iPhone CRM News: IBM Brings Collaboration to The iPhone, and The BlackBerry Is Falling From Grace

It may not be the biggest surprise to hear iPhone-related announcements while the Macworld conference is taking place, but we at BlogCRM are always interested in seeing that phone’s trajectory in becoming an enterprise staple, and the iPhone CRM functions that arise. Today’s news: IBM will demonstrate new enterprise-facing collaboration software (from the Lotus Software family) for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and all Mac computers.

IBM’s general manager of Lotus Software, Alistair Rennie, told Information Week in an interview that mobility has always been integral to a complete collaboration software package, and that the iPhone in particular has largely been a driver of that. He also made a point of telling the magazine that the introduction of Lotus to Mac wasn’t driven by the iPhone’s success, but that IBM has been focused on bringing enterprise to Apple products for quite a while. The fusion of IBM Lotus Software and the iPhone isn’t entirely iPhone CRM-related, but as collaboration software is becoming more and more integral to CRM processes, the implications of this combination could be significant.

Another possible point of interest for the future of iPhone CRM: based on the literature regarding the release, the Apple connection was at least partly forged due to the iPhone’s success as a social networking tool. Of late, both sales and marketing teams have realized there are serious benefits to be gleaned from folding social media into outreach strategies, and the iPhone’s status as a “social media phone” will certainly boost its chances of iPhone CRM becoming the preferred mobile method.

Even though Gartner’s research has shown the iPhone isn’t taking hold of enterprise the way some would like, its status in enterprise will undoubtedly change within the next couple of years. RIM’s BlackBerry reportedly has 63% of the enterprise market share, and in comparison iPhone usage pales. But IBM is not the only company investing in the iPhone and putting other smartphones on the backburner—earlier this month, CMS vendor CrownPeak announced it was offering content management capabilities for smartphones. Customers using iPhone and Android phones (including the latest Droid) will have access. Noticeably absent from CrownPeak’s list? The BlackBerry.

Things to look out for: moving forward, I’m curious to see if the iPhone usurps the BlackBerry in enterprise, or even if the iPhone and Android fight for the top spot. Also, while “Enterprise 2.0” is only slowly taking on, Social CRM is becoming a fairly sought-after segment, and I’m interested to see if the iPhone’s “It” status—often considered the iPhone’s biggest hurdle in enterprise accessibility—ultimately cements its place in enterprise.

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