For pharmaceutical sales representatives working in the veterinary division of this global New York City-based pharmaceutical company, calendaring plays a vitally important role in memorializing, sharing, and keeping appointments with customers, prospects, and internal stakeholders alike. In the period leading up to 2018, these reps struggled with the data disconnect between Veeva CRM and Outlook calendars—resulting in appointment inconsistencies, omissions, and double-bookings. 

So this global leader recognized the urgency of resolving the calendar disconnect—for their affected field reps, their veterinarian customer base, and the health and growth of their revenue objectives. Living with the status quo simply wasn’t an option. So they embarked on an initiative to identify a revenue data ops solution that could bridge the Veeva-Outlook calendar gap. The search brought them to Riva—and led to the deployment of Riva’s on-premise revenue data ops solution. And the results exceeded their expectations.


Like many enterprises, our featured pharma faced a double-edged dilemma. Each day, end-users gathered enormous volumes of communications data through Outlook—the platform where they performed most of their day-to-day interactions with customers and internal stakeholders. Meanwhile, each day brought similar volumes of new revenue data into the company’s Veeva CRM. And while this growing cache of customer data held enormous potential to inform customer engagements, drive predictive analyses of customer needs, refine product development efforts, and more—that potential remained siloed in isolated data stacks. 

For the featured pharma, the most excruciating pain point involved data quality, specifically, calendaring data quality. Like many large enterprises dealing with complex, often sensitive data, our beleaguered pharmaceutical company had heard CRM’s siren call. Eager to embrace the technology as a single source of data truth, they implemented Salesforce-based Veeva CRM, trained the teams that would use it, and paid close attention to see the promised improvements to data quality, adoption, customer retention, and forecasting. 

But like other enterprises drawn to the panacea-like promise of CRM, the pharma didn’t see the results they’d anticipated. End-users continued to work in Outlook, and efforts to manually share Veeva CRM and Outlook Calendar data resulted in calendaring inconsistencies. As a result, data trust suffered, and end-users balked at Veeva adoption. 

The challenge was acute for the field sales representatives marketing animal pharmaceuticals to veterinarians. Because Veeva and Outlook calendars were not designed to synchronize appointment data,  it resulted in missed meetings, double bookings, and general frustration. Instead of improving the calendaring disconnect, CRM only added a new element of inconsistency. The calendaring problem was getting worse.

The Solution

The subject pharmaceutical company wisely recognized the problem and the importance of calendar data sharing. While Veeva implementation hadn’t resolved the issue, it had produced real, meaningful benefits. Despite unsatisfactory data quality, Veeva enabled them to capture, analyze, and use revenue data. They also recognized the reality: end-users couldn’t abandon Outlook as their primary communications hub. They also understood the inherent challenges of manual data transcription from one platform to another. Errors, omissions, and duplications were inevitable. What’s more, the process was time-intensive. When end-users were manually transferring calendar data from one platform to the other, they weren’t engaging with customers—and customer relationships were vulnerable. 

So, in 2018, the pharmaceutical company turned its attention to revenue data operations. They reviewed various options, put them through their paces, and narrowed their search to Riva. 

Riva’s revenue data operations capabilities checked all the boxes for the pharmaceutical company—particularly Riva’s ability to offer un-directional calendar data sync from their Veeva CRM to Outlook. With Riva, their 700+ field representatives can now rely on their Outlook calendars to serve as a single source of scheduling truth—providing full access in Outlook to customer engagement call notes and appointments captured in Veeva CRM.

The Impact

The impacts were immediate—and profound. After deployment, calendar data quality steadily improved. Appointments were kept consistently, double bookings dropped, and end-user productivity climbed as manual data transcription burdens eased. That recaptured time increased worker productivity, allowing end-users to establish stronger customer relationships—and customer confidence in—and satisfaction with—the pharmaceutical company grew apace. And because calendar data quality improved, end-users increasingly embraced Veeva as the single source of truth the pharmaceutical company had initially hoped it would be.   

In addition to those benefits, Riva also enabled the pharmaceutical company to take advantage of a nuanced difference between Veeva and Outlook. Because reps often work with assistants, their ability to access calendar data and record appointments is paramount. Veeva doesn’t permit end-users to delegate access to third parties—while Outlook does. By establishing the uni-directional sync from Veeva to Outlook, the pharma’s sales representatives can now delegate authority, allowing assistants to perform scheduling tasks on their behalf accurately.

In a study commissioned by Riva, Forrester Consulting utilized data from the subject pharmaceutical company and three global FINS to create a composite organization. They extrapolated the results of their interviews with these four companies to estimate Riva’s impact on the composite organization—and the impact was powerful. For the Forrester Study’s hypothetical, Riva deployment paid for itself within six months, boosted enterprise revenue by 5%, and resulted in an ROI of 352% during the study’s three-year projection period. 

And while those results aren’t specific to the pharmaceutical company at the heart of this case study, their experience is clear evidence of Riva’s impact. In Riva, they found the solution they’d long pursued—and more. From scheduling to productivity to customer retention, Riva’s impact was nothing short of transformative.

Transformative Change is Worth the Investment

Are you struggling to connect revenue and communications data—and realize the potential of your CRM as a single source of customer data truth? You’re not alone, and Riva customer data operations can help. Schedule an appointment with a Riva representative to learn more about the power of customer data operations to improve productivity, build CRM adoption, enhance customer lifetime value, and grow revenue.

Forrester Study of Riva’s Transformative Impact: 352% ROI, less than 6 months to payback
This is default text for notification bar