We are frequently asked if it’s possible to run Microsoft Dynamics CRM on a MAC OS X device. Following are several options to accomplish this:
Remote Desktop Services (formerly known as Terminal Services) or Citrix – This option allows users (including those running MAC OS X) to access and run Windows based applications installed on a remote server over a network. This can provide MAC users a Windows desktop user interface and access to Windows based versions of Internet Explorer, Dynamics CRM, Outlook, Office, etc. The advantage of this option is that users retain their MAC and connect to the server when they need to run Windows applications such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The downside is that connectivity is needed (network or Internet) to access the applications. Dual monitors are helpful and offer users the ability to run the MAC environment on one monitor and Windows based apps on the other.
Safari browser combined with Riva – Microsoft added cross browser support in Dynamics CRM 2011, Update Rollup 12. MAC OS X 10.7 & 10.8 users can now run Dynamics CRM 2011 in a Safari browser and enjoy reasonably robust functionality. The downside is there is still no ability to link email to CRM records unless a 3rd party application like Riva is used.
Riva is an advanced CRM data integration platform for Microsoft Exchange. Riva provides email, contact and calendar synchronization. Unlike traditional Outlook CRM plug-ins, Riva gets installed only once on a server and no plug-ins need to be installed, configured or managed on users’ desktops, laptops or mobile devices. Riva integrates with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and supports both hosted and on-premise Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Outlook; Outlook 2010, Outlook 2011 for Mac, Outlook Web Access; Microsoft Entourage for Mac; Apple Mail, Address Book, iCal; BlackBerry, iPhone and other ActiveSync mobile devices. No plug-ins are needed.
Parallels Desktop 9 - Parallels is a desktop virtualization application that allows you to run both Windows and Mac OS X applications side-by-side without rebooting. Running Parallels, MAC users can have full access to Dynamics CRM along with email as they would be running Windows versions of Outlook and Internet Explorer (installed just like they would be on a PC). We recommend dual monitors to allow the user to have the Apple/MAC environment on one monitor and the Windows environment on the other.
None of these options provide iPad or iPhone users offline access to CRM. Resco’s Mobile CRM for Microsoft Dynamics offers permanent mobile access to business data allowing you to work directly with CRM server data or with a local database on the mobile device; enterprise standard security; email & calendar support and more.
I do realize that MAC users can be fanatically loyal to the Apple brand, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a final option - Deploy Windows PC’s and Surface tablets to the MAC users (…J).
If you would like to discuss how to run Microsoft Dynamics CRM on Apple/MAC OS X devices feel free to contact us. Beringer Associates is a leading IT solutions provider specializing in CRM Solutions, CRM for Distribution, Managed Network Services, Unified Communications, and Internet Cloud Computing. You can contact us at [email protected], 856-910-7771.