Not all tech needs to necessarily be “high” tech.
“Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best solutions,” says Corey Westphal, president of Madison, Wis.-based Mobile Assistant. “This means something that doesn’t have a six month implementation process.”
Westphal (left) and Brad Simek, the company’s national sales director, presented to broker-dealer executives at the 2012 TechLeaders Broker-Dealer Technology Conference in Dallas Tuesday, and their decidedly low-tech offering, while just as critical as the other on display, stood out among the bells and whistles of their fellow vendors.
“Advisors can leave a client meeting, record their notes, have them transcribed and they receive an e-mail back for the client’s file,” according to Westphal. “It’s a critical documentation tool with a low, set monthly fee that includes unlimited dictation. It’s something their assistant doesn’t have to waste time with. And since we originally came out of the medical industry, where we were subject to HIPPA rules, our security is as good as it gets.”
“We see advisors using the service in two or three ways,” Simek adds. “The first is, as we mentioned, immediately dictating notes from a client meeting. The second is for better contact relationship management. The third is to document what was discussed in the meeting, and include next steps to move the relationship forward.”
The firm targets it’s offering to broker-dealers, RIAs and insurance professionals, who in turn make it available to their affiliated advisors and agents. It counts MassMutual, John Hancock Financial Network, Securities America and TD Ameritrade among its larger clients, but Westphal notes the product is fully scalable at a price point that makes sense for even the smallest RIA.
“Dragon, Google Voice and some of the other free services out there work, and you get a file back almost instantly, but the accuracy lacks, and you can spend hours cleaning up the transcript,” Westphal said. “Voice recognition technology isn’t there yet, and it’s certainly no substitute for a person on the other end of the line. We have that person on the other end of the line.”
Mobile Assistant also has a number of relationships with integrated CMS providers that send the file directly to the client's account, negating the need for redundant and time-consuming work on the part of the advisor’s office staff.
“If we get one new BD relationship from this conference, then it’s a success for us,” Westphal said. “We already have a few, actually.”