We are all well versed in using apps – they add capability to our smart phones, tablets and televisions. Installing an app boosts the functionality that is available to us, be it having a weather forecast to hand, playing a game to kill five minutes on the train, messaging friends or checking the football scores. And the beauty of this is that it is a very unique thing. Whilst several of the people you know might have the same phone as you, it is unlikely that they have the same set of apps as you, so bespoke is your user experience.
Financial planning is moving in the same direction, too. There are so many partners and providers out there that advice firms have genuine choice in the market. The challenge which this has presented to firms has been one of research and connecting disparate components into a seamless service both internally and for clients.
At Intelliflo, we have always embraced an open architecture philosophy, to enable users of our Intelligent Office software to utilise the partners and providers that they want, to run the advice processes that they need for their clients. By introducing our iO Store in February 2018, we sought to further extend the capability of our Intelligent Office software for our clients, making the user experience more tailored and more efficient.
No two companies work in exactly the same way, so why should they be expected to make good with the same set of advice tools as everyone else? By offering an easily accessible universe of new apps and tools, we are aiming to deliver an easily tailored business management system that fits what advice firms need, not just what they are given.
We currently have 50 apps live on the iO Store, with several more in the pipeline. The functionality varies from quote portals, risk profiling and cashflow monitoring to service providers and platforms. The iO Store is also an open platform to providers, so if anyone has an app or a layer of functionality that can add to the advice process, we will work with them towards getting their app published in the iO Store.
As the iO Store is based on our Open API, it is also possible for advice firms to build their own apps to interact with Intelligent Office. The possibilities of what is possible within Intelligent Office have been opened up.
At its most prosaic, however, without the need for advanced coding and app building (although this is a lot more straightforward than it may sound to tech novices as this video explains), users can simply peruse the iO Store and install the functionality that they feel can benefit their advice process.
This means that Intelligent Office can be built up using the tools of the user’s choice, not of Intelliflo’s choice. And this really is an open system; we are always open to publishing new apps and have a team dedicated to getting them over the line.
We are excited about the opportunities that the iO Store can bring to financial advice firms and the feedback so far has been really encouraging, with the majority of our users having accessed the iO Store and a strong engagement with new app releases.
So if there’s anything that you want to add to Intelligent Office or your existing business management solution, then have a look. If the solution you need isn’t there now, there is every chance that it will be soon.