Tag Archives: laserfiche

Video Spotlight: Patrick Welsch of CitiesDigital comments on Laserfiche implementations by financial advisers

Financial advisers purchase Laserfiche document management software through a network of resellers. One of those resellers is CitiesDigital, Inc, led by President Patrick Welsch.

I sat down with Patrick at last month’s T3 Conference in Dallas to ask him about common barriers to Laserfiche implementations among financial advisers and get a better idea of the additional services CitiesDigital created to meet the compliance and record keeping needs of advisers.

(click here to view on YouTube)

FPPad Bits and Bytes for February 3

Today is the final day of the TD Ameritrade Institutional 2012 National Conference. I’m appearing on an all-star technology panel along with Davis Janowski of InvestmentNews, Joel Bruckenstein, Publisher of Technology Tools for Today, and Andy Gluck, President & Editor of Advisors4Advisors.

Follow the #TDAI2012 hashtag on Twitter for real-time conference updates. Will there be some fireworks emanating from this event? We’ll see.

But in the meantime, enjoy this week’s best technology stories from around the financial planning industry:

Laserfiche user conference draws a big crowd that wants to toss filing cabinets from RIABiz.com

[You saw my updates from the conference last week, so add this review from Nexus Strategy’s Tim Welsh to round out the perspective of Laserfiche’s annual user conference.] Showing off the user-base muscle of the firm’s 30,000 customers, the Laserfiche Empower 2012 conference convened at the Anaheim (Calif.) Marriott over three days, Jan. 25 to Jan. 27.

inStream, in the Moment from Financial-Planning.com

[The secret’s out on one new tool that has the potential to change most financial planners’ value proposition. Instead of reacting to the planning needs and questions of clients, startup inStream Solutions offers ways planners can be proactive with clients.] While it’s early in the game, inStream Solutions might be next in this line of financial planning software innovators. It’s a free, goal- and cloud-based planning solution for financial professionals. That’s right, free.

FPPad Bits and Bytes for January 27

Today is the final day of Laserfiche Empower 2012, where I’m taking in all I can regarding the company’s latest updates to their document management platform. See my prior posts on the event here:

I also created three mini broadcasts of conference highlights from my phone. Listen to them on my FlipZu page: http://flipzu.com/billwinterberg

 

In the meantime, I’ve been collecting the best stories in financial planning technology from around the web this week. Here are this week’s stories of interest:

Mobile Apps: Clients Want Them, Wealth Managers Are Developing Them from Financial-Planning.com

[You can’t ignore the impact mobile devices are making in the way you run your business. I bet over half of your clients have some kind of mobile device, so are you ready to provide service to them using these new channels?] The wealth management industry is adjusting to clients who increasingly expect that they should have anytime, anywhere access to their account information, according to a new study.

Another tool to help re-balance the books from InvestmentNews.com

[Next to document management software, rebalancing software is likely a guaranteed triple-digit ROI for any financial planning firm performing decent trading volume. Here Davis Janowski scoops a new product called RebalanceMax that’s priced well below the market dominators like Tamarac and iRebal.] Financial adviser Rich Chambers set up a side business, Advisor Innovation Inc. (advisorinnovation.com), to finish development of RebalanceMax and begin selling it to advisers on a commercial basis.

10 Top Tech Trends for BDs: FSI OneVoice 2012 from AdvisorOne.com

[James Green provides a decent, but short, list of ten tech trends discussed in a heavyweight panel discussion at FSI OneVoice 2012. Some trends are succinct and all-too-familiar to RIAs, but it’s a good list to keep in the back of your mind. “Integration” appears twice, and Salesforce Chatter is not a social media tool for use with clients; rather, it’s for internal discussion with firm team members.] At the annual Financial Services Institute’s OneVoice conference in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday, Spenser Segal, CEO of ActiFi, moderated a discussion meant to inform the attending independent broker-dealer executives about the 10 top technology trends that are affecting IBDs already and those that are likely to do so in the near future.

How Laserfiche is used in the family office environment

How one family office uses document management from Laserfiche

One of the afternoon sessions I attended featured one family office’s implementation of Laserfiche content management software.

Ed Wright, Managing Director of Piedmont Financial Trust Company and oversees technology and operations for the Greensboro, NC firm. Piedmont formed in 1928 as a family office, and it now has 25 staff to manage 650 accounts for 350 family members. In addition to family office and private trust company services, Piedmont provides asset allocation, investment monitoring, estate planning, tax prep, bill payment, education management services to its clients.

Prior to 2008, Piedmont suffered from inefficiencies due to volumes of unmanaged data, high data maintenance costs, and too many boxes of paper taking up valuable office space. Wright also commented that processes to comply with Office of Foreign Asset Control requirements were cumbersome due to their paper-based nature.

Wright sought a solution to alleviate such inefficiencies in the firm and heard about Laserfiche from an Advent User Group to which he belonged. Wright soon connected with Kevin Smith and his team at One Source Document Solutions.

In total, Wright said it took about six to eight months to fully roll out Laserfiche across the firm. They mandated buy-in from everyone, but involved all employees in clever games and incentives (like giving away iPod Touches) to increase their participation and engagement in the new environment.

At the same time, Piedmont also changed CRM systems and selected Microsoft Dynamics with customization from Salentica. Much of the scanning was performed with several multi-function printers from Sharp and lots of elbow grease.

Piedmont also worked with a web developer to create a secure document storage area on the firm’s website, leveraging Laserfiche to power the system behind the scenes. With some clever use if license management, Piedmont is able to share one license for all the ad-hoc website vault visits by clients. It’s a clever implementation, and I’m impressed with the flexibility of the Laserfiche API to support such requests.

Finally, Wright ended the session by stating that the ROI on Laserfiche far outweighs its purchase price simply in time savings alone. On top of that, their tax department loves Laserfiche, as they can quickly find any client tax document, saving valuable time during the February-to-April busy season. Laserfiche workflow has also streamlined the OFAC approval process, and Piedmont has been able to eliminate its off-site storage for archived paper documents.

It always nice to hear of financial services firms using document management systems like Laserfiche, and from Wright’s presentation, it’s clear that such software is a requirement for any firm, not just a nice-to-have.

Laserfiche CEO kicks off annual Empower conference to record attendance


The CEO of Laserfiche, a leading Enterprise Content Management, provides an update and identifies plans for the future.

Nien-Ling Wacker, Laserfiche Founder & CEO welcomed a group of over 1,600 attendees to Empower 2012, the company’s annual conference held at the Anaheim Marriott in Southern California. Wacker provided updates on the company’s accomplishments and future goals to a mix of users, resellers, vendors, integrators and media.

Wacker began by comparing the economic climate of the last four years to the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme. No matter how many people are assigned to fix the problems du jour, nobody seems to be able to put things back together again. But despite the severe economic headwinds, Laserfiche managed to buck the trend and continue to grow and expand.

Accomplishments in 2011

Wacker noted that the company continues to hire to meet demands on all levels, adding 137 new Rio installations in 2011. Laserfiche hired 56 people in 2009, 56 in 2010, and 73 in 2011, and has always offered a 50% match to employees’ 401(k) accounts. “Maybe you should join us!” said Wacker jokingly.

Looking ahead to 2012

Wacker then provided a sneak peek into what Laserfiche is planning for 2012. First off is the rollout of a Solution Exchange, a web-based network of users that can interact with one another and share best practices of using the system. In addition, there will be online calculators that can illustrate the ROI of adopting ECM, identify workflow scripting, optimal business processes and more.

Laserfiche is also growing the Certified Professional Program (CPP), adding a Gold certification to the list of skills Laserfiche vendors and integrators can earn.

Finally, Wacker alluded to a sneak preview of a Laserfiche app for iPad, and there’s a video currently available on Laserfiche’s conference website you can view. Click here to view it.

Obviously more will come as the conference continues, so when I have an opportunity for a break, I’ll do my best to share new insight and information with you.

Maximize Your Technology Spending in 2012

My contribution schedule to the Journal of Financial Planning has changed for 2012. Instead of columns in the May and November editions, look for my articles in this year’s January and July editions.

To kick off 2012, I highlight 13 products and services you can purchase in 2012 that are sure to increase your firm’s growth and your personal productivity.

And you don’t need to spend big bucks to benefit from these ideas. There’s something for everyone with budgets ranging from as little as $100 up to $5,000.

So read January’s column at the Journal of Financial Planning now, Maximize Your Technology Spending in 2012.

Tamarac announces Advisor® Xi, new integration partners, facilitates document management for advisers

Tamarac’s integrated platform expands connections to popular document management software applications. 

In a press release today, Seattle-based Tamarac Inc. announced the first wave of integration partners for the latest iteration of its platform for advisers, Advisor® Xi.

Click here to read the full release on PRNewswire.

Three popular document management software applications headline the integration, with support announced for Laserfiche® from Cities Digital, Worldox® from Trumpet, and NetDocuments®. In addition to the document management integrations, Advisor Xi will also include integrations with Laser App for online form submissions, MoneyGuidePro™ for financial planning, ByAllAccounts® for account aggregation, and Rackspace for hosted Microsoft Exchange®.

Matt Stroh, VP of Marketing at Tamarac said in the press release, “Partnering with these first-class vendors represents Tamarac’s commitment to taking integration to the next level. Together, we will offer a complete best-of-breed platform that will give financial advisors greater opportunities to replace manual processes with fully automated workflows that span across multiple, integrated products.”

FPA and ActiFi Publish Document Management Software Technology Report

In the latest edition of their technology report series, FPA and ActiFi today released the “FPA-ActiFi Adviser Technology Reports: Document Management Edition” highlighting eight different software solutions available to advisers. Solutions reviewed include the following:

  • CNG-Safe (CabinetNG)
  • Docupace
  • eFileCabinet
  • Grendel
  • Laserfiche
  • NetDocuments
  • Solution 360° (Interactive Advisory Software)
  • Worldox (Trumpet)

I had the privilege of contributing to this report and wrote the introductory notes on the advent of document management and the benefits of using mature document management systems.

Like all FPA-ActiFi technology reports, FPA members have free access to the comprehensive research. The report is also available for purchase by non-members for $495 through the FPA Research Center.

Laserfiche Mobile for iPhone Now Available in Apple App Store

Just a quick FYI for those of you who use Laserfiche for your document management system.

The Laserfiche app for iPhone is now available for download in the Apple App Store.

Most document management systems have a web access component allowing documents to be viewed through a standard web browser. But Laserfiche is the first among document management providers to financial advisers to publish a dedicated app for a mobile device.

Some key features in the mobile app include:

  • Search across all documents in the Laserfiche repository
  • Search just for text in a document, document names, document field information (i.e. metadata), or any combination of the three.
  • Add a document to Laserfiche using the iPhone camera or by uploading an image from the device’s photo library.

After playing around with the demo repository, the app is fairly quick in its search function across included documents, though the demo repository is not terribly large.

Document previews are available for Microsoft Word documents by simply tapping on the document listing. To view PDF files, one must first swipe across the filename, then tap a document icon to open the export menu, then select either “Send as e-mail” or “View electronic document.” Once the PDF is downloaded, it can be exported to other apps compatible with PDF files, including iBooks, Goodreader, Dropbox, and more.

Nevertheless, I found the PDF preview process quite convoluted. It takes one swipe and three taps to view the file. Given the popularity of PDF files in a paperless office, this user interface in the Laserfiche app deserves to be simplified.

I like what I see in this app, but here are some enhancements I’d like to see in the near future:

  • iPad compatibility to take advantage of the significantly larger screen
  • Ability to limit or exclude searches in repositories. For example, I just want to see all documents matching “1040” in my client John Smith’s folder
  • Keyword search option while viewing supported files so users can find words and phrases inside a document. Today users can only perform keyword searches from the main search window.
  • An app passcode upon launching. Client files contain sensitive information, so should an iPhone be lost or compromised, it would be nice to require one additional passcode (in addition to the master device passcode) to be entered when subsequently launching the app.

Are you a Laserfiche user? Do you think you’ll make use of the new iPhone app? Why or why not?

T3 Begins Thursday; Follow the Conference Twitter Backchannel

The second large industry conference of the year for independent financial advisers kicks off this Thursday.

The Technology Tools for Today (T3) Conference, a joint effort by T3: The Newsletter producers David J. Drucker and Joel P. Bruckenstein, begins with pre-conference sessions by many leading technology vendors and service providers.

Pre-conference sessions include presentations by Junxure, Laserfiche, Tamarac, MoneyGuidePro, and Smarsh to name a few.

Presentations

I’ll be there presenting two sessions. First, I’ll be a panelist in Friday’s session titled iPad: How Advisors Are Using it Productively along with Sandra E. Goodstein of Goodstein and Associates, LLC, and Russell Dunkin of McKinley Carter Wealth Services. Diane MacPhee, CFP®, Business Coach and owner of DMAC Consulting Services, LLC will moderate the panel.

Second, I’m teaming up with Jo Day of Trumpet, Inc to present Transformative Technology You Can Implement Now on Saturday. We have assembled a slide deck full of resources advisers can add to their practice to make clients and colleagues speak highly of their firm.

Visit the T3 Conference website for the full conference agenda.

Twitter Backchannel

Just as with TD AMERITRADE Institutional’s 2011 National Conference, attendees of T3 are encouraged to use social media to connect and communicate through the backchannel.

The primary Twitter account for T3 is @T3fan and the hashtag being used for conference-related tweets is #T32011.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/t3fan/status/19631983814508545″]