"Everything we do, we do differently than we did 18 months ago. We've reengineered the entire firm to change the client experience," said John Ohmer, CEO of YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors. "It's made portfolio reporting and financial advising completely different than anything we've ever experienced." What John and his team did was to go boldly to a place where they had not gone before...that place is called the cloud.
NAPFA National was the first financial services conference we have attended that was not a technology specific conference, so we weren't sure how many advisors would be there looking for technology solutions...turns out, nearly all of them were. After spending the week talking about the cloud and hearing from the source what financial planners want from their technology to serve their clients, here is some of what we learned:
Investment banking is complex enough, anyone alive in 2008 can attest to that. Now couple that with the difficulty of sharing information in a secure and compliant way across offices and firewalls. That's the situation THiNKGREEN! Global Advisors was looking at before it made its move to the cloud. "We used to have our own server but that was pretty dicey. It was usually reliable until it wasn't. If that went down, everything went to a standstill...Now we know that all of our documents are always available and safe in NetDocuments. Our whole idea was to be entirely in the cloud to eliminate wasted resources which bodes well with our green tech push." - Asmaa Parker, banking associate.
Extra Space Storage's business revolves around earth-based self storage units, but that doesn't keep it from using the cloud to make its business go. With 2,200 employees spread out at self-storage locations around the country it uses NetDocuments to manage and share all of its documents within Salesforce.com in a simple and user-friendly way. It adds over 5,000 documents a week that are instantly made available to the corporate office in Salt Lake City as well as the majority of employees that are working in their local communities.
With the announcement of prestigious law firm, Foley & Lardner, switching from iManage to NetDocuments, our new user interface, and the growing Partner Program, the road was paved for a great Legal Tech conference in both New York and New Delhi. Happening at virtually the same time, Smart Solutions, one of NetDocuments' Global Channel Partners, represented us at LegalTech India while we managed in New York; the result? Two amazing shows, with lots of exposure, highlighting our recent developments, high-profile clients, and international reach. Here are the thoughts from those who were there…
This week I had a good discussion about technology for financial advisors with Bill Winterberg, one of the most technology forward minds in the Financial services market. Before joining the finance world, Bill was a software engineer for Hewlett Packard and this background in technology has allowed him to become a thought leader in the industry. Bill currently writes technology columns for Morningstar Advisor, Advisors4Advisors.com as well as on his own blog called FP Pad. You can also find him doing his thing on Twitter from @BillWinterberg.
Part I: SaaS for Lawyers; Part II: SaaS for Financial Advisors; Part III: SaaS for Accountants With SaaS technology, the PC can be made to serve as a global network. Today, in part 2 of a 3 part series, we will discuss how financial advisors and broker dealers can reduce hardware costs, decrease their carbon footprint, increase mobility and enable collaboration with clients while providing SEC and FINRA compliance through cloud computing and SaaS.