Tag Archives: OpenView Gateway

FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 1, 2016

On today’s broadcast, Betterment raises $100 million in fresh capital, Fidelity tests FidelityGo, Schwab pulls the plug on OpenView Integrated Office, and more.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

First, a heads up, Steve and I will be on the road later this month covering the massive NAB 2016 event, scouring the exhibit halls for technology you can use to make great videos and podcasts, followed by the 2016 Shareholders Service Group conference in San Diego. Visit fppad.com/subscribe and sign up today so you don’t miss any of our coverage from the events.

Betterment Raises $100 Million from Betterment.com

[Now on to this week’s top story which comes from Betterment, as the automated investment service raised another $100 million dollars in venture capital, bringing the total amount they’ve raised to $205 million. Betterment is pulling away from a crowded field of robo competitors, now servicing over 150,000 customers, managing $3.9 billion in assets, and valued at a reported $700 million.

Betterment says they will use the funding to grow the Betterment for Business 401(k) platform and the Betterment Institutional offering for you, the financial advisor.

But despite all the money raised and what they say about being their customer’s central financial relationship, Betterment’s questionnaire still doesn’t tell customers that they should pay off high interest credit card debt or build up an emergency fund first before investing. Oh, that’s right, customers can find that advice somewhere on the blog.

So I’ll reiterate what I posted on Twitter this week: Betterment, I hope you use the money to make unbiased fiduciary advice accessible & affordable to everyone.

If you want to read more about the latest round of Betterment’s funding, head over to fppad.com/183 for the links to this week’s top stories.] Today marks an important milestone for Betterment and our more than 150,000 customers who have invested over $3.9 billion with us. We’re excited to announce that Betterment has closed a $100 million investment, led by a new partner, Kinnevik.

Fidelity Starts Testing Robo-Adviser Service on Existing Clients from Bloomberg.com

[Next up is news from Fidelity, as the company announced plans to begin testing Fidelity Go, its own automated investing service for retail investors, with roughly 500 customers this week, with an official rollout sometime in the second half of this year.

If you remember back to November of 2015, Fidelity broke off its relationship to promote Betterment Institutional to advisors, and then coincidentally announced the Fidelity Go retail product that competes more or less with Betterment. Fidelity Go will feature investment portfolios managed by Geode Capital Management, all in fees at 39 basis points or lower, automatic rebalancing, but no tax loss harvesting.

With Fidelity Go as a retail offering, you should know that Fidelity told me that a B2B version is under development, and while they couldn’t give me a solid release date, they did say the offering will be customized to your needs as an advisor.

Nevertheless, Fidelity joins Charles Schwab as an institutional custodian with an automated investment solution in the retail space, but at no platform fee in exchange for a little extra cash allocation, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, in my opinion, is going to be tough to beat.] Fidelity Investments, the second-largest U.S. mutual fund company, will test an automated-investment service starting Wednesday on a small group of existing customers. Fidelity plans to offer the service to the public in the second half of this year.

Schwab Unplugs Its Customized Version of Salesforce from WealthManagement.com

[And speaking of Schwab, this week’s final story is news that Schwab Advisor Services is discontinuing the Schwab OpenView Integrated Office solution effective July 31. Roughly 150 firms are using the solution, so they’re going to have to find some other technology to replace Integrated Office, specifically the custom version of Salesforce that came with it.

The link to the story at fppad.com/183 has the details on options for affected advisors, including using Salesforce with Schwab OpenView Gateway or migrating to a completely new CRM, but here’s the angle I want to focus address.

This is absolutely an example of what can happen when you choose a custodian’s proprietary solution for a part of your technology. How committed is that custodian going to be to offer that technology over the lung run? In this case, Schwab, for whatever reason, is shutting down Integrated Office, leaving 150 advisors with just three months to figure out what to do.

So I don’t blame you one bit for getting a little uneasy when custodians offer proprietary technology solutions to you that they own and control. But with more custodian acquisitions of technology on the horizon, I’m afraid this is a risk you’re going to have to assume more frequently as time moves on.

One more thing: if you want a firm with Salesforce experience in financial services, get your pencils out, because you should consider contacting LiquidHub, Concenter Services, Navatar, Salentica, or AppCrown.] One hundred fifty Charles Schwab advisors must find a new client relationship manager (CRM) by July 31.

Here are stories that didn’t make this week’s broadcast:

Envestnet | Tamarac Rolls Out New Household Structure and Service Team Functionality in Advisor View™ Client Portal from PRNewswire.com

Envestnet | Tamarac has launched four major software updates designed to strengthen RIAs’ online engagement with clients. The roll-out is part of the firm’s March 2016 technology release.

Advyzon Integrates Laser App Software to Enhance Client Advisor Relationship from LaserApp.com

Laser App Software, the premier provider of forms automation and management software for the securities and insurance industries, has announced that Advyzon, an all in one cloud-based platform combining portfolio management, performance reporting, CRM, client portal and planning, integrated with Laser App Software to enhance its client dashboard.

Marketware International is pleased to announce that it has become a new member of the IBM Watson Ecosystem Partner Program.

Our team has been hard at work creating the AdvisorQA mobile product experience for Financial Services. It provides a new mobile Content Management and Social Collaboration tool that utilizes the cognitive computing and research capabilities of IBM Watson.

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 1, 2016

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for April 1, 2016

FPPad Bits and Bytes for January 23

On today’s broadcast, Riskalyze enhances its best client facing technology with a fresh new interface, Advicent adds new integrations for Schwab Intelligent Technologies, and, get my best cybersecurity tips to protect your business from hacking, phishing, and spoofing attacks.

So get ready, FPPad Bits and Bytes begins now!

(click to watch FPPad Bits and Bytes on YouTube)

But first, if you are interested in supporting future episodes of FPPad Bits and Bytes, find out how you can become a sponsor to reach a fantastic audience of advisors looking to grow their business with technology. Visit fppad.com/advertise for more information on how you can help support this show.

Oh, and check out the #baconjam at Carson Kitchen in Las Vegas. It is to die for!

Here are the links to this week’s top stories:

The Industry’s “Best Client Facing Technology” Just Got Better from Riskalyze

[Now this week’s top story comes from Riskalyze, the provider of risk tolerance assessment tools for advisors, as this week the company announced an all-new dashboard and client profile interface.

The new interface is clean, designed to be easy to navigate, and is overall very user friendly. For example, profiles prominently display the risk number of a client’s existing portfolio, the risk of a portfolio proposed by the advisor, and a probability percentage from the Riskalyze Retirement Map feature I mentioned back in episode 129.

As the winner of my best client-facing technology award in 2013, Riskalyze raises the bar once again with its new look and feel, but the company is also enhancing the nuts and bolts of what goes on behind the scenes. If you’re not yet using a formal risk assessment tool in your business, Riskalyze deserves to have a spot on your list of contenders.] One of the things our customers love the most about Riskalyze is how simple and easy it is to use. Today, we’re doubling down on that with the launch of an all-new Riskalyze dashboard and client profile, the Advisor-Set Risk Number and simpler stress tests.

Advicent Launches Two New Integrations for Schwab Intelligent Technologies™ from PRWeb

[Next up is news on Advicent Solutions, a provider of financial planning and marketing communication tools to advisors. Earlier this week, Advicent announced to new integrations with Schwab Intelligent Technologies™.

First, if you monitor client accounts using the Schwab PortfolioCenter Hosted™ solution, you will be able to import account values into the NaviPlan® financial planning application using the Schwab OpenView Gateway™ integration. If you don’t use Schwab PortfolioCenter Hosted, you can still import values from Schwab Advisor Center using the integration the company announced last year.

Second, a new integration was announced for those of you who use the Profiles™ financial planning software tool from Advicent. Just like NaviPlan, Profiles now supports account information imports from Schwab Advisor Center as well, helping you save time when importing account values into plans built with Profiles.

If you don’t custody assets with Schwab, you’ll be glad to know that Advicent has been busy building integrations with other providers in recent months, including TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Veo Open Access, Redtail CRM, Morningstar Office, Appcrown, and Orion Advisor Services.] Advicent Solutions, a Milwaukee-based SaaS provider, adds two new integrations for Schwab Intelligent Technologies™ to help financial advisors manage their time more effectively.

How to Keep Client Data Safe From Online Attackers from Financial Planning, and

Download my Defend Against Hacking, Phishing, and Spoofing Attacks guide from FPPad.com

[And finally, I traveled to Las Vegas this week where I presented at the AICPA Advanced Personal Financial Planning conference. I gave a room full of CPAs tips and techniques to protect their business from hacking, phishing, and spoofing attacks.

Financial Planning magazine sent Maddy Perkins to cover my session, and she did a terrific job capturing the risks to your business and the defensive strategies you can implement.

Visit fppad.com/151 to get the link to the story in Financial Planning, and while you’re there, you can also link to my free three-page PDF on all the tips, strategies, and resources I covered during my presentation.] Just hours before he was going to give a presentation on online security for advisors, Bill Winterberg lost his phone at the AICPA Personal Financial Planning Conference. Luckily, thanks to a plan he has for just such an occasion, he found it.

 

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for January 23, 2015

Watch FPPad Bits and Bytes for January 23, 2015

Schwab IMPACT 2013 Report: All the technology trends advisors can’t miss

Bernie Clark, executive vice president of Schwab Advisor Services, kicks off IMPACT 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Bernie Clark, executive vice president of Schwab Advisor Services, kicks off IMPACT 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Schwab IMPACT 2013 kicked off its pinnacle event in Washington, D.C. this year with a big focus on the technology trends sure to change the financial services industry in the foreseeable future.

Here are the most important technology announcements provided by various members of the executive team inside Schwab Advisor Services.

Project PM2 Coming

Likely the most intriguing announcement from Neesha Hathi, SVP of Advisor Technology Solutions is the preview of a new portfolio management software platform called Project PM2 (“PM Squared”).

Neesha Hathi, senior vice president of Advisor Technology Solutions, shares the latest on Schwab’s technology offerings at IMPACT 2013.

Neesha Hathi, senior vice president of Advisor Technology Solutions, shares the latest on Schwab’s technology offerings at IMPACT 2013.

From a video shown at Schwab IMPACT, the preview of PM2 featured a tile-like interface reminiscent of Windows 8. Project PM2 will offer proactive alerts for events like new account funding, trading reports, and revenue metrics.

PM2 will be a cloud-based solution offering direct integration to Schwab data feeds. Reports and presentations offer dynamic capabilities and will support one-step publishing to a variety of client delivery mechanisms.

PM2 to be Multi-Custodial

In a later interview with Brian Shenson, vice president of Advisor Technology solutions, he said the roadmap for PM2 includes multi-custodial data support as well as the potential integration of account aggregation software.

Shenson added that Schwab Advisor Services already has long-standing relationships with providers like ByAllAccounts and CashEdge from FiServ.

Details on pricing and availability for PM2 were not announced at IMPACT.

Schwab OpenView Mobile

Hathi also announced a current pilot program underway to provide affiliated advisors with a branded mobile app that clients can use to interface with their advisor.

Schwab OpenView Mobile is the official program, and Hathi explained that clients can use the branded app to view real-time account data and review their advisor’s contact information.

Schwab OpenView Mobile will be available for a nominal fee which was not disclosed during the Schwab IMPACT breakout session.

Reinvented Wire Requests; DocuSign Integration in Schwab Alliance

Naureen Hassan, senior vice president, Client Experience, shares the latest on Schwab’s technology offerings at IMPACT 2013.

Naureen Hassan, senior vice president, Client Experience, shares the latest on Schwab’s technology offerings at IMPACT 2013.

Naureen Hassan, SVP of Client Experience revealed that in an average quarter, Schwab manually verifies over 240,000 signatures across a variety of forms. Clearly Schwab recognizes the ability to increase operational efficiency here with the adoption of electronic signature support.

Hassan announced two pending initiatives. First, wire requests will be “completely reinvented,” as advisors can initiate wire requests via Schwab Advisor Center. Upon submission, clients will actually receive alerts on their mobile phone, and then they can log in to a Schwab app and approve the wire request on the spot.

This overhauled wire request process is aimed to combat fraud and theft in the industry due to a significant rise in client spoofing (see: Client spoofing strikes again, RIA loses $290,000 of client funds)

Second, Hassan announced that DocuSign is currently in a pilot program and will soon be completely integrated in the Schwab Alliance system. Details on when DocuSign will be formally introduced for all Schwab advisors were not disclosed.

MoneyGuidePro Now Part of Integrated Office

Brian Shenson, vice president, Advisor Technology Solutions, shares the latest on Schwab’s technology offerings at IMPACT 2013.

Brian Shenson, vice president, Advisor Technology Solutions, shares the latest on Schwab’s technology offerings at IMPACT 2013.

Brian Shenson, VP of Advisor Technology Solutions was the next to take the stage and provide updates on the suite of Schwab OpenView solutions: Gateway, Integrated Office, Workflow Library, and MarketSquare.

Of most relevance is the addition of financial planning software integrations to Schwab OpenView Integrated Office™ platform. The first integration is with PIEtech to integrate MoneyGuide Pro financial planning software. NaviPlan from Zywave was also mentioned as an integration coming soon to Integrated Office.

MarketSquare Update

If you recall last year, Schwab announced the introduction of Schwab OpenView MarketSqaure, a review website consisting of advisor-submitted feedback on technology vendors and providers.

At this year’s IMPACT conference, Hathi said that over 70 providers have the potential to be listed in OpenView MarketSquare, but only 34 of them have a sufficient number of reviews to be publicly listed in the resource.

Hathi urged advisors in the audience to continue to submit their reviews of tools and services they use so MarketSquare can increase the number of providers present in the website.
34 have reviews.

All photos by Billy Cole/Orange Photography for Charles Schwab. Used with permission.

Schwab Advisor Services’ Brian Shenson addresses PortfolioCenter Hosted, OpenView Gateway, and Integrated Office offerings for advisers

In this video spotlight interview, Brian Shenson, vice president of Advisor Technology Solutions for Schwab Advisor Services met with me to update Schwab’s progress on a number of technology initiatives.

(For details on last weeks’ Schwab Tech Talk conference call, read RIA technology updates from Schwab Advisor Services’ Tech Talk series.)

Brian Shenson, vice president, Advisor Technology Solutions for Schwab Advisor Services

Brian Shenson, vice president, Advisor Technology Solutions for Schwab Advisor Services

PortfolioCenter Hosted

Clearly, Schwab Advisor Services recognizes the opportunity in offering advisers the ability to locate portions of their technology in the cloud.

The launch of PortfolioCenter Hosted, according to Shenson, is intended to simplify operations for advisers.

“We have over 3,500 advisers today relying on PortfolioCenter desktop, but they’re looking to simplify their operating model with cloud-based solutions,” said Shenson.

“PortfolioCenter Hosted allows [advisers] to have the same control and ownership of their data that they have today, but leverage Schwab’s backbone infrastructure to host their systems,” he added.

Schwab OpenView MarketSquare

I asked Shenson to elaborate on the resources Schwab provides when it comes to the various integrations supported by PortfolioCenter and other Schwab Intelligent Technologies’ resources.

Schwab OpenView MarketSquare is the latest resource Shenson highlighted to educate advisers on their technology purchase options.

“[OpenView MarketSquare is] not meant to replace other resources advisers rely on to learn about technology”, said Shenson, “but we think we have a unique opportunity to create voice to the adviser’s perspective on the technology they use to help inform other advisers before making that purchase decision for a particular technology.”

Schwab OpenView MarketSquare™ provides technology ratings and reviews, exclusively by and for advisors who custody with Schwab Advisor Services™

Schwab OpenView MarketSquare™ provides technology ratings and reviews, exclusively by and for advisors who custody with Schwab Advisor Services™

Visit Schwab OpenView MarketSquare online at http://www.schwabintelligenttechnologies.com/MarketSquare

OpenView Gateway versus Integrated Office

Finally, there still is confusion over the differences in the two primary back office offerings from Schwab Advisor Services, OpenView Gateway and the Integrated Office.

I asked Shenson to identify the type of advisory firm to which each solution is best suited.

“Many advisers have already made substantial investments in their technology infrastructure, and for them we wanted to work with best-of-breed providers and build integrations to those platforms. That is what we designed with OpenView Gateway,” said Shenson.

The alternate solution, Integrated Office, is a complete “office in a box” offering.

“Many advisers are looking for incredible simplicity in their operating model,” said Shenson.

“They’re looking to us as a provider to offer an integrated solution where all the pieces are designed to fit very well together. For them we offer the Integrated Office.”

(click to watch on YouTube)

Schwab Advisor Services’ Neesha Hathi discusses innovation, differentiation, and pending technology rollouts

After spending several months on the road, spotlight video interviews are back!

Neesha Hathi is senior vice president of Advisor Technology Solutions at Charles Schwab and a member of the senior leadership team for Schwab Advisor Services.

Neesha Hathi is senior vice president of Advisor Technology Solutions at Charles Schwab and a member of the senior leadership team for Schwab Advisor Services.

I recently had the pleasure to sit down and speak with Neesha Hathi, senior vice president of Advisor Technology for Schwab Advisor Services, on a number of topics.

In this seven-minute video, Hathi highlights how Schwab is able to maintain its agility in innovation despite its large size as an organization.

For details on all of Schwab’s recent announcements, see RIA technology updates from Schwab Advisor Services’ Tech Talk series posted here yesterday.

Hathi also explains how Schwab Advisor Services has gathered extensive feedback from their advisors to enhance the web trading platform in use by thousands of firms everyday.

(click here to watch on YouTube)

RIA technology updates from Schwab Advisor Services’ Tech Talk series

Neesha Hathi, Senior Vice President of Schwab Advisor Services

Neesha Hathi, Senior Vice President of Schwab Advisor Services

In a move to be more visible and transparent, Schwab Advisor Services launched a periodic series of conference calls called Tech Talk, featuring the latest updates on Schwab’s technology and related services for independent investment advisors.

Here are the most significant updates from the latest conference call held Monday June 24, featuring updates by Schwab Advisor Services Senior Vice President Neesha Hathi and Vice President Brian Shenson.

Schwab Intelligent Integration

Over 700 advisors are using some kind of solution from Schwab Intelligent Integration, which includes Schwab OpenView Gateway and Schwab Integrated Office. The Schwab OpenView Workflow Library (hey, I don’t choose the names for these solutions!!) is not included in the advisor count (see the next item).

The Schwab OpenView Workflow Library resources have been downloaded over 8,000 times with over 1,000 firms benefiting from the information.

New financial planning software integrations were announced, with Zywave’s NaviPro Planning Suite and PIEtech’s MoneyGuidePro to be added soon to Schwab OpenView Gateway. The integrations will allow financial profile and account information to be delivered from the custodial application to the planning software.

OpenView Gateway will also include the Envestnet|Tamarac Advisor Rebalancing® application. Here, too, advisors will be able to access Schwab’s custody data using the rebalancing application to evaluate and generate trade instructions to streamline portfolio rebalancing.

Move Money Directly from CRM

One of the features hinted by Hathi and Shenson is the ability advisors will soon have to initiate Move Money transactions directly from their CRM of choice.

Move Money requests have historically been restricted to the Schwab Advisor Services online custody platform or by placing a phone call to a service team. According to Shenson, Move Money from CRM will first appear in OpenView Gateway for all Salesforce CRM users, currently estimated to be roughly 200 advisory firms today. Soon after, Move Money will be made available to all Schwab OpenView Gateway CRM partners, which includes Junxure, Salentica, and Envestent|Tamarac.

PortfolioCenter Hosted Update

According to Hathi, roughly 40 advisory firms have contracts in place (which I take to mean not completely rolled out as of today) to use PortfolioCenter Hosted in their business.

Black Diamond Integration

Hathi also updated the Schwab OpenView Gateway integration with Black Diamond software from Advent Software, Inc. Black Diamond is in pilot testing with real time custody data, and is expected to reach general availability by the end of July 2013.

Web Trading

In one of the most eagerly anticipated updates, Hathi updated the status of the new web trading platform in Schwab Advisor Center. The new web trading layout will begin to roll out to select advisors in July 2013, with all of Schwab’s advisors using the new functionality by the end of the year. A preview of the layout is below.

A preview of the anticipated updates to the web trading interface from Schwab Advisor Services

A preview of the anticipated updates to the web trading interface from Schwab Advisor Services

OpenView MarketSquare

OpenView MarketSquare has been available to advisors for several months, and nearly 600 reviews are now available covering roughly 80 products used by advisors.

Mobile Initiatives

In response to a question submitted via Twitter, Hathi addressed coming changes in mobile initiatives from Schwab Advisor Services. Coming soon will be the ability for advisors to use the Schwab Advisor Center mobile app to conduct remote deposit of client checks.

Schwab’s retail customers have enjoyed remote deposit from the retail mobile app for well over a year, so finally this functionality is making its way to advisor devices for those who continue to receive checks from their clients.

Finally, Schwab will add functionality to the retail app to allow clients to authorize a wire transfer request submitted by their advisor.

 

Salentica feeds Schwab OpenView Gateway™ data to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. Or does it? I’m confused.

Not all versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM are the same

04/11/2013: Updated to clarify a LOT of my own confusion surrounding Salentica and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM comes in so many variants with and without third-party providers, I find myself scratching my head when trying to figure out the maze of buying the product, let alone use it.

I was saving this for Friday’s Bits and Bytes update, but as I started digging into the story, I found myself navigating a rabbit’s hole of strange logic.

If I’m confused about Microsoft Dynamics CRM, then I think you don’t stand much chance keeping this all straight on your own!

This story all started with the following press release:

Salentica Releases Schwab OpenView Gateway™ Solution for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Users from PRWeb.com

Ok, stay with me on this one.

Who is Salentica?

Salentica is a reseller Microsoft independent software vendor (ISV)/ Microsoft Certified Partner, and they provide a custom overlay to Microsoft Dynamics® CRM specific to financial advisers called Salentica CRM. If you use Salentica CRM and custody with Schwab Advisor Services, you’ve been able to use  Schwab OpenView Gateway™ to get real-time data from Schwab populated in Salentica CRM for about six months.

Great!

Wait. ISV vs. Reseller?

I was mistaken about Salentica’s role as a reseller. They’re an ISV. What’s the difference?

An ISV sells software they created that runs on a particular platform. In this case, Salentica CRM runs on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, but you don’t buy Dynamics from Salentica. You have to buy your Dynamics licenses from either Microsoft (for Dynamics in the cloud) or a reseller (for Dynamics on-premises or in a partner-hosted environment).

A reseller adds custom features and (very commonly) services to a particular product, then resells it as an all-in-one solution. This is how the Laserfiche document management product is sold. Advisers (excluding the very large multi-office multi-billion RIAs) typically buy Laserfiche from a value-added reseller (VAR), not from Laserfiche itself. Licensing, billing, customization, support, and more is entirely administered by the VAR.

Standalone Microsoft Dynamics CRM

But maybe you don’t use Salentica CRM, and instead have your own license of Dynamics CRM. You don’t get Schwab data. Well, Salentica just announced the general release of Schwab OpenView Gateway™ for Microsoft Dynamics® CRM, so now users of plain-vanilla Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 can also get real-time data from Schwab via Schwab OpenView Gateway!

Clear?

Not so Clear

Wait.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM comes in lots of versions, two of which primarily apply for advisers. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is the on-premises version installed locally on a computer, OR it can be in the cloud using a partner-hosted environment.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is the cloud version that retails for $44/user/month. It can be combined with Office 365 (which alone typically runs $150/year/user if you want the Small Business Premium version that supports desktop Word, PowerPoint, Excel and more). So you’re looking at just under $200/month/user for retail pricing for Office 365 and Dynamics CRM. Microsoft Partners may offer lower pricing, but you get the general idea of cost.

So, if you’re using Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online (with or without Office 365), then you’re out of luck with respect to real-time data via Schwab OpenView Gateway.

If you want Dynamics in the cloud with Schwab OpenView Gateway integration, you first have to use Dynamics in a partner-hosted environment, THEN you have to use the new solution from Salentica mentioned in the above press release.

But wait. If your partner-hosted environment comes from Tamarac, you can’t integrate with Schwab OpenView Gateway today. Not yet, at least. A solution is coming soon.

The Salentica solution mentioned in the press release only works with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, whether it be an on-premises version or in a partner-hosted environment (minus Tamarac for the time being).

How to Buy? See a Reseller

I can’t even figure out how to buy the on-premises CRM version from Microsoft. It turns out you can’t. You have to work exclusively with a third-party reseller to get it.

So, say you happen to ask Salentica about buying Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for an on-premises CRM. Won’t you just get “upgraded” to Salentica CRM that already features the OpenView Gateway integration? No separate solution required.

So why bother releasing this new solution for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 users?

It turns out that there are customers who purchased Dynamics CRM from a reseller/Certified Partner and also want to connect it with Schwab OpenView Gateway. Pareto Platform CRM customers are a great example. How many potential customers fit this criteria, I don’t know. It can’t be more than a few hundred. Can it? But evidently there are enough for Salentica to build a solution for them.

My Digression on Press

So in the strikeout section below, I went off on a tangent about the Salentica press release potentially not being news. Clearly I didn’t understand the fact that there are users out there with Dynamics they bought from a reseller (Tamarac keeps coming to mind) but can’t integrate it with Schwab OpenView Gateway.

Salentica’s solution is new, and now those users do have an option to integrate  Schwab OpenView Gateway data into their CRM.

Subscribing to Salentica’s new solution costs $120/user/year.

So a thought just occurred to me: maybe this is just press for press’ sake, and there’s really nothing new here.

I found it odd that news of a new custodial integration came from the third-party provider rather than the custodian. Why would that happen? Wouldn’t the custodian also want to take some credit and boost their marketing profile with some news as well?

Perhaps if the “news” really isn’t news, then I can begin to understand why the custodian didn’t also jointly release their own marketing material. There’s no story.

But, take note, Schwab Intelligent Integration’s last press release is dated November 2012. Not exactly breaking news. But I digress.

 

(Salentica president Bill Rourke called me out for writing “tiny fraction” below. His response was that Salentica is the largest provider of Microsoft CRM for independent advisers. I get that. Only Microsoft CRM continues to fair poorly in financial adviser technology surveys, including Financial Planning’s 2012 survey (3%) and InvestmentNews’ 2012 survey (4.4%).)

If you’re one of the tiny fraction single-digit percentage of all advisers using Microsoft Dynamics CRM powered by Salentica feeding in data over Schwab OpenView Gateway, can you care to leave a comment on how well its working and how it’s helped your business?

Because I feel a little in the dark.

FPPad Bits and Bytes for August 3

Now that August is here, the flow of financial planning technology news has slowed to a trickle. This week you’ll want to stay on top of security developments at Dropbox, but also check out a potential app to manage your multitude of projects.

Here are this week’s stories of interest:

If you missed Wednesday’s story, Dropbox user accounts compromised, new security features to appear, be sure to read it and review what you should do to protect your online accounts, whether or not you use Dropbox.

Salentica Inc. begins pilot phase of testing the Salentica Advisor Desk with Schwab OpenView Gateway from Salentica.com

[Salentica is the overlay provider for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. In this company press release, Salentica announces it is officially in a pilot phase of integrating account data obtained from the Schwab OpenView Gateway™ program.] In May, Salentica entered beta testing where our Client Advisory Panel which included Salentica clients as well as several RIA firms who are using a standard version of Microsoft Dynamics® CRM tested the newly developed functionality and provided us with feedback on the user interface and client experience.

Projectbook is the iPad productivity app for the disorganized from GigaOm

[If you’re searching for a new project management solution, Projectbook may be worth investigating. I often vascillate between managing everything in one CRM or working with multiple, specialized apps to manage tasks, reminders, and workflow. There’s no one right answer, so Projectbook may be a good resource for some of you.] Keeping your personal and professional documents in the cloud so you have access to them everywhere is on it’s way to becoming standard practice: it’s why Google and Apple now have their own cloud storage solution for users. But what if you’re on the fence about committing to the cloud but want an all-in-one mobile app to organize your stuff? Then a small midwestern app company called Theory.io has an iPad app for you.