Ferrum relies on Riva On-Premise to keep their Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Novell GroupWise in sync

Ferrum, a global player in the food and beverages industry, as well chemicals and pharmaceuticals market, implemented Microsoft Dynamics CRM in 2015. At the same time, Riva On-Premise was implemented to ensure reliable server-side sync to their email system from Novell GroupWise. Riva CRM Integration seamlessly syncs CRM contacts, calendars, tasks, email, opportunities, cases, custom fields, custom objects, and modules and delivers cross-platform support including mobile devices. The ability to sync emails, opportunities, and cases plus some deployed customizations on field mapping and sorting have improved user adoption and satisfaction significantly among different user groups at Ferrum.


Ferrum Ltd. with headquarters in Switzerland, combined four different business units under one roof, supplying a huge variety of industrial sectors with products and services that further – formed the base for countless end-user products. Its key markets include the food and beverages industry, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. It conducts activities on every continent, a high-level of self-financing and economic independence ensure that the company will continue to enjoy a strong position with excellent prospects well into the future. Ferrum employs 500 people and has offices in Rupperswil and Schafisheim (Switzerland), Houston, TX, and Havre de Grace, MD (USA), Mumbai (India), and Kunshan (China). The yearly turnover amounts approximately 120 million CHF.

The Challenge

In 2015, the company implemented Microsoft Dynamics CRM to manage more effectively the company’s customer relationships. The main driver of the Riva implementation was to bridge the existing email system GroupWise and the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM without the need to re-organize the established infrastructure. Riva CRM Integration – as the solution for their Rubik’s cube of a system and sync requirements – was recommended by their Microsoft Dynamics 365 (CRM) implementation partner ORBIS. Ferrum was searching for a way to seamlessly sync emails, opportunities, and cases between the two systems which is key for handling the business workflows of their customer and replacement advisors and sales staff. Ferrum wanted to have the option to archive emails in CRM and to list all their CRM opportunities and cases in the GroupWise email client or mobile devices to assign emails against these existing CRM objects. At Ferrum, user adoption and the ease of use were crucial for the synchronization of the essential data and reliability of the overall solution – the dynamic combination of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Riva CRM Integration. Furthermore, the determining factor was a fast and easy implementation of Riva CRM Integration.

The Solution

In CRM Phase I, Ferrum realized that a reliable and scalable integration between their new Microsoft Dynamics CRM and their existing email system GroupWise is imperative to allow them to synchronize emails, opportunities, and cases. Riva allows logging emails (and email attachments) against CRM contacts, accounts, opportunities, support cases, and custom objects. One can simply use Riva SmartConvert folders to create new opportunities and cases from emails. Riva lists all their CRM opportunities and cases in their GroupWise email client and/or mobile devices. Ferrum can now sort them by opportunity name, deal size, sales stage, next step, probability, and other fields – all on the fly. They simply click on the opportunity/case to view more details and they can use the Riva ConnectBar to link to the opportunity in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM. In addition, Ferrum requested and deployed Riva customization to optimize their CRM fields remapping (e.g., the website field of the CRM Account Object is mapped to the Office field in GroupWise now) and a custom sorting of cases and opportunities focusing on an alphabetical mechanism to provide a number as a prefix to the Case and Opportunity names.

In general, Riva syncs CRM contacts, calendars, tasks, opportunities and cases, custom fields, custom objects and custom modules per default. In addition, Riva has pioneered several advanced sync features that help improve CRM adoption, increase sales, drive CRM value, and reduce flip-flopping between applications. The Riva On-Premise setup is managed for all users in one central installation which is quite efficient especially from an admin perspective. There are no additional plug-ins or separate mobile apps that need to be installed, configured, or managed. Riva, as a 100% server-side sync engine, supports Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, Gmail, G Suite, IBM Notes and Domino, and Novell GroupWise clients, and mobile devices. Multi-system and Citrix/Terminal server environments are supported as well. Riva is now embedded in Ferrum’s native folder structure, given by the email client and mobile device. The available side-panel Riva Insight as an add-on to Riva CRM Integration puts “context-aware” CRM data at your fingertips – without having to leave the email application.

Ferrum experienced a high professional level of support and development which was consistently delivered by the dedicated team at the Riva. The technicians and developer are very responsive and eager to meet customer requirements at any time.

The Results

“Riva has given us a fast and easy connection between the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM system and the existing e-mail system GroupWise, thereby contributing to increasing user acceptance,” said David Feurer, CRM Power User at Ferrum. The financial investment in Riva CRM Integration was part of the whole CRM project and an essential prerequisite for a successful implementation of a company-wide solution in a totally new system environment. The sync feature for cases and the advanced option to assign emails against these within Ferrum’s used GroupWise application gives freedom to customer advisers to behave the same way as they would do in CRM. Ferrum will continue to take advantage of the high flexibility and stability of Riva On-Premise in future.

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