Zoho Releases CRM and Project Management Apps for Android and iPhone
Zoho recently released two new apps for mobile business. One is a CRM app for Android, and the other is for a project management app for iOS. While it's not clear whether the company will release companion apps respectively, or why they made different apps to begin with, they could prove useful for midsize businesses on the go.
A Focus on Android and iOS
The project management app, apparently specifically designed for the iPhone, lets users create new project-related tasks. You can also edit tasks or mark these as complete. The app uses a stopwatch-like widget so that users can log hours worked on a particular job within a project. This could also be handy for you as an IT professional for times when you need to perform off-site tasks. These hours are then included in the overall project time sheet later. The Android CRM app, on the other hand, provides contacts, leads, and accounts, among other features. According to InfoWorld, you can use the apps offline. The information is sent to Zoho's servers when the device is connected again.
Though there is talk of developing a CRM app for the iPad, there is no talk of a project management app for Android. However, Zoho indicates that there is more to come, and that they are focusing on Android and iOS, with Blackberry decreasing as a priority. Though they also offer Web-based versions where the site detects the device and adapts accordingly, they claim the app versions are "much faster."
Get Your IT on the Run
These have potential to help the "road warriors" of midsize businesses. But what will it mean for you? It seems easy enough, theoretically. However, this fragmentation of sorts might cause conflict if you've picked up the "bring your own device" (BYOD) policy. You might have both Android and iOS owners. You can hope that Android owners will only benefit from the CRM app. You can hope iOS owners will benefit from the project management app. Still, it seems more logical to either wait until something more synchronized comes along, or companion versions are released.
This isn't the most polished option yet. However, it's these types of apps that are necessary to truly take advantage of the mobile device mania in the workplace--apps that not only make productivity possible on the go, but which streamline the process. Indeed, easily having your mobile end users keep track of job hours or giving them more convenient access to client leads and contact information could prove to make workers remarkably more efficient. Even if these apps don't embody this vision, these could offer up inspiration. It might motivate other developing teams to work on similar more smoothly executed apps. Or, if you have one, it might motivate your in-house developing team to write cross-platform apps tailored to your midsize business's needs for whichever mobile operating systems you use regularly. Either way, it's the right direction for mobile IT.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.