Convergence EMEA – Been there, done that, again delighted

What’s the best thing about Convergence from my point of view? It’s the questions.
I love the interaction with people. See their immediate reaction when showing them the app. Hear the first thoughts and questions that come to their mind.
See what excites people and what confuses them.
It gives me a new, fresh perspective on things.
This year I have summarized the questions we were asked and decided to write down some of them (along with the answers). Here they are:

Questions (and answers) from Convergence

Q: We have documents stored in SharePoint, how would I get them into the app?

A: Glad you asked. For a couple of months now, we also support SharePoint. Meaning, if you have SharePoint linked to Dynamics CRM, you can access the files through our app.
Since your storage is limited on phones and tablets, you can set up filters to define which documents will be stored offline (for example only those from last month) or you can download them on demand.

Q: We need offline functionality on desktops too and are currently looking into Outlook offline…

A: May I suggest? We have also a desktop version of the app. It works on Windows XP, 7 and 8.1. And it has pretty much the same functionality as the mobile app does; including offline capability.

Q: What does offline mean?

A: Offline means you are working with the data stored on the tablet (or phone). You can view, edit and manage the data, so functionality such as ‘qualify a lead’ or ‘create an order’ is not lost to you. All this time, you don’t need to have internet access. You just need it for synchronizing the app, so that the changes you’ve made are saved on the server for others to see.

Q: We are a bank – how is the data secured?

A: I understand your concerns. And we got you covered. First, the data on the device is encrypted. Second, you can enable some things (entities) to be accessed only online (so they won’t be stored on the tablet at all). Then, we also have a mobile application management – which basically means you can remotely delete the data if a device gets stolen.

Q: We are an insurance company; do you have customers in this area?

A: Yes, we have several customers in the finance sector, insurance companies included. Of course we are not in the position to disclose their names, if they haven’t given us the permission to do so.  But I can certainly contact a few of them and ask if they will be willing to provide a reference.

Q: Where are you guys from?

A: We are from Slovakia. Bratislava – to be precise. All our development and most of our support are located there.
We also opened an office in Boston (it’s been almost two years now), so we could talk and support our customers in a different time-zone.

Q: What’s up with the bottles? (referring to bottles of bourbon at the Resco stand)

A: Funny story. The tool, with which you can customize the app, is called Woodford. It was named after this bourbon ‘Woodford Reserve’. The story goes as this: our CEO was holding a glass of this bourbon at the time he was asked what the new customization tool should be named. The first thing he saw served as an inspiration for the product’s name.
Now it’s good for our marketing because we have a perfect prize for conferences such as this one – people can win Woodford and go home and work with Woodford.
Note: Drinking Woodford while working with Woodford in not advised. It may cause synchronization errors, empty log files in Resco’s support inbox, and/or experimenting with bold color combinations of the app.

Q: We have very limited connectivity in Africa. How would we synchronize?

A: We have encountered this issue before. It was also in Africa. The solution was to synchronize while in the office (in the beginning of each day and again in the evening upon returning to the office). In-between, people work solely in an offline mode.

Q: So, do you sell Google Glass?

A: No. We do a mobile solution for Dynamics CRM. We are showing Google Glass because we actually made an app for it. You are welcome to try it.
For now it seems like a sci-fi, but soon it’s going to be a norm. We like to be prepared when that time comes.

Q: But Microsoft has an own mobile app, what’s the difference between them and you?

A: I like to explain it this way: If you go outside the office a couple of times a year, let’s say to a conference like this, the mobile client from Microsoft is for you. Good for occasionally looking up a thing or two. But if you want to work on the go regularly, like most sales and service people do, then you’ll find out that Microsoft’s app won’t do the job. That’s when Resco comes in. We offer a lot more functionality (like quotes, maps, offline, SharePoint…) and we have great support and regular quarterly updates. We can send you a detailed comparison.

Q: We want our staff to use the app only on those tablets that are provided by us. So we’ll have a full control of where our data is stored.

A: Absolutely. The default security policy allows all new devices to connect to Dynamics CRM if a user has a license. But you can decide that all new devices are to be locked by default – so you can approve them one by one.

Q: Can we have a questionnaire in the app? So our service guys can give it to a customer after they complete the installation?

A: Yes. You can create a questionnaire in the app (some of our customers have already done it) with a combination of Form Rules and JavaScript. We plan to support questionnaires in a simpler way in one of our upcoming releases.

Q: We are searching for a solution which will notify us if one of our field technician suffers an injury during a service (falls of a transmission tower).

A: Combination of mobile GPS tracking (To see if the worker is moving. If not, the last known position is likely to be the one where the injured worker currently is.) and periodical auto synchronization could do the trick. You can create server alerts if no new GPS position is coming in.

Q: What if someone edits a record on the server and someone else on the tablet? Which one is stored when the mobile user synchronizes the app?

A: For this we have 3 conflict strategies: You can decide if the server wins, mobile device wins or you’ll let the user decide case-by-case.

Pictures from Convergence available here.
Curious about anything other? Ask us!
Write your question in a comment below.There’s no such thing as a stupid question – for all you know, there are others out there wondering the same thing.

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