Charles Schwab to cut its version of Salesforce in July

The custodian cites too many tech options as the reason to end its dashboard partnership

Mar 30, 2016 @ 4:18 pm

By Alessandra Malito

Charles Schwab & Co. will no longer sell its proprietary version of Salesforce as of July 31, a Schwab spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday.

In an effort to separate components of OpenView Integrated Office — the adviser dashboard it will stop offering — the custodian will continue to work with Salesforce on a second platform, OpenView Gateway. The latter is an open architecture platform for advisers to plug in their existing technology systems.

Schwab launched the two platforms for Salesforce four years ago, showcasing the partnership at an industry conference in February 2012.

The decision was made as a result of the growing number of software providers available for advisers. Now, advisers will be able to choose the technology that fits their practices instead of a one-size-fits-all solution, the spokeswoman said. The company began notifying advisers in late February, and the bundle arrangement will officially end July 31. There are currently 150 clients still using the bundled offering.

Salesforce, which recently rolled out its Salesforce Financial Services Cloud, an adviser-focused client relationship management platform, said Schwab continues to be a great partner for the CRM.

Focusing on integrations with various technology providers is easier than updating and maintaining a proprietary version of Salesforce, said Neal Quon, co-founder of QuonWarrene, a technology consulting firm for the financial services industry.

"You don't really need a middleman," Mr. Quon said. "I think it was a matter of understanding and seeing a lot of tools talk to each other outside of Schwab, so why go through the extra cost and headache of having to maintain that?"

Other custodians have already taken an open architecture approach. TD Veo for example integrates with numerous vendors.

"These custodians are trying to provide end to end solutions, but it is not necessarily built or branded under their banner," Mr. Quon said. "They are facilitating those relationships but what we are seeing best of breed tools are starting to work together."

Before Salesforce announced it was building an adviser-focused platform, many advisers and those in the industry questioned what was the best direction to go: an out-of-the-box adviser-focused software, or one that could be customized.

Many software providers stood by the products they built specifically for the industry, such as Redtail, which is working on a pilot program for an integration with Schwab. That is expected to go live by the end of the year.

OpenView Gateway is also integrated with Junxure, another CRM focused on the wealth management industry.

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