View more on these topics

Ian McKenna: Go with the Intelliflo

Launches and developments announced at Intelliflo’s recent annual conference cements its place as a major player in the world of adviser software

Finance & Technology Research Centre director Ian McKenna

Intelliflo has cemented its position as one of the leading suppliers of client management software to adviser firms in recent years. Nearly 2,000 firms put it at the heart of their operations.

This makes the company’s annual conferences in Manchester and London go-to events for anyone with an interest in industry technology. For those unable to attend, this column will summarise what you missed.

The day comprised a number of key announcements around additional functionality and important new services being put in place. Intelliflo’s recent strategy has been to expand the functionality of its own software, while also building detailed integ-rations with other specialist soft-ware suppliers. Over the last year, it has developed a range of APIs which make such third-party integration both easier and more effective.

This gives customers the ability to pick and choose their preferred suppliers for different components. For instance, you can use one of Intelliflo’s integrated third parties, such as Distribution Technology, Evalue or iPipeline, if you do not like its own option in a particular area.

Adviser advantages

There was a strong focus on what the firm is doing to help advisers reach the 4.5 million consumers that want to receive affordable advice. Central to this is its automated advice proposition and further enhancements to its Personal Finance Portal. This includes a new user interface, improving the experience for the end customer. Many more items can now be accessed from a single click.

There are also additional capabilities for advisers to select which elements of the portal they want to deploy to different clients. They can now offer a limited service to clients where they have only a small amount of information and more content to those they are confident they hold the latest data for. It provides greater control over branding too, so individual advisers within the same firm can be identified.

Advisers were strongly urged to take advantage of the secure messaging capability within the Personal Finance Portal, rather than use traditional email. This is an important warning more broadly. Any adviser still using traditional unencrypted email is putting their clients at enormous risk.

The secrets to successful software selection

Another important initiative announced was with regards to the launch of its Customer Success team; a free service designed to ensure users get the best possible return on their investment in its software.

Lots of advisers say great things about the benefits of Intelliflo but, at the same time, I also hear many suggesting they find the user interface complex or that they only use small parts of the system, for example.

Setting up this team is part of Intelliflo’s approach to addressing such situations. It is also tracking the more than one billion clicks a year that users make in its system, as well as adding further adviser forums and customer user groups. These will complement the free e-learning services deployed last year.

When I hear advisers complain their software does not work well for them, all too often it is clear after further discussion that there has been a lack of training.

But adviser firms do not like paying for training, so having a free e-learning solution is a great compromise. Ideally, this should be just an interim step, though. If a user benefits from the e-learning course, it is probably worth spending money on one-to-one training.

Meanwhile, Intelliflo also announced the forthcoming launch of its own version of an App Store. From September, this will enable users to select a range of third-party software which has been integrated with the core Intelliflo product. Seven Investment Management, O&M Systems, CashCalc and Synaptic Software are just a few of the 60 firms currently working to deploy software via this route.

It is great to see Intelliflo evolving its product and working to enhance advisers’ return on investment. The number of high quality software options open to advisers has increased greatly in the last year. With the changes announced at this round of conferences, Intelliflo proves it should continue to be one of the key players to consider when undertaking a review.

Ian McKenna is director of the Finance & Technology Research Centre

Recommended

Ian-McKenna-in-2013-700.jpg

The new software taking on the automated advice market

This year has seen an increase in collaboration between regulators across the world. Those in Australia, Singapore and the UK have each established co-operation deals, in particular around their respective approach to financial technology. Such arrangements should create greater consistency of regulation, which, in turn, is likely to lead to the rise of global financial […]

Business-Handshake-Finance-Deal-700.jpg

Iress seals double software swoop

Software specialist Iress has announced two acquisitions, including the purchase of a market data provider from the London Stock Exchange. Iress has bought Proquote from the LSE and Pulse Software Systems, which develops portfolio management software for asset managers. The amount paid for both firms has not been disclosed. The deal will also see all […]

Intelliflo appoints chief operating officer

Software firm Intelliflo has named the MD of subsidiary FFastFill as its new chief operating officer. Rob Walton has worked with Intelliflo since FFastFill’s acquisition in 2013. Walton was previously head of agency trading service operations at ION Trading. As COO, he will be responsible for all operational elements of the business. Intelliflo founder Nick […]

The fifteen-year itch

By Neil Jones Technical support manager with Canada Life’s ican Technical Services Team. Canada Life offers a range of wealth management solutions, including retirement income planning, estate planning and investment solutions from a choice of jurisdictions, including the UK, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland. The treatment of non-UK domiciles that are resident in […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. All of this looks great reading. But as a user of Intellifo for over 6 years now,I feel a certain degree of complacency has set in with their firm.

    Firstly, us and a lot of firms I speak to say they have barely scratched the surface of the IO capability, which on first consideration makes us hopefull there is a lot more to come yet. However, I feel that in their relentless persuit of add on services and ultimately extra revenue, some of which are forced on the user without choice, they are starting to transcend into a parasite in prey of IFA business without much of a thought as to what those IFAs actually want.

    The Ill thought out Personal finance portal was instigated without a properly represenative IFA pilot exersise in my opinion, and before we had even deemed it fit for purpose after a full functionality test, they had moved onto PFP2, followed shortly after by the premium service.

    On announcing my annoyance with this scenario, without much fuss Intelliflo refunded us a years worth of cost of this new service because they admitted the process was not fit for purpose.

    Astounded by the speed of these developments without full testing and fully representative industry feedback, they then moved rapidly onto Automated advice, the so called solution for the ‘robo advice’ era being forced down our throats. When I questioned the this service in terms of an explanation of the full fact finding and suitability process (bearing in mind that it is still us that gives the advice), the IO staff had a worrying lack of knowledge of exactly what that process should look like. They were too intent on selling the extra add on service, to be able to see the wood for the trees on what an adviser needs to see in this particular advice process.

    To add some balance to this piece, the main body of the IO service is excellent and I don’t think I’ve seen anything better in the various software searches I’ve undertaken over the years. However, the sheer complacency that has been demonstrated by Intellifo over the past couple of years is a worrying trend, and one that that is bound to catch up on them before long. Where might it leave it’s long term users at that point?

    Kevin Wilks
    Financial Resolutions Ltd
    Bovingdon Herts

  2. Finally got round to adding my brief thoughts Ian – So I enjoyed the conference again this year. I have not got round to writing up my full thoughts on blog, however, great Summary here Ian. Particularly resonate with your comments around 1:1 Training. Also, I am interested to see API especially if integrates with marketing suites including Constant Contact, Mailchip, Zoho Campaigns. Pleased to see Synaptic integration is in place. Since posting the above on twitter, we have received response from a survey we sent, and it seems that our clients using IO are also interested in this possible integration. Some are also in addition those quoted here, mentioned Hubspot. Look forward to seeing who is available from September.
    Kevin, great piece. Sorry to hear your experiences. (I don’t work for Intelliflo any more, but did so for 4 years and left back in 2010 to set up “Informed Training”. We do help IO clients by complementing IO independently. Not enough time here to respond fully, but noted for me one of your key points from our clients perspective and that is “What the process should look like….” We are very interested in our Clients Processes”… Great that you were able to end on a positive with some “balance”.

Leave a comment