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Riva bridges Salesforce integration gap at the Viking Group



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September 23, 2010 2:21 pm

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“Our salespeople can now access their Salesforce customer and calendar information on their BlackBerry, in GroupWise or from their desktop,” said Kate Wiltrout, Manager of Network Services for the Viking Group, “and we didn’t need to install any Salesforce plug-ins on these devices. Riva delivers transparent, server-side integration between Salesforce and GroupWise.”

Highlighted in this success story:
Riva CRM Integration for GroupWise

Overview

For over 90 years, the name Viking has represented global leadership in fire protection. The Viking Group, based in Hastings, Michigan, specializes in the manufacture and distribution of fire protection sprinklers, valves, systems and devices. Viking’s products and services are available globally through 50 company-owned locations and a host of independent distribution partners.

Since 2009, the Viking Group has used Riva from Omni to synchronize Salesforce contact and calendar information to Novell GroupWise and salespeople’s BlackBerry devices and laptops without any client-side CRM plug-in software.

The Challenge

Prior to implementing Salesforce in 2008, customer information was stored centrally in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Staff logged into the ERP system from their desktops to generate reports and access the information they required.

Today, the Viking Group’s national sales team works primarily from BlackBerry mobile devices and laptops. They expect to be able to access customer and calendar information from their BlackBerry calendar and address book, GroupWise or Salesforce – in connected and disconnected modes.

The Viking Group faced several challenges to make this happen. While Salesforce Mobile provides the full Salesforce.com experience for BlackBerry, it does not integrate with GroupWise. Salespeople at Viking Group typically use GroupWise or their BlackBerry to view information and Salesforce.com to input data. The critical GroupWise integration component was missing. Viking Group’s IT team needed a server side CRM synchronization solution that would run consistently and effectively without constant monitoring.

Initially, Viking Group evaluated and tested another third-party integration tool for Salesforce. Because plug-in needs to be installed, configured and managed on each user’s laptop, mobile device and desktop as well as proxy and authentication issues, the company continued to look for a better Salesforce integration option.

The Solution

This is when the Viking Group discovered Riva from Omni. Riva delivers advanced, server-side synchronization of Salesforce and GroupWise accounts, contacts, leads, meetings, appointments, tasks and phone calls.

“Riva satisfied two very important requirements for us,” said Kate Wiltrout, Manager of Network Services for the Viking Group. “Riva delivers transparent Salesforce integration for GroupWise. Our salespeople feel comfortable working in GroupWise and this familiarity is important to user adoption. The application is also easy to manage and troubleshoot, which means that our limited IT staff doesn’t need to spend time babysitting it. That was important to us.”

“Our salespeople can now access their Salesforce customer and calendar information on their BlackBerry, in GroupWise or from their desktop,” continued Wiltrout, “and we didn’t need to install any Salesforce plug-ins on these devices. Riva delivers transparent integration between Salesforce and GroupWise.”

The Results

The Viking Group has been running Riva for over a year and recently renewed their support.

“We conducted a survey among our sales staff to see if we should continue with Riva,” said Wiltrout. “The responses were very positive. Riva has become a vital component of our sales cycle.”

“CRM data can now be entered once into Salesforce and transparently synchronized to users’ BlackBerry devices, laptops and desktops,” said Wiltrout. “We now have more reliable CRM data and Riva allows our salespeople to focus on selling rather than spending time manually entering data into the CRM.”

“Omni’s support staff are very knowledgeable about Riva and GroupWise and they worked with us to customize Riva to satisfy our unique business requirements. We view Omni as a technology partner rather than a software vendor.”

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