Why Outlook and iTunes are required for wired (USB) sync with iPhone

First, the facts:

1. CompanionLink can sync wired or wireless with the iPhone.

2. Wired sync uses Outlook and iTunes as intermediaries (working behind the scenes).

We get many people asking why Outlook and iTunes are required to do a USB sync between their CRM/PIM to their iPhone.  Here’s why.

Apple only allows developers to sync data with the iPhone via its iTunes application.  Everything must go through iTunes when doing a USB sync.  Since iTunes natively syncs with Outlook, we’ve developed the missing link: the exchange of data between your CRM/PIM and Outlook.

So essentially, this is how wired (USB) sync with iPhone works:
CRM/PIM <> Outlook <> iTunes <> iPhone

BlackBerry Storm buyer's remorse?

This Engadget post references some less-than-scientific reports that claim many (as much as 50%) of the Storm devices are being returned. We can’t confirm this figure, and I doubt RIM will do so.

However, these previous Storm users are most likely migrating to other smartphones – Apple iPhone, BlackBerry Bold, Windows Mobile, Palm OS,  or the new Android-based G1.

Rest assured your sync needs are covered with CompanionLink, which will sync with any and all of these platforms.

Slowing smartphone sales in 2009?

Gartner Group, a leading market research firm, said the growth in sales of smartphones slowed to 11.5% in Q3/2008.  This marks the weakest growth they’ve seen since Garnter started tracking sales in the mobile sector.

RIM, makers of the BlackBerry, lowered their 3Q earnings forecast due to “shifts in product-launch dates” — in other words, the later-than-expected releases of the BlackBerry Bold and Storm.  However, they claim that initial sales of the BlackBerry Storm has set records.

The data can get confusing and contradictory at times. Only time will tell.

Here’s the big question: will sales of “smartphones” continue to eat away at the sales of regular (good old) “cell phones?”  More people are choosing to buy smartphones over regular phones that don’t offer email and web browsing capabilities.  Will this trend hold up in 2009 and our uncertain economic times?

The fall of Entellium CRM

The December 2008 issue of CRM Magazine tells us what went wrong with Entellium, an upcoming CRM platform.  Amidst corporate fraud and mismanagement, customers using Entellium’s services are in quite a pickle: how do they get their data off of Entellium’s servers, and how much time do they have to migrate to a new CRM platform if/when Entellium goes dark?

To that, I’ll add: is Entellium even telling their customers what the future for the platform holds?

Extra! Extra! Read all about it here.

Needless to say, the reputation and corporate governance practices of a company should play an enormous role in the buy process for customers in the market for a CRM solution.  The reputation for web-based CRM systems (like Entellium Rave) are even more critical because all your data is hosted by them.  If they go dark, so does your data.

Takeaway question: if your CRM provider went out of business tomorrow, what are your contingency plans for your customer data?  Having a plan never hurts.

iPhone continues push into the business community

Small businesses are increasingly switching to the iPhone from other types of devices like BlackBerry, Palm and Windows Mobile.  While larger organizations have a harder time (understandably) switching infrastructure, smaller companies are making the move to add the iPhone to their business arsenal.

Here’s a link to the entire article: Businesses warming up to the iPhone

CompanionLink users don’t have to worry about whether or not they can sync if they switch to the iPhone.  CompanionLink offers complete two-way sync with the iPhone (both wired and wireless).