Category: UNAPEN Blog

July 17, 2017 David Gemma
 

"Tier one Asset Managers are already starting to adopt predictive analytics as part of an effort to increase internal and external wholesaling effectiveness but we are far from where the industry should be." observes Cesar Pereira from Infor as he discusses how Data Science is changing the game.  

– Check out Cesar's article here

ClientLogix Combined with Sales Intelligence for Infor CRM

Blending your financial data in context with client and prospect demographic data, then applying predictive analytics can drive the efficiency of both internal and external wholesalers in the following ways:

+  Indicate which clients are most likely to purchase in the next 30 days

+  Provide insight into which fund they are likely to purchase

+  Proactive notification of client attrition

+  Drive more meaningful conversations and interactions

About UNAPEN

Every asset management firm has a different value proposition, otherwise there would be only one asset manager. Most CRM vendors want you to adapt to their system, which seems arrogant to us.  Here at UNAPEN, we have a staff of industry experts that recognizes the unique value that you provide to your clients and helps adapt and integrate our ClientLogix CRM with not only the information from your core systems, but also with the way you do business. ClientLogix is flexible enough to accommodate how you work as a team, and prioritizes your actions to optimize your success and your clients’ satisfaction. Don’t spend time trying to figure out where information is or what to do next, that’s what computers are for… ClientLogix proactively pushes information to Compliance, Operations, Portfolio Managers, Executives, Sales and Marketing teams to make them work as a cohesive team. Experience the difference ClientLogix can make in bringing your firm to the next tier of growth and success.  

July 13, 2017 David Gemma

PriceFusion Quarterly Bulletin

Pricing and Reference Data Interface Connects Advent Portfolio Exchange® (APX) to Thomson Reuters DataScope Select

 

 

Learn More >

Thomson Reuters DataScope Select Data Service Enhanced with the UNAPEN PriceFusion Automated Delivery Adapter

The response from members of the Advent Community using the service and even those still exploring the solution have been fantastic. Our clients influence & drive innovation so we are proud to announce the latest enhancements to the PriceFusion adapter, included with the Thomson Reuters DataScope Select Data Service.

Years Serving the Advent Community

Features & Updates

Security Type Filtering

Security Type Filtering options for task processing adds to flexibility

Missing Prices

Ability to only process Missing Prices to supplement existing custodial or 3rd party data feeds

Shares Outstanding

Extended Shares Outstanding Sec Info data results & mapping options

Optimized Index Routines

Optimized Index Routines for efficiency and system performance

Multi-Index Mapping

Support Multi-Index Mapping to Singular Identifier

Historical Pricing

New Historical Pricing feature to automate the retrieval and import of a price date in the past

Currency Scaling Toggle

New Currency Scaling Toggle for Security Pricing

User Defined Fields

Expanded Sec Info coverage to include User Defined 1-3 fields

"PriceFusion has automated several tedious yet business-critical tasks and has been a tremendous product for our firm. We worked with UNAPEN during implementation to configure PriceFusion to update our APX system both intra-day and end-of-day and their decades of experience in integrating with Advent portfolio accounting systems really paid off!"

- Multi-Strategy Asset Manager

UNAPEN product questions, PriceFusion questions

DID YOU KNOW?

What functional syntax can I use as part of my data processing or command line execution of the various tasks in PriceFusion?

Example:  PriceFusion.exe PDI P = Pricing,  M = Missing Prices,  I = Indexes, E = Sec Info Updates,  R = Rates,  S = Splits, 
D = Dividends,  F = Factors,  Q = Intraday Pricing  
and M = Missing Prices

June 28, 2017 David Gemma

Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery & CyberSecurity

Prior, Proper, Planning

By Ken Rode, Director of IT Services, UNAPEN Inc., and a member of  ASCII since 2014

Earlier this month I reviewed WannaCry Ransomware. Now we have a new variant wreaking havoc in Europe and the US dubbed Petya. The interesting/annoying/scary thing about this one is that it includes the ability to leverage one vulnerable machine against your entire network. This means it is no longer sufficient to only protect your “important” machines. One vulnerable system no matter how inconsequential it is to you, could cause major issues within your network…..just as Merck, Maersk and others learned yesterday.

Our Partners at Datto have released an update that you can view here Massive Ransomware Attack Spreading across the Globe

The protections you need are the same as they were with WannaCry (see below); the new lesson is that you need these protections on every system that has access to your network.

Let's Cover the Basics (again for anyone that missed the previous article)

1.)    Keep your systems up to date – These attacks are exploiting a hole that was patched in March.  With all the tools and services available to ensure your systems are patched, it is negligent to not have applied this update by now.  Through ITComplete™, UNAPEN can even resolve the issue for operating systems that Microsoft no longer supports.

2.)    The attack has known signatures - so using a reputable, fully featured malware protection package should help block infections.  The key is to ensure these protections are on, operating properly and reporting to the correct people if an issue is discovered.  Trend Micro Worry Free Business Security is incorporated into UNAPEN ITComplete™ and has the protections needed.

3.)    Finally, the goal of ransomware is to collect ransom - even if an attack got through the first two protections (as WannaCry would not) you only need to pay ransom if you can’t recover on your own.  Active Business Continuity Systems like ITComplete DataSafe™ allow clients to spin up a clean copy of a protected system in minutes to recover from a hardware, software, or even malware issue.

Enjoy!

 

Avoid Business Disruptions: Protecting Your Clients and Your Firm

Get flexible IT services at an affordable fixed monthly cost with UNAPEN ITComplete.

Create comprehensive Data Backup & Disaster Recovery solutions with UNAPEN ITComplete DataSafe.

Harden your firm against Cyber Security Attacks with UNAPEN ITComplete NetScan.

June 26, 2017 David Gemma

Article by Joseph Walker, UNAPEN, Inc.

ClientLogix, ClientLogix CRM, UNAPEN, Infor CRM, Infor, CRM, Wealth Management CRM, Family Office CRM, Asset Management CRM, Investment Management CRM

“There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch”

Two of my favorite authors (Robert Heinlein and Milton Friedman) had much to do with the popularization of this phrase before economists and press started using it regularly.  Initial credit really goes to Rudyard Kipling, who described the offer of free lunches linked to paid drinks in San Francisco saloons as far back as 1891. Most of us have traditionally thought of the free lunch concept in the context of economics and some measure of common sense.  Despite our worldly distrust of things that look too good to be true or can’t possibly be sustainable as free giveaways, we’ve been on a modern day binge that would make Kipling cringe.

Everywhere but Apple

With the possible exception of the Apple ecosystem of iTunes junkies who’ve been classically conditioned to pay for what they consume, we’ve steadily built an online economy that presupposes free stuff.  Yes, we still have to pay our local telco or cable provider for an on-ramp to the super highway of free, but that’s it for many, at least here in the US.  Software, cloud storage, document conversion, reference materials, comparison shopping – it’s all free for the taking.  We’ve gobbled it up only occasionally lifting our heads from the banquet table when something goes wrong. But even with warnings and mishaps we keep returning because for most of us, free is just too good to pass up.

FCC opens the Pandora’s Box

Lately we’ve finally been awakened to the fact that our free lunch is financed by one of our most fundamental rights – the right to privacy.  The only way the Internet can continue to serve up vast quantities of content and services at no charge is to collect data, and lots of it.  It’s no longer a secret that this is happening, and most people seem to be okay with it.  I mean, really, does it matter since it’s anonymous metadata, usually not associated with me, and it’s not like they have my name, address and phone number – right?  If that wasn’t the case before, it most certainly can happen much more easily in the near future.  The FCC’s most recent decisions on ISP data rights and responsibilities change this whole ball game.  At the risk of pointing out the obvious, I’d like to emphatically state that there’s nothing you do online that your upstream provider (ISP) does not see.

How Much Will Privacy Cost My Bank?

Let’s step away from the personal privacy aspects of this, because there are many people and watchdog organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation that have always, and will continue to advocate on behalf of individuals and their rights to privacy.  Instead, consider the stakes for the Financial Services community with its vast storehouses of highly sensitive personal information, its unquenchable thirst for data and its endless streams of transactional activity.  I’m not for a minute suggesting that our ISPs will start to sell access to this information – that would be criminal and offenders would be punished both legally and economically as their clients left in droves.  A far more likely scenario is that secure, private and encrypted transport services will become a new revenue source for a mature telecommunications industry that has seen bandwidth become a commodity item and brand loyalty evaporate.

No Safe Harbor – Stormy Seas of Social Media

At one point Facebook was a simple, fast and uncomplicated site where posts went up on a wall and connections happened rather organically.  The Facebook platform of 2017 bears little resemblance to that fledgling service that the world has flocked to since 2010.  Facebook has changed in a way far more intrusive than advertising, it’s become a social engineering launchpad.  Companies like Cambridge Analytica could not achieve the type of “psychographic analysis” they claim without the vast quantity of data points that Facebook users in particular provide so willingly.  Part of the reason why we see more and more effective methods of “Spear Phishing” as the basis for a socially-engineering hacking effort, is that there’s so much information out there for people to scoop up.  For those who feel secure in their privacy settings and secure circle of friends and family on Facebook, let’s think for a minute about the type of detailed information that can be found on your LinkedIn profile.  Combine that with some high quality search bots to scoop up content associated with you, your alma matter and your previous employers and I think someone could put together a pretty comprehensive profile with very little effort.

A Great Compromise on the horizon?

The Good News and the Bad News is that many people in the data management business recognize the inherent risks and need to balance the economics of monetization with privacy concerns.  That statement should indicate to you that there can and will be tradeoffs as we move forward.  As both individuals and as professionals, we need to consider the economics of free, while we make some very consequential decisions about how we will monetize our own privacy and that of others that rely upon us as providers of goods and services.

In my next installment, we’ll take a look at some interesting data on Cybersecurity from people I know who fight the bad guys in both the public and private sector, then talk about the online lives of Millennials.

May 26, 2017 David Gemma
Article by Joan Walker, Managing Director at UNAPEN, Inc.

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”

– Charles Darwin

Change Will Happen

Per the talking heads on the various news channels, the investor class is currently “fat and happy”. Volatility in the market is at 25 year low, the economy is humming and the unemployment rate continues to drop.  If I didn’t know any better, I would think this was August of 2007… life was good and then that pesky recession happened.    How about August of 2001 – my friend Tom said at a barbeque at his house– “It doesn’t get any better than this”.  We lost Tom on 9/11.    And let’s not forget October of 1987 – hopefully some of you who are reading this were born then.  The term Black Friday was coined and Black Monday was resuscitated.  People at the local pub were asking me what it all meant because I had a business suit on.  Each of these dates have something in common – Change. Certainly the change was not all the same:
  • - An economic bubble burst
  • - A group of terrorists attacked the US
  • - Global trading, timing and technology converge in the worst way.
But all of these changes had a significant impact on the market and those who invested in it – from 20% market loss to almost 50% market loss.  If you weren’t alive or working in the industry during some of these times, then hopefully you studied these periods in one of your business classes.  I am going to take a deeper dive into the oldest of these because it accentuates my point about change. 

Industry Growth and the Changing Face of Your Client

In the five-year period leading up to August of 1987, the Dow Jones increased by over 100%, peaking at over 2600.   I know this number sounds quaint by today’s standard but this was the true beginning of the long growth period of the last 3 decades.   There are many factors that contributed to this growth.  I would argue that a little piece of tax legislation called ERISA which was put into place in 1974 was one of the biggest.  Up until that point, pension plans, savings accounts and bonds were what most people used to save for their retirements.  ERISA brought about a seismic shift in who was investing in the stock market.  For the most part pension plans were for unions, executives and very large companies. In 1980 there were roughly 250,000 defined benefit pension plans.  Even though this institutional money was significant in the market, it was nothing compared to what was ahead.  By 1991, pension and retirement funds owned 40% of American common stock but, by 2005 the number of pension plans dropped from 250,000 to 80,000.  This change was coming from retail investment fueled in part by the massive expansion of the Mutual Fund Industry as a global entity. This changed the face of the investor class.  What worked to manage clients in the 80s, 90s, or even the beginning of 2000s is not going to work now or in the future.  My grandmother who passed away in 2003 at the ripe old age of 105 was a teacher so she had a pension, but knew little about its investments.  She just cashed the check.  Imagine if all investors were like my grandmother. 

Changing Demands on Relationship Managers

Depending on your company’s focus, the average relationship manager must keep track of the basics associated to accounts – names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of interested parties. But they also need to track anything from birthdays, spouses and kids names, investment objectives, the number of accounts and dollars a particular Financial Advisor has brought to the programs your company offers, and now more than ever, all that is social media.  Let’s face facts – the way and how we communicate is changing, therefore the way a client is managed is changing.

What Should Your CRM Do For Your Company

I believe that the most critical function of a CRM is to help you manage change.  This is where comprehensive CRM comes into play.  When change occurs in the market, and we know that happens often, you need to be prepared and so should your CRM.  

Your CRM:

MUST

  • - Mail Merge for Email blasts or old fashion letters
  • - Note your Emails
  • - Schedule your Meetings
  • - Document your phone calls
 
Joan Walker, David Gemma, UNAPEN, CRM, client relationship management, customer relationship Management, Change Risk Management, asset managers, asset managers in Financial Services, Wrap managers, SMA managers, Financial Advisors, ClientLogix, ClientLogix CRM, CRM for Fund sales

SHOULD

  • - Determine which clients and accounts will be most impacted by change to get that email or letter
  • - Track who hasn't gotten an email
  • - Establish your opportunities, next steps and potential revenue
  • - Inform you of holdings and investment trending at the individual and firm level so that you are prepared for that phone call even when it is unexpected.
 
In this ever-changing financial world, CRMs are no longer a “nice to have” but rather a necessity.  Don’t settle for anything less than exactly what your company needs.  On that note, let me close with another wonderful quote.

“Change or die” – Alan Deutschman   

About UNAPEN

Every asset management firm has a different value proposition, otherwise there would be only one asset manager. Most CRM vendors want you to adapt to their system, which seems arrogant to us.  Here at UNAPEN, we have a staff of industry experts that recognizes the unique value that you provide to your clients and helps adapt and integrate our ClientLogix CRM with not only the information from your core systems, but also with the way you do business. ClientLogix is flexible enough to accommodate how you work as a team, and prioritizes your actions to optimize your success and your clients’ satisfaction. Don’t spend time trying to figure out where information is or what to do next, that’s what computers are for… ClientLogix proactively pushes information to Compliance, Operations, Portfolio Managers, Executives, Sales and Marketing teams to make them work as a cohesive team. Experience the difference ClientLogix can make in bringing your firm to the next tier of growth and success.  

May 15, 2017 David Gemma

Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery & CyberSecurity

Prior, Proper, Planning

By Ken Rode, Director of IT Services, UNAPEN Inc., and a member of  ASCII since 2014

This month, the SANS OUCH! newsletter focuses on the recent WannaCry ransomware and how you can protect yourself from similar attacks.

Personally, it amazes me that attacks like this are even still an issue for any reputable company as the protections to prevent them are reasonably affordable and are essentially a baseline of security that any firm should have.

Let's Cover the Basics

1.)    Keep your systems up to date – These attacks are exploiting a hole that was patched in March.  With all the tools and services available to ensure your systems are patched, it is negligent to not have applied this update by now.  Through ITComplete™, UNAPEN can even resolve the issue for operating systems that Microsoft no longer supports.

2.)    The attack has known signatures - so using a reputable, fully featured malware protection package should help block infections.  The key is to ensure these protections are on, operating properly and reporting to the correct people if an issue is discovered.  Trend Micro Worry Free Business Security is incorporated into UNAPEN ITComplete™ and has the protections needed.

3.)    Finally, the goal of ransomware is to collect ransom - even if an attack got through the first two protections (as WannaCry would not) you only need to pay ransom if you can’t recover on your own.  Active Business Continuity Systems like ITComplete DataSafe™ allow clients to spin up a clean copy of a protected system in minutes to recover from a hardware, software, or even malware issue.

Enjoy!

Get the Newsletter

Here is a link to the SANS OUCH! newsletter

OUCH! is published by the SANS Securing The Human program and is distributed under the Creative Commons BY--‐NC--‐ND 3.0 license. Permission is granted to distribute this newsletter as long as you reference the source, the distribution is not modified and it is not used for commercial purposes. For translating or more information, please contact ouch@securingthehuman.org.

 

Avoid Business Disruptions: Protecting Your Clients and Your Firm

Get flexible IT services at an affordable fixed monthly cost with UNAPEN ITComplete.

Create comprehensive Data Backup & Disaster Recovery solutions with UNAPEN ITComplete DataSafe.

Harden your firm against Cyber Security Attacks with UNAPEN ITComplete NetScan.

May 5, 2017 David Gemma
UNAPEN, UNAPEN ITComplete, Datto, Ransomware, Datto Ransomeware, cyber security, cryptolocker, phishing, hacking, ITComplete DataSafe, DataSafe, Disaster Recovery, Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery Financial Services, Business Continuity Financial Services, BDR, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Ransomeware protection

ABOUT THIS REPORT

With survey findings gathered from 1,100 Managed Service Providers (MSPs) in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK and around the world, Datto’s report provides unique visibility into the current state of ransomware from the perspective of the Channel and the small businesses who are dealing with these malware infections on a daily basis.
The report provides a wealth of detail into ransomware, including its frequency, the most common strains, the industries and systems most targeted, the impact, and the strategies and critical business solutions necessary to ensure recovery and continuity in the face of the growing threat.

UNAPEN & DATTO

  • - Working together to prevent ransomware

  • - Enabling your firm to maintain operations even if you suffer a ransomware attack!


 

ITComplete™

A multi-layered IT strategy that protects your firm, your clients and your budget!

MSP, IT, IT Services, Outsourced IT, Managed IT, UNAPEN, ITComplete, DATASAFE, NETSCAN, ITCOMPLETE DATASAFE, ITCOMPLETE NETSCAN

 

Outsourced IT Services

 

UNAPEN, UNAPEN ITCOMPLETE, ITCOMPLETE, ITCOMPLETE DATASAFE, ITCOMPLETE DISASTER RECOVERY, ITCOMPLETE BUSINESS CONTINUITY, ITCOMPLETE DATA BACKUP

Local & Cloud Data Backup,

Business Continuity

& Disaster Recovery

 

 

 

ITComplete NetScan - Network & Security Assessment from UNAPEN

 

Cyber Security

May 3, 2017 David Gemma
ClientLogix, ClientLogix CRM, UNAPEN, Infor CRM, Infor, CRM, Wealth Management CRM, Family Office CRM, Asset Management CRM, Investment Management CRM

CRM Solutions Challenged by Complex Wrap/SMA Relationships

HNWI & Institutional vs. Wrap/SMA

CRM solutions for investment management have mainly focused on High Net Worth Individual (HNWI) and Institutional clients, but firms running Wrap/SMA business are stuck trying to shoe-horn their relationships with sponsors, branches and FA’s into a relationship structure that doesn’t really fit.

What’s worse is when I hear the exasperation of Wrap/SMA managers that have been searching for a CRM solution. First they have to explain their business to the CRM vendor, then they to go into a demo and find out that they are looking at a HNWI system that comes with only promises that it can be adapted to handle Wrap/SMA relationships.

Let's Take a Trip

How do your wholesalers currently plan a trip?
  • Do they know how much business in each strategy has been gained or lost in the past quarter or year for a specific branch or FA?
  • Are they aware of which FA’s in each branch are trending up or down, and which are not doing any business with them at all?
  • How much more business could they create if they had this information at their fingertips?

Stop wasting time and money chasing information and trying to figure out what’s happening with your products and distribution channels. It’s a complex business and a tool that’s fit-to-task will provide insight into where you are successful and where you need to focus within an intricate web of products, sponsors, branch offices and financial advisors.

CRM Built for Wrap/SMA

It’s a great feeling when you show up with a product like ClientLogix CRM and these same managers breathe a sigh of relief and say “Finally, someone who knows our business and has the relationships that we need as part of their standard demo!”

And with pre-built data connectors into major portfolio accounting systems along with the flexibility to adapt to the highly variable data formats from sponsor platforms, business trends/flows and relationships that used to be nebulous are now clearly visible.

Providing this type of insight for both management and wholesalers can make a significant difference in the success of your firm.

ONE SOLUTION FOR INSTITUTIONAL ASSET MANAGERS, PRIVATE WEALTH MANAGERS & FAMILY OFFICES

April 5, 2017 David Gemma

CRM for Investment Advisors, Wealth Mgrs, & Family Offices

Grow Assets, Not Overhead

New eBook | Read it now ›

Better Client Service for More Clients with the Same Staff

15 years of providing CRM solutions integrated with Portfolio Accounting & Trading systems has taught us a lot of valuable lessons, interesting that many lessons are industry-independent… it’s all about understanding the culture and optimizing the operational workflow within the firm that tends to drive user adoption, and ultimately, efficiency and value.

As you consider a CRM solution, it’s important to ask a key question: Are you on the right path to CRM success?

To get your copy of Make CRM stick: Eight ways to increase CRM adoption in your organization, click here.

 

January 24, 2017 David Gemma

Press Release

Ontario, California – January 23, 2017 – Laser App Software, the premier provider of forms automation and management software for the securities and insurance industries, has announced their newest integration with UNAPEN, Inc., a provider of services, solutions and products for asset managers involved with Private Client, Institutional and Wrap/SMA business.

 

UNAPEN, Inc. provides CRM and other extensive business solutions to financial firms with a focus on those serving ultra-high net worth individuals. Their ClientLogix™ solution helps different groups within an organization work cohesively, keep on task, avoid errors and provide a higher level of client service. Choosing to integrate with Laser App was motivated by the objective to further advance client work flow by offering the most up to date e-forms library in the industry. Following a short installment period, UNAPEN began offering both Laser App’s desktop and cloud software solutions, Laser App Enterprise 11 and Laser App Anywhere, to clients. Delivering both desktop and cloud software solutions opens the door for more customers by eliminating any and all user limitations.

 

“Integrating with Laser App was a natural next step for us,” said David Gemma, CMO and Managing Director at UNAPEN. “We recently celebrated our 25th year in business. We have reached this point by listening to our clients and valuing their feedback. Laser App was a demand from our clients that we could not ignore and it has received a very positive response from all users.”

 

UNAPEN’s long history has seen it move through several economic cycles and thrive through each one by being responsive and nimble. The Meriden, Connecticut-based company found that turning to Laser App offered its clients a substantially more efficient work flow system.  New demands are constantly arising for asset managers, and the solutions offered by Laser App enable UNAPEN clients to maximize technology utilization.

 

“Working with UNAPEN gave us the opportunity to work with a leader in the industry,” said Robert Powell, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Laser App Software. “Our mission is to provide solutions that are resourceful to our clients across the financial services industry. Integrating with a new company means reaching new users who will benefit from our products.”

 

Laser App Software is used throughout the financial community as an efficient and simple work method solution. Laser App Enterprise is an installed solution that provides advisors with the ability to process electronic forms quickly. Laser App Anywhere operates with modern browsers on a variety of devices, offering a new level of convenience to the mobile financial advisor. UNAPEN Inc. chose to integrate both Laser App Enterprise and Laser App Anywhere simultaneously, a feat indicative of its impressive stature among solution providers.

 

-END-

 

About Laser App Software

Laser App Software creates advisor friendly solutions that combine state‐of‐the‐art forms-filling technology with a massive library of industry related forms. Forms are maintained by Laser App so representatives can focus on their clients, rather than filling out paperwork. Founded in 1995 by financial advisor Ed Beggs, Laser App has pioneered forms-filling in the financial services industry. For more information on Laser App, visit http://www.laserapp.com.

 

About UNAPEN

Since 1991, UNAPEN, Inc. has provided services, solutions and products tailored for asset managers involved with Private Client, Institutional and Wrap/SMA business. UNAPEN is comprised of seasoned professionals whose expertise in the securities industry uniquely positions them to advise clients on the value of technology. Our goal is to streamline operations and workflow, centralize data, and automate highly complex manual tasks to make your firm more successful and competitive. As a service provider and partner in your success, UNAPEN provides a unique skill set comprised of in-depth business knowledge specific to asset management, combined with unparalleled technological expertise and service delivery capability. For more information about UNAPEN, visit: http://unapen.com/.

 

About ClientLogix™

ClientLogix™ is the Premier Enterprise CRM & Mobile solution for Investment Advisors, Wealth Managers and Family Offices - built on the Infor CRM platform. This solution helps people from different business units around the firm to work cohesively, prevent tasks from slipping through the cracks, avoid errors and provide a higher level of client service. Combine that with automated Compliance monitoring of all key data and your firm will evolve from being completely reactionary to actually having some foresight that can help to drive asset growth while avoiding Compliance and Client Relationship issues.

 

Media Contact

Aspectus

Matthew Sheahan

o: 646-681-6599, m: 917-647-3242

laserapp@aspectuspr.com

 

October 5, 2016 David Gemma

HELPING ASSET MANAGEMENT FIRMS GROW AND COMPETE

In celebrating 25 years of working with institutional asset managers, wealth managers, hedge funds, fund of funds and family offices, we’ve encountered the entire spectrum of data maturity in these firms. It’s easiest to place these firms into 3 categories of data maturity that reflect how they process data and the level of automation they use to gain an edge against their peers:

Hindsight

These firms typically do a lot of manual manipulation of data and the knowledge that they glean from their data is all about looking in the rear view mirror to figure out what happened.

Insight

At this stage, firms have implemented solutions that automate data bridges/integrations between core systems and aggregate data so they can go looking for information that is current and report on it for further evaluation.

Foresight

These are the firms that are growing both their client base and margins simultaneously because they can service more clients without adding to staff.  Their information is automatically processed, parceled and proactively delivered to its target (individuals and teams) and the data content is matched with the role of the target or business unit.  No one is searching for data, instead, valuable information is created and sent to them:

  • - Compliance Officers are notified of exceptions, outliers and drift that is or may be cause for concern,
  • - Operations receives critical data elements necessary for portfolio setup and maintenance,
  • - Client Service knows who’s calling and has the client record on their screen before they even answer an inbound call, and are reminded of upcoming and pending tasks
  • - Portfolio Managers and Traders are in tune with the prioritization of what needs to happen when, and in which portfolio
  • - Sales and Marketing are inextricably linked so that Sales success and failure helps refine and improve Marketing efforts in a heuristic feedback loop.
  • - CEO/CFO/COO can see trends in growth of specific portfolio strategies and funds, most profitable distribution channels, intermediaries and referrals sources, and perhaps more importantly areas that are untapped or declining.

Some advisory firms zoom through these phases but most get stuck within the first two. 

UNAPEN will continue to help firms evolve in order to be more competitive and profitable than their peers.

ONE SOLUTION FOR INSTITUTIONAL ASSET MANAGERS, PRIVATE WEALTH MANAGERS & FAMILY OFFICES

September 13, 2016 David Gemma

Article by Joan Walker, Managing Director at UNAPEN, Inc.

See Part 1 here: What Can RIAs Expect from a System Conversion – Part 1

See Part 2 here: What Can RIAs Expect from a System Conversion – Part 2

See Part 3 here: What Can RIAs Expect from a System Conversion – Part 3

When last we left off, you thought that there would be smooth sailing since communication was firmly established. Now comes the fun part, bringing it all together.

A Unified Vision

The vision that was created by the two project teams needs to be shared with the entire company. Most of the time this comes during implementation weekend and the weeks that follow. This is where you will find out if right people were involved in the project, were they empowered for success and did they communicate effectively. Another question that will be answered is – did the project and timeline take into consideration all the needs of all people who will use the system. The answer will be no.
After any implementation, there will be tweaks. (more…)

August 2, 2016 David Gemma

Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery & CyberSecurity

Prior, Proper, Planning

Getting Ahead of Business Disruptions with Strategic Thinking

Business continuity is a thoughtful process that describes a complete solution for backup and disaster recovery. A true business continuity solution will protect data on-premise and in the cloud, and also details a data restoration strategy.

Unfortunately, many firms take shortcuts in these areas due to the historically high costs of implementing comprehensive solutions.

New SEC rules for RIA firms

US businesses lose billions of dollars each year to data loss, and recent studies indicate that if your data center is down for more than a week, the likelihood of bankruptcy escalates significantly.

The SEC is defining new rules for Business Continuity Planning for RIAs to help protect investors from the fallout of this type of occurrence.

In this eBook, topics cover:

     - Outdated practices that create a false sense of security

     - The costs of cyber attacks and downtime

     - Best practices for IT in Financial Services

And more

To get your copy of Financial Services Firms: Add Business Continuity to Your Bottom Line, click here.

Avoid Business Disruptions: Protecting Your Clients and Your Firm

Get flexible IT services at an affordable fixed monthly cost with UNAPEN ITComplete.

Create comprehensive Data Backup & Disaster Recovery solutions with UNAPEN ITComplete DataSafe.

Harden your firm against Cyber Security Attacks with UNAPEN ITComplete NetScan.

June 22, 2016 David Gemma

Outsourced IT, Data Backup, Disaster Recovery & CyberSecurity

Protect Your Business 

Cyber Attacks Take Another Nasty, but Preventable, Turn

By Ken Rode, Director of IT Services, UNAPEN Inc., and a member of ASCII 

Recently there have been several high profile attacks against weak passwords and remote access utilities.

Like lions picking off the weakest gazelles in a herd, hackers are compromising weak systems in order to obtain passwords and then using those passwords in an attempt to access more secure systems.

People using TeamViewer, GoToMyPC and other remote access tools have been reporting unknown users taking over their systems.

All investigations have pointed to these victims using the same weak password on multiple systems and not enabling 2-factor authentication where it is available. See Two Factor Hack – Why Your Clients Might Not Be As Safe As You Think They Are!

People using good password policies and extra security where they can have been spared this nightmare.

I was even notified from a couple of hobby-related sites I belong to that the administrators of those sites are forcing password changes due to this issue.  See ‘Short Passwords Lead to Millions of Compromised Accounts’ in the UNAPEN May 2016 Newsletter.

 

So How Can You Protect Yourself?

Top 3 ways to reduce Hacker Threat:

  1. Use strong passwords… sentences, multiple character types, spaces, etc. – see How to Create a Strong Password and Remember It
  2. Use different passwords for each online service you use…particularly those that protect sensitive data. There are password managers you can use that help create, store and use multiple complex passwords – see The Best Password Managers for 2016 for a review. Personally, I like LastPass and Dashlane.
  3. Turn on additional security whenever it is available, …typically a one-time password sent via either email or text message…if available, text message is a better choice than email.

 

Proactively Protect Your Firm from Hackers!

To find out how to get flexible IT services at an affordable fixed monthly cost, check out UNAPEN ITComplete.

Have a Plan in Case Something Does Go Wrong!

To find out how to get comprehensive Data Backup, Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery services, check out UNAPEN ITComplete DataSafe.

 

June 10, 2016 David Gemma

Outsourced IT, Data Backup, Disaster Recovery & CyberSecurity

Prepare Your Business Today

New eBook | Read it now ›

The Many Flavors of Ransomware Today

More and more, ransomware has emerged as a major threat to individuals and businesses alike. Ransomware, a type of malware that encrypts data on infected systems, has become a lucrative option for cyber extortionists.

When the malware is run, it locks victim’s files and allows criminals to demand payment to release them.

Organizations of all types and sizes have been impacted by ransomware, but small businesses can be particularly vulnerable to attacks.

Ransomware is on the rise

In a recent study conducted by security software vendor McAfee Labs, researchers identified more than 4 million samples of ransomware in Q2 of 2015, including 1.2 million new samples.

That compares with fewer than 1.5 million total samples in Q3 of 2013 (400,000 new). Ransomware is distributed in a variety of ways and is difficult to protect against because, just like the flu virus, it is constantly evolving.

In this eBook, our partners at datto cover:

  • Top 7 common types of ransomware that threaten businesses today
  • How the malware is spread
  • Best practices for protecting your business
  • And more

To get your copy of The Business Guide to Ransomware: Everything to know to keep your company afloat, click here.

 

Avoid Ransomware by Proactively Protecting Your Firm

To find out how to get flexible IT services at an affordable fixed monthly cost, check out  UNAPEN ITComplete.

To find out how to get comprehensive Data Backup & Disaster Recovery services, check out  UNAPEN ITComplete DataSafe.

 

May 24, 2016 David Gemma

Infor Customer and Marketing Management

Make CRM stick

New eBook | Read it now ›

8 Ways to Increase CRM Adoption in Your Organization

A survey of sales and marketing professionals revealed that even though most are required to use CRM, 79% just “check the box” to satisfy their bosses.* This lack of adoption indicates that making CRM stick takes more than just buying software and throwing it at your employees.

As you consider a CRM solution, it’s important to ask a key question: Are you on the right path to CRM success?

Before you make your decision, read the eBook, Make CRM stick—Eight ways to increase CRM adoption in your organization.

In this eBook, we share eight key points you need to consider for CRM success.

To get your copy of Make CRM stick: Eight ways to increase CRM adoption in your organization, click here.

 

May 18, 2016 David Gemma

By Ken Rode, Director of IT Services, UNAPEN Inc., and a member of ASCII since 2014

Protect Both Your Own and Your Clients’ Personal and Professional Data

 

Two factor authentication (2fa) is available with many Internet sites and services (though you may need to manually choose to use it) and it can greatly increase the security of your clients’ accounts.

Rather than simply relying on a static username and password, 2fa introduces a second authentication entry such as a onetime password sent via text to a cell phone, an ever-changing code entered from a physical token or token app on a smartphone, or a one-time password sent to an email address.

Of these three options, there is one that is less secure and may even equate to a completely false sense of security.

Read the full article published in BusinessSolutions magazine here

Find out how you can protect your firm on an ongoing basis with:

 

UNAPEN, ITCOMPLETE, OUTSOURCED IT, MANAGED IT SERVICES, MSP

DATASAFE Logo1 transparent

ITComplete NetScan - Network & Security Assessment from UNAPEN

 

 

 

 

 

March 27, 2016 David Gemma

Business Continuity Solutions in Financial Services since 1995

UNAPEN, Inc. has been a premier solution provider in the Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery(BCDR) business for over 2 decades.  We initially provided these services for investment management firms with over $10 billion in assets under management(AUM), and then scaled our solution down by a magnitude to be able to provide the same services for firms with $1 billion AUM around the turn of the century.

The problem was that over 80% of RIA firms are below the $1 billion mark, but they have the same needs and have to adhere to the same SEC guidelines for BCDR as their larger counterparts.

A few years ago, UNAPEN partnered with Datto to create ITComplete DataSafe, and because of that partnership, we have been able to cost-effectively scale our solution down by another magnitude to firms with $100 million AUM.  Advances in technology have now enabled the majority of the RIA community to afford the same comprehensive local and remote data backup and data replication/restoration strategies from hardened, bi-coastal facilities that the big firms use(all data residing on US soil) – truly a dream-come-true that levels the playing field for most of the industry.

Download the Free eBook here – The 4 Business Continuity Planning Essentials

UNAPEN now offers Cyber Security solutions – Check out our ITComplete NetScan solution here.

Need Fixed-Cost IT Outsourcing? – Check out our ITComplete solution here.

Business Continuity for Non-Profit Organizations(NPO)

As our success grew in the investment management industry, partners at these firms asked us if we could help out in other industries.  Many of these partners sit on Boards for NPO and these organizations had limited budgets, but, like the smaller RIA community, have the same needs as larger organizations.  UNAPEN met the challenge and extended our BCDR solutions to the NPO community and offered reduced pricing to reflect our appreciation for the great services that these NPO are providing and in recognition of their budgetary limitations.

Business Continuity for Any Industry

With our success in the NPO arena, the UNAPEN BCDR solution is now industry-agnostic – we provide these long-tested solutions to any firm/company/organization with a minimum of 10 computers which can be any combination of workstations, servers, laptops, and tablets.

Find out more about our BCDR solutions by calling us at 203-269-6111.

 

David Gemma is a Managing Director and CMO at UNAPEN, Inc. (What’s a UNAPEN?)

Connect with David on Google+

 

 

January 28, 2016 David Gemma

6 Steps to Ensuring a Culture of Compliance

Over the past 15 years of providing enterprise CRM solutions to Investment Advisory firms, it was always the Chief Compliance Officers that were the most excited about a new CRM solution.

Step 4 in the following article, Breaking Down Silos, explains exactly why:

       1) Fostering collaboration between business units,

       2) Consolidating data from across the firm into a centralized portal to identify key trends & constantly monitor & proactively alert Compliance Officers of (potential) issues.

Automating Compliance Monitoring

There is just too much information for a CCO to sift through manually.  The right CRM helps people from different business units around the firm to work cohesively, prevent tasks from slipping through the cracks, avoid errors and provide a higher level of client service.

Combine that with automated Compliance monitoring of all key data and your firm will evolve from being completely reactionary to actually having some foresight that can help to avoid Compliance and Client Relationship issues.

David Gemma is a Managing Director and CMO at UNAPEN, Inc. (What’s a UNAPEN?)

Connect with David on Google+

 

 

 

December 15, 2015 David Gemma

Infor CRM takes a top spot based upon analysts evaluation of rankings, features and tools.

 

Newly released SelectHub Leaderboard ranks top CRM systems across 20 key user and business requirements.  One area that sets Infor CRM apart from others is the focus on pre-building the business logic for specific micro-vertical markets.

 

ClientLogix CRM is the premier adaptation of the Infor CRM platform for Financial Services, providing an enterprise-grade solution that simplifies the daily challenges of Investment Advisors, Wealth Managers, Family Offices, Private Equity, Hedge Funds & Fund of Funds.

 

David Gemma is a Managing Director and CMO at UNAPEN, Inc. (What’s a UNAPEN?)

Connect with David on Google+

 

 

August 27, 2015 David Gemma

Article by Joan Walker, Managing Director at UNAPEN, Inc.

See Part 1 here: What Can RIAs Expect from a System Conversion – Part 1

See Part 2 here: What Can RIAs Expect from a System Conversion – Part 2

When last we left off, I had posed the question “What is the top priority of any relationship?” Have you ever been to a company workshop? Have you ever been to a team building exercise? Have you ever watched Dr. Phil? The answer is COMMUNICATION! Without it your company will be dead in the water.

Communication Breakdown

When I started in my first job that dealt with technology, I was an EDP Liaison. For those of you who were born after the first woman ran for Vice President (and no it was not Sarah Palin) EDP means Electronic Data Processing. The job entailed determining how our clients were going to post data to the system we used to process mutual funds. Our clients were broker dealers and each had their way of extracting data out of their system for my company to use.

I was also in charge of dealing with the vendor who supplied our system. At the time I thought it would be easy since I was hired from that vendor, but it proved to be more difficult that I had anticipated. (more…)

June 30, 2015 David Gemma

Article by Joan Walker, Managing Director at UNAPEN, Inc.

See Part 1 here: What Can RIAs Expect from a System Conversion – Part 1

When we last left off, we had determined that signing a contract is the beginning of the process, not the end.  We also learned our first lesson – your firm needs to have knowledgeable and empowered people as part of the conversion project team, but what does this mean?  Many times a project team ends up looking like this:

(more…)

May 8, 2015 David Gemma

Mitigating CyberSecurity Risks & Threats

The SEC’s Division of Investment Management released a CyberSecurity Guidance Update for April 2015 for Investment Funds and RIAs to help address and mitigate CyberSecurity risks and threats.

They are clear in stating “…that is it not possible for a fund or adviser to anticipate and prevent every cyber attack. Appropriate planning to address cybersecurity and a rapid response capability may, nevertheless, assist funds and advisers in mitigating the impact of any such attacks and any related effects on fund investors and advisory clients, as well as complying with the federal securities laws.” (more…)

April 30, 2015 David Gemma

Article by Joan Walker, Managing Director at UNAPEN, Inc.

Your wealth management firm has just spent months looking into new systems, narrowing the field of options, negotiating terms and agreements and finally you are at the end of the process. You have chosen a new system! Congratulations, you’re done, you can leave it in the vendor’s hands to bring in the new system and all will be right with the world. WRONG – this is only the beginning, let’s see why. (more…)

April 2, 2015 David Gemma

Article by Ken Rode, Director of IT Services at UNAPEN, Inc.

Network Vulnerability Scanning vs. Penetration Testing

Recent high-profile incursions into all types and sizes of corporate networks demonstrate why Penetration Testing can be a valuable tool for protecting private data. Finding the holes and weaknesses in your network protections before the bad guys do can save astronomical amounts of money as well as your firm’s reputation. However, many RIA firms still have trouble justifying the tens of thousands of dollars a comprehensive Penetration Test will cost. This is where Vulnerability Scanning comes into play.

Read More

February 25, 2015 David Gemma

Article by Ken Rode, Director of IT Services at UNAPEN, Inc.

Technology is Changing the Game

One of the biggest factors is the belief that if there is a problem that can’t be solved remotely, your IT provider can be there to fix it quickly.  However, with the advent of Managed IT Services, including remote access in recent years, this has become much less critical and providers using the proper tools can actually respond faster remotely than they could if required to be on site. (more…)

January 27, 2015 David Gemma

Article by Ken Rode, Director of IT Services at UNAPEN, Inc.

 

The New Windows 10

Clearly bowing to the almost complete condemnation of Windows 8/8.1 in the enterprise, Microsoft announced on September 30, 2014 the planned release of Windows 10.  This version returns to a more Windows 7 like desktop interface while also retaining the benefits offered in Windows 8/8.1. In April 2015, Microsoft is expected to provide an official release date; the current expectation is sometime late in 2015. (more…)

October 24, 2014 David Gemma

NOTICE BY KEN RODE, Director of IT Services at UNAPEN, Inc.

Yet another major case of “malvertising” has been reported.  This is nothing new (a famous case occurred on the NY times web site over 5 years ago).  This sort of hacker attack works by going after the companies who serve up advertisements to sites such as newspapers, fantasy sport sites, yahoo, msn, match.com, etc.  If your browser plugins are not up to date, simply opening a page that is showing one of these infected ads can automatically infect your computer. (more…)

October 2, 2014 David Gemma

CRM Vendor Research Report

Nucleus Research just released their Technology Value Matrix Second Half 2014: CRM industry research report in which Infor CRM moves to a top spot in their Matrix Leaders quadrant with the acquisition of Saleslogix (now renamed Infor CRM) and because of its major investment in redesigning the user interface – referred to by Infor as UX or user experience – to increase adoption and usability. (more…)

September 2, 2014 David Gemma

Infor Acquisition of Saleslogix

Saleslogix is moving into a new and significant phase of product evolution with the announcement that Infor is acquiring the product and its 100 or so employees from Swiftpage.  The reason that I am writing about this is because Saleslogix is the foundation for the UNAPEN ClientLogix CRM and Business Intelligence solution which specifically tailors Saleslogix for investment management.

When Swiftpage acquired Saleslogix, they focused their efforts on successfully enhancing the HTML5 mobile and web clients.  Infor, the third largest private technology company in the world, has announced that they intend to apply their sizeable resources to enhance Saleslogix with an industry-specific focus.  They will rename Saleslogix to Infor CRM as it takes a prominent position within the Inform enterprise product suite. (more…)

May 15, 2014 David Gemma

Saleslogix is the CRM foundation that makes the ClientLogix CRM & Business Intelligence solution for wealth management possible!

ClientLogix blends the Saleslogix CRM data with portfolio accounting(Advent Axys® and APX®, SchwabPT PortfolioCenter®, SS&C Portia®, SunGard Asset Arena®, Fiserv/CheckFree APL®  etc.), billing, trading(Advent Moxy®) and other key systems to create an enterprise solution specifically for financial services, brought to you by UNAPEN. (more…)

May 13, 2014 David Gemma

All are welcome to sign up here http://tiny.cc/ucctfx for the Xbar webinar on  May 19 at 3pm est.

Announcing the best in CRM for Investment/Wealth Management – now extended inside Outlook!

ClientLogix™ CRM – the enterprise CRM solution for progressive investment and wealth management firms who are striving for greater operational efficiency and client service – is now inside Microsoft Outlook. The new Xbar from Saleslogix instantly displays key information, activities and opportunities for that contact stored in ClientLogix.

ClientLogix – CRM & Business Intelligence

ClientLogix blends the Saleslogix CRM data with portfolio accounting(Advent Axys® and APX®, SchwabPT PortfolioCenter®, SS&C Portia®, SunGard Asset Arena®, Fiserv/CheckFree APL®  etc.), billing, trading(Advent Moxy®) and other key systems to create an enterprise solution specifically for financial services. (more…)

March 6, 2014 David Gemma

Family Offices Struggling

We see a steady increase in the number of Family Offices struggling to accurately and efficiently manage family assets across multiple data sources. A wide range of systems are being utilized to store and share data in these offices, often with little to no integration beyond manual user entry. This not only wastes precious time but more importantly, increases the risk of data entry errors that can have a significant impact downstream.

Recently a Family Office out of New York approached Family Office Metrics with this exact problem in the hope that they could be directed to a firm capable of addressing their lack of integration between QuickBooks™ and the Advent AXYS® portfolio accounting system. Family Office Metrics quickly identified UNAPEN Inc. as an ideal candidate given their 20+ years of experience with data integration and the extensive industry expertise of their staff. (more…)

October 22, 2013 David Gemma No comments exist
Article by Robert Harriss of UNAPEN

 

The Challenges of QuickBooks Integration

For many firms out there, Intuit QuickBooks™ data entry and reconciliation with other financial systems is a necessity. Unfortunately, this necessity carries the burden of manual data entry costing valuable time and resources. The root of the problem is that out-of-the-box solutions cannot meet the needs of most clients, there are too many variables:

  1. Accounting Systems,
  2. Posting Direction,
  3. Data Transformation,
  4. Client-Specific Logic,
  5. Network Security, etc.

Hearing and responding to the needs of clients and prospects, UNAPEN has been leveraging our extensive knowledge and background in the area of integrating financial systems to create tailor-made, affordable solutions that ease this burden. (more…)

August 27, 2013 David Gemma No comments exist

Learn About the Latest in Disaster Recovery Solutions for Financial Services

September 19th, 2 PM EST    Sign Up Here Today

Presented by:
David Gemma, Chief Marketing Officer, UNAPEN, Inc. and Ken Rode, Director of IT Services, UNAPEN, Inc.

As network environments, regulatory mandates and external threats all increase in scope and complexity, the need for layered IT solutions has never been more urgent. Without comprehensive, integrated and proactive approaches to security, efficiency and compliance, managers are leaving their systems virtually unguarded and increasingly subject to plunder.

Our proactive approach to providing Business Continuity solutions means that we don’t wait for something to go wrong, we work closely with you to plan out a multi-layered strategy that continuously protects your firm, your clients and your budget. (more…)

August 15, 2013 Robert Harriss No comments exist

Rollout of ClientLogix 5.0

The release of ClientLogix 5.0 powered by latest  8.0 version of Saleslogix has been very exciting and well received by new clients as well as those existing asset managers that have begun upgrading. As Application Services Manager, I am directly responsible for overseeing, implementing and enhancing the ClientLogix product to not only service the Investment Industry but also take full advantage of the core benefits that the underlying Saleslogix platform has to offer.  

Hybrid Implementation – LAN, Web & Mobile

Over the past year, Swiftpage has heavily focused efforts on bringing the Saleslogix Web and Mobile platforms to the next level, allowing users more options than ever to access data in real time – from anywhere at any time. 

In turn, ClientLogix is rewarding users with (more…)

August 1, 2013 Ken Rode No comments exist

Windows 8

Windows 8 was originally released to manufacturing on August 1, 2012 to general disappointment and condemnation.  The primary problem with this new release is its major shift to a tablet-style interface.  In this brief review, I am not going to touch on Windows 8 RT as that is not the OS that people will be using in a business environment and, honestly, it holds no interest for me.  For a low-powered, tablet-only interface, I am very happy with Android.  We will quickly review the original Windows 8 Pro release and then look at the preview release of Windows 8.1 Pro. (more…)

June 17, 2013 Ken Rode No comments exist

UNAPEN Warning:

Hackers using stolen AOL and Gmail info to send seemingly legitimate wire transfer requests to financial services firms is on the rise.

Increased Hacker Activity – Wire Transfer Requests

It is very common to see spam and other messages that appear to come from friends and we are all used to that.  However, over the past several months we have seen an increasing number of AOL, Gmail and other “free” accounts being hacked for more direct profit. (more…)

May 10, 2013 Joan Walker No comments exist

Having spent the last ten years of my life working on implementing Client Relationship Management systems for Registered Investment Advisors, I can say there is no one answer, no cookie cutter approach, no silver bullet to the question “What makes a successful CRM Implementation”.  There are, however, consistent components that drive successful user adoption:

 Know Your Business Needs

The most critical aspect of any CRM implementation is to determine (more…)

April 4, 2013 Ken Rode No comments exist

Cyber Attacks

It is no secret that for the past 6 months there have been continual cyber attacks underway against banks and large financial services firms.  Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and American Express have all experienced targeted and sophisticated cyber attacks*.  Could you be next?  Are you prepared?

The bottom line is there is nothing you can do to prevent your firm from being a target.  Just like a burglar entering your home, you can’t stop them from trying; but there are things you can do to make it more difficult and, ultimately, provide them incentive to attack somewhere else.  To accomplish this, (more…)

July 23, 2012 David Gemma 1 comment

Sage SalesLogix Ranks High

2 weeks ago Forrester Research, Inc. released a report for Q3 2012 that evaluated the top CRM suites for midsize organizations and described it as “The 18 Providers That Matter Most And How They Stack Up“ .  They used 400 product feature, platform and market presence criteria to asses each solution and then ranked them.

ClientLogix Built on CRM Leader – SalesLogix

Eight CRM software products earned Forrester’s “leader” status.  One of these CRM leaders was Sage SalesLogix, the foundation for the UNAPEN ClientLogix product.  Forrester’s high level explanation for giving leader status to SalesLogix was that “Sage SalesLogix is proven and user friendly”. (more…)

July 16, 2012 Alicia Gonzalez No comments exist

Project success

Desired by many, attained by few? Not necessarily. As with many multi-faceted topics, project success is measured by many different criteria:

  • Some Project Managers define success as being all about the money…did the project come in under budget?
  • Others define it by time…did the project finish by a certain date?
  • At UNAPEN, it’s also very much about the quality of the output – was the product (ClientLogix) or service (UNAPEN consulting) delivered in accordance with the specifications?

For many, the strength of the client relationship is the most important factor; solid client partnerships lead to (more…)

July 12, 2012 David Gemma No comments exist

Family Wealth Report – article entitled “Viewpoint: On selecting managed services providers”

4 years ago we put together an article for Family Wealth Report Viewpoint: On selecting managed services providers that used the analogy of a siege on a medieval castle to talk about IT security and Business Continuity for investment managers and wealth managers.  I reread the article the other day and it has stood the test of time rather well, so I thought I’d share it with you in case you missed it the first time – Enjoy!

(If you’re not registered with Family Wealth Report you can get a free 28 day guest logon on the landing page to see the article)

(more…)

July 9, 2012 David Gemma No comments exist

HNWI & Institutional vs. Wrap/SMA

CRM solutions for investment management have mainly focused on High Net Worth Individual (HNWI) and Institutional clients, but firms running Wrap/SMA business are stuck trying to shoe-horn their relationships with sponsors, branches and FA’s into a relationship structure that doesn’t really fit.  What’s worse is when I hear the exasperation of Wrap/SMA managers that have been searching for a CRM solution.  First they have to explain their business to the CRM vendor, then they to go into a demo and find out that they are looking at a HNWI system that comes with only promises that it can be adapted to handle Wrap/SMA relationships.

CRM built for Wrap/SMA

It’s a great feeling when you (more…)

July 2, 2012 David Gemma No comments exist

 Client Service is the Key!

Consider this common client service scenario:

  • A wealthy client calls with questions about her portfolio.
  • Your staff member, Thomas, hasn’t spoken directly with this client previously.
  • ClientLogix CRM pulls up the client record for Thomas before he even answers the phone .
  • He immediately has access to her entire portfolio as well as notes from previous conversations and written correspondence at his fingertips.
  • Thomas is able to handle the client’s inquiry efficiently and knowledgeably because he is able to provide the requested information immediately over the phone instead of having to call her back after searching through 5 different systems and a network directory.
  • In addition, Thomas (more…)
June 29, 2012 MaryAnne Rode 1 comment

Start with assessment:

Assess the situation- Take stock of what you have for technology.    How old is the technology you are using.  How long has it been since anyone has performed an audit on the technology?

Assess yourself and your practice- Is the technology used by all people in the company or just some?  How much does your company rely on the technology? (more…)

June 11, 2012 MaryAnne Rode No comments exist

I am here to tell you that in many ways they are not!  Of course there are some similarities in terms of the services they provide and the method they use to provide those services but that is where it ends.  Any IT provider can set up your network and provide antivirus software.  Any IT provider can give you anti-malware and run backups of your data.  (more…)

June 1, 2012 MaryAnne Rode No comments exist

Lately I have been writing more and more about IT service providers and choosing the right one. It occurred to me that some guidelines for what to ask any prospective IT provider may be helpful.  As your company’s dependency on technology grows, your need for IT support grows along with it.

Listed below are ten questions you should always ask any prospective IT provider before signing up with them: (more…)

May 24, 2012 MaryAnne Rode 1 comment

What are Managed IT Services?

In a nutshell, Managed IT Services is defined as an outside firm or service provider who handles your Information Technology needs including system monitoring, backups, security patches, anti-malware,  spam filtering as well as planning for upcoming hardware and software upgrades.  Some companies are even providing the option to rent hardware from them along with a managed network service.  It is an alternative to hiring an employee to handle your IT needs.  It is also a way to tap into several areas of expertise without having to hire a highly compensated employee especially if your IT needs are fairly limited in scope. (more…)

May 16, 2012 David Gemma

AUG CHICAGO 

I went to the Advent Users Group (AUG) meeting in Chicago last week and I wanted to share some highlights and trends in the industry that were discussed.  Over 40 AUG members attended and when they did an informal poll, it revealed that approximately 75% of group is currently using Advent Axys while the remainder is using or migrating to Advent Portfolio Exchange (APX).  I have yet to see any attendees from firms using Advent Geneva and am waiting to see if any of the firms on Black Diamond will come into the fold moving forward. (more…)

April 9, 2012 UNAPEN Desk No comments exist

 What’s a UNAPEN?

Well, I can assure you that we don’t sell pens!  Let me start with where the name UNAPEN came from:  UNAPEN stands for “Unified Application Environments” and taking from the name, our approach is to integrate, unify and centralize data from your key systems (typically portfolio accounting, trading, email, document management, etc.) and then provide a single interface to help run your business and provide crucial business insight into your firm and your clients.

 Now…what do we do?

 UNAPEN has 3 major lines of business that are closely linked:    (more…)

January 27, 2012 UPAdmin

Who is Minding Your Store?

The definition of Managed IT Services can vary greatly from provider to provider but in general, it is defined as an outside firm or servce provider who handles your IT needs including support, system monitoring, backups, patches and spam filtering. Some companies are even providing the option to rent hardware from them along with a managed network service. The main idea is that someone else is minding the store when it comes to IT infrastructure.

Are you settling for the same old same old?

One common approach to IT services and support has been the time and materials model. You have a computer problem and you call your provider . You then wait until they come and fix it. Then you get a bill. You don’t see them again until you have another problem. Then you call them, and wait for them to come and fix things. Then you get another bill. Maybe then you decide this has to stop so the next time you have a problem you spend an hour trying to fix it yourself because you don’t want to get another bill. Now you have spent an hour doing something that has nothing to do with what you are supposed to be accomplishing and chances are your computer is still not working exactly the way you want it to. When it comes right down to it, the time and materials approach means that your provider has no true responsibility for your network.

Is it time for a change?

It is very common for businesses to have what we like to call “current provider preference”. There is a sense of security around a known entity. But, could it be that you are just more comfortable with the devil you know? Do you find yourself saying things like “if only they ….” or “I just wish I was sure that they had….” When it comes to actually changing providers, you are skeptical. Perhaps they make promises to do better or to lower their costs. Ultimately though, it is a matter of trust and if you are spending time second guessing whether or not they are doing their job properly or fairly, you aren’t able to focus on your business and you aren’t getting a good return on your IT investment dollars. Your IT support is only a good value if you are getting the service you need in a timely manner allowing you to focus on doing your job. Don’t settle for anything less.

Why consider Managed IT Services?

There are lots of reasons to consider outsourcing your IT services. Some of the main considerations that drive businesses to consider a managed services provider are:
• limited IT staff or no IT staff at all
• frustration with current IT provider
• a need to update outdated technology
• outgrowing current IT resources
• a budget that doesn’t allow for year round full time coverage of IT needs
Perhaps the most compelling reason to consider outsourcing your IT is, the more time you spend trying to get your technology to work, the less time you have to focus on growing your business.

A good managed IT services provider will align your goals with theirs and help you move away from the trap of only addressing problems when it is too late. They will take a proactive versus reactive approach to your network. By doing this, it takes the distraction of computer issues out of your job and allows you to finally focus on what you were hired to do. Your days will no longer be filled with delays due to computer problems. With computers running smoothly and virus free, you can accomplish your work with greater efficiency.

What’s my first step?

If you are ready for a change and want to stop second guessing whether your infrastructure is secure and well cared for, the first step is to find a good managed services provider. How do you do this? It is important to know what your company’s IT needs are. It is also important to understand what is included in the managed services you are looking to purchase. You will want to evaluate what the true cost of your downtime is. You also need to know that all managed services providers are not created equally. It is important to get recent references and to research the type of services they provide in detail. Some managed services companies provide a fixed cost option which would allow you to contain your IT costs and still benefit from the expertise that you want and need. Doing this research will help ensure that you truly understand what you are purchasing and that it matches your needs. You have no doubt grown to rely on your technology. If it is not working and the person or company you hired is not responding, your business is going to be affected.

Why not just hire someone?

So you may be asking yourself, “why not just hire my own employee?” You may think that if someone works for your company directly that will give you better control over things and an accountability that may not exist when you outsource your IT services. That may be true on some levels however, what do you give up in order to achieve that accountability?

• Access to a resource pool with a broad range of expertise
• Coverage regardless of vacation schedules/sick days
• Freedom from the impact of staff turnover
• Freedom from the cost of benefits/fully burdened salaries

If any of these items are things you currently struggle with, it may be time to consider managed IT services. Managed IT service is no longer a “nice to have”. It affords you greater advantages and fewer drawbacks regarding your IT network. Quite simply, it is the right way to handle your IT needs.

About UNAPEN and ITCOMPLETE™
UNAPEN, founded in 1991, has been providing IT support and services for a wide variety of companies throughout the country. In 2001, UNAPEN began to move toward a more managed service model of providing IT support. ITCOMPLETE, with automated processes and remotely managed support, was first released in 2006. UNAPEN’s technology experts specialize in streamlining operations and workflow across organizations to help your business grow, minimize overhead and provide you a strategic competitive edge over other firms. UNAPEN also offers client relationship management and automated client reporting software tailored for firms in the financial services industry. For more information, visit www.myitcomplete.com or call (203) 269-6111.

Unlock The Potential!

Call UNAPEN, Inc. Today
203.269.6111
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January 24, 2012 UPAdmin

ClientLogix™: A Central Element

Wallingford, CT: UNAPEN’s ClientLogix CRM integrates client service and sales activities as part of the new overall technology strategy at The Washington Trust Company. Click here to read about Elite 8 honoree Barbara Perino—SVP of operations and technology—and her work to overhaul legacy systems and build a powerful infrastructure to support the bank’s growth strategies.

 

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Call UNAPEN, Inc. Today
203.269.6111
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January 20, 2012 UPAdmin

 UNAPEN is Offering Discounts on Upgrades from Basic Contact Management

 
UNAPEN, Inc. is offering discounts on upgrades from basic contact management systems such as Act®, Qube®, Goldmine®, Outlook® or Excel® to its enterprise client relationship management (CRM) system—ClientLogix™. UNAPEN’s ClientLogix CRM system facilitates asset growth and client acquisition, helping you work smarter and more efficiently instead of falling victim to an overload of information. As your firm grows, or gears up for growth, it is important to be able to handle all the new client information. Upgrading from basic contact management to a full CRM system specifically designed for investment management is instrumental to your continued success because it allows you to manage the complete client and portfolio lifecycle.

ClientLogix, built on the world renowned Swiftpage Saleslogix®, tailors your CRM for the financial services industry by integrating your portfolio accounting system and other critical information with your clients’ demographics and communications history. This allows you to have a truly holistic view of your clients’ relationships and their portfolios—in a single, unified application. No longer do you have to ask IT to run several reports when you need a single piece of information. You can be proactively notified about critical information or simply look up what you need in ClientLogix, allowing you to quickly answer questions over the phone or find all of the necessary information to send an informed email or letter to your client in a timely manner.

Call (203) 269-6111 or Email today to see how valuable ClientLogix will be to your firm with its ability to offer you insight-not just hindsight-into your business, your clients and their assets.

About UNAPEN

UNAPEN, founded in 1991, is a nationally recognized software development firm that provides solutions tailored for wealth managers & family offices, bank & trusts, and Institutional managers. UNAPEN’s technology and financial services experts specialize in streamlining operations and workflow across organizations to help your business grow assets, minimize overhead and provide you a strategic competitive edge over other firms. UNAPEN offers CRM and automated client reporting software, managed IT services, business continuity, custom development, systems integration and strategic consulting.

 

Unlock The Potential!

Call UNAPEN, Inc. Today
203.269.6111
Email