Salesforce SAP Integration Viessmann Group Success Stories

Viessmann Group

A comprehensive look at Salesforce SAP integration from the customer Viessmann

After the introduction of the CRM system Salesforce, the Viessmann Group implemented the integration solution SKYVVA in order to establish a perfect connection to the ERP system SAP and Saleforce. Viessmann is now one of our long-time customers for whom the SKYVVA Salesforce SAP integration solution has proven itself.

Industry 4.0, digitization, networking – the heating system manufacturer Viessmann in Allendorf an der Eder expects great opportunities from digitization. The company has now taken a big step along the way: It introduced Salesforce’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, which gives the field sales force a central view of consumers and industrial customers.
To ensure that Salesforce and SAP ERP understand each other perfectly, Viessmann relied on the consulting companyApsara Consulting GmbH in Munich and its proven SKYVVA Integration Cloudsolution.

Michael Ringlebe is completely satisfied. Salesforce’s customer management system (CRM) has been running in Allendorf (Eder) for over a year now. Since then, the sales staff in the Heating Systems and Industrial Plant divisions have finally been able to do what should be the core task of the sales force: “They can now look after their customers even more effectively,” he says. Mr. Michael Ringlebe is Program Manager CRM at Viessmann IT Service GmbH, a subsidiary of the heating system manufacturer. The 180 experts support the company’s information technology and thus also the cloud-based CRM system Salesforce.

For one year now, the sales force has had the powerful tool at its disposal for maintaining customer relations. No matter whether sales and turnover figures, conditions, meetings and talks at trade fairs, on the phone or by e-mail – where and what the respective sales representative has discussed or agreed with his customers is brought together in the CRM system. “This means that every sales representative has the entire customer history in front of him from the first contact to the most recent order,” says Mr. Ringlebe. The industry is therefore happy to speak of the “360-degree view”. What’s more, with Salesforce, field sales representatives can also manage customer visits faster and more effectively and capture potential new customers (leads).

It wasn’t always like that. The Viessmann Group is what is often referred to as the “hidden champion” or the backbone of the German economy: Since its founding in 1917, the family-run company has employed 12,000 people in 12 countries and is widely known for its outstanding heating systems.

Viessmann was like many other companies. The products developed faster than some company processes. The sales force in particular suffered from this, working with a wealth of software applications,” says Michael Ringlebe. For example, customer sales and service processes were not sufficiently transparent for the other area. Therefore, it was clear that something had to change. In September 2016 the time had come for the conversion to begin. With Salesforce, Viessmann wanted to solve two problems at once: Consolidate all customer data in one system and at the same time significantly reduce the number of solutions.

The facts about the company:

The Viessmann Group is a leading international manufacturer of heating, industrial and cooling systems. Founded in 1917, the family-owned company employs 12,000 people in 23 production companies in twelve countries. The Group has sales companies and agencies in 74 countries. Turnover (2017): 2.25 billion EUR, of which 54 percent abroad.

Challenge of Salesforce SAP Integration:

Isolated solutions, in-house developments and software from external providers – in contact with customers, the sales force of the three Viessmann divisions had a large number of IT tools at their disposal. What was missing was an integrated customer management system (CRM) that allowed a central view of all processes around a customer – whether sales and turnover figures, conditions, mail traffic or discussions at trade fairs.


Viessmann was looking for a CRM solution that could be easily extended for future applications such as marketing or service. The heating system manufacturer saw the ideal platform in the Salesforce cloud. The connection to the SAP ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) used at Viessmann was handled by the consulting company Apsara Consulting with its integration solution SKYVVA Integration Cloud.

The benefit of Salesforce SAP Integration:

Wherever the field sales representatives of the Heating Systems Division or the field sales representatives of the Industrial Division are on the road in the five German sales regions – with the Salesforce Cloud they have access to all customer data.
Less complexity:
A consistent system instead of many, unconnected isolated solutions
Better data quality:
End-to-end monitoring guarantees that errors in data acquisition can be detected and corrected quickly. This avoids tedious troubleshooting and saves a lot of time with thousands of data records recorded every day.

Alarm function:
If errors occur, e.g. an incorrect e-mail address, users receive an e-mail via which they can call up and correct the incorrect data record directly
Because Salesforce is a platform, additional elements such as marketing and service can be connected to the CRM solution if required Customer processes in sales and service for the other area are not sufficiently transparent.

Viessmann is now using SAP ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) as the central corporate solution for all business-relevant areas. With Hybris C4C, SAP also offers its own cloud CRM solution As a market leader, Salesforce takes a holistic approach to the solution, which means that we can also use customer data as a basis for other scenarios in other business areas such as marketing and service,” explains Ringlebe.

Basically, Salesforce can also be used as a stand-alone solution. Viessmann therefore carried out its introduction in two stages. “We first imported a lot of data manually into the system because we could initially live without synchronizing the data from SAP,” says Felix Leber, who is a system administrator at Viessmann Global Salesforce. In September 2016, lead management went live without integration into SAP. As a result, customer master data in SAP and Salesforce diverged – an untenable situation for the field sales force. “For him, Salesforce SAP integration and a 360-degree view of the customer were indispensable,” says Michael Ringlebe.

This is where Apsara Consulting and its SKYVVA Integration Cloud solution come into play. The consulting company from Munich originally grew up in the SAP world before becoming a “Salesforce Global Strategic Independent Software Vendor”. “That’s why we knew that the Munichers
to know worlds in all depth”, says Michael Ringlebe.

With the SYVVA Integration Cloudsolution for SAP, Apsara Consulting also developed a key technology that met Viessmann’s decisive requirements: Smooth Salesforce SAP integration and no additional software (third-party systems or middleware), but “direct native end-to-end integration of SAP PI and Salesforce,” says Ringlebe. It is therefore understandable that Apsara Consulting prevailed against six competitors.

SAP and Salesforce exchange a lot of data. Every day, the field sales force updates thousands of customer data – with a clear distribution of roles: SAP acts as “master” over all the main data of a customer account, which means that the field sales force can view it in Salesforce, but can only change it to a limited extent.

Viessmann has now put twelve such inbound interfaces, i.e. from SAP to Salesforce, whether accounts, quotations, orders, deliveries or invoices, into productive operation. In the opposite direction (outbound from Salesforce to SAP), Salesforce is the “master” of contact information. However, colleagues from the IT department, not the sales force, take care of problem-free data transfer. He’s supposed to sell and look after the customers. “Thanks to the new CRM system, he’s got a lot more time today,” Michael Ringlebe is convinced.

Setting up a CRM system from scratch in an existing system landscape is anything but trivial. For us, it has paid off to have Apsara Consulting at our side, a solution provider who knows both worlds - SAP and Salesforce - extremely well and can provide the right solution for our system landscape.

Michael Ringlebe

Program Manager CRM - Viessmann IT Service GmbH
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