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Still Waiting for All-In-One Software? Maybe It's Time to Give Up

Some software vendors, such as Junxure-i and MoneyGuide Pro, see the future as integration, not consolidation.

David J. Drucker, 11/16/2006

This January, join Dave in Miami Beach for the 2007 Technology Tools for Today Conference. Learn how today's latest technology can improve your practice.

For years, there's been talk of the Holy Grail of software--that program that we will install on our firm's network server that will do it all: financial planning, portfolio reporting, client-relationship management, with perfect coordination of data throughout so a client's particulars never need to be entered more than once.

And software vendors have tried to accommodate us. But do-all software is kind of like a Swiss Army knife. Sure, you can open a can of tomatoes with it, but do you really want to when there are better, stand-alone can openers you could use? We see this phenomenon of jack-of-all-trades/master-of-none in many products and services. For example, you can buy the multifunction office machine that prints, faxes, and scans. Don't try to have it do anything too sophisticated in the way of document management; you'll need dedicated hardware and software for that.

So, if we can never hope to have a total-office-running solution that meets all our needs, what's the alternative? How about independent systems that integrate as tightly as possible to give us the best of both worlds: competent and coordinated solutions?

What do we mean by "integration," though? Generically speaking, integration is simply the process of combining two or more things into completeness and harmony. When we talk about technology system integration, though, we mean the process of combining disparate programs into one software system and coordinating essential technological functions.

The functions essential to most independent advisors' offices are client-relationship management, client workflow management, document management, financial planning, and investment trading and reporting. Great examples of software vendors striving to build bridges and coordinate with other software products essential to advisors are Junxure-i, the client-relationship management system developed by financial advisor Greg Friedman for his own practice, and MoneyGuidePro, the Web-based financial planning software by PIE Technologies of Midlothian, Va., that has gained significant ground against the competition.

Junxure, because it is a full-featured client-relationship management product, already facilitates client workflow management. And it integrates with portfolio reporting, financial planning, form creation, and document management software to bring in most of the other functions essential to a financial advisory firm.

On the financial-planning side, Junxure links with (or is in the process of completing bridges with) NaviPlan, MoneyGuidePro, and MoneyTree. On the portfolio-reporting side, it links with Advent Axys, PortfolioCenter, Albridge, Captools, AdvisorLynx, dbCams, NetExchangePro, and SEI. It works hand in hand with form-creation software by LaserApp and Quik! And it bridges nicely to document-management systems by Docuxplorer , CEO Images, and iChannel.

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