With Riva, Salesforce admins create rule-based Sync Policies that define what gets synced, how often items sync, and other advanced sync options for Exchange groups, user roles and/or individual Exchange mailboxes. Riva syncs transparently and automatically to Exchange. This means that Riva is able to sync salesforce.com to all Exchange mail clients and is much simpler to manage for large enterprise environments.
Large enterprise salesforce.com customers have four options when it comes to Outlook integration. They can use Salesforce for Outlook (formerly called Connect for Outlook). They can use third-party Outlook integrations such as LinkPoint Connect or SalesDesktop from invisibleCRM. They can use Riva to sync salesforce.com directly to their Microsoft Exchange mail server. Or they can pay to have a costly, custom-built Outlook integration developed for them that involves ongoing maintenance and costs. This article describes why Riva is the preferred approach for many large salesforce.com customers.
Salesforce for Outlook provides a nice sync solution for the basics – contacts, events, tasks and email. Most importantly, it’s free. And, this is an attractive value proposition for enterprise customers who have invested in the Sales Cloud and Service Cloud for hundreds or thousands of users. The latest version of Salesforce for Outlook supports both Outlook 64-bit and 32-bit clients. The sync can be configured to be bi-directional or uni-directional.
Salesforce for Outlook, however, does have several limitations. For example, Salesforce for Outlook only supports Windows Outlook clients. Many large enterprise environments have salesforce.com users who need to sync to Outlook Web Access, Outlook in Citrix and Terminal Services environments, Outlook 2011 for Mac, Entourage, Apple Mail or older Outlook 2003 clients. Salesforce for Outlook, and other Outlook plugins, typically provide little to no support for these non-Windows mail clients. (There are very few salesforce.com sync options for Mac users, in particular, on the AppExchange.)
Large enterprise environments often have tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of salesforce.com contacts. Salesforce for Outlook has a sync limit of 5,000 contacts and offers limited control over how contacts get synced. This can be a show-stopper for some organizations. Other organizations need to sync custom fields, custom Force.com objects, opportunities, cases, recurring appointments and multi-attendee appointments that may not be available through the standard Salesforce for Outlook plugin.
Another key consideration is reliability. Outlook plugins can be problematic when it comes to reliability. And we certainly encounter many customers, across the various CRMs that we support, that say their Outlook plugin has stopped working all of a sudden, crashes Outlook regularly, is creating duplicates or now needs to be installed after recent system upgrades. This can cause large enterprise salesforce.com customers a fair bit of pain (and be quite costly), particularly if sales reps are spread across multiple offices and a large geographic area.
The key benefit of third-party Outlook integrations such as LinkPoint Connect and SalesDesktop from invisibleCRM is that they allow sales reps to view and manage more salesforce.com data directly from within Outlook – in online and offline modes. Salesforce.com opportunities and cases, for example, can be created and edited directly from Outlook – along with many other CRM objects. Plus, there may be additional benefits of improved reliability, expanded functionality and a richer salesforce.com sync experience overall. Certainly two compelling Outlook integration options.
Next, let’s consider Riva, which is preferred by many large salesforce.com customers. Riva is not an Outlook plugin like Salesforce for Outlook, Connect for Outlook, LinkPoint Connect and SalesDesktop from invisibleCRM. Riva syncs salesforce.com directly to Exchange at the back end. There are no Outlook plugins to install, configure or manage locally on users’ desktops and laptops. Admins can add tens, hundreds or thousands of users to a Riva Sync Policy and the integration happens automatically and transparently. If you need to upgrade your server, simply disable the policy, complete your system upgrades, re-enable the policy and Riva picks up where it left off.
Riva provides seamless integration for salesforce.com and Microsoft Exchange 2010, 2007 and 2003. (We connect to Exchange 2010 and 2007 via Exchange Web Services and to Exchange 2003 using the MAPI protocol.) Hosted and on-premise Exchange systems, including Office 365, are fully supported. Riva syncs salesforce.com to all Exchange clients, including: Outlook 2010 (64-bit and 32-bit), Outlook 2007 and 2003, Outlook Web Access (OWA), Outlook on Citrix and Terminal Services, Office 365, Outlook 2011 for Mac, Entourage 2008 and 2004, Mac OS X apps (Mail, iCal, Address Book) and others.
With Riva, Salesforce admins create rule-based Sync Policies that define what gets synced, how often items sync, and other advanced sync options for Exchange groups, user roles and/or individual Exchange mailboxes. Riva can be configured to sync contacts, leads, calendar events, tasks, email (with attachments), opportunities, cases, quotes, recurring appointments, multi-day events, custom fields and custom Force.com objects. Riva pioneered email-to-opportunity, email-to-case and advanced email logging features that save sales reps time and increase salesforce.com user adoption.
From a mobile perspective, Riva syncs salesforce.com contacts, calendar, tasks, opportunities and more to iPad, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry smartphones and tablets. This CRM data is available in online and offline modes from the native address book, calendar and mail apps on your mobile devices. Sales reps require little to no training and benefit from the native speed, interactivity and screen resolution of their mobile devices. Admins do not need to install or configure any additional mobile apps for the sync to occur. And, you can literally sync salesforce.com to your entire sales force’s mobile devices overnight. (For companies looking to invest in Salesforce Mobile or Salesforce Touch, Riva is the perfect complement. These mobile apps provide full-client access to salesforce.com. Riva syncs salesforce.com to the native address book, calendar and mail apps, giving reps maximum choice and flexibility.)
Riva delivers the best way to sync salesforce.com to Outlook, OWA, Outlook on Citrix, Office 365, Mac and all other Exchange mail clients and mobile devices.
Talk to your salesforce.com sales rep or implementation partner about Riva. Or, contact us directly at +1 408.675.5015 or via email to schedule a demo and discuss our volume and module-based pricing options. Riva is a proud sponsor of Dreamforce ’12 and ’11. And several regional Cloudforce events in North America and Europe.