The Fifth UI?
The wandering mind
Earlier today I was answering a question on groupware integration for CRM, which made me pause and look at the answer in deeper fashion. If you are interested in the actual question take a look
Like a jazz musician picking up a riff, I realized that for CRM my view of mobility is all wrong. I realize that mobility is what I will call the “fifth UI”.
Now I’m not going to give the CRM webclient UI, the “kiss of death”, but let’s first look at how we got here:
- SAP CRM was a SAP GUI application with a thick client mobile off-line solution
- Next came the PCUI while keeping the thick client mobile off-line solution
- Third we got the IC webclient while keeping the thick client mobile off-line solution
- Most recently we got the SAP Webclient UI, without a clear successor to the mobile off-line solution at first.
Here is where I’m going to bold and say the following: The Mobile UI interface of SAP CRM needs to be the primary interface for all scenarios that don’t involve someone sitting at the same building on a daily basis. In other words, unless you are dealing with fixed call center employees.. mobile is primary. Yep the heartburn of having to redo my CRM UI yet again within the last two years is not a great thing, but lets face it: Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Windows 7 Phone basically have changed the game.
The fifth UI!
Yes for CRM mobile is not an alternative access method anymore. Mobile must be the primary user interface for CRM period. It just makes sense and any CRM application should support “ALL” scenarios via mobile and provide extensibility to those mobile scenarios. It no longer matters how easy the desktop web browser application is cool or easy, the mobile interface is what matters now.
Back to reality
Let’s face it, personally I don’t have an end-to-end mobile CRM solution implemented yet. However I realize that the problem with CRM is that when people want to use CRM they need to “face away from the customer”. What I would expect to see in the near/immediate future is how the quaint web browser application of SAP CRM will be tranformed to a fully mobile solution. Fully mobile means all scenarios/processes with full customizing and extensibility support. Yes I don’t expect this happen today, but I do see some day in the future where most consumption/update of CRM date is via mobile device.