How a leading distributor of energy drinks uses Riva to provide full Exchange and SAP C4C integration for Mac users

A leading energy drink company chose Riva to integrate Outlook for Mac with SAP C4C, because the native Outlook plug-in for SAP C4C only supported Windows Outlook. Riva was used to bridge this integration gap and deliver advanced CRM contact, calendar, task, and email integration. These users now benefit from Riva’s powerful and secure functionalities including calendar, opportunity, meetings, and tasks synchronization. This client worked with the Riva customization team so employees did not have to adapt to new functionalities within their system, but rather enjoy the time-savings and increased efficiency brought on by Riva.

Overview


A world-wide leading manufacturer of recreational beverages, whose sales and marketing activities span across the globe, recently implemented SAP C4C to collectively manage its accounts and prospects. While SAP C4C met all the company’s requirements for managing clients, the company was soon faced with a new challenge – the need to integrate their brand new, powerful CRM system with Outlook. CRM integration greatly improves data quality while increasing CRM adaptation and user satisfaction, however many native add-ons and plug-ins do not meet the requirements of global players.

The Challenge

The company faced the particular challenge of wanting to integrate its Mac users across the board and across many different countries. The gap between SAP C4C seemed impossible to fill, as SAP’s native integration solution did not support Mac and was lacking the functionality requirements the company had defined. Also, as an add-on, it was impossible to efficiently manage the large number of various devices -including PCs, laptops, and mobile devices – within this sizable corporation.

Against the background of this scenario, and with the environment being SAP C4C with Exchange and Mac clients, Riva was able to provide a server-side solution for seamless integration of the two systems without the need to install any plug-ins or add-ons. Riva syncs directly to the email server on the back end. The company was particularly keen on being able to custom-define functionalities and sync policies to meet the requirements of all sales and marketing staff around the globe.

The company contacted Riva and found that they had come to the right place to have their needs not only met but exceeded. Their requirements included:

    • Flexible cross-platform functionalities: Users should be able to access and change data from whatever preferred device they were using; be it their Mac, iPhone or tablets like the iPad.
    • Custom fields and functionalities: Customizations should allow users to create calendar items in Outlook that can have associations to contact records in CRM without sending a meeting request to those specific individuals. Riva solved this by integrating a token matching option which allows users to complete this action on a mobile device.
    • Custom calendar synchronization: Synchronizing Exchange appointments and meetings to SAP C4C as a C4C calendar visit, as well as synchronizing a C4C cancellation as a deleted entry in Exchange.

    • Fast and easy implementation: The company had a very tight schedule and needed to understand, present, and implement the solution internally within a very short timeframe. With the help of Riva’s success team, the project manager responsible for the CRM integration was able to present Riva to the company internally within that timeframe and found that it met all business requirements. From there, the company was able to roll out Riva across the board within two weeks.

    The Solution

    The company began testing Riva Cloud to synchronize SAP C4C and Microsoft Exchange. They were pleased with the standard sync features of Riva including the ability to sync contacts, leads, accounts, calendar events (appointments, meetings, recurring events, multi-day events), notes, tasks, email, opportunities, cases, quotes, projects, custom fields, custom objects, custom categories, and more. But how would Riva handle their advanced custom requirements?

    • The need for flexibility: When the company first contacted Riva, they were very frustrated with the limitations of the native plug-in and the resulting decreased quality of data. The requirements were precise enough for them to consider having their own custom tool built from scratch at a huge expense. Riva’s advanced customization options were flexible enough to meet all their requirements – not only within a short timeframe, but also against the background of a powerful set of experiences and for a very reasonable investment.
    • Precise calendar synchronization: Riva’s advanced customization capabilities overcame the issues that the CRM had with appointments and meetings. Riva’s success team was able to custom set Riva to synchronize Exchange appointments and meeting to SAP C4C as a C4C calendar visit, as well as synchronize a SAP C4C cancellation as a deleted entry in Exchange. Although Riva is touching the CRM only via web services, it can be configured to improve features within the CRM.
    • Reliability: With Riva, there are no client-side plug-ins to install, configure, or manage. Riva syncs directly to the email server on the back end. Users have seamless access to their CRM data from all email clients (Windows Outlook, Outlook Web App, Outlook on Citrix and Terminal Server, Outlook for Mac, and others) as well as from any mobile device (iPhone, iPad, Android smartphones, etc.) and any tablet PC. The Riva Cloud solution met all of the client’s security and reliability requirements.

    • Security: Riva is built using the Microsoft .NET Framework and Microsoft technology stack. Riva implements security based on Microsoft security best practices. Communication from Riva to and from the CRM and email system is made via encrypted communication protocols. Riva communicates with the Exchange Client Access Server (CAS) using SSL-encrypted access to Exchange Web Services and communicates with the CRM using encrypted web services. The HTTPS certificate used for rivasync.com is the highest available from Verisign, using an RSA 2048-bit encryption. In addition, Riva supports numerous extended encryption solutions for mobile devices such as Good Technology and CipherCloud.

    The Results

    When this company first met with Riva, they had a very precise idea about where they wanted to go and what they needed a synchronization solution to deliver. At this stage, they were already very frustrated with the SAP native sync add-on, which they had tried and declared a failure when it became clear that it didn’t support their Mac users.

    The users were clearly unhappy with the lack of a solution that supported SAP C4C. This scenario meant that they had to enter the data in two systems – both CRM and email. Double-entry lead to data inaccuracy and their data quality was suffering as a result.

    Implementing Riva solved all the company’s integration challenges. Riva syncs everything reliably with the CRM. Users are now able to use their collaboration tool of choice on their Macs and mobile devices while being assured that all data is being transferred seamlessly and transparently. With the help of the Riva Success team, the project leader was able to configure the Cloud-based integration and, to a great extent, independently. Having two subscription options – Riva Standard and Riva Premium – provides tailored synchronization to the different teams and saves costs. With the customized synchronization for different custom objects in place, all user needs are met. To summarize the results in one sentence: Riva saved the company from having to implement an unreliable, expensive, custom built synchronization solution that would have taken many months to develop at a high cost.

    “After having implemented Riva, we now have proof that there is always a solution, even when the prospects are dire. We were in a desperate spot, but when we found Riva, we saw all the hurdles that seemed insurmountable melt away. Our expectations were exceeded. All our requests were fulfilled in a fast, professional, and agreeable manner. We finally have happy Mac users who are no longer opposed to the idea of a centralized CRM system.” states the company’s project leader.

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