Customer Q & A: Walker

Customer Q & A: Walker

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 what their reasons for selecting Jitterbit as their integration solution.

In this week’s hot seat is Willie Doyle, VP of Application Development at Walker.

Can you tell me a little about Walker?

Walker is a Market research and consulting firm that has been around since 1939. We specialize in customer loyalty and related customer strategies such as segmentation, acquisition, service and retention. In the past few years we have moved from traditional survey management to using market research as a tool to perform higher level customer strategy consulting. Of course, we still do a lot of surveys but we are focused on shifting into the role of helping our clients take action on their customer data. Walker serves some of the world’s largest and influential businesses – most of our customers are in the Fortune 500.

How did you find out about Jitterbit and what were some of the reasons you chose it as your integration solution?

We have been doing web services and web based development and integration for a long time but until the recent past had never worked with Salesforce. A large client came to us as a prospect and one of their requirements was that we be able to connect our solutions with Salesforce. Obviously we wanted to make this work for a company like this but we really needed a robust data integration solution to make this happen.

We looked at a few vendors including Cast Iron. We actually went through the sales and demo process with Cast Iron but we ended up going with Jitterbit because the software was feature competitive and frankly, your sales team were great. They were straightforward and didn’t seem to be shoving Jitterbit down our throat by any means necessary.

Another important reason for going with Jitterbit is the fact that the Walker data
integration group isn’t full of programmers and Jitterbit didn’t require people to be programmers to enjoy its benefits. A few other vendors we looked at offered some good tools but they were much more scripting based and would clearly require developers.

How do you currently use Jitterbit?

Jitterbit’s main function is to interface between our on-premise Oracle system and our data management app that our customers use via the Salesforce AppExchange, Walker PowerInsights . Walker PowerInsights provides account managers with immediate access to customer feedback through the Salesforce tools they interact with every day. Using this app our customers can send surveys to customers and have this data delivered directly into Salesforce for actionable results.

We make use of Salesforce.com’s outbound messaging functionality. This allows us to have our internal system automatically updated every time a change is made in Salesforce. Jitterbit listens for messages from Salesforce and will synchronize these changes in real-time. This synchronization also works the other way. We have one client who uses this bi-directional sync to allow them to work in both our tools and Salesforce.

From a business perspective, how has Jitterbit helped Walker?

Without Jitterbit we would never have won a very important account – and this data integration has allowed us to win a handful of other new accounts that we would not have had a chance with prior to Jitterbit.

The best thing about Jitterbit is that its deep functionality and easy tools mean we can use it for any type of ad hoc integrations that come up. Any time we have an internal or external requirement for a strange integration, it’s great that I can say, “we can do that with Jitterbit”.

From a business perspective, our selling point with the Salesforce integration is that managing the survey process is tough because generally you need the people who own the relationships (e.g. the members of the Sales team) with customers to tell you who should be surveyed and who shouldn’t. For most of these companies they rarely have one big database with all the contact and data on these companies that is needed to properly execute a survey. What you need is a system like Salesforce that makes something like a survey ‘easy’. Sales Executives are busy and they are focused on making sales, not updating data and
running surveys. With Jitterbit running behind the scenes to integrate Walker’s tools with PowerInsights for Salesforce, the sales team can easily run surveys and collect actionable data on its customers. Data integration is the key to making this process work.

Thanks Willie! If you want to learn more about Walker’s integration, be sure to check out theirCustomer Success Story.

Do you have a Jitterbit success story you would like to share? Drop us a line at customersuccess [at] jitterbit.com or @jitterbit on twitter.