When the Apple iPhone was launched last year, it was dismissed by some as a consumer-centric device, unlikely to do much damage to the BlackBerry box in terms of being a mobile device for business users.
NetSuite made its pitch though, announcing that its offering would function through Apple's Safari browser, making it usable on the iPhone handset. The NetSuite services usable through the SuitePhone application include enterprise resource planning (ERP), CRM and e-commerce functionality.
At the time, Salesforce.com - which has had a huge loyalty to the BlackBerry - was decidedly coy on the subject of iPhone support. No more. Last week Salesforce.com demoed an application that was an iPhone version of its standard sales force automation offering, talking to the Salesforce APIs so you can have live connections to backend data.
It was an important enough move for CEO Marc Benioff to turn up at Apple's launch of the iPhone upgrade. Quite right too. The improvements to the mobile device announced last week will boost its enterprise business capabilities enormously and probably provide a few sleepless nights for the Blackberry bosses.
The question now is how long before the other CRM vendors get their skin in the iPhone game? SAP on the iPhone? Quite a thought - not to mention enormous challenge! Microsoft CRM on the iPhone - well, now that's a whole other matter...