Intelligent Technologies. That's the name of a new business unit announced last week by the Charles Schwab Corporation, set up to provide CRM-based integration solutions for independent registered investment advisors (RIAs).
One of the unit's key offerings will be an open-architecture platform, called OpenView Gateway, that facilitates the exchange of data between Schwab and the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) programs used by investment advisors.
Intelligent Integration Initiative
The business unit builds on a multi-year initiative the company announced in the spring of 2010, called Schwab Intelligent Integration, which was designed to assist advisors in improving their systems and workflow integration. The initiative was centered around key principles of CRM-centricity, intelligent integration, and platform choice, supplemented by support and guidance from Schwab.
Schwab vice president of technology solutions Neesha Hathi noted at the IMPACT conference last year that CRM platforms have "unique capabilities such as workforce tools and the ability to showcase an advisor's entire relationship with a client," which is why Schwab decided to build its Intelligent Integration around CRM.
After surveying advisors, Schwab chose to work with three CRM providers for the initiative -- Salesforce.com, Junxure, and Microsoft. Schwab's executive vice president Bernie Clark indicated that more than half of the company's investment advisors use one of those three CRM systems.
OpenView Gateway will be launched in a beta test this month, working with Junxure 9 CRM software. As part of the initiative, Junxure will offer Schwab clients a discounted technology solution, providing training and consulting services to help advisors implement the OpenView Gateway. Junxure currently has more than 9,000 users in the U.S.
Junxure president Greg Friedman said in a statement that his company's work on the Gateway will provide, for the first time, "real-time data available immediately within a CRM environment." He calls the effort "ground-breaking," predicting that it will change how investment advisors work.
Friedman explained that real-time data access within the CRM system will be complemented by special tools easily available via a single sign-on to Junxure. Advisors will be able to manage their customer relationships, with each customer's relevant information, and tools to manage the office, readily available.
For advisors using Salesforce.com, pilot testing of OpenView Gateway begins this month, as does Schwab OpenView Integrated Office. Integrated Office is a ready-to-use platform from Schwab to integrate Salesforce.com and the Schwab Portfolio Service account and performance reporting service. Beta testing of the platform was completed last month.
If the projected integrations with CRM systems work well, the impact on the investment advisory community from a company of Schwab's size could be significant. Schwab has more than 300 offices, 8.2 million client brokerage accounts, 1.44 million corporate retirement plan participants, about three-quarters of a million banking accounts, and $1.65 trillion in client assets.
Posted: 2011-09-14 @ 5:52pm PT
Nice article on CRM.
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