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Coming Attractions from CRM Solutions

CRM is cooking up some new tools and services for advisors.

Joel P. Bruckenstein, 10/09/2008

It recently came to my attention that CRM Software, the developer of Junxure and ClientView, has been recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America. This recognition prompted me to contact Greg Friedman, MS, CFP, a principal at the firm, in order to get an update of what's going on at CRM. As it turns out, the firm is preparing to launch a couple of initiatives. One is the launch of a new consulting group. The other is the launch of a totally redesigned edition of ClientView, a turnkey application that allows advisors to offer their clients private Web pages, also known as private Web portals

Junxure Solutions Group
As part of the consulting initiative, CRM Software has established a new division called the Junxure Solutions Group. This division will be responsible for all training and consulting initiatives undertaken by the firm. This means that the existing training programs that CRM Software already offers will now fall under the Solutions Group. The first new initiative undertaken by the group with be the Junxure Practice Management Consulting offering. According the Friedman, the difference between existing Junxure training and the new Junxure Practice Management Consulting offering is that the former provides "how-to" guidance, but the advisory firm is responsible for identifying needs and implementing a solution. With JPMC, advisors will receive a five-phase process designed to optimize the use of Junxure within the firm.

In the first phase, a Junxure consultant will interview the firm to evaluate current processes, identify problems, and assess needs. In the second phase, the consultant will identify specific ways in which Junxure can be utilized to address the advisory firm's needs. In the third phase, the consultant will implement changes, customizing Junxure in order to optimize it for the specific firm. As part of this process, the consultant will deploy Junxure PowerTools. These new tools include preprogrammed action sequences, recurring actions, rules, and other data that incorporate "best practices" methods to help advisors quickly achieve improved results. Through the use of PowerTools, consultants can further customize and optimize Junxure to each firm's needs.

In the fourth phase, the consultant will assist with the full deployment of the optimized Junxure application onsite. Finally, in the fifth phase, the consultant will follow up to make sure everything is working as desired. If necessary, the consultant will fine-tune Junxure to further enhance its utility within the advisory firm.

While all of this sounds good, I pointed out to Friedman that third-party providers already offer similar consulting services for Junxure. What, I asked, differentiates CRM's consulting services from those of others?  "Nobody knows Junxure the way we do," he said. "CRM Software developed the product, I use it in my practice at a very high level, and we get continuous feedback from our users. I doubt there is anyone else who can match our knowledge of the product and its capabilities." In addition, Friedman pointed out that Junxure Solutions Group has a highly trained staff that knows the wealth-management business inside out. "The people we have hired and continue to hire are experienced advisors who have either run their own firms, or who have worked successfully for years at a senior level within a firm," he said. Pricing for Junxure Practice Management Consulting has not yet been announced.

A New, Improved ClientView
If all goes according to plan, CRM Software will begin rolling out the new ClientView to existing clients within a month, and the firm will begin marketing it to new users before the end of the year. The new ClientView will differ from the existing offering in a number of ways, but one in particular is significant.

Currently, ClientView is a hosted solution. This means that all client data is uploaded over the Web to a third-party server, and clients access the data by logging on to that server. The primary advantage of this arrangement is that the data is stored elsewhere. This frees the advisor of the responsibility to own and maintain the server that stores the client data. The primary disadvantage of this arrangement is that advisors have to create reports for clients and then upload the reports to ClientView.

This can lead to a couple of inefficiencies. First, the reports are only current as of the last upload. The longer the interval between uploads, the more stale the reports become. Second, for large firms with huge batch reports to run, uploads can take time.

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