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"What the new iPad interface is supposed to offer is a new version of the sales interface that's much more friendly. It's something that a salesperson could use as the main port into CRM, at least for sales functions," Helm said.
According to Helm, Microsoft didn't intend the update to be an all-encompassing CRM interface that handles marketing, customer service and other non-sales functions. Rather, it aims to serve as a better front-end solution for people using Dynamics CRM Online on the iPad. Still, it's an important step.
"Mobile is probably one of the most important things all the CRM vendors are focusing on right now. As soon as you think mobile, iPad is inevitable," Helm said. "Because it's a browser interface, it's not something they can work with offline. That's something Microsoft is heading for longer term but it's not there yet. Microsoft originally considered rolling out some mobile apps from a partner but it sort of pulled back and is developing its own."