October 13, 2021

Efficiency Series #3 – Transcript

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Efficiency Series

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SUMMARY KEYWORDS

integrations, advisor, client, data, zapier, business, software, logic, system, technology, teams, api, talk, advice, compliance, fantastic, build, create, videos, integrate

SPEAKERS

Fraser Jack, Ivon Gower, Mitchell Ramsbotham, Jodie Douglas, Vicky Andrews, Phil Thompson

 

Fraser Jack 

Welcome back to our series brought to you by Morningstar when we’re really looking at technology efficiencies, and in this episode, we are going under the hood we’re talking about integrations API’s, Zapier, all these things that advisors want to talk about when it comes to stacking or their technology stacks. welcome back to this episode Bill Thompson.

 

Phil Thompson 

Thank you, Fraser. Jack, thanks for having me.

 

Fraser Jack 

No problem. Now in this episode, we’re talking about integrations what you know the idea of being able to integrate different software with your current you know, software providers, the stack, all those types of things, those conversations, tell me about your your business and what you do and how you use integrations.

 

Phil Thompson 

Yeah. So we’ve got it like a core software that’s more like pipe drive is what we use. And it’s it’s pretty important that the things talk to pipe drive, and pipe drive talks about other things. So we’ve got a factfinding software that sound is different pipe drive, we’ve got some email software that’s also different to the pipe drive, so making sure that that the software’s are connected through Zapier is super important. I mean, it basically runs 50% of my emails is automated because of because of these integrations.

 

Fraser Jack 

So you’re a Zapier

 

Phil Thompson 

type of guy. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. On Zapier. Yep.

 

Fraser Jack 

And so so is that one of the primary drivers for you like that integration concept of if you’re using Did you say pipe drive?

 

Phil Thompson 

pipe? Yeah pipe drive. Yep. Yeah, I mean the reason we we connect them is because like pipe drive just can’t do everything and so so it’s just important you know, we’re pipe drive lacks we need another software to be able to fill that gap. So pipe drive is our core where we you know, track you know, our communication as a team where we track where clients you know, stage of the process but some things that it’s that it’s lacking at the moment is ongoing, you know, automated emails, it doesn’t do that well. And so we’ve got another software that that that does some of that there are fact find, you know, once a fact find gets completed, it tells Appiah to move that deal across to complete In fact, some fairly basic zaps. But if that doesn’t work, then it doesn’t communicate to another system that doesn’t know then everything falls over. And so it’s really important that they integrate together.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah. Does this also integrate with your website?

 

Phil Thompson 

No, not really. I mean, I’ll have a little bit we’ve got a calendar booking system on the website that then integrates with pipedrive that sets up a deal and all this stuff but but no, it’s not like you know, we don’t do website tracking.

 

Fraser Jack 

And I noticed on your website, you use messenger to Facebook Messenger as a as a way of communicating or talking or reaching out is it connected or?

 

Phil Thompson 

No, it isn’t. Good point. I’ll write that unlisted.

 

Fraser Jack 

No, no, it’s just you know, there’s so many different things sometimes you can’t connect them all I guess. But I do like it. I think it’s a good idea also to um, together people’s, you know, real identity, I guess on the way in. Yeah. Now, when you talk about if you will explain API’s what’s in laypersons terms, how would you explain it?

 

Phil Thompson 

I’ve got an ad, but the way I would explain it is one software talking to another software. And so for me, pipe drive, when I move the deal across, then pings and other software that says the deals moved across. So stop sending that email follow up. Yep. Nice.

 

Fraser Jack 

And we’re talking one way or two way communication.

 

Phil Thompson 

We think it’s just one way for us. Yeah, we only ever do one way communication I’m not super tech savvy, but I’m pretty sure when something happens, it tells the other software that that thing has happened.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep, yep. Fantastic. And talk to me about the permissions you understand or worked out how most of those sort of things work when it comes to, you know, client getting information in and storing here and there in terms of like data store. Yeah, the data flow and the permissions. I mean, obviously, we’re sort of, I’m thinking of things in the future, like open banking and how that’s gonna work. And when it comes to data flows,

 

Phil Thompson 

as in how do we work through Zapier and through those software? Have we thought about that? No. I’ve thought about it. In terms of the answer. The answer is either odd, no.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah. Yeah. Fantastic. And when you say you use a lot of Zapier integrations, do you search for them through Zapier? Or is it just something that you you look for the software first and then see if there is an integration?

 

Phil Thompson 

Um, when we’re searching for software, we make sure it does connect through Zapier. But when we’re setting up the integrations, it’s just a matter of going well, I need it to do X. So let’s let’s make it do x.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. And had to go with the with the pricing and the cost of all those sorts of things? Because it seems like everything you use is another sort of 2030 bucks a month here and there and everywhere else.

 

Phil Thompson 

Yeah. It’s really just a, if it gives you a net benefit in the business, then it makes sense. Yeah, like for me, I mean, one of the things that just the simple thing is like hard drive tells our email automation software that the deals moved across. So when someone pays me a fee, it then says, Okay, next steps is a fact find. So in seven days, follow up the client, complete the fact find, and then seven days after that follow up again. So for me, that’s, you know, I think it’s 19 US dollars a month for that software. Like, if it saves me from doing two emails a month, and then happy days. And so if I’ve got one client, a corner, learner may not make sense, because I got one client a quarter, I can just do the email myself. But if you’ve got a bigger business and more clients, then like $19 a month, you know, you shouldn’t be worried about that.

 

Fraser Jack 

That is the end. So obviously, there’s all about this whole thing is around creating efficiencies in your time in your calendar and creating a lot of automation. Yeah, definitely. And so talk to us about what are the steps you’ve got hooked up to that pipe, drive

 

Phil Thompson 

pipe drive, like a drainage pipe. So other things are, so we’ve got jot form. So yeah, just thinking back to the question about the data. The data actually doesn’t flow. The clients personal data doesn’t flow across the different systems. But we’ve got jot form that that connects, we’ve got pipe drive. What else do we have drip? Is our email automation software advisor logic is our financial planning software. calendly. Is the book booking appointments? Do you have a text message one as well? Yes, just call is our is our phone number and text message. And we don’t have automated text messages yet. That’s another area that I’m looking at building out is not just sending emails, but also texting. But that’s a 2022 job.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fair enough. And ever since I’ve known you’ve done a lot of video, have you got anything in the video? Yeah, so

 

Phil Thompson 

we do loom? We use loom for videos, but that’s not necessarily automated. It’s just, if I need to record a video, I’ll send them fire Lou.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Fantastic. And is there anything in the future that you’re looking forward to coming on and improving this, you know, your pipe drive and your your or your processes?

 

Phil Thompson 

I mean, there’s, there’s plenty is a two hour podcast because we can go on? It’s just, you know, I just think about, like, always improving everything we do. So how do we get human beings doing less work? How do we make the client experience better? And how do we make ourselves more more compliant, really. And a part of that is also making less mistakes. So if the machines can do the work that the client inputs the data, then there’s no kind of entering different places and making small mistakes. So for me, like you know, we’re having a meeting with advisor logic this week about the his app, your integration and how we can get our client data input into our financial planning software.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic, Phil, thanks for coming. This this episode, you mentioned less mistakes will probably pick up on that conversation in the next episode when we discuss compliance.

 

Phil Thompson 

Awesome, thanks.

 

Fraser Jack 

Welcome back. Jodie Douglas.

 

Jodie Douglas 

Thank you for having me again.

 

Fraser Jack 

fantastic to have you on now. We’re talking about all different things with regards to integration looking under the hood putting putting software together, obviously, you mentioned in the previous episodes that you had 10 different pieces of software in your stack. Let’s start there. Tell us about the 10 different pieces of software.

 

Jodie Douglas 

Yes, certainly. So the core Have all of our business really is our advisor logic CRM. It runs our practice in terms of workflows and the client personal data strategy right through to FOIA development and then storing all of our documents. We then use zoom for our client meetings, we use loom for recording our statements of advice to present to our clients. So that’s where we actually send a digital presentation of our statements of advice to clients to watch a head of our meeting together, we utilize Microsoft 365 suite. So everything from email management, through to planner, and all of the things that that encompasses teams within Microsoft 365, we really try and embrace how much that can do because it’s quite surprising. All that’s involved in Microsoft, we utilize please sign for our digital signatures Canva for all of our sort of branding, and marketing, social media, all of those sorts of things, text magic for our text reminders. We also utilize the texting tool within advisor logic. But it is quite restrictive in that it only has a setup for the advisors phone number, whereas text magic, you can import the whole conversation into advisor logic. We utilize Adobe as well. LastPass LastPass is for our password, secure storage, management, and money soft and also cash deck for our cash flow software for clients. Wow, that’s

 

Fraser Jack 

that’s huge. Now how do you how do you go about I guess is probably Mike’s department. But how do you go about then making all of those talk to each other and work together? Yeah,

 

Jodie Douglas 

it is really difficult. I wish it could all be within advisor logic to be honest. So quite often they don’t. They are separate. However, the great thing is, is all of those different things like the videos that we create in the loom, have a link to the video which we then store into the document vault of advisor logic. We then have you know, your please signs again, it’s manually importing those documents in. So there is a huge, still a real human element involved in making them talk to each other. There is various components of what we do within those tools that are in adviser logic as well, but not to the level that each of those do individually. So yes, still very much a human component within there to link it

 

Fraser Jack 

is yeah, exactly right. Now talk to me about the loom recording the soI. So you do the SOS as a standard, say, document soI, but then you record a video on top as well.

 

Jodie Douglas 

Yeah, that’s right. So loom has changed my life, I reached a point in our practice where I was spending with clients probably two to three hours presenting a statement of advice, the statement of advice has always been our product, we want to make sure that the client understands them is educated. And I really use that tool. We very much personalized them with goals based advice as well. So we’ve got the goals that feed through the statement of advice also. But for me, giving up three hours of my time to explain it to a client and the client to give up three hours of their time to take in so much information around holistic advice was just getting so onerous. So we actually sat down and went, Okay, you know, it was actually through COVID that started it because I started to do zoom meetings, and zoom meetings for three hours is impossible. So I looked at, okay, I need to shorten this, how do I get this information to a client and to make sure that they understand it? I couldn’t just email them a statement of advice, they wouldn’t read it. So what I looked at doing was okay, how can I record my presentation. So Luma enables me to be able to do that and just insert a link. So it’s not a huge file that you’re sending to a client, it’s actually uploaded into the cloud securely. We pay for the business subscription to that so that it does have those security measures. And what I do is I literally record by my sharing my screen in my voice, the actual presentation as I would present it to the client. And it’s so much fun. The feedback that I get from the clients all the time is God, we loved your videos, we literally started talking back to you, we thought you were in the room with us. Because of the method that I put in making sure that it’s personalized. So I always keep those live videos really short, so no more than five minutes. That way the client gets a series of videos. It takes me probably 20 to 25 minutes to deliver the entire statement of advice and the key components of actually the strategy and those sorts of things. We also put in digital links to the product disclosure statements etc within the statement of it The last so they can click on those. But it’s a way of delivering advice to clients in a way that’s convenient for them, they can also come back to it and rewatch certain sections. So ensuring that we, you know, the standard of ethics where we need to make sure that a client understands the advice. This gives them time to actually listen to that recording, read the statement of advice, and then we have a catch up for about half an hour to 45 minutes afterwards, where I asked them a series of questions to ensure that they are comfortable, and they have read and watch the videos so we can then implement

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, well, that’s, that’s incredible. Thank you for sharing that. Now. Now talk to me about 365. Because obviously, this is a big, massive piece of technology. And something that you’re as you said, before, you’ve you’ve got right into it, and you’re starting to use some of the pieces of it, whether it’s some planner, or teams, or, you know, the whole suite, it really tells me how long you’ve spent on really getting up to speed with that, because I guess it’s not something that you can just, if you move into 365, then you just automatically know how to use it all.

 

Jodie Douglas 

Yeah, that’s right. Look, I still don’t know how to use it all. I’ll be honest, there is so much to it in, there’s still so many capabilities that we’re not using. However, what we do do, as I mentioned in our previous episode is that we do monthly sessions together as a team where we actually delve deeper into what it can do. And we actually also have, so we utilize SharePoint within Microsoft 365. So that’s our intranet, internally, where we actually have Wikis on how to do things. We also have links to all of the Microsoft videos. So when we’re doing certain things, or you know, we’re in planner, and wondering if we can filter to run a report, things like that, we can quickly watch that video, which is two or three minutes of your time. It’s not an enormous amount of time. It’s there, it’s available as we need it. So it’s really ongoing learning, as we’re doing things, rather than, you know, sitting down and doing a whole day’s worth of training on it. Yeah,

 

Fraser Jack 

you know, fantastic. Jody, thanks so much for coming on and sharing your stack and how it all hooks together and integrates and creates efficiencies within your business. Appreciate that, we’ll jump back into the next or catch you in the next episode when we start chatting about compliance.

 

Jodie Douglas 

Thanks, Fraser.

 

Fraser Jack 

Welcome back, Mitch,

 

Mitchell Ramsbotham 

here we are, again, thanks. Right?

 

Fraser Jack 

where we are, in this episode, we’re talking a lot about, you know, getting down into the, into the ditches and we’re having a look under the hood and, and talk about some of the things that that you use in your business that really is around the idea of integrations and, you know, adding things and you know, what we what we traditionally call the stack of software, talk to us about some of the the some of your stack,

 

Mitchell Ramsbotham 

so our stack, I wouldn’t really call it a stack. So what we’ve done is based on the way that we work, so a lot of our focus has been trying to find software that we use for what we would deem to be its core competency, right. So I suppose you could call it a stack to it to a certain extent, because we we do not try to use one particular platform for all and sundry, we really clearly see that in the marketplace, there is quite a few technology solutions that are that are spruiked to be, you know, the Nirvana or, but I truly don’t believe that that is the case, what we do is we have rather than trying to fit one big square peg in a round hole, we’ve tried to create lots of little round holes and find all the little round pegs that we need to try to fill them. So what we what we try to do, where possible, around stacking, I would say is we’ll seek out what we deem to be best in breed. But we also try to find best in breed that has a synergy across all of the other platforms that we’re using. And in a lot of circumstances by virtue of what we’re talking about here and some of the fairly astute developers that you’ve got out there. Most of them you’ll find these days, play pretty happily in the pool with everybody else. Yeah,

 

Fraser Jack 

exactly. Right. Now talk to you know, so one of the things that we’re sort of focusing on this is the idea of, you know, integrations and, you know, the old API, where I think the API words been that gets thrown around pretty frequently these days. It’s very easy to roll off the tongue but probably a lot harder to to set up than, than it is to say,

 

Mitchell Ramsbotham 

yeah, so we’ve stayed we’ve stayed heavily away from that at the moment. And I think there’s a number of different reasons. Love a data feed, love raw data, Love Live data. But as a two way communication type function, the risk and reward of that right now for us having to own, the data input side at the same time is probably something from from a risk and compliance point of view that our business at this at present is probably not resourced up to do. So right now we’re happy to play ball and receive the data and do whatever analytics that we need to internally and then rely on the specialists being the End User Product provider, whoever that might be, to, to effectively process that data within the correct parameters to make sure that all the checks and balances are there.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, it’s a it’s an interesting one is that one way or two way data feeds into it. And along with that comes the permissions of course that go with it, you know, once you’ve setting once you’re getting clients personal data, and if you if you’re pushing it to any particular place, then you need to be very careful about how and where that gets pushed. When it comes to these integrations, how do you how do you go about setting them up

 

Mitchell Ramsbotham 

in a lot of circumstances where we’re really relying on the, the provider, so the provider, as I think I alluded to, in the in the last podcast that we did, the provider for us comes to the fore with their support that they are able to provide after the fact. So we do not have at present, irrespective of how we’re growing, it may be something for the future. Absolutely. And it probably, you know, even having even talking to you now, it’s probably a an impetus to go back and look at this. But at the moment, we’re fairly heavily reliant on the issuer of whatever the technology is to play subject matter expert. And we will, we will work with them to put a timeline and a set of expectations or parameters in place, but a lot of the integration is actually run by them. And or if it’s, if it’s a licensee supported or provided piece of technology with leverage, we leverage the relationship that we have there to make sure that it’s done both with the resources available to them, but also in keeping with what they need around exactly what you’re talking about the the the the rules and metrics around individually, individually identifiable information and compliance and all of their governance requirements. Because right now, for us in our business, being an authorized representative of a licensee, is the way to go. And I don’t see any change to that. And we’re really conscious that they have really, and for good reason, they have really strict rules and regulations around compliance and governance. So where we can leverage them around the integrations of these that they actually in a lot of circumstances have the first say around whether we can even waiting to wade into these relationships in the first place. You know, we’ve got even down to the the password vault that we use the ins and outs and the rules and parameters around that are actually set by the licensee, they had a suggested solution. And, you know, once it came to bear that we’d come up with x program that we wanted to use, they then had this full metric that we had to meet to ensure that that was the case. So we could leverage them quite heavily in the implementation of that tech and and were ticking all the boxes on the way through, which makes us pretty happy.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, yeah. Fantastic. And talk to me about future ideas. I mean, you know, with technology obviously advances, is there anything that you’d like to see in that space that you could dump, when it comes to integrations that you could sort of, you know, utilize, or for things to be in a better shape than what they

 

Mitchell Ramsbotham 

they are? Yes, I for us now along the same lines as as the, you know, the same thread of conversation as previous of the previous discussions You and I have had. Our business transition now means that the distribution of our teams, both internationally and up, the eastern seaboard means that now the centralization and aggregation of data is probably going to become a pretty significant piece for us centrally as a management team. So looking at the likes of some of the software’s out there, some of the software and tech platforms out there that allow that aggregation of data from multiple sources, like your zeros and your your your advice, software’s and those sorts of things, is probably one of our logical next steps to beat, you know, with all of these machines with all of the underlying mechanics at play, to get that really high level zoomed out view of the business and how its functioning so that we can identify very quickly identify any deficiencies that we may have, or any work that needs to be done so that we can potentially pivot into the next sort of Is, is probably coming down the barrel fairly quickly.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, it’s certainly right. There’s certainly a lot of interesting changes, I think to come down that track. Hey, Mitch, thanks so much for being part of this episode. We look forward to catching you in the next one. Welcome back, Vicki.

 

Vicky Andrews 

Welcome back, Fraser,

 

Fraser Jack 

thank you. This episode, we’re talking a lot about integrations, obviously, it’s probably not a big area that you’re working in having a being a part of a larger corporate organization, where you tend to build everything yourself, for yourself, I guess. So let’s, let’s go through this. But let’s go under the hood, when it comes to things like structured data and how you work with data, how important that is to your business. Tell us about tell us about structuring your data, structured data,

 

Vicky Andrews 

structured data. So yeah, we are very much database with our factual decisions. And so there is an entire department, I guess, that we call a center of excellence for Adolfo. And so a center of excellence team flows to work in Telstra now. So we used to have a variety of data people in each team trying to sort of advise, and as you can imagine, you’re repeating yourself or you’re collecting it all in different angles. So by having these business analysts and data collection, sell as a center of excellence, up during the QB offer, how many of those resources and what type of data you want? So quite a good system?

 

Fraser Jack 

a great system, I love that bidding of the bidding war that goes on every quarter. It’s like my department should be getting this. We deserve it. Tell us about the when you’re working because obviously you’re doing short, Sprint’s you creating smaller projects, then you’ve got to integrate that into the overall system or that you know, and I know with a lot of larger corporations, they may start a new project, and then they’ve got to integrate an old, an older database or an older system into a new system. How does it all run?

 

Vicky Andrews 

Yeah, so the cross functional collaboration and planning sessions would be those. So the siloed working is very much something that is hard to change, I would say it’s probably at least 12 months into your agile journey where we start to go, Okay, we’re doing great. But the flow on effect to another cross functional department and Telstra hasn’t been considered. If you bought up against that probably around the six to nine month mark. And hopefully by the 12 month mark, we are having these cross functional planning and integration sessions that stop that from occurring right from the get go the next cycle.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep, so the integration, and you sort of think about these things. Okay, well, maybe the integration should all be considered upfront, how does it how does it work, like as in, you know, then you got to make two different technology pieces of work, talk together, talk us through that process,

 

Vicky Andrews 

we actually have a work tool solution, where we do incoming and outgoing interactions with dependencies across the business. So that’s where it starts, you flag and tag each other in the work tool solution entering into the planning cycle. And obviously, you could miss that sometimes. And we do build discrete pieces that then have to come together. I would say some things though, they’re in a sprint, one to two sprints, we would call that an epic, maybe perhaps three Sprint’s at the most could be done in isolation and still be a value and the inter working with another part of Telstra could actually slow it down so much that the benefit analysis is saying actually just do it discrete, and we’ll see what happens when we have to bring it together. So we sort of sit about that epic space is where we go epic on your own anything higher than that you need to start some cross collaboration early.

 

Fraser Jack 

Excellent. And tell us about the testing process how important that is. Within that obviously the testing of the you build a little the new tests that you build it all the requirements

 

Vicky Andrews 

for the software teams entails to have dedicated Scrum leads that run the process to make sure that testing is one of the columns I guess in the to do doing done. So prior to getting to done there’s a test filter, and that’s why they would have a full time Scrum lead your other teams in Telstra what we have what we call a hatted Scrum lead. So the Agile system can run with someone who has it as a part time job was in any of the technology, mission teams, they have full time.

 

Phil Thompson 

Yeah,

 

Fraser Jack 

fantastic. And tell us about the idea that future ideas of integrations and you know, obviously we talk about stuff that we’re doing now. But how do you see future integrations taking place

 

Vicky Andrews 

in Telstra? Yeah, I think we would like the whole company to be cross collaborative and cross functional. I don’t think there’s any particular cell that works in a silo. Again, and again, across 30,000 people that may not be meeting in person, we need to use a lot of the tools available to us to flag and tag and highlight and invite others to this virtual space where we can quite easily cross collaborate at the moment. It’s actually much simpler. during these times where we’re all virtual, memorizing Melbourne, you’re traveling up and down 37 floors trying to find the person who may need to be invited to something you may be doing at 10 o’clock. Whereas now it’s quite simple in the system to try to connect and collaborate.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Fantastic. Vicki, thanks so much for sharing what what that large organization does in this space. It’s just just goes to show it’s not as easy for a large organization. It’s just as difficult for a large organization than it is for small business to try and make all these things work together and talk together. I appreciate your time. And I will see you in the next episode.

 

Vicky Andrews 

Great.

 

Fraser Jack 

welcome back to this episode, Ivon.

 

Ivon Gower 

Thanks, Fraser.

 

Fraser Jack 

fantastic to have you here. Now we’re talking about we’re sort of wanting to open up and go under the hood a little bit when it comes to integrations. And obviously, this is something that us would spend a lot of time with, tell us about, tell us about the integrations you’re doing?

 

Ivon Gower 

Well, we’re approaching integrations, from an advisor logic perspective, in two ways. There’s the what are called native integrations, which is where you work in partnership with another business to try and plug two systems together, and really streamline the user experience across the two systems. In order to implement some kind of native integration, you generally have a button in the system that will push data or pull data from one to the other. The other integration we’re looking at is through a company called Zapier, which creates the ability for all users to build their own integrations. And through Zapier, you kind of develop these API’s that will be readable through the system. And then there’s an interface for users to, to jump into it and say, I want to connect this system with say, advisor logic, they define a trigger, which is when this happens in one of the systems and an action, I will do this. So one of the things we’ve seen, for instance, from people is to say we want to design our own data collection forms. And there’s a bunch of different forms they can use to do that. And they’ll say, when the user submits that form, I want to take that information and feed it into my adviser logic database. Yeah,

 

Fraser Jack 

fantastic. Now obviously, there’s the efficiency that can be gained in these in these these applications is huge. Talk to me, let’s go, let’s go with actually putting these integrations in place. Because they’re they’re not, they’re not exactly I mean, it’s very easy just to roll off the tongue, just just create an API. And by the way we go tell us about the how complex it is in the background.

 

Ivon Gower 

I mean, for starters, it’s two businesses working together. So both need to be ready. So both need to have these API’s in place that kind of language and and dictionary to connect together and to share data, then they have to be willing to undertake that work, it’s quite a lot of development work, usually, it can take up to sort of six to 12 months to actually design and build these integrations. And then of course, you’ve got to do that work. And throughout, there’s a lot of analysis that takes place because you’re connecting the user experience of two different systems. And often there’ll be an overlap in terms of functionality. And what you want to do is create this seamless user experience. So you’ve got to sit down and negotiate how best practice will operate across these systems. You know, you do workflows in your system, we do workflows in our system, where’s the client going to do workflows, where’s the user going to actually leverage that functionality? And that needs to be built into a best practice so that you can really optimize the the integration piece.

 

Fraser Jack 

And you mentioned, he mentioned the the pulling and pushing of data now that we’re talking about one way or two way type dialog transfers. That’s all part of the conversation, the beginning, I guess. And that determines that’ll determine how complex the API is.

 

Ivon Gower 

Yeah, it will, it’s going to determine, you know, where you’re triggering the data connection from the push up, pull up data. And it will also create some kind of complexity around a source of truth. Because when you’re, when you’re able to enter data into two systems or more, that data can conflict. And so what you’re usually expecting is that you can, you can enter it into one system. And if that if it’s a one way push, then that source of that system becomes a source of truth. If it’s going two ways, you need to enable the user to say if there’s a conflict, where do we resolve that. And that can add to a bit of complexity. But you can also have instances where you predefined the source of truth and you say this data is coming from this system into that system, and then that system will push different data back to the first system. So they’ll kind of align ultimately,

 

Fraser Jack 

you started mentioning the consider m native API, and there’s obviously you know, mean that there is up to 12 months of ongoing business development from both businesses to do that. And then I guess quite a price tag that comes along with it.

 

Ivon Gower 

Quite a price tag. It’s an internal price tag. Price in terms of That the cost and effort to build and also the opportunity cost of building other things, right? Because each business only has a finite number of developers and they’re working full time very hard all the time. But they can only work on one thing at a time. So you’re, you’re choosing to integrate, as opposed to building some other functionality. Yeah,

 

Fraser Jack 

so for small business, that that’s basically off the table when it comes to, you know, creating native integrations, it’s, it’s kind of a very difficult thing to commit to.

 

Ivon Gower 

I think it is, I think it is an you know, it’s a conversation that a lot of software providers are happy to have on behalf of a small business. So you know, what we do from an advisor logic perspective is we collect all the requests for integrations and where we see enough interest, then we have a group of clients that we can work with to ensure that when we integrate with another business, that functionality is going to work for the users and they’ll get value out of the process. What smaller businesses always need to appreciate is that there’s an upfront cost to integration. And then there’s an ongoing maintenance cost. And you really need to continue to work on these pieces, even if it’s just testing to ensure that they’re two pieces, those two different software businesses and they can go in different directions, you want to make sure that the integration is going to continue to work.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. And you mentioned obviously, the other way is through a third party platform like Zapier, or or any of the others, I guess, that are out there. Tell us about how that works. When it comes to the small business in the costume, and habits that can be more efficient for them, or more effectively.

 

Ivon Gower 

What advisor logics done is basically make the the various fields throughout the factfinder available within Zapier for others to connect to. So when you look through this really large list of different applications that form part of the Zapier universe, you can pick those applications and say, Well, when I, for instance, when I use my email marketing tool, what I want to do is continue to keep the client list in that tool up to date with my client list inside advisor logic. So what I’ll say is, every time I add a client to advisor logic, I want to take these details and push them through to my email marketing tool. The next time I send out a newsletter, that new client will receive it. So you’ll look through the list of advisor logic fields, and you’ll say I want the name and the email address and any other relevant information there. And then you’ll go to the email marketing tool, and you’ll find those similar fields and you’ll set up your trigger. And then each time you perform an action that will trigger that process, it will push the data through and and keep the two systems in sync. So what Zapier does is it kind of gives you a user interface to do what you would otherwise need a software developer to do.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep, fantastic. Now I want to I want to dive a little bit deep into this, this data as well, because obviously, advisors were uses, talking about people’s, you know, personal circumstances, and all these sorts of things, their goals, their hopes, dreams aspirations. Yet, using technology, we sort of took that data, unstructured data and be able to, you know, siloed data into very small pieces of information. Talk to us about how important that the concept of having very granular data is

 

Ivon Gower 

on a big believer in data. And I generally feel like, as an industry, we’re not using data enough to to get the most out of the situation at hand. Structured Data is data that’s easily searched, that’s easily analyzed, that comes in a consistent format and can be relied upon to be to be sort of drawn into an analytical process. And then unstructured data can’t be analyzed quite so much images and things like that. It’s you know, it’s hard to search a picture and say, find me that picture that shows this particular incident or, you know, this, this, this reference to some advice I’ve provided. So, being able to understand what data you’ve got, and being able to analyze it, and review it and report on it and, and then look at trends or opportunities, I feel is is a real opportunity for the industry at the moment.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, and totally something like if I brought up a page of file nodes, it can be it can become quite difficult to for that to be structured.

 

Ivon Gower 

It can. It can and there’s some there’s some really sort of interesting things happening across the industry of technology around the industry to support that. I mean, from the bare facts. If you get Somebody who scribbles on a piece of paper and takes a photo of that and loads it up into a system, it’s going to be hard to analyze and to report on right, you’ll know there’s a piece of paper in there, you’ll know that it was added at a particular time. And if you add a subject, line two, a file note, you’ll know what that is. But outside of that, you don’t know what’s actually in there. Obviously, if you’re typing that file note, then that data can become structured. And you can start to search the contents of the file. Note, there’s some great stuff happening around the place with audio recordings and the ability to record a voice and then search through that. And potential efficiencies around the corner in terms of how you can leverage that kind of technology to turn what might have been unstructured data at one point in time into structured data and make it really easy to review and to search.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, that’s some really interesting technology, I’m loving keeping an eye on that that’s although a lot of the time my my voice is way too mumbly for it. So I can’t I can’t work out either the accent or the or the mumble, because a lot of it comes out of the American accent, I guess

 

Ivon Gower 

that that’s been the big challenge, I think. And then when you look at financial planning, and all the acronyms that we use around the industry, and the company names that we throw around without even thinking of it, there’s there’s a bit of learning that needs to take place in those systems to embed them properly. But the accents is a is a challenge that they’ve worked through. And of course, in Australia, we have so many different accents around the place. It’s fundamental to making that sort of thing work and enabling some some analysis around voice recordings.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, I guess we just don’t have the size of the market a lot of the time for these businesses to really go all great that there was a market in Australia and this is the size of it, and do we really bother?

 

Ivon Gower 

I’d like to think we will I feel that you know, there’s there’s a big opportunity to capture not just what I love about voice recordings, it’s not just what’s written, it’s in not just what said, it’s how it said and that can be so important to to, you know, understanding more about how a conversation went.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, I agree. I think the value of a voice recording is is way more than just the the the you know, to be able to search for it. It’s it’s the fact that it sits on your room and probably get into this in the next episode. We’re talking about compliance, but essentially, it’s, it’s way more value than just the words themselves. Ivon, thanks so much for catching up. On this episode. We look forward to jumping into the next episode where we can catch on when we’re talking about compliance.

 

Ivon Gower 

pleasure. Thanks, Fraser.

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