Are humans made for CRM systems?

Originally, customer relationship management systems (CRM) were developed for human beings to manage customer relations more effectively. Twenty-five percent of all CRM projects fail, however, because of people-related issues. Among the key reasons for low utilization of CRM systems are low user adoption and difficulties adapting existing business processes to new ways of working. Omni has conducted a survey among its partners and customers and provide a summary of the five main reasons below.

Edmonton and Greifenberg/Munich – June 10, 2010 – Omni Technology Solutions, the first company to deliver server-side data integration between Microsoft Exchange, Novell GroupWise and CRM systems such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, SugarCRM, SageCRM, and Oracle CRM conducted a survey among its customers and partners to find out why so many CRM projects are never fully utilized and why some CRM implementations struggle to achieve a quick return on investment.

In 2009, Forrester surveyed 133 organizations that use one of 24 leading CRM solutions.1 Forrester discovered that out of all the problems reported, 22% related to “people” issues.

Here are the top 5 findings of the Omni survey:

  • E-mail remains the number one business application – Employees in service and sales manage their customer relations via e-mail. The e-mail client is the first application to be opened in the morning and is the only application continously used during the working day. E-mail is used to communicate, and often manage, information of all forms.
  • Mobility is becoming increasingly important – Groupware servers offer employees mobile access to valuable customer information via webmail or via mobile devices like the iPhone and BlackBerry at any time. This mobile access is approved by the IT department and fullfils required security standards. Mobile CRM access, on the other hand, is often limited or not currently available.
  • Human beings do not like change – The implementation of a CRM system often requires employee training to learn how to use another user interface besides their e-mail client. Employees are reluctant to change the way they work. This lack of user adoption and buy-in can lead to poor maintenance of CRM system data. Information is either not entered at all or is incomplete.
  • Too many clicks take time – While e-mail systems support drag-and-drop (local clients but also web-based GUIs via Flash, AJAX and other Web 2.0 technologies), most CRM systems require a lot of clicks to move data or to navigate application menus. This takes time and thus many employees prefer to only save the absolutely necessary data in the CRM and continue to use e-mail as their primary communication and data archiving tool.
  • Missing integration between e-mail and CRM – If IT solutions are to effectively support business processes, integration is mandatory. Indeed, most CRM systems offer Outlook plug-ins; however, these Outlook CRM plug-ins need to be installed separately on each Exchange client. Because plug-ins are client-based, they rarely scale the way customers need them to. The biggest problem is the limited depth of integration available between CRM and mail systems. Ideally, employees should be able to access their CRM information via their e-mail client seamlessly and carry out CRM tasks within their e-mail client with ease.

“Our customers and partners consider the lack of integration between e-mail and CRM systems to be one of the main reasons for CRM failures,” said Dr.-Ing. Thomas Fleissner, Omni Deutschland. “Riva offers exciting opportunities in this area – with drag-and-drop e-mail archiving, SmartConvert features that reduces manual data entry in the CRM, and the ability to access CRM opportunities, cases and quotes from any Exchange client including Macs and smartphone devices. You really need to see Riva in action to fully appreciate the benefits and time savings it brings to CRM users.”

Riva Integration Server for Exchange and GroupWise was designed to overcome the complexity, restrictions and end-user frustration of using traditional, legacy Outlook plug-ins to get CRM integration.

Riva Integration Server offers transparent, server-side CRM integration, synchronization and interoperability for all Exchange clients – Outlook, Outlook Web Access, Entourage, Mac Mail and others – and 12 leading CRM systems. Supported CRMs include Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, SharePoint, Oracle CRM, SugarCRM, SageCRM, Saleslogix, NetSuite, info@hand and others. In addition, Riva delivers direct mobile CRM access for BlackBerry, iPhone and other ActiveSync smartphones – with no plug-ins that need to be installed or configured on each device.

More Information


1 “How To Risk-Proof Your Culture For CRM,” William Band,

About Omni

Omni helps drive corporate profitability and productivity with its identity management and CRM integration software. Omni’s flagship product, eControl, allows network administrators to securely and easily delegate management, provisioning, audit and user self-service functions to non-technical front-line staff. Omni’s latest innovation, Riva Integration Server for Exchange, delivers transparent, server-side integrations between Exchange and over 12 market-leading applications, including SharePoint, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Oracle CRM, Salesforce, SageCRM, Saleslogix, NetSuite, SugarCRM and other business-critical applications. Omni software can be purchased in Europe through its German office or European partners.

Press Contact

Trevor Poapst
Director, Global Marketing
Omni Technology Solutions Inc.
The Integration Company
Phone: 780-423-4200 Ext. 228