Customer Q & A: Bayer, Inc.
The ongoing Customer Q & A blog series highlights a wide range of Jitterbit customers to find out what business needs drove their integration requirements and why they made Jitterbit their integration solution of choice.
In this week’s hot seat is Cornelius Msipha, BAP IT Applications Development, Bayer, Inc.
You might be surprised to know that we didn’t know about Jitterbit prior to our Salesforce implementation. We were used to just the usual big names, perhaps because we were already a client of one of those big names. We invited some of those big names to come onsite to give a demo of their tools with specific emphasis on Salesforce integration. They all seemed good, but were heavily priced for the functions that we required. So we went on a search to find what else was out there. We came across the name Jitterbit first on a website that was providing a Comparison Table of integration solutions. I should mention that Jitterbit stacked up quite well on that comparison table. Then after that we realized the name Jitterbit was quite a staple on the Salesforce App Exchange. It was enough to warrant a closer investigation.
We were in the early stages of our Salesforce implementation. There was going to be significant data movement between our new CRM system (Saleforce) and our existing Datawarehouse (Oracle) and our ERP (SAP). As most IT implementations are, we needed this done fairly quickly. Our requirements were pretty simple:
- Find a tool that will not require us to overhaul our skill-set before we can be able to import data into, and export data out of Salesforce.
- Find something that will work quite well with our existing Datawarehouse (Oracle), which is the hub of most of our applications. We are not ready to change our platform for the sake of an integration tool.
- Based on our prior experience with ETL tools we needed to find a tool with a reasonable amount of features that we require regularly some of which are; re-usability of objects, web service support, allows multiple input and output types, has built-in data transformation functions, can easily scale and provides features for automation and hands-free monitoring.
How do you currently use Jitterbit?
We use Jitterbit primarily for data movement between Salesforce, a data warehouse and SAP.
In our Salesforce implementation we have an order management system. Since our system of record for all orders is SAP, we export orders from Salesforce and we integrate them into SAP. At each stage of the order fulfillment process we report back to Salesforce the status of the order, giving the sales team complete visibility. We have some stringent validation steps that our data goes through prior to being sent to SAP. For that we use procedure calls to the data warehouse from within Jitterbit.
Our Account and Product information can only be changed in SAP, so we have to synchronize that information back to Salesforce.
We have other data that we get from external vendors coming in the form of text files. That data gets integrated into Salesforce and the data warehouse.
Currently our integration into SAP is through iDOCs. We have a customer iDOC generator in our data warehouse which we launch through Jitterbit to create Order iDOCs which we then ftp to the SAP server for import into SAP. You can see that we have a lot of things going; we have data export and import into Salesforce, export and import into the data warehouse and SAP, Oracle procedure calls, FTP and in some cases launching of Windows batch jobs. In all those activities, Jitterbit is the driver of all automation.
From a business perspective, how has Jitterbit helped you?
In the corporate world, for IT to survive one has to demonstrate a return on investment for any tool or software that you purchase. If the software requires extensive user training that’s one more factor to consider in your decision-making. We were able to setup Jitterbit within a few hours and started experimenting with Salesforce integration right way. We did not require any extensive training in either Jitterbit or Salesforce. Obviously the fact that we already had familiarity with ETL functionality helped. The data integration portion of the Salesforce project was done over a few weeks as opposed to months. We estimate that using Jitterbit with its seamless integration with Salesforce saved us at least 33% on development time and costs. My biggest concern coming from the Business Intelligence perspective is that data integration not be a drag to the rest of the project in terms of time. But it’s important that I accomplish all that at the right price.
It’s not all about the features that a tool has and the price you pay for the tool. A good software is only as good as the support that you are going to get from the maker of the software. Let’s face it, stuff happens every time and you are going to need Technical Support at some point. Jitterbit support has been very responsive. Everything from pre-sales to post-sales has been met with a very well informed support team.
Whether you have used an integration tool before or not, Jitterbit makes the task of moving data very easy. Movement of data from one source to another should not be the job. The job is actually what you do with the data once you have moved it to its destination. Jitterbit was able to set us free so we could worry about more important things, making sense out of the data.
For more information, view the case study for Salesforce, Oracle, and SAP integration we put together with Bayer, or view Cornelius’ video testimonial.