There are two technological revolutions taking place right now. The thing is that the combination of these two coexisting is extremely serendipitous, because they are just fueling each other like a runaway chain reaction. The mobile revolution and the SaaS revolution may, when we look at it in retrospect in the future, prove to be inevitable to coexist like this, but for now, it just seems like really good happenstance. Either way, it’s hit a few walls, one of them being the ability to offer solid Android CRM solutions.
CRM is one of the biggest applications of SaaS for the moment, as it was one of the niches left wanting the most before SaaS was practical. Along with this, many people are discovering that Android is in fact the best (and quickly becoming standard) mobile and tablet platform. iOS has Apple’s typical limitations and horrible design disguised by a pretty veneer, and Windows Mobile is like pulling teeth from an alligator to use. Blackberry … well, it’s too proprietary, more so than even iOS. So, when looking for mobile CRM functionality, people almost always conclude that what they’re going to need is Android CRM.
But, are there any offerings for this yet? While the mobile revolution has been going on for a while, businesses are just now starting to really respect these systems as good and convenient for on the fly business processes, and only thanks to the platform independence and extended computing power that SaaS enables. So, you’re going to find that most of the CRM solutions for Android are extensions of established SaaS CRM. But not always.
#1 – Salesforce Mobile for Android
Salesforce is regarded by most as the top CRM solution in the SaaS industry, and for good reason. With customizable forms, records and controls, an amazing API, and an unbeatable App Exchange market for adding on features, nobody’s arguing that it’s on top. But, using the browser-based solution on Android or any mobile platform is awkward.
But their mobile app works amazingly on Android (iOS dies trying, hah), and it provides access to everything but the forms authoring and programming aspects, which you don’t want to do from your tablet or mobile anyhow.
#2 – Zoho CRM (Android App)
Zoho is another one getting a lot of attention, more for its standard programming API and its native integration to pretty much everything that doesn’t integrate with Salesforce. So, it’s good to know that like Salesforce, the mobile version is about as inclusive with Zoho as Salesforce’s is. It’s a little less powerful and a little more awkward, but if you’re already using Zoho, or you’re out to pick some CRM and have a lot of other systems that are compatible with Zoho … you can rest assured that your Android devices will get along with it!
#3 – Base CRM
An alternative designed around mobile systems almost completely, Base CRM is probably going to be your best choice if you’re planning to be almost entirely mobile with your CRM handling. This is unlikely right now, but some future businesses will work this way. So, in a way, Base CRM is kind of ahead of its time.
It has all the creature comforts you want out of CRM, such as fast sales tracking, easy form creation, custom records and the like. It’s also compatible with desktops over a more traditional SaaS model, but it’s geared more for a business using a lot of mobile access.
It lacks the flexibility and abundance of extensions that the other solutions have, however.
So, yeah, Android CRM systems do exist. They’re just mostly extensions of bigger suites, and honestly, that’s kind of how it ought to be.