Riva delivers seamless calendar management between Salesforce and Exchange in healthcare sector

An international company from the healthcare sector was migrating their CRM – a system setup with GroupWise – to Salesforce and Microsoft Exchange 2007. A high degree of customer care is required within the healthcare sector and sales people need to be able to manage e-mail communication and CRM data very effectively. From day one of their implementation, a requirement high on their list was the ability to synchronize calendars and contacts between their CRM system and e-mail clients.


The healthcare sector is a huge and growing market. Health spending is estimated to have increased by 2.8 percent in 2013 — an uptick from two percent in 2012 — to total $7.2 trillion, or 10.6 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP). As the global economy recovers from prolonged recession, health spending is expected to accelerate, rising an average of 5.2 percent a year in 2014-2018, to $9.3 trillion.

Trends in the healthcare market include transformation and digital innovation as well as regulations and compliance. There are many enterprise level corporations in the healthcare sector. One of our customers in the healthcare sector is a company that has over 7,000 employees in sales offices and manufacturing plants across the world to ensure the highest product quality. They have more than 30 sales offices throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, North America, and APAC. Their manufacturing plants are spread globally throughout Belgium, the Czech Republic, Poland, Finland, France, Malaysia, Thailand, the UK, and the US.

The Challenge

To meet their synchronization needs, the company first attempted to use the free Outlook integration tool from Salesforce.com. Having numerous sales offices and sales people spread around the globe, it was quickly realized that this “free” tool wasn’t going to meet the client integration needs since it required too much time to install, configure, and maintain on every client. So, a search began for a server-side integration solution for Microsoft Exchange and Salesforce. Ideally, this integration would also be a cloud solution – like Salesforce – to reduce implementation time and internal costs for operations and maintenance.

The Solution

Riva CRM Integration was found with a Google search. A decision was made to go with Riva Cloud, the cloud version of Riva, which provides hosted Synchronization as a Service. Riva is hosted in the cloud and provides similar sync options to the Riva On-Premise solution. Riva Cloud is ideal for customers who do not want to install and manage a Riva Integration Server in their environment.

During the trial phase, all test scenarios went very smoothly. This allowed the company to roll out Riva Cloud quickly to their global sales departments.

The company was offered technical support during the implementation with Riva’s Get Started Bundle – a 3-hour remote support session to help configure and set up any required customization filters.

“When running into issues, the support has been great. They really make an effort of solving the problem, not just closing the issue,” describes the company’s IT and Project Manager.

Riva’s synchronization capabilities far surpass the default Salesforce.com e-mail synchronization. Without the need to install any plug-ins on individual clients or devices, all Salesforce CRM contacts, calendars, tasks, opportunities, cases, contracts, custom objects, and more get synchronized to all email applications and leading smartphones and tablets. Plus, Riva tracks emails automatically or manually, syncs custom fields, and delivers other advanced sync features for Salesforce and Force.com.

“Our sales reps are mainly using iPads and our Salesforce.com solution, but they are also using their Outlook calendar which is fetching the calendar items from our Microsoft Exchange server (currently Exchange 2010). This Exchange server information is also used by our sales managers and non-field employees to plan meetings with our sales team. The solution we were looking for was mainly to sort out the problem of getting the sales team’s planned visits booked in Salesforce.com into a visible setup for our Exchange server,” states the IT PMO and Project Manager.

The Results

Riva often asks customers whether they can provide any numbers or key performance indicators to rank their satisfaction with Riva and this customer was no exception.

“For us, a numbers comparison between the free Salesforce Outlook integration tool and Riva was irrelevant. The decision to purchase Riva for the synchronization of calendar information between Salesforce and Exchange was based on time savings, reducing phone calls, and improving coordination between non-field users and field users,” explains the Project Manager.

Riva makes collaboration easy with its transparent and bi-directional synchronization of contacts, leads, person accounts, calendar events (appointments, meetings, recurring events, and multi-day events), notes, tasks, email, opportunities, cases, quotes, projects, custom fields, custom objects, custom categories, and more. Especially in the case where sales reps are traveling and often use e-mail to communicate with their clients and need to add calendar information to their Outlook or mobile calendar. In-house departments also benefit from Riva’s functionality when entering customer-related information to Salesforce and using the native Salesforce calendar to schedule appointments for sales reps. Riva closes the gap between CRM and e-mail and ensures that all employees have relevant information at their fingertips independent of tool, application, and device.

“For some of our markets, one of our critical success factors was to have the Outlook calendar displaying the same as the Salesforce.com calendar. Using Riva have given us that, hence enabling success for the rollout in those markets,” continues the Project Manager.

More information on Riva for Salesforce