It’s hard not to get excited when speaking with Oleg Tishkevich. The hyper-animated president and CEO of Tucson, Ariz.-based Finance Logix clearly delights in discussing technology that’s now available to help advisors grow their businesses, but of which too many are still unaware.
Widgetization, his latest focus, is “delivering software in the cloud,” which he describes as the fourth level of technology integration.
“The first level was a single sign-on,” Tishkevich patiently explains. “The second level was the ability to push data somewhere. The third level was the bidirectional sync, or the push as well as pull of data.”
The fourth level, the aforementioned widgetization, is taking various pieces of software and “mashing it together.”
“It’s a Lego set model. You can put it together the way you want, in order to then look the way you want, so you can build a different client and administrative experience.”
By “you” he means broker-dealers and large RIAs, the majority of which buy different software, attempt to put it together and then haphazardly offer it to their advisors.
“We have a limited number of vendors all playing in the same pool,” he laments. “How do you differentiate? You can hire IT guys to build a platform from scratch using these different vendors, which is very expensive and six months later you’ll have to again make costly changes. A better way is to pick and choose the pieces that you want.”
Those underlying pieces may be the same, he adds, but they can be arraigned differently.
“What then drives the experience and interaction is not the CRM, which is a sales experience. Instead, this model centers on goals and planning and what the advisor should, in fact, be focusing on.”
He points to Orion Advisor Services and United Planners Financial Services, both Finance Logix clients, as firms that understand and embrace the widget model. He echoes recent comments made by Sheila Cuffari-Agasi, the latter firm’s vice president of partner development, who described widgets as “the glue that create seamless opportunities for BDs and RIAs to customize the advisor experience and make it unique.”
And it’s not as hard as one might think.
“With an experienced designer, they can make it ‘brandable’ in a day,” he concludes. “Individual advisors can then customize what they want on their dashboard. The can still use the full applications if they wish, or they can mash it up.”
Check out United Planners on Its Tech: The Glue That Holds It All Together on ThinkAdvisor.