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Greg Friedman is set to finally bring Junxure to the cloud and beat back the Salesforce-ification of the industry

True, the ascension to cloud would have happened sooner in an ideal world, but the world has not passed Junxure by, the RIA and software entrepreneur says

Author Brooke Southall December 12, 2012 at 6:19 PM
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Greg Friedman: If I could have waved a wand, I would have had it two years ago.

Mike Costellano

Mike Costellano

December 12, 2012 — 5:49 PM

Working with Schwab I have been exposed to both products by Schwab’s Field Tech team. While I did not like the look and feel of either products.The direct integration was nice. Beyond that both these products were too clumsy for my staff to really endorse. I after all will not be a power user of the system.

My field technology rep did mention that many Schwab advisors had adopted Redtail CRM despite the current lack of integration with Schwab’s platform. I also hold accounts with TD (where I also saw Saleforce had a presence) and TD has a very nice integration with Redtail. Price point and ease of use got my attention initially but the integration with many of my other tools sold me and my staff.

No interface is perfect. But Junxure and Salesforce just did not seem to flow which really limited our ability to take advantage of all this functionality (power) they sell you on.

I am perfectly happy with Redtail and with the savings over the previously mentioned solution I am able to apply funds to other technology. In closing, I will say these 3 CRM providers will be around for a very long time and it will be interesting as to what the future holds.

~ Mike Costellano

Advisor Pro

Advisor Pro

December 12, 2012 — 6:53 PM

I agree with Mike Costellano. I wasn’t impressed with any of Schwab’s CRM relationships. I also us other clearing firms which compliates things. If I linked with one of these clearing firms’ CRMs I would have a messy time trying to manually integrate the clients I had at other firms so it went out and got my own. I used Redtail in the past and found it frustrating. I settled on a lesser known CRM called Grendelonline. They have been outstanding. Have been using them about 6 months and highly recommend!!!

Mike Costellano

Mike Costellano

December 12, 2012 — 8:40 PM

@Advisor Pro.. Glanced (nothing more) at Grendel but they wanted to charge me an additional fee for Account Aggregation where Redtail was pretty much all inclusive (Mobile, Integrations, and plug n play with TD Ameritrade). I pay about $60 per month for my staff of 4 and that included a small fee to have my emails pushed into my CRM automatically.Good to know that there are options.

Matt Glessner

Matt Glessner

December 12, 2012 — 9:03 PM

Over the past few months i have been looking at all of these CRMs but have not yet made a decision. i also was drawn to grendel. i think there is a big difference between aggregation and direct feeds. it appears that i can get a direct feed which is much cleaner and easier than aggregation which is quite messy as you need a third party aggregator that pulls data from various sites through data scraping, etc. aggregation is labor intensive and to be honest a real pain. right now i have narrowed it down and will most likely go with grendel as i really like their digital filing component as well as their notes and email capture.

Matt Glessner

Matt Glessner

December 12, 2012 — 9:06 PM

PS I didnt like how redtail didnt allow me to enter households (a couple). i had to enter each individual as a seperate client with seperate notes, filing, etc. the grendel trial allowed me to treat a married couple as a household which makes sense to me.

Dan Gleason

Dan Gleason

December 12, 2012 — 10:17 PM

We were a Junxure house for several years, and when the CEO wanted to have a CRM with a browser, we had to go with SalesForce as Junxure was still sometime away from achieving this (that was Q4 – 2010).

It was a painful transition for IT and the users, and we had to do quite a bit of custom coding to make SalesForce fit the needs of our Advisors.

At that time; we were using Junxure and Portfolio Center with a service bureau, and today we are using SalesForce and FinFolio.

The move from Portfolio Center to FinFolio was a lot less painful for us, and we are really happy with the reconciliation process that FinFolio has with the Errors and Alerts System.

Given that Junxure was a very good system with a lot of emphasis on tasking and follow-ups, I could see us taking a look at the new cloud based edition of Junxure in this coming year.

@Matt – Finfolio supports Household relationships and this was one of the deal closers for us as well. You can have multiple associations at most levels (Household, Client, Portfolio, Accounts) and report off them as detail items, or rolled up and aggregated. Also, the direct connection to Custodians with their rules based recon engine was absolutely amazing compared to everything else we analyzed (Orion, Black Diamond, Tamarac, Portfolio Center).

Brooke Southall

Brooke Southall

December 12, 2012 — 10:38 PM

Matt, Mike, Dan and AdvisorPro,

Thanks for all these comments. They all seem written in a spirit of helpfulness and humility. Choosing CRM is hard, clearly. It’s literally being created and integrated before our eyes and we all interact with technology so differently.

This was driven home to me when I personally tried to switch to Apple for my laptop and just couldn’t stand it. I ended up giving the computer to Frank Noto, who loves it. If I had written a review of Apple without knowing that it was, well, Apple, I would have ignorantly said it was complex and not intuitive.

Anyway, keep the thoughts coming.


Henry Flagler

Henry Flagler

December 12, 2012 — 11:05 PM

Salesforce is certainly the 800-pound gorilla in the CRM space but there is something to be said for the handful of providers like Junxure, Grendel, and RedTail that are laser-focused on creating solutions that are tailor-made for the RIA community. After all, BMW and Mercedes don’t sell to the masses but they do a pretty damn good job of building and selling damn fine automobile.

Friedman’s shop clearly has the greatest depth of experience working with the advisory market and with the right execution can “defend the fort” against his larger rival. After all, advisors love solutions that not only “just work,” but just work for them.

r siggy

r siggy

January 17, 2013 — 4:59 AM

Junxure is an excellent product built for high level, high touch financial advisor firms. Salesforce is best for mass contact, sales organizations, like Merrill. We recently switched to Junxure for it’s low cost, low risk, robust features out of the box. Like others have said, we did not want to become software developers to build the CRM of our dream with Salesforce, and at a cost 3x that of Junxure just for the license, not to mention the extra cost of hiring consultants. GO JUNXURE CLOUD!!!

Dan Gleason

Dan Gleason

January 17, 2013 — 6:57 PM

Having made the transition from Junxure to Salesforce in 2011, I would like to mention a few points that affected our decision at that time, and what I would say to someone considering the same today:

1. At the time of our move from Junxure to Salesforce, Junxure had not completed the transition to “Cloud based” CRM. If it had, I doubt we would have moved to Salesforce. There was quite a lot of “grumbling” here from Advisors as they really enjoyed the feature sets of Junxure, and Salesforce appeared to be lacking many features related to Tasking not to mention the anemic financial information features in the “Wealth Management Edition” of SalesForce.

2. The work required to import the data from Junxure to Salesforce required 100 man hours to complete, but the custom programming to create similar features for the Advisors in Salesforce that they enjoyed native to Junxure took us into the 1,000 hour realm. Without this custom work, I doubt Salesforce would have gained sufficient traction with our users.

3. After spending the time and energy customizing Salesforce to provide the information and features needed by our users (we went live in Q2 2011) we became aware of significant efforts being put into SalesForce by TDA (with AppCrown), Schwab, the Foster Group, and then from AppCrown on their own as they continued to build out workflow, financial data and features similar to the work we had already invested in with our in-house developers. Had we begun this adventure in Q2 2012, I am sure we would have used one or more of these solutions from the vendors listed above. If you are starting down this road now, contact one of these vendors before changing anything within Salesforce.

4. Now we are in our 27th month of our Salesforce license, and I can tell you that the dust has settled, the users are happy, and people have begun to use it as fluently as you do Outlook or Word.

Even though the above sounds like an awful lot of work, I wanted to let you know the I recently reached out to Junxure after hearing that they completed their deployment to the “Cloud”, because I believe (much like the two comments above mine) that Junxure (Greg Friedman and Ken Golding) is not trying to be all things for all people. They developed Junxure to work for an RIA in the most common way that an Advisor works throughout the day. I asked to be part of a Beta here in Q2 to look at the new Junxure and work with the features. This will not be a company sponsored participation, this will just be myself and perhaps one other person doing R&D to revisit an application that was used successfully at our firm for 5 years, to see if we should consider going back to Junxure when our contract comes up for renewal at the end of 2013.

One other thought that might help someone contemplating a move; I have done three referral calls on behalf of Salesforce (they reached out to me and asked if I would speak with these firms) and of the three I talked with, only one of the firms were a good fit for Salesforce. The other two would have had a really tough time trying to make Salesforce work for them without access to any technical assistance. Since their choices were Junxure or Salesforce, I steered them towards Junxure. I just could not recommend Salesforce for anyone that does not have access to a technical person to assist them, or does not consider anyone in their firm to be a “power user” of common applications. Even though there are very nice custom apps out there from AppCrown and others today, I still believe you need to have at least one person in the firm (or a contractor) who can help you administer, and tweak Salesforce to work for you day to day.

I hope these comments help anyone else who might be thinking of walking in my footsteps. Sometimes stepping off the curb to begin a new journey can be a lot more effort and risk than you thought it would be when compared to glossy brochures and well crafted videos from the well paid marketing firms that got you thinking of making the move in the first place…

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Mentioned in this article:

TD Ameritrade
Asset Custodian
Top Executive: Tom Nally

CRM Software
Top Executive: Greg Friedman

CRM Software
Top Executive: Marc Benioff

AppCrown, LLC
Outsourcer, CRM Software, Tech: Other
Top Executive: Ted Tsung

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