Galaxy S4 coming February 2013. CompanionLink will sync with S4.

Fresh on the heels of the iPhone 5 announcement, Samsung announces the Galaxy S IV device will debut February 2013 at the Mobile World Congress.

The Galaxy S2 and Galaxy S3 have been two of the most popular devices for business users buying CompanionLink.  We expect that trend to continue with the upcoming Galaxy S4.  The phone is the closest one-to-one competitor of iPhone 5 in terms of features and reputation.  The S4 is built for business and pleasure. CompanionLink and our companion DejaOffice app for Android adds to the “business” side of the equation by enabling features missing on S2 and S3 (and presumably S4), such as:

  • database encryption
  • logging business notes after incoming phone calls
  • business-focused view and sort options for Contacts
  • color-coded categories that match systems like Microsoft Outlook
  • one-click setting to keep business and personal data separate on device

Our website will have all the latest on Galaxy S4 support as the launch nears.

How Will You Sync the iPhone 5?

Most of the tech news today is focused on Apple’s announcement of the new iPhone 5. The new device is stunning and we’re just as excited as you to get our hands on one. As we have with each new iPhone release, CompanionLink is fully committed to supporting sync with the iPhone 5 as soon as it’s available. What exactly does that mean?


DejaOffice – A Complete CRM for iPhone 5

DejaOffice is a business-friendly CRM app for the new iPhone 5 that includes contacts, calendar, tasks, notes, and expense capabilities. Why use DejaOffice instead of the native iPhone 5 apps? It’s simple: DejaOffice was built to support advanced CRMs like Sage ACT!, Lotus Notes, Salesforce.com, and Outlook Business Contact Manager (just to name a few).

  • DejaOffice supports color-coded categories. Many CRM systems use color categorization to keep data organized. CompanionLink supports the syncing of categories and their respective colors to DejaOffice on the iPhone 5, allowing you to filter and sort your records by category.DJOI - Categories
  • DejaOffice keeps your private data safe and secure – password protect sensitive records in your database. Records can be masked with asterisks ******** or hidden completely.DJOI - Private Records
  • Link contacts with calendar events, tasks, notes, and expenses like a true CRM. Linked records sync back to your CRM with the link intact.DJOI - Linked Records
  • DejaOffice allows your data to sync with the native Apple contacts and calendar, so features like caller ID and calendar alarms still work fine.

We’re currently working on adapting DejaOffice to the larger screen on the iPhone 5. We’ll be ready for launch day!


CompanionLink is iCloud-friendly

iCloud has been a success for Apple ever since it launched not too long ago. This is great if you work from a Mac, but what if your business data is in a CRM like ACT! or Palm Desktop?

CompanionLink can sync your PIM or CRM data to the iCloud folders in Microsoft Outlook. This means that your data will automatically sync with the iCloud service and your new iPhone 5, allowing you to access your business data while benefiting from the convenience of iCloud.

iCloud is great as long as you stay within Apple’s ecosystem, but what if you want to venture out and pick up an Android tablet or Kindle Fire? CompanionLink is currently working on our own cross-platform cloud service call DejaCloud. When it becomes available, DejaCloud will allow you to keep your PC, iPhone 5, and Android devices all seamlessly in sync. We expect DejaCloud to become available for iPhone 5 this winter!


The Best Fit for your CRM

CompanionLink can sync iPhone 5 with a wide variety of PIM and CRM databases. DejaOffice preserves your CRM data, and makes it easily accessible, even when offline. Why choose CompanionLink and DejaOffice for your CRM?

iPhone 5 with Sage ACT!
-No record limits
-Activities can be completed on the phone
-Supports proper international dialing formats
-Categories are set based on ID/Status or any other ACT! field
-Contact links to activities are preserved

iPhone 5 with Outlook Business Contact Manager
-Select which BCM folders you wish to sync with
-Syncs contact links from calendar events and tasks
-Supports Outlook category colors on the phone

iPhone 5 with Lotus Notes
-Syncs all Lotus Notes data, including custom recurring types
-Supports Lotus Notes categories
-No Domino server required

CompanionLink works with many other CRM databases in addition to the ones mentioned above. CompanionLink starts at $14.95 and comes with free email and phone support. To purchase CompanionLink, download a free trial, or for more information, please visit:
www.companionlink.com/iphone/

Forbes.com article includes CompanionLink in Top 9 Apps for Salespeople

This is a big day for CompanionLink.  Gene Marks, contributor for Forbes.com, mentioned CompanionLink in the same article as some heavyweights such Amazon, Evernote, and Square.  The article is about Gene’s top 9 apps that he recommends salespeople must have on their smartphones.

This is not a new company or two dudes working out of a garage.  My clients and I have used CompanionLink’s products for a decade.  I also like the fact that they’re not in bed with any one software maker – they make synching products for them all.

CompanionLink has always felt there is strong value in offer mobile business professionals a reliable and platform-agnostic way to integrate their phones with their business contacts, agenda, and notes.  Our mantra has always been “Your data, your device.”  We’re proud to support the entire spectrum of major mobile platforms and let you choose which device to use and how you wish you keep your data integrated. We do it with integrity and without farming or selling your data to advertisers because we feel that’s what business professionals really want.

Today’s mention by Gene was a testimonial for our mission.  Thank you, Gene.

The killer feature Windows Phone 8 needs to make a dent in the smartphone wars

Android is the brand of choices. They let you pick your carrier, color, and device maker.  Android offers options and flexibility.  Apple iPhone is the brand for a magical ecosystem that works in harmony if you use their phone, apps, and computers.  The user experience is unparalleled.

And Windows Phone plans to make a dent…?

They can indeed.  The answer lies in looking at the past and coming to terms with their core.  Once upon a time, people preferred the old Microsoft Windows Mobile devices over popular BlackBerry and Palm Treo options because of the tight integration Microsoft delivered with business software like Exchange, ActiveSync, Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, and other business apps.  Windows Mobile shipped with a fluent user experience (much like Apple today) if you lived within Microsoft’s software, back-end, and phones.

The key to Windows Phone 8 making a dent is to reintroduce tight integration to their own business software suite of Microsoft Office.  It’s surprising (and ridiculous) this even needs to be stated.  Here’s an 86-page(!) and growing thread of frustrated people who just want their old ActiveSync desktop client back for plain old USB sync between a Windows Phone and Microsoft Outlook.  This is yester-year’s technology folks!  No breakthrough needed — just bring it back!

In the push towards cloudifying everything, Microsoft has forgotten their past.  At their core, they are a company focused on the productivity audience.  MS Office is still their breadwinner and still the go-to app for people at work, home, school, fill in the blank…

Just a thought.

Add business CRM functions to Motorola’s new flagship RAZR line (DROID RAZR HD, RAZR Maxx HD and RAZR M)

Motorola’s first major device announcement under new parent Google and a new CEO includes three major devices — DROID RAZR HD, DROID RAZR MAXX HD, and DROID RAZR M.  Their core competency still remains their dedication to Android, 4G LTE (courtesy of Verizon), and some of the longest lasting batteries that ship with Android devices.

All three competencies point squarely on the business audience — people who need fast internet access and batteries that can last the entire day on the road.

CompanionLink augments these business competencies by adding CRM functionality on Motorola’s new products.  With the DejaOffice CRM app for Android, business people can store over 50,000 records, encrypt and lock their entire client database and notes, sort a long list of contacts by company name or last name, or sort by zip code or city.

CompanionLink also synchronizes CRM databases like Sage ACT!, SugarCRM, Zoho, Salesforce, and many others directly to Motorola devices.  This allows businesses to use the CompanionLink ecosystem to keep CRM data updated, encrypted, and easily accessible.

Unlimited Outlook sync for people buying the Galaxy S2 on T-Mobile’s new unlimited internet access plans

T-Mobile and Walmart are offering the Samsung Galaxy S2 off-contract for $299.  You sign up with T-Mobile’s new unlimited internet access (data) and texting for just $30 per month. No annual subscriptions.

That’s a great offer for people averse to contracts. Granted, the S2 is an older phone.  But it is one of the most popular Android devices ever!

Folks will need a way to load their contacts and calendar events on their S2.  CompanionLink offers software to load your S2 with data from popular PC apps like Microsoft Outlook.  The 14-day trial is free and offers unlimited data sync. If you wish to continue synchronizing, prices start as low as $14.95.

Sync Outlook Journal to Android, iPhone, and iPad

CompanionLink can sync Microsoft Outlook Journal to Android, iPhone, and iPad devices.  While relatively few people use Journal entries compared to the other data types in Outlook, those who do are in dire need of a way to get Journal on their mobile devices.

Here’s how to sync Journal to mobile:

  1. Download CompanionLink for Outlook. This product installs on a PC and can be set up to sync Microsoft Outlook with smartphones and tablets.
  2. In CompanionLink Settings, make sure the Journal option is selected. CompanionLink has other options also, such as Outlook contacts, calendar, tasks, and notes.
  3. Select your device type, such as Android, Apple iPhone, etc.
  4. Select your sync method. We recommend choosing DejaCloud for wireless sync of data.
  5. Click the Sync button.

Will Nokia and Microsoft introduce first Windows Phone 8 device on September 5, 2012?

Fresh off of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 announcement, Nokia and Microsoft have sent out invitations to a joint event to be held in New York on September 5.  Will this be the unveiling of the first Windows Phone 8 device?

Instead of fleeing to Android like every other device manufacturer has, Nokia has double-downed on the Windows Phone platform.  This presents a high-risk/high-reward situation for a company that is slowly climbing out of a financial slumber brought on by the onslaught of iPhone and Android.  Nokia is to the Windows Phone platform what Samsung is to Android.

Inconclusive is whether Windows Phone 8 really goes mainstream.  There exists a huge open niche in the business market.  BlackBerry is quickly losing their foothold in mobile business because of their antiquated operating system.  Android and iPhone have chosen to primarily focus on the consumer crowd by emphasizing audio, video, social media, and gaming.  Windows Phone 8 has an opportunity to take cater squarely to business people who have been forced to kludge together apps and solutions to get a business tool that works for them.  Wouldn’t a business mobile device be a great fit with Microsoft’s bread winner, Microsoft Office?

CompanionLink is watching Nokia and Microsoft closely.  As CompanionLink pivots to mobile business CRM, we’re hoping Windows Phone 8 aligns with business people also.  Yes, we’ll be there to support them.  Like Nokia, we may even double-down.

Galaxy Note a popular device for business professionals

Samsung confirms that they have sold 10 million Galaxy Note devices since its inception nine months ago. I can attest to the popularity of Galaxy Note to the business audience.  Without getting into specific numbers, the Galaxy Note is third to only Galaxy SIII and Galaxy SII for the business audience we sell to.

It appears that professionals on the go really need a device that’s just big enough to be productive on, but without the excess baggage or cost of a large display like the iPad.  Not their laptop.  Not a full-blown tablet.

CompanionLink offers a $14.95 complete solution for owners of a Galaxy Note to sync with their business data in Microsoft Outlook and many other popular CRM tools.

Hacked clouds

Steve Wozniak predicts that the Cloud is going to be a “horrendous” place in the near future. We tend to agree, if Woz is referring to large players in the cloud market who attract ire.

Amazon, Apple, Dropbox, and Google have all been in the news cycle this week due to hacked or breached data that is stored in their secure clouds. The only Goliath spared the doom and gloom is, ironically, Microsoft. Mat Honan’s situation has become the talk of the town. But for every Honan, there are many others whose cloud security plight doesn’t reach mainstream news.

With this week’s dust-up, it’s clear that while the marketing departments at each of these companies want you to believe that you own your data and everything is meticulously watched-after, what they really mean is anyone with half a brain can own your account and data if a few security questions are answered correctly to a customer service “specialist” who also happens to be a college student. (No offense against college students.)

None of this is new. Hacked clouds and online security breaches have been happening since Salesforce.com made “cloud” armchair language. However, the more dust that flies due to breaches, the harder it becomes for business decision makers to move their enterprises to the cloud. Imagine how many companies were close to migrating their enterprise to the cloud last week, only to have pulled the reigns and wait for a better day when they can look their customers in the eye.

What we need is the emergence of private clouds that are not run by the Goliaths who have a financially vested interest to mine, sell, advertise, or otherwise disclose your data.

Small private turnkey clouds are too mundane to catch the ire of hackers. Think of the Windows OS virus magnet compared to the fledgling Mac OS X in the early days. Fewer hackers went after OS X because Apple wasn’t Goliath (oh the irony) and didn’t have the aura of world dominance. Our society thrives on small underdogs who fight to provide a more honest experience to people.

Where are the honest private clouds?