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Salesforce.com Is Always Just an Email Away

It can be a complex world when mobile devices need to access enterprise-based customer relationship management (CRM) applications. However, gaining fast access to the most up-to-date data may wind up being as easy as sending an email.

That's the goal of Dejima Direct SFA, which will be announced tomorrow by Dejima Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based mobile access software provider, and CRM ASP salesforce.com. As long as you have access to email, you have access to real-time information from any device — with no integration issues or middleware to worry about.

Dejima product manager Julian Tandler told ASPnews that the benefit of Dejima Direct SFA is the quality of the data it provides field sales reps. "More up-to-date information is more accurate information." The value of data, Tandler said, is determined by your ability to access it when you need it. For example, a mobile could tap into salesforce.com just before a meeting for last-minute information.

"We've finally made it simple. Dejima is expanding the capabilities of the mobile workforce by changing the way end-users access information and interact with enterprise applications," said Antoine Blondeau, CEO of Dejima.

Dejima's natural language technology allows users to send an "intelligent agent" to salesforce.com applications, Blondeau told ASPnews. After a user generates an email, it is interpreted by Dejima's natural language technology, which generates an XML-based query that is sent to the salesforce.com database. Within seconds, according to Blondeau, an XML-based reply is generated and returned to the mobile user.

"By leveraging our standards-based Web Services architecture and XML API's (application programming interface), Dejima was able to quickly deploy a solution that allows our customers to gain access to their critical information anytime, anywhere," said Cary Fulbright, senior vice president of marketing and products at salesforce.com.

Salesforce.com has recently started a push to become a larger force in the enterprise software market, where it would compete with the likes of PeopleSoft, Siebel and SAP (see Salesforce to Be Reckoned With and Salesforce.com Keeps Busy).

This strategy meshes well with Dejima's, according to Blondeau. "As salesforce.com moves to the enterprise, we will, too."

Like salesforce, Tandler told ASPnews, Dejima will offer a 30-day free trial "with immediate access and no integration issues." Pricing for Dejima Direct SFA is $10 per user, per month. Volume pricing will be negotiated, Tandler said. "We will work with people."

"At $10 a person, we do need to sell lots," Blondeau told ASPnews. "But our costs are low."

Dejima Direct SFA, which will be available on May 15, will be sold direct and also through referrals from salesforce.com and Research in Motion, makers of Blackberry, a popular wireless email device.

For those who find even an email interface to CRM too much to deal with Dejima is working on speech input for Dejima Direct SFA, Blondeau told ASPnews. "We have developed enhanced speech recognition." Responses would be generated with text-to-voice software.


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