In many ways JWH Group’s Pep Olivieri faces more challenges than the typical IT manager.
JWH has four subsidiary companies — Plunkett Homes, WA Country Builders, Residential Building WA, and Oswald Homes — that compete with each other to build homes for West Australians.
This means the IT manager has to provide services to all four from centralised resources, but make sure that the competitively sensitive information of each is quarantined from the others.
When he wanted to integrate JWH’s SugarCRM customer relationship management system with its Marketo marketing automation system, this seemed a particularly intractable problem.
However he told Computerworld he had been able to solve it by turning to Dell Boomi’s integration platform as a service (iPaaS) offering.
“We need to segregate — we can’t afford pricing or details of a potential sale to cross over, so my job is quite difficult. I can’t give one company any advantage over another,” he said.
“Marketo and SugarCRM do have a connection, but that is extremely complicated for us. Because we have these four companies in SugarCRM, it could not cope with sending information back and forth to the Marketo system.
“This is where Dell Boomi really came into its own: It made that connection very simple and we could control the data flow back and forth.”
He added: “I have done a lot of integration in my 27 years in the industry and it can be one of the most difficult things to sort out. But setting up Boomi was quite easy, and we have not had any issues with it day-to-day.
“Once you have the account it is just a data mapping exercise where you connect up the two databases and map the fields you want to sync between the two systems.”
JWH used its SugarCRM supplier, CRM Online, to perform the SugarCRM integration with Boomi, and turned to Marketo consultancy G8 Technological to integrate the marketing platform.
“Marketo is one of the best marketing automation products, but it is also very sophisticated. We really needed somebody with expertise in it,” Olivieri said.
Olivieri said JWH has been using SugarCRM for about three and half years. After trialling Marketo with one of its building companies, Plunkett Homes, for the past year, JWH is now rolling it out to WA Country Builders and Residential Building WA, with deployment to Oswald Homes to follow later.
“Each one has their own take on how they want it set up and configure so we are not doing a cut and paste [of the Boomi integration] from Plunkett into the rest of the group,” Olivieri said. “They are going to input how they want campaigns to run and how they want to profile their clients.”
The IT manager is now contemplating extending the use of Boomi to other areas of the business.
“We are putting in a new construction administration system and need that to connect to other products like SugarCRM, so we are looking at using Boomi to do that,” he said.