Cloud solutions like Salesforce.com, Netsuite, Microsoft Dynamics are doing a great job solving for the needs in different functional areas. Although they all started with non-mobile solutions, they have done a decent (not great) job extending their solutions on to the mobile devices.
Native mobile solutions by SaaS providers are somewhat meeting the needs of users from their respective functional areas. However, you are out of luck if you require access to the data and features from multiple cloud applications. You will be juggling between different native apps to get the complete picture that you looking for.
Companies using cloud applications put in good effort in integrating the different applications so the business processes are more or less automated. It is very expensive to build tight integrations between applications to get a common view of data on mobile from different applications as it will require extensive customization to at least one application. The cost of ongoing maintenance will also be significant as different applications evolve to offer new features.
There is a better way to solve this problem use a middleware solution that connects and offers data and some key features from all applications. Building a solution and managing it can be quite expensive. Even larger companies cannot build a solid cost justification for this. If you are looking to connect data/features from various cloud applications, I recommend exploring SaaS middleware solutions. The pre-packaged solutions come up with standard mobile integration for common cloud (and on -premise) applications. These out of box common connectors can easily customize and your versions are up and running in the cloud in a matter of weeks. For a very small transactional fee, your data and some key features are made available to your mobile users. You dont have to worry about maintaining the connectors as the providers keep-up with the version upgrades.
Dotvik (www.dotvik.com) is one such player that provides a middleware based mobility platform to integrate legacy and cloud applications.
Their solution can strictly be a middleware solution with no data caching or enable caching for performance reasons. Regardless, the solution is secure and very inexpensive (a few USD/month/user).
Mirketa Inc is a strategic implementation partner for Dotvik. Contact me at Rajeev (at) marketa.com if you want to learn more about how to go mobile on a budget.
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