At IMPACT 2011, Charles Schwab is showcasing new enhancements in technology to help support the businesses of independent investment advisors (RIAs). Among the enhancements available for advisors to view at IMPACT is a new workflow library that is to be a key part of the Schwab Intelligent Integration initiative. Schwab Intelligent Technologiesâ¢, a subsidiary of The Charles Schwab Corporation, is also announcing a new relationship with independent software vendor (ISV) Salentica, which will increase the number of RIA firms that can benefit from Schwab Intelligent Integration.
âWe are driving innovation with the marriage of workflows and technology to create the next standard of platform in the industry â designed and built specifically for you, the RIA,â said Bernie Clark, executive vice president and head of Charles Schwab Advisor Services in his opening remarks. âSchwab Intelligent Integration is one of the companyâs biggest initiatives, and we are committed and dedicated to this integrated technology strategy and to serving you. This will change the way business is done now and in the future.â
Salentica provides advisors with a customized version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and is the first Microsoft ISV to participate in the Schwab OpenView Gatewayï¤. The integration will benefit those advisors who purchase Salentica Advisor Desk for use in the advisorâs office or on a hosted platform. Salentica will also begin developing an integration plug-in for firms that have purchased Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 directly from Microsoft, again as either a desktop or hosted solution.
âWhatâs really exciting about this relationship with Salentica is that it will allow advisors who choose to work with Salentica and those who prefer to work directly with Microsoft to reap the benefits of integration with Schwabâs custody data. Adding to our work with salesforce.com and Junxure, advisors will now have even more choice and flexibility,â said Neesha Hathi, vice president of technology solutions for Schwab Advisor Services. Schwab Intelligent Technologies is also introducing today the Schwab OpenView Workflow Libraryâ¢, which includes comprehensive best practices and customized workflows for working with Schwab and with Schwab OpenView Gatewayâ¢ CRM providers. The workflows include precise task lists and assigned roles for the most common activities in advisorsâ offices to help them process information and respond to clients more efficiently. The first five workflows to be available in the library focus on the areas of their business advisors say are lacking clear and consistent workflows: business development, referrals, initial contacts, discovery meetings, commitment meetings, and new account set-up. Additional front- and back-office workflows will be added throughout 2012. The workflows are free to all advisors who custody with Schwab Advisor Services.
âTechnology can only take you so far,â said Hathi. âArming advisors with the best thinking in the industry and making it easy for them to increase their efficiency and serve their clients is one of the core principles of Schwab Intelligent Integration.â
Salentica will be part of the Schwab OpenView Gateway platform delivered by Schwab Intelligent Technologies. Advisors who custody with Schwab Advisor Services will benefit from the integration and delivery of data to their CRM and discounted services from providers participating in Schwab OpenView Gateway. Previously announced CRM providers were Junxure, Microsoft, and salesforce.com. Attendees at IMPACT 2011 are also getting a preview of the first solutions using of Schwab Intelligent Integration. The turnkey solution Schwab OpenView Integrated Officeâ¢ and the modular solution Schwab OpenView Gateway for Salesforce are both in pilot with current plans for generally availability by the end of the year. Junxure 9 with Schwab OpenView Gateway is now entering the pilot phase and currently planned for general availability in early 2012. All three platforms are being showcased at IMPACT 2011 in sold-out hands-on technology sessions, in the Schwab Center, and in Junxure and salesforce.comâs booths in the Expo.
Other technology highlights from IMPACT 2011
The focus on technology continues with other new online capabilities on display at the conference including Schwabâs upcoming mobile application for the iPhoneâ¢ and enhancements to the Schwab Alliance web site that supports clients of advisors who custody assets with Schwab Advisor Services. "We continue to make significant technology investments geared to help advisors increase their firms' productivity and improve the service they are able to offer to their clients,â said Steve Hirsch, vice president of technology for Charles Schwab.
The first Schwab Advisor Center Mobile app will enable advisors to access client balances, positions, and history through their iPhone. Advisors can search by account name or number, access recently viewed information and find service team contact information. The app is being previewed at IMPACT 2011 and will be available to advisors in 2012. âThe app contains the functions that advisors have told us they most want in a dedicated mobile application,â said Hirsch. âOur future plans for mobile access, including new features and devices, will also be guided by advisor feedback."
Schwab is also adding several new customization features to schwaballiance.com, a web site that is used by clients of more than 6,500 advisor firms. One of the new features is the ability for advisors to choose to have a notice displayed before a client initiates a trade or move money request, encouraging the client to contact their advisor. Advisors can also now choose to have their firm logo and contact information (office address, phone number, e-mail address and web site address) displayed on the site.
An upcoming feature for schwaballiance.com that is being announced at IMPACT 2011 is a new Limited Custom View option. This will allow advisors to further customize their clientsâ web site experience, by choosing whether to provide clients with full access to schwaballiance.com, including account information, statements, account service features, trading, move money capabilities and third party research, or to the Limited View. The Limited View will include all the same features, except for trading, outbound move money capabilities and third party research. This new feature will be available in the first half of 2012.
âThese new features for schwaballiance.com will allow advisors to tailor their clientsâ online experiences based on their understanding of the client relationship in a way that complements the advisorsâ business model,â said Hirsch.