Server, Pivotal’s mobile synchronizationthe CRM system. solution scales up affordably simply byPivotal SyncStream is automatically invoked as soon adding another web server.as the mobile client makes a connection to its main orsatellite parent server. Mobile users have the option tosend in the background and continue working while A one-step synchronization process automaticallysynchronizing, as well as the ability to stop and resend alerts mobile users when they need to synchronize,at a later date. For example, if a mobile user has not protecting the system from synchro nization backlogs.synchronized for a few days and is on a slow connection, Business rules are processed offline, resulting in fasterhe or she can elect to send messages before receiving synchronization—measured in minutes, not hours, soany queued messages, then restore synchronization disconnected users can gain both fast synchronizationsettings when a faster connection becomes available. and timely read-write access to the data they require. The Total Cost of Mobile Administration When a mobile systemis plugged in, it’s Traditional synchronization systems employ a mail server continuously updated by the connection. to send and receive data between mobile and remote Unplug, and the database is as current systems. But access to corporate mail servers is often restricted, and where it’s not restricted, monitoring of as the Enterprise Server, allowing Mobile queues, inboxes and the necessary skill sets to effectively users personnel to ‘unplug and go’. administer such a system place a high overhead burden on administration resources. Pivotal SyncStream offers a lightweight solution in the form of HTTP-basedPivotal SyncStream runs a continuous real-time net synchronization, which greatly reduces the overheadchange analysis to enable asynchronous distribution associated with maintaining a mobile workforce.of changes. Performance is optimized and bandwidth Any administrator with knowledge of Microsoftmaximized by exchanging information bi-directionally, Internet Information Server (IIS) can easily administersynchronizing the net changes to data on a field-by-field Pivotal SyncStream.Pivotal Mobile Administration User Status Last Sync Time Out Queue In Queue Web Queue UFO Sent Whether the Last time the Number of Number of Number of Whether the mobile client mobile user messages messages messages on mobile user is successfully synchronized waiting to be still to be the web server has received synchronizing their system processed by processed still to be the latest the receiver by the server downloaded system update/ upgrade Pivotal CRM | White Paper 5
  6. 6. HTTP-Based Synchronization ConclusionHTTP-based synchronization reduces administrative costs Mobile CRM is no longer an option—it’s a critical partby facilitating centralized administration. Role-based of any organization’s strategy. Mobile personnel mustsecurity and permissions allows groups to access specific be empowered to work from the field with the samefunctions in their personalized workspace, known as the level of functionality as workers seated at corporatePivotal SmartPortal™.View filters can be set to restrict headquarters, employing the same business rules asdata access from the workspace. Synchronization filters the rest of the organization.can be set in the metadata repository delineating whichinformation mobile clients can access and update. Business rules represent core business policies,A global view of the entire system, including all mobiles controlling or influencing business processes. Theyand satellites, allows administrators to maintain, monitor indicate what is possible or desirable in running aand troubleshoot all attached mobile and satellite business—and what is not. Improving and implementingsystems. If the administrator fails to notice an impending business processes more quickly and more effectivelyissue, the system will automatically send a message than the competition can provide a significant businessnotifying the administrator of the problem. advantage. But if mobile systems are not updated in a timely manner, the full benefits of business process improvements cannot be realized. When complete offline functionality is Implementing new business processes across distributed combined with the ability to reliably enterprises is typically time consuming and geographically synchronize not only data, but application challenging, in some cases requiring laptops to be sent updates and platform upgrades, the result to a centrally-located head office. Depending on the is up-to-date business rules across the complexity of the organization, this upgrade process distributed enterprise. could take anywhere from days to months to complete, inflating administration costs and creating confusion while different parts of the business operate with a different set of processes. Pivotal CRM’s mobile computing solution broadcasts application, platform and customer data updates to all users within a single synchronization session. In this way, mobile users always have up-to-date applications and business rules on their laptop, ensuring smooth, enterprise-wide implementation of new business processes to boost productivity, expand market share and improve financial performance.For more information or a complete list of our worldwide offices, please visit www.pivotal.com.Copyright © CDC Software 2007. All rights reserved.The CDC Software logo and Pivotal CRM logo are registered trademarks and/or trademarks of CDC Software.