Elements CRM for iOS Doesn't Stint on Functionality
Most vendors opt for a minimal approach for iPad-based CRM apps because their primary goal is always for the customer to license the full system, said Ntractive CEO Justin Bartak. "We see the iPad as important to our customers ... . It is conceivable for some companies that all they need is an iPad with a CRM app, and we want to be able to provide that functionality to them."
Ntractive, the developer of Elements CRM, a cloud-based CRM app for Macs only, has expanded its product line to include the iPad and iPhone.
Ntractive is taking a different approach from other CRM vendors that have pushed their applications onto these devices, CEO Justin Bartak told CRM Buyer.
"We basically replicated all of Elements CRM for the iPad," he said. "Other vendors might build an iPad app around two or three features from their CRM product, but for various reasons we decided our way was the approach that customers want."
All the user has to do is download the app to the iOS device and log into the company's account.
Looks Just Like the Desktop
About 90 percent of the functionality that is in the desktop CRM app is now on the iPad app, Bartak said -- with the other 10 percent unable to be transitioned because the form factor simply doesn't support it.
Most vendors opt for a minimal approach for iPad-based CRM apps because their primary goal is always for the customer to license the full system, Bartak said. A robust iPad app could cannibalize desktop application sales, he said.
"We see the iPad as important to our customers -- in some cases as important as the desktop," said Bartak.
"It is conceivable for some companies that all they need is an iPad with a CRM app, and we want to be able to provide that functionality to them."
Elements CRM for iPhone and iPad 2.0, introduced earlier this week, brings with it an entirely new redesign of the iPhone interface and the integration of many features already available on the desktop and iPad app.
"We are empowering businesses to truly manage their enterprise from virtually anywhere in the world without ever having to sync their data, thanks to the power of the cloud," Bartak said.
A Hybrid Approach
Ntractive has come a long way relatively quickly. It was just a concept in 2003. In 2007, Ntractive was presenting at the Apple WWDC (Worldwide Developer Conference). Cofounder Dale Jensen, who was CEO at the time, spoke at the event's IT State of the Union [*Correction - June 14, 2012]. In 2008, the desktop app officially launched at Macworld.
Since then, the company has rolled out other products, including an email marketing app that serves as a companion to Elements CRM.
Apple likes the company's approach to software development, Bartak said, in particular its user-friendly interface and streamlined look.
"That is why I believe we have been invited to speak and participate at its events," he said.
An Unexpected Target Market
In the beginning, Bartak assumed that Ntractive would be used by creative firms running Macs.
While the company does have a few creative-type customers, a pleasant surprise has been the number of companies that come from traditional industries now running their businesses on Macs.
The app has become more popular as Macs have moved into the enterprise.
"We have users from almost every sector," Bartak noted -- "from finance to metal brokers."
*ECT News Network editor's note - June 14, 2012: The original published version of this article incorrectly stated that "by 2007, Bartak found himself speaking at Apple's user conference." In fact, then-CEO Dale Jensen spoke for Ntractive at Apple's WWDC that year.