Ferrum relies on Riva for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Novell GroupWise sync

Ferrum, a global player in the food and beverage industry 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 seamlessly syncs CRM contacts, calendars, tasks, emails, opportunities, cases, custom fields, and custom objects and delivers cross-platform support including mobile devices. These sync options and additional customizations, like field mapping and sorting, have improved user adoption and satisfaction significantly among users 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 form the base for countless end-user products. Its key markets include the food and beverage industry, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. Conducting business on every continent, a high-level of self-financing and economic independence ensure 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 to approximately 120 million CHF.

The Challenge

In 2015, the company implemented Microsoft Dynamics CRM to effectively manage 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 – 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 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. Furthermore, the determining factor was a fast and easy implementation of Riva.

The Solution

Ferrum realized that a reliable and scalable integration between their new Microsoft Dynamics CRM and their existing email system GroupWise was imperative to allow them to synchronize emails, opportunities, and cases. Riva allowed logging emails (and email attachments) against CRM contacts, accounts, opportunities, support cases, and custom objects. One could simply use Riva SmartConvert folders to create new opportunities and cases from emails. Riva allowed for lists of all of Ferrum’s CRM opportunities and cases in their GroupWise email and mobile devices. Ferrum can now sort by opportunity name, deal size, sales stage, next step, probability, and other fields – all on the fly; users simply click on the opportunity/case to view more details. Users can also use the Riva ConnectBar to link to the opportunity in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM. In addition, Ferrum used Riva for the customization of CRM fields re-mapping (e.g., the website field of the CRM Account Object is mapped to the Office field in GroupWise now) for optimal use. Ferrum also uses 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.

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 administrative perspective. There are no additional plug-ins or separate mobile apps that need to be installed, configured or managed. Riva, as a 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, 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 Riva. The technicians and developer continue to be 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 the future.

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