Mobile technology continues to improve, and CRM users and sales forces are keeping up. As mobile CRM devices become more widely used, CRM and sales force automation (SFA) software can be accessed almost anywhere, at any time. These top buzzwords offer a quick overview of the popular terms in the quickly growing mobile CRM and sales force market.
Top 10 mobile CRM and sales force buzzwords
3. GPS messaging
5. Mobile device management
6. Mobile VPN
7. Sales force automation
8. Short message
A BlackBerry is a handheld device made by RIM (Research In Motion) that is marketed primarily for its wireless email handling capability, though it also provides access to other Internet services. BlackBerry is also a personal digital assistant (PDA) that can include software for maintaining a built-in address book and personal schedule, and it can be used as a pager. BlackBerry's makers provide software that forwards a user's incoming mail from the user's individual email account or to a user's corporate email address through a customer-selected wireless network to the BlackBerry where it is stored for reading. Outgoing email goes directly to the addressee from the BlackBerry but a copy of the email also goes to the user's home email box.
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Bluetooth is a telecommunications industry specification that describes how mobile phones, computers, and PDAs can be easily interconnected using a short-range wireless connection. Using this technology, users of cellular phones, pagers, and personal digital assistants can buy a three-in-one phone that can double as a portable phone at home or in the office, get quickly synchronized with information in a desktop or notebook computer, initiate the sending or receiving of a fax, initiate a print-out, and, in general, have all mobile and fixed computer devices be totally coordinated.
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GPS messaging is a wireless messaging system for location-specific rather than recipient-specific messages. The messages are sent and received by people with GPS (Global Positioning System) locators in their wireless devices; messages are linked to the location of the sender and accessed by any equipped mobile user entering that location. GPS messaging is sometimes called mid-air messaging, because that's where the messages seem to be located.
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A handheld computer is a computer that can be stored in a pocket and used while you're holding it. Today's handheld computers, which are also called PDAs, can be divided into those that accept handwriting as input and those with small keyboards. Today, the most popular handheld that accepts handwritten input is the PalmPilot from 3Com. Philips, Casio, NEC, Compaq, and other companies make handhelds with small keyboards. Handheld computers are typically used for personal information manager (PIM) types of applications.
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Mobile device management (MDM) refers to any routine or tool intended to distribute applications, data and configuration settings to mobile communications devices, such as laptop computers, cell phones and PDAs. Mobile device management allows administrators to oversee the operation of conventional cell phones, smart phones, and similar devices as easily as is done with desktop computers. The ideal mobile device management tool is compatible with all common handheld device operating platforms and applications, can function through multiple service providers and can be implemented directly over the air, targeting specific devices as necessary.
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A mobile VPN is a network configuration in which mobile devices such as notebook computers or PDAs access a virtual private network (VPN) or an intranet while moving from one physical location to another. An effective mobile VPN provides continuous service to users and can seamlessly switch across access technologies and multiple public and private networks. The functioning of an effective mobile VPN is transparent to the end user without compromising security or privacy.
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Sales force automation software is a type of program that automates business tasks such as inventory control, sales processing, and tracking of customer interactions, as well as analyzing sales forecasts and performance. Businesses may have a custom version developed specifically for their needs, or choose from among the increasing number of sales automation software products, such as Interact Commerce's ACT! and GoldMine Software's GoldMine. SFA packages typically include a Web-ready database, an email package, and customizable templates.
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A short message is a brief text message sent to or from a mobile phone subscriber through the Short Message Service (SMS). The standard short message consists of up to 160 alphanumeric characters. A short message is exchanged between two mobile devices or between a nonmobile device and a mobile device (for example, a short message can be sent from a PC hooked up to the Internet to a mobile subscriber). Short messages are stored in and forwarded from a Short Message Service Center (SMSC) so the recipient can get messages that arrive when their mobile device is not turned on.
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SMS is a service for sending short messages to mobile phones that use Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication. GSM and SMS service is primarily available in Europe. SMS is similar to paging. However, SMS messages do not require the mobile phone to be active and within range and will be held for a number of days until the phone is active and within range. SMS messages are transmitted within the same cell or to anyone with roaming service capability. Typical uses of SMS include notifying a mobile phone owner of a voicemail message, notifying a salesperson of an inquiry and contact to call or notifying a service person of the time and place of their next call.
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Wireless is a term used to describe telecommunications in which electromagnetic waves (rather than some form of wire) carry the signal over part or all of the communication path. Some monitoring devices, such as intrusion alarms, employ acoustic waves at frequencies above the range of human hearing; these are also sometimes classified as wireless. Common examples of wireless equipment in use today include cellular phones and pagers, GPS, cordless computer peripherals and wireless local area networks.
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This was first published in June 2007