CWR Mobility is a Microsoft Silver Certified ISV Partner and two-time Global Partner of the Year award winner. CWR Mobility provides native client applications for a variety of mobile devices to access Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM Platform. Their main solution is called CWR Mobile CRM.
CWR Mobile CRM runs on the following devices:
- Windows Phone (V7.1 and higher)
- iPad (1st, 2nd, 3rd Generation and iPad mini)
- iPhone (iPhone 3GS or newer with IOS 5.x or higher)
- Blackberry (Devices running OS6 or OS7 – excluding the Sprint Nexten iDen network)
- Andriod (Smartphones and tablets running Android 2.2 or higher)
In addition, CWR provides HTML access through its CWR Mobile CRM 2011 Express product which can be accessed by any smartphone or tablet with an HTML 4 compatible browser.
Connectivity – CWR Mobile CRM three connectivity modes; offline, online and hybrid. In offline mode, CWR Mobile CRM stores filtered data on the local device. Local data is synchronized automatically with the server on a times basis and when network connectivity is available. No user intervention is needed. In addition, CWR filters the data to make sure that only essential is loaded to the client thus reducing synchronization times. If the mobile client has network connectivity, CWR also supports online access to real-time data. Hybrid mode is the ability to view real-time while also synchronizing in the background.
Customization – CWR provides the ability to customize forms specifically for different types of mobile clients. If needed, different forms can be modified to support smaller form factor devices such as smartphones versus larger form factor devices such as tablets. Support for this feature is configured through the use of profiles. CWR installs a Mobile Administration module in the settings section of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.
Entities and Views. The CWR Mobile Configuration allows you to specify which entities and views will be available to different profiles and mobile devices.
Synchronization Filters. Synchronization settings can be customized to include interval and background processing modes.
Profile Customization. Profiles are containers for mobile forms and mobile views and can be assigned to a user’s device. Profiles also support custom synchronization and application settings. The concept behind profiles is to allow for different forms for specific devices. For example, you could configure a very streamlined lead form for a Windows Phone and configure a more complex form for an iPad or Android tablet.
Forms. As mentioned above, the CWR Configurator allows you to customize mobile forms. The following screenshot shows the mobile form editor. As you can see, you can drag-and-drop fields, add tabs, and even add scripting.
Native Applications. CWR has built native applications for each supported platform. Native applications give users a consistent user interface that is similar with other applications on their device. In addition, native applications can take advantage of the features in mobile device API’s such as email, calendar, tasks, etc. to provide an enhanced level of functionality that may not be available on other mobile platforms. The following screenshot is an example of a new lead form from the native iPad application.
Role-based Delivery and Security. Mobile users of CWR work within the existing Microsoft Dynamics CRM security infrastructure. There is no need to create an additional layer of security to support mobile clients. In addition, CWR supports a mobile wipe feature to clean a device in the case of loss, theft or employee transition.
Dashboards. In online mode, CWR provides mobile clients with access to the same dashboard s that are available in the web client.
Until recently, one of the major limitations was the lack of scripting support within the CWR native applications. Fortunately, this limitation has been solved with recent releases. The other major limitation is the additional license cost for each mobile user. CWR Mobility provides three different versions; Professional, SMB and Express. Cost varies by version, but can be substantial for large mobile deployments.
It is likely that Microsoft will continue to enhance their mobile client offerings. While Microsoft may never reach feature parity with CWR Mobile CRM, organizations will need to perform a cost benefit analysis of each vendor’s offerings to determine the best fit for their mobile needs.