Over the course of the past several years, CRM has attained “essential” status for businesses of all types and sizes. With its ability to capture and manage the customer journey, solutions like Microsoft Dynamics are nearly ubiquitous. But while CRM functionality and adoption have grown, workers still live and work in their tried and tested enterprise email and calendar platforms. Unfortunately, this creates a data gap, where customer information captured in CRM must be manually shared to non-native email and calendar apps—and vice versa—in order to ensure and maintain comprehensive customer histories. And when manual entry is overlooked, workers lack accurate current customer history data, and customer experience suffers. 

Fortunately, third-party data integration developers have stepped in to fill this gap. Today, enterprises can turn to a number of established data integration solutions that seamlessly share customer data gathered in CRM, email, and calendar platforms. As a result, stakeholders in enterprises of all sizes can gain access to comprehensive customer histories—helping to build customer relationships without relying on the inefficiencies and inaccuracies of manual data entry. 

Today, many enterprises rely heavily on both Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Outlook—and enterprising developers have responded with a range of data integration solutions. After narrowing the field to identify best-in-class options, enterprises are left to determine which of those solutions is the best fit. As with nearly any technology purchase, factors like enterprise size, cost, scalability, configurability, administrative control, security, and compliance all come into play. Once those considerations are weighed, it’s possible to narrow the field and identify the best, most cost-effective Dynamics-to-Outlook connector solution for each organization’s unique needs.

Riva: The Secure, Compliant, Scalable Dynamics/Outlook Data Integration Solution for Large Enterprise

For large enterprises that rely on both Microsoft Dynamics and Outlook, Riva provides a flexible, comprehensive, and configurable connector solution that’s ready to scale. Riva offers standard-setting, industry-specific data security and compliance capabilities. 

Riva is powered by its Relationship Engine, a powerful data ops platform that syncs data between Dynamics CRM and Outlook in real-time to securely deliver relevant customer information directly to appropriate workflows in both applications. With Riva, Outlook email and calendar users are one click away from the ability to dive deeper into Dynamics data (and vice-versa)—ensuring that each customer interaction builds on the last. 

Through the course of the company’s 20-year evolution, Riva has established its place as the industry leader in scalability and security, while offering highly configurable, industry-specific compliance capabilities vital to complex industries like finance, insurance, healthcare, and government. 

Riva’s Relationship Engine is designed for large enterprise use, with the capacity to support up to 150,000 simultaneous users, and more than 5 million calendar appointments per month. 

Working together seamlessly and securely, Riva forms a data conduit between Dynamics and Outlook to provide your team with the relevant, timely information it needs to win customers and build enterprise success. And because Riva is designed with pass-through architecture, data is shared without being retained, eliminating the risk of unnecessary data exposure that could result in a data breach or regulatory sanctions.

Riva Features

Exploring Alternatives: Dynamics-To-Outlook Connectors for Small- And Mid-Sized Businesses

When faced with the task of assessing data integration solutions, the size of your enterprise is paramount: one size doesn’t fit all. Where Riva sets the standard for enterprise-level data integration, other solutions are often more practical for small- and mid-sized businesses. To inform the search for the right solution, those businesses should weigh a range of key considerations, including: 

  • Budget – how much can (or will) your company dedicate to effective integration of CRM and email, calendar, and contact application data? 
  • Security – what is your organization’s potential exposure to the financial and reputational risks of customer data breach?
  • Compliance – does your business operate in a highly regulated industry where non-compliance can result in sanctions, fines, and loss of customer confidence?
  • Scalability – will the growth trajectory of your business require a data integration solution that can keep pace? 
  • Configurability – do you need robust administrative controls to track user behaviors and control team member access to sensitive data?

Fortunately, there are a number of capable options well suited to the varied data integration needs of small- and mid-sized businesses that rely on both Dynamics and Outlook, including—but not limited to: 

  • Automate.io (startups to mid-sized businesses) – with a broad range of use-per-seat-based pricing options, Automate.io provides startups and small-to-mid-sized businesses with a low-cost, low-risk option to test the data integration waters. Its solution allows subscribers to sync contact data between Dynamics and Outlook, manage deal flow, and automate some sales pipeline tasks, including automated emails, inbox organization, and email conversation searches.
  • Native Microsoft Dynamics 365-to-Outlook Integration (startups and small-sized businesses) – While often overlooked by users of both Dynamics and Outlook, native integration offers startups and small businesses an economical means to explore the benefits of integration, albeit on a limited scale. Using this integration option, users can access customer data gathered and stored in Dynamics CRM directly from their Outlook interface. This capability helps to inform customer interactions, to reduce the need for manual data entry from one platform to the other, and to increase both worker productivity and customer satisfaction. (More info)
  • iEnterprise (small- to mid-sized businesses) – Designed to operate within the Outlook interface in any browser, iEnterprise allows users to access Dynamics CRM data without the need for local installation. Users are promised a 365-degree view of CRM, and the ability to easily  update selected customer data from Outlook directly to Dynamics. iEnterprise is also designed to work seamlessly on mobile platforms.
  • Tray.io (mid-sized businesses) – The Tray Platform is designed to automate “mission critical processes,” creating workflows that integrate customer data throughout the enterprise by connecting CRM, email, calendar, and task management applications—and many others. Tray also promises a high degree of versatility and configurability, claiming to provide “instant” access to every app and API, while delivering secure, scalable data integration.
  • Workato (mid-sized businesses) – An integration platform designed to automate workflows and share customer data between Dynamics CRM and Outlook email and calendar platforms, Workato promises a high degree of scalability and security – with “instant” deployment that requires no coding support.
  • Zapier (small and startup businesses)—This web-based integration syncs customer data between CRM, email, calendar, and task management applications, while automating repetitive tasks that would otherwise require manual data entry on multiple platforms. Designed for plug-and-play simplicity, Zapier provides secure data integration for small businesses that have few IT resources – and require little customization.

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