Playing matchmaker between product and customer is a weighty job, one that's particularly heavy and slow if the staffers are lugging around laptops for on-the-fly interaction.

That's one reason why financial institutions are starting to extend CRM capabilities to remote staff through mobile devices, taking advantage of advances in screen resolution and data mining capabilities to turn iPhone, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile phones into cross-sell tools. And that's just one emerging use, as IT workers and independent advisors are also benefiting from new deployments.

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