Top 5 CRM Apps for iPad

Alexander Roth

From simple facts and figures, to comprehensive data management and transformation, CRM apps keep sales employees up-to-date while in the field. These are our top 5 picks.

Top 5 CRM Apps for iPad

See the most important customer information at a glance, up-to-date, and synced with the backend system even while on the go. That is exactly what some of the current business apps for customer relationship management (CRM) make possible. Newcomers and classics alike – we present our top 5 picks.


CRM Mate for iPad

Customer management without the marathon implementation

Computer-supported CRM has traditionally been carried out using comprehensive software systems based on databases. This involves elaborate implementation projects and lengthy trainings. The CRM Mate app for the iPad works completely differently. Immediately after downloading the app from Apple’s App Store – at a price of $9.99 – users can manage customer and contact information as well as sales prospects and business transactions. They also can get an overview of any outstanding tasks and see the current status of existing sales projects. It is even possible to check details in a graphical overview, using just two fingers to zoom into the relevant information. Customer records are depicted as files in a bookcase, making it easy to keep information organized. Pulling up the correct file is a cinch; users simply use the search function.

For those that want an easy CRM tool to use while on the go, but don’t want to give up on backend functionality, CRM Mate offers the possibility to integrate with standard CRM software using preconfigured interfaces. SAP solutions as well as CAS solutions are supported. More information is available in the App Store.


iNotes CRM

Concentrated on the most important information

There is a long history of mobile CRM clients for sales employees in the field. Nevertheless, these clients are often found wanting, not only when it comes to practical features like the lightness of the device, but even more so when it comes to intuitive user interfaces. Modern apps like iNotes CRM work under the motto “less is more”. The spectrum of services is restricted to mobile documentation of work reports and customer contacts.

For detailed work reports, users can capture the most important data with iNotes CRM, such as the start and end of a project, type of activity, status, cost for labor and materials, contacts, signatures, photos, audio recordings, and documents. The app supports fast and easy management of customer contacts with a clear input screen for dates, descriptions, notes, people, and status. Users can printo out the data sets and documents as PDF files or send them via e-mail. They can also customize the headers and footers in the documents with their own text and graphics.

iNotes CRM is based on the note management app, iNotes, and includes the app’s complete range of services for creating and managing text and audio notes on a tablet. iNotes CRM is also available for the iPhone, and, for version 1.3.0 or higher, it includes a connection to Dropbox for data exchange between multiple devices. Thus, users can easily capture important customer information on their smartphone when they bump into a customer or prospect at the gym or airport, and edit the details later on their tablet. The app costs $3.99. More information can be found in the App Store.


moTrade – Mobile order reporting

Retail specialist

An iPad app geared especially towards the field service workers of retail companies? That’s exactly what the moTrade app from mobile only SI GmbH delivers. This app supports the presentation of products, records orders, and enables access to current customer and prospective customer information. Together with the fee-based moTrade communications server, the free app displays product photos, orders, and customer addresses from the company’s ERP system on the iPad. At the same time, it enables order creation and management. The necessary server software from moTrade connects with a number of IT systems, such as SAP, Microsoft Dynamics (Navision), Mesonic WinLine, Sage OfficeLine, and iFax. Since the data created in the app is saved on the iPad, a permanent internet connection isn’t necessary.

A multi-level selection and sortingconcept ensures quick location of individual articles – even when dealing with a large assortment. Users can define customer specific conditions and graduated pricing for automatic sorting. Customers can even sign the final order directly on the tablet.

A test version of the moTrade app is available in the App Store at no cost. Interested users can try it out using a synchronized server wtih a demo database.


update CRMpad

Accessible even when offline

Even today, sales employees who work in the field don’t always have an Internet connection. And wireless Internet isn’t always available. The developers of update CRMpad saw the need for a CRM app that can also be used offline. In online-mode, the app connects directly to the user’s CRM system. Users receive a clear dashboard with customer visits, tasks, and the most important customers. In online- as well as offline-mode, they can also carry out processes, such as customer data management, contact and lead management, task editing, and order management. In their day-to-day work, users are likely to enjoy the simple and efficient quick capturing of order items as well as the GPS and maps support for customer visits.

The use of CRM with the “mobile services” module is required for the app. Interested users can test the most important functions of the app in a demo. More information is available in the App Store or under


Audius dashface

Visualize diverse processes

An app that is easy to use on a tablet often means that it is extremely standardized and restricted to the basic functions. But CRM functions are exactly where many businesses rely on individualized processes, and these are nearly impossible to carry out with standard apps. This is where audius dashface comes in – for both iPad and Android users. It works independently of backend software. With this, sales employees are able to create and work on even complex customer contracts in their company’s CRM system, all from their tablet. The solution comprises the compenents “Configuration Manager”, “Information Broker”, and “Client Rendering Engine” – these provide for a flexible connection between the mobile client and the company’s backend software system via broad interfaces.

With the Configuration Manager, users can prepare and choose content for presentation and transformation in the app. Thus, companies can create their own additional apps for user and office data, sales figures, current customer information, contact reports, or service calls, and make these available to their sales force. The establishment of these processes is designed to be quite intuitive.

The Information Broker, in comparison, delivers very simple, “naked” information from the backend to the client, and vice versa. The Client Rendering Engine makes it possible to display this data in the form that is best suited to each use.

The cost of the solution depends on the number of users. More information and demo apps can be found in the App Store or on Google Play.




Why 3D Printed Food Just Transformed Your Supply Chain

Hans Thalbauer

Numerous sectors are experimenting with 3D printing, which has the potential to disrupt many markets. One that’s already making progress is the food industry.

The U.S. Army hopes to use 3D printers to customize food for each soldier. NASA is exploring 3D printing of food in space. The technology could eventually even end hunger around the world.

What does that have to do with your supply chain? Quite a bit — because 3D printing does more than just revolutionize the production process. It also requires a complete realignment of the supply chain.

And the way 3D printing transforms the supply chain holds lessons for how organizations must reinvent themselves in the new era of the extended supply chain.

Supply chain spaghetti junction

The extended supply chain replaces the old linear chain with not just a network, but a network of networks. The need for this network of networks is being driven by four key factors: individualized products, the sharing economy, resource scarcity, and customer-centricity.

To understand these forces, imagine you operate a large restaurant chain, and you’re struggling to differentiate yourself against tough competition. You’ve decided you can stand out by delivering customized entrees. In fact, you’re going to leverage 3D printing to offer personalized pasta.

With 3D printing technology, you can make one-off pasta dishes on the fly. You can give customers a choice of ingredients (gluten-free!), flavors (salted caramel!), and shapes (Leaning Towers of Pisa!). You can offer the personalized pasta in your restaurants, in supermarkets, and on your ecommerce website.

You may think this initiative simply requires you to transform production. But that’s just the beginning. You also need to re-architect research and development, demand signals, asset management, logistics, partner management, and more.

First, you need to develop the matrix of ingredients, flavors, and shapes you’ll offer. As part of that effort, you’ll have to consider health and safety regulations.

Then, you need to shift some of your manufacturing directly into your kitchens. That will also affect packaging requirements. Logistics will change as well, because instead of full truckloads, you’ll be delivering more frequently, with more variety, and in smaller quantities.

Next, you need to perfect demand signals to anticipate which pasta variations in which quantities will come through which channels. You need to manage supply signals source more kinds of raw materials in closer to real time.

Last, the source of your signals will change. Some will continue to come from point of sale. But others, such as supplies replenishment and asset maintenance, can come direct from your 3D printers.

Four key ingredients of the extended supply chain

As with our pasta scenario, the drivers of the extended supply chain require transformation across business models and business processes. First, growing demand for individualized products calls for the same shifts in R&D, asset management, logistics, and more that 3D printed pasta requires.

Second, as with the personalized entrees, the sharing economy integrates a network of partners, from suppliers to equipment makers to outsourced manufacturing, all electronically and transparently interconnected, in real time and all the time.

Third, resource scarcity involves pressures not just on raw materials but also on full-time and contingent labor, with the necessary skills and flexibility to support new business models and processes.

And finally, for personalized pasta sellers and for your own business, it all comes down to customer-centricity. To compete in today’s business environment and to meet current and future customer expectations, all your operations must increasingly revolve around rapidly comprehending and responding to customer demand.

Want to learn more? Check out my recent video on digitalizing the extended supply chain.


Hans Thalbauer

About Hans Thalbauer

Hans Thalbauer is the Senior Vice President, Extended Supply Chain, at SAP. He is responsible for the strategic direction and the Go-To-Market of solutions for Supply Chain, Logistics, Engineering/R&D, Manufacturing, Asset Management and Sustainability at SAP.

How to Design a Flexible, Connected Workspace 

John Hack, Sam Yen, and Elana Varon

SAP_Digital_Workplace_BRIEF_image2400x1600_2The process of designing a new product starts with a question: what problem is the product supposed to solve? To get the right answer, designers prototype more than one solution and refine their ideas based on feedback.

Similarly, the spaces where people work and the tools they use are shaped by the tasks they have to accomplish to execute the business strategy. But when the business strategy and employees’ jobs change, the traditional workspace, with fixed walls and furniture, isn’t so easy to adapt. Companies today, under pressure to innovate quickly and create digital business models, need to develop a more flexible work environment, one in which office employees have the ability to choose how they work.

SAP_Digital_Emotion_BRIEF_image175pxWithin an office building, flexibility may constitute a variety of public and private spaces, geared for collaboration or concentration, explains Amanda Schneider, a consultant and workplace trends blogger. Or, she adds, companies may opt for customizable spaces, with moveable furniture, walls, and lighting that can be adjusted to suit the person using an unassigned desk for the day.

Flexibility may also encompass the amount of physical space the company maintains. Business leaders want to be able to set up operations quickly in new markets or in places where they can attract top talent, without investing heavily in real estate, says Sande Golgart, senior vice president of corporate accounts with Regus.

Thinking about the workspace like a designer elevates decisions about the office environment to a strategic level, Golgart says. “Real estate is beginning to be an integral part of the strategy, whether that strategy is for collaborating and innovating, driving efficiencies, attracting talent, maintaining higher levels of productivity, or just giving people more amenities to create a better, cohesive workplace,” he says. “You will see companies start to distance themselves from their competition because they figured out the role that real estate needs to play within the business strategy.”

The SAP Center for Business Insight program supports the discovery and development of  new research-­based thinking to address the challenges of business and technology executives.


Sam Yen

About Sam Yen

Sam Yen is the Chief Design Officer for SAP and the Managing Director of SAP Labs Silicon Valley. He is focused on driving a renewed commitment to design and user experience at SAP. Under his leadership, SAP further strengthens its mission of listening to customers´ needs leading to tangible results, including SAP Fiori, SAP Screen Personas and SAP´s UX design services.


Why New Technology Has An Adoption Problem

Danielle Beurteaux

When 3D printing became a practical reality, in the sense that the actual printers became more efficient, less expensive, and more accessible to the average consumer, there was an assumption that the consumer 3D printing market was going to take off. We’d all have printers at home printing…. what? Our clothes? Toys? Spare organs?

That has yet to happen. 3D printing company MakerBot just went through its second employee layoff this year, driven by a market that’s developing much slower than predicted.

That same thinking is in play with a somewhat more prosaic technology – digital wallets. Apple Pay was released this year, as was Samsung Pay. There’s also Google’s Android Pay. During an earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “We are more confident than ever that 2015 will be the year of Apple Pay.” But that expectation has yet to be realized, at least vis-à-vis consumers.

Consumers aren’t using any of the digital wallets en masse. According to Bloomberg, payments made via mobile wallets – all of them – make up a mere 1% of retail purchases in the U.S. The reason is that consumers just don’t see a compelling reason to use them. There’s no real reward for them to change from SOP.

Both these instances highlight a problem with assumptions about mass adoption for new technology – just because it’s cool, interesting, and accessible doesn’t mean a market-worthy mass of people will use it.

Who is more likely to use mobile wallets? Emerging economies without a stable financial and banking systems. In those environments, digital payments present a more secure and quicker method for purchasing. These are the same areas where mobile adoption leapfrogged older technologies because there was a lack of telecommunications infrastructure, i.e. many never had a landline phone to begin with, and they went directly to mobile. The value-add already exists. (But there are also security issues, to which consumers are becoming more sensitive. A hack of Samsung’s U.S. subsidiary LoopPay network was uncovered five months post-hack. Although one was expert quoted as saying the hackers may not have been interested in selling consumer financial info but instead in tracking individuals.)

Here’s some interesting data and a good point made: mobile payments are most popular in situations where the buyer already has his or her phone in hand and the transaction is made even quicker than swiping plastic. For example, purchases made for London Transit rides are responsible for a good portion of the U.K.’s mobile payments.

Mass technology adoption is no longer driven simply by the release of a new product. There are too many products released constantly now, the market is too diverse, and the products often lack a true raison d’être.

Learn more about how creative and innovative companies are finding their customers. Read Compelling Shopping Moments: 4 Creative Ways Stores Connect With Their Customers.


Mobile Marketing Continues To Explode

Daniel Newman

If your brand isn’t among those planning a significant spend on mobile marketing in 2016, you need to stop treating it like a fad and step up to meet your competition. Usage statistics show that today people live and work while on the move, and the astronomical rise of mobile ad spending proves it.

According to eMarketer, ad spending experienced triple-digit growth in 2013 and 2014. While it’s slowed in 2015, don’t let that fool you: Mobile ad spending was $19.2 billion in 2013, and eMarketer’s forecast for next year is $101.37 billion—51 percent of the digital market.

  1. Marketers follow consumer behavior, and consumers rely on their mobile devices. The latest findings from show that two-third of Americans are now smartphone owners. Around the world, there are two billion smartphone users and, particularly in developing regions, eMarketer notes “many consumers are accessing the internet mobile-first and mobile-only.”
  2. The number of mobile users has already surpassed the number of desktop users, as has the number of hours people spend on mobile Internet use, and business practices are changing as a result. Even Google has taken notice; earlier this year the search giant rolled out what many referred to as “Mobilegeddon”—an algorithm update that prioritizes mobile-optimized sites.

The implications are crystal clear: To ignore mobile is to ignore your customers. If your customers can’t connect with you via mobile—whether through an ad, social, or an optimized web experience—they’ll move to a competitor they can connect with.

Consumers prefer mobile — and so should you

Some people think mobile marketing has made things harder for marketers. In some ways, it has: It’s easy to make missteps in a constantly changing landscape.

At the same time, however, modern brands can now reach customers at any time of the day, wherever they are, as more than 90 percent of users now have a mobile device within arm’s reach 24/7. This has changed marketing, allowing brands to build better and more personalized connections with their fans.

  • With that extra nudge from Google, beating your competition and showing up in search by having a website optimized for devices of any size is essential.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) helps people find you online; SEO integration for mobile is even more personalized, hyper local, and targeted to an individual searcher.
  • In-app advertisements put your brand in front of an engaged audience.
  • Push messages keep customers “in the know” about offers, discounts, opportunities for loyalty points, and so much more.

And don’t forget about the power of apps, whose usage takes up 85 percent of the total time consumers spend on their smartphones. Brands like Nike and Starbucks are excellent examples of how to leverage the power of being carried around in someone’s pocket.

Personal computers have never been able to offer such a targeted level of reach. We’ve come to a point where marketing without mobile isn’t really marketing at all.

Mobile marketing tools are on the upswing too

As more mobile-empowered consumers themselves from their desks to the street, the rapid rise of mobile shows no signs of slowing down. This is driving more investment into mobile marketing solutions and programs.

According to VentureBeat’s Mobile Success Landscape, mobile engagement—which includes mobile marketing automation—is second only to app analytics in terms of investment. Mobile marketing has become a universe unto itself, one that businesses are eager to measure more effectively.

Every day, mobile marketing is becoming ever more critical for businesses. Brands that fail to incorporate mobile into their ad, content, and social campaigns will be left wondering where their customers have gone.


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photo credit: Samsung Galaxy S3 via photopin (license)

About Daniel Newman

Daniel Newman serves as the Co-Founder and CEO of EC3, a quickly growing hosted IT and Communication service provider. Prior to this role Daniel has held several prominent leadership roles including serving as CEO of United Visual. Parent company to United Visual Systems, United Visual Productions, and United GlobalComm; a family of companies focused on Visual Communications and Audio Visual Technologies. Daniel is also widely published and active in the Social Media Community. He is the Author of Amazon Best Selling Business Book "The Millennial CEO." Daniel also Co-Founded the Global online Community 12 Most and was recognized by the Huffington Post as one of the 100 Business and Leadership Accounts to Follow on Twitter. Newman is an Adjunct Professor of Management at North Central College. He attained his undergraduate degree in Marketing at Northern Illinois University and an Executive MBA from North Central College in Naperville, IL. Newman currently resides in Aurora, Illinois with his wife (Lisa) and his two daughters (Hailey 9, Avery 5). A Chicago native all of his life, Newman is an avid golfer, a fitness fan, and a classically trained pianist