For three years, Alpha Software has been working on and talking about the most important, difficult feature of mobile apps: offline capability. CTO Dan Bricklin has written about it on his blog. Alpha Anywhere was the first first rapid mobile app development and deployment environment on the market that featured built-in robust offline capability. Our customers were some of the first to build robust offline apps with conflict resolution.
In the past year, the market seems to be aligning to our viewpoint. On January 8th, Robert Desisto, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner wrote about the importance of offline capability in mobile apps on his blog. In “Mobile Offline: Back to the Future” Desisto blogs that he used to think inquiries about offline capability in CRM apps was “just special case circumstances until the number of inquiries kept growing.” He explains that the two most common reasons Gartner clients look for offline mobile CRM apps is:
- To serve mobile salespeople needing access to the app in areas with low connectivity
- Enable IT departments to reduce telecommunication costs.
Desisto goes on to point out that this is a key challenge in the CRM market because most CRM vendors do not support offline sync and are rushing to get out solutions that address the problem.
This week, Fred Donovan of FierceMobileIT raised the issue in the article, “Enterprise Users Want Offline Access to Mobile CRM Apps.” He recognizes the point Desisto makes about the shortcomings of current CRM solutions when it comes to offline. Donovan explains:
“One reason is the difficulty of synchronizing data and resolving conflicts, which occur when a number of users edit the same record and then attempt to sync those versions.”
Donovan goes on to recommend that companies not only think about offline mobile support in CRM apps:
“This is certainly an interesting mobile enterprise IT development to watch. There seems to be no reason why this trend shouldn't spread to other mobile enterprise apps, such as enterprise resource planning.”
We couldn’t agree more! Kudos to Desisto and Donovan for bringing to light an issue that we’ve seen for years, but that many enterprises are just beginning to encounter. We released Alpha Anywhere with this challenge in mind, and hope it will help a large number of enterprises quickly solve the offline mobile support problem.
Read why having your app work offline is a major problem that enterprises must address in their mobile apps.
To read InfoWorld’s review of Alpha Anywhere’s offline mode, read: “Alpha Anywhere Aces Mobile Apps.”