Joe Vaccarella, CEO and Founder of Client Instant Access examines how the dynamics of multi-channel communications have been impacted since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and how this will alter the landscape for technology and cybersecurity moving forward.
What are some of the communication challenges firms across the financial sector have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic?
With nearly everyone in the global financial sector working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic, secure and streamlined communication solutions have never been more vital. Companies have been forced to rely on alternative resources for meetings, earnings calls, and customer communication. There’s an immeasurable layer of cybersecurity and protection that these platforms must provide clients in the unpredictable climate. Conversations with clients and co-workers are vulnerable to hi-jacking and other disruptive behaviors when they are not streamlined on a secure and trusted platform, as we’ve seen with a number of other providers.
A system that provides integrated and flexible capabilities through voice, email, SMS/MMS, and phone will be a major asset to firms not only with clients but internally as well. Finding a system that can be quickly deployed, while addressing cybersecurity threats and compliance parameters will be the difference between business continuity and business failure.
What are some key features that should be encompassed in a reliable and secure multi-channel communications platform?
Security and compliance have to be the top priority. Although regulators like the CFTC have loosened some of their regulatory parameters on working remotely, security around communication channels needs to perform at optimal levels to ensure that customer information and data is not compromised.
As far as specific capabilities, customers are still for the most efficient way to deliver messages with a personalized touch. Multi-channel communication platforms should offer state-of-the-art conferencing, dialing and messaging services that can connect users globally. All services should complement one another, whether it be for voice, SMS, or email blasts. A good platform will offer solutions that seamlessly integrate with CRM platforms already in place in under 24 hours and foster a customizable, advanced alert system.
A platform that is well-equipped and trusted will foster long-lasting relationships and provide the security and efficiency of automation with the attention to detail they would get from working in-person.
In the long-term, how will the pandemic impact how financial institutions approach communication technology and the surrounding cybersecurity protocols?
As more robust and secure communication tactics and strategies come into play during this pandemic, working remotely is slated to become the new normal. We have slowly seen Fortune 500 companies and institutions such as schools, churches, hospitals, and more take advantage of multi-channel communication technology and financial institutions are having to adapt quicker than normal.
Reliable technology and communication solutions like CIA’s Omnigage that can connect with client relationship management systems make all the difference right now. This transition to consistent, remote work will be aided by these tools and we expect this shift to continue in the years ahead. As communication methods become more sophisticated and the banking and capital markets landscape becomes more electronified, more of the workplace will embrace the work from home lifestyle and it will all happen under unified and nimble communication channels.
This article was originally published on Markets Media.
By Joe Vaccarella and Indy Sarker
At the core of any financial technology provider must be flexibility. Financial institutions rely on their fintech partner’s nimbleness when it comes to addressing unexpected market turbulence and seamlessly navigating the evolving industry landscape. With global issues such as COVID-19 impacting business continuity and daily workflows, flexible and easy-to-deploy-and-use technology has never been more important.
Omnigage and ANALEC recently partnered to address business continuity and communication hurdles that traders and analysts are facing with their client base as firms continue to operate remotely during the Coronavirus pandemic. By providing secure and compliant multi-channel communication solutions, the collaboration is allowing institutions to access new peaks of productivity during a time of uncertainty.
Tools that Turn the Tides
The needs of a financial institution can change overnight and a solution that provides everything in one secure and compliant location is essential. Having the right tools that can be deployed quickly can be the difference between a new client relationship and a lost one.
Services like detailed call tracking, click-to-dial, and compliant, role-based permissions go hand-in-hand with platforms like Omnigage, and with ANALEC’s call list management with its CRM, data can be leveraged for strategic decision-making without any loss of engagement time. Omnigage’s multi-channel communications platform integrates seamlessly with any commercial or native CRM, enabling firms to increase productivity across the organization. When paired with ANALEC’s CRM capabilities, investment banks and brokers get a significant leg up when it comes to tactically engaging their clients and delivering their high-value services like Corporate Access.
A Secure Environment
As many vendors adjust their solutions to address data security concerns and ensure that everything falls within compliance parameters, expectations of a flexible fintech solution have increased. Systems that provide multi-faceted communication tools must first address the rampant cybersecurity issues that firms are encountering in the work-from-home dynamic. If security and compliance parameters are not addressed, flexible technology quickly becomes an afterthought.
To continue performing at optimal levels, financial institutions need to foster a workplace that not only streamlines communication and investment research delivery, but also provides relationship risk management for clients and employees. With Omnigage and ANALEC, solutions can be deployed overnight as opposed to over several months. Firms are never left scrambling to find their next solution and will always have access to the best data and communication tools.
As financial institutions continue to adapt to what has become the new normal of a remote and virtual workplace, the marriage of Omnigage and ANALEC not only provides the security and and flexibility firms need – but the peace of mind that their technology will not hinder their ability to service customers in the most secure and engaging manner.
The last month has been unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before. Increased communication between employees and customers is now more vital and will continue to be as the world battles through the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies will need to rely on proven multi-channel communication solutions to ensure that business initiatives – such as large events and quarterly earnings release calls – and, more importantly, emergency notifications and alerts are initiated in a timely manner.
Omnialert: Real-time Emergency Notifications and Alerts
Single-touch emergency notifications have never been more important than in the current circumstances and with Client Instant Access’s Omnialert, employers and community leaders have the ability to disseminate mass notifications and alerts with a single click of a button.
From general organizational updates to city and education officials sending updates pertaining to school and business closures, the punctuality of pertinent information delivery is paramount. Omnilert allows you to prepare personalized updates in advance that can reach your entire network within seconds regardless of where they are located.
By merging the most innovative technology suite with premium support services, Omnialert is the most reliable emergency response notification system available in a time when dynamic communication is crucial.
Earnings Season is Here
While COVID-19 remains the world’s most pressing issue, the end of Q1 means earnings calls are just around the corner. Robust and reliable multi-channel communication tools will be vital in the weeks ahead as companies disclose earnings reports and analysts host virtual research meetings. Staying on top of earnings calls and having a smooth set-up to transition from one call to the next can be the difference between a productive and disorganized event.
Organization, functionality and efficiency are essential to communication, and Omnigage prioritizes all three. With Omnigage, research analysts are able to create seamless earnings campaigns that provide multiple touchpoints with a streamlined workflow. Omnigage also enables greater control around data and content by providing a holistic view of all customer information and data-driven insights.
With analysts and executives making and receiving multiple calls a day, Omnigage’s professional messaging and advanced dialer are invaluable assets. Omnigage offers a unique scheduling system with appointment reminders available instantaneously on both ends for coordinating meeting logistics.
While stocks and earnings continue to fluctuate during this uncertain time, technology should be a reliable constant.
We’re All In This Together
The COVID-19 pandemic has put us in a situation where working remotely may be the new norm – but that doesn’t mean business continuity should be compromised. While many virtual conferencing and webinar platforms are crashing and experiencing a litany of technical difficulties, Client Instant Access’s bandwidth capacity, security parameters and innovative design are why the world has trusted its solutions for over 23 years.
Interested in learning more? Schedule a demo today.
Joseph Vaccarella, Client Instant Access & Manish Patel, Tier1 Financial Solutions
Advancements in technology are helping sales, research and trading desks with more collaborative components to help them optimize their client relationships. Buy and sell-side firms have voiced that exchanging ideas and working together to achieve common goals around technology innovation is the optimal route. Fintech partners feel the same way and are increasingly collaborating on ideas and integrating their solutions to create a more efficient and streamlined workflow for all capital markets participants.
In this piece, we’ll be taking a look at why the marriage of customer relationship management (CRM) tools and multi-channel engagement technology is the perfect fit for today’s structural and regulatory landscape.
Fostering Better Communication by Embracing Collaboration
Managing a trading desk is already a loaded job, so streamlining your technology suite has to be a top priority to help ensure a productive workday. It’s imperative that managers dispose of the inefficiencies that can linger on sales and research desks such as weeding through spreadsheets, as these processes can consume an exorbitant amount of time in what is usually a hectic schedule.
A robust CRM that’s supported by multi-channel communication tools streamline business processes and reinforces compliance protocols. This alliance of solutions allows you to communicate with your clients seamlessly via greater computer telephony integration (CTI) connectivity, whether by one-click-to dial, text, email or blast a voicemail. By taking the time to identify and develop relationships with premium technology partners, daily workflows are drastically improved which empowers company-wide innovation.
Unified communication is critical in today’s evolving marketplace. Getting there, however, can be challenging. While communication is often disparate and siloed across multiple platforms, a more productive approach leverages a unified platform that is purpose-built for financial services.
This allows users to quickly maximize calling, incoming call notifications, SMS, and email without having to exit their CRM. Capturing detailed activity history directly within your CRM across bulk and direct interactions not only saves time but also ensures accuracy over outdated manual entry processes.
Streamlined Efficiency through Automation
Although daily forecasts and weekly reports are two of the key value-add services that clients expect from research analysts, leaving messages for clients each morning is a cumbersome and time-consuming task. Pre-recorded messages covering multiple topics can alleviate this issue for both the end-user and the analyst. Messages can be blasted to clients overnight and available each morning as one of their top priorities.
Through a combination of CIA’s and Tier1’s offerings, market participants achieve a more seamless route to the pieces of research they want to hear about, using features such as Click-to-Dial. CIA’s Click-to-Dial saves users nearly 12 minutes for every 10 calls made and an hour for every 50 calls. By the end of a full work-week, this translates to almost an entire extra day of time saved that can be repurposed toward servicing clients and developing research.
In addition to saving time, there’s a compliance facet of working with vendors. CIA is SOC2-certified and has been engineered to meet critical regulatory guidelines, while Tier1 manages the increasing levels of relationship risk that exist between buy and sell-side counterparties in an increasingly regulated financial landscape.
With call lists more strategically organized and rapidly processed, users reach a wider audience through increased processing speed. As the number of calls per session increases, so will the likelihood of reaching clients for a one-on-one conversation. In instances where a live answer does not occur, a user can easily leave a pre-recorded message guaranteeing a rich, client touchpoint.
Interaction data gathered by the system can effectively be used to provide client engagement insights to enhance a communication strategy. For example, the CIA offering delivers a Best Call Time metric that will define the hours of the day a client is most likely to answer a call live. Such insights that are integrated with a CRM will allow a user to organize their day and ensure the most valuable outcomes from their engagement efforts.
Subsequently, having access to data on the best call time increases the chance of successfully delivering your message and fostering the relationship.
When encountering a situation where contacts do not want to be called, there’s the option of sending a message from your CRM. Sometimes a succinct text message is all a client may need. In addition, you have the option to still send a standard email with the latest research report as an attachment, helping to ensure a more personal relationship with the client while letting them know that you have their interests in mind.
In either case, users benefit from built-in efficiency, robust CTI connectivity and a compliant technology suite, allowing them to focus on their message instead of the laborious data-input process.
Leveraging the Next Generation Cloud CTI
Collaboration between technology providers and end-users drives greater efficiency, scalability and flexibility. For professionals across capital markets, collaboration helps convert bulk outbound activities into high-value engagements and multi-channel inbound inquiries.
By using a communications resource that integrates CRM and telephony capabilities, users can initiate a high-value, one-on-one engagement through multiple channels. Whether through voice, SMS or email, this approach allows sales and research personnel to conveniently contact a client while having the interaction automatically recorded and create bulk engagements that reach large audiences with minimal time investment.
Maximizing the functionality of your relationship management tools and merging them with multi-channel engagement technology streamlines the pursuit of generating high-value relationships. Tier1’s open architecture, single pane of glass view provides end users with the flexibility they need, while CIA is the catalyst that makes visibility simple, allowing research analysts and salespeople to easily get in front of clients.
From trivial items such as converting a missed call into an SMS conversation to more onerous tasks such as organizing an entire client list, the marriage of CIA’s and Tier1’s premium services creates a glide path to greater customer engagement and optimal end-user performance.
For more insight, visit us at the Tier1 Capital Markets Lounge at Dreamforce 2019- www.tier1fin.com/dreamforce-2019.
ABOUT CLIENT INSTANT ACCESS, LLC
Client Instant Access, LLC was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Parsippany, N.J. Our state-of-the-art dialing, messaging and conferencing services have made us a leader in the telecommunications industry, and we are the provider of choice on Wall Street and for financial institutions around the world. Co-founder and CEO Joe Vaccarella has over twenty years of conference calling and messaging experience, while the rest of the seasoned senior management team boasts over fifty years of diversified telecommunications experience. CIA employs approximately 100 professionals and maintains a 24-hour on-site conference calling and customer service support center to meet our clients’ needs. We offer the fastest, most productive and reliable systems available in the marketplace to a wide variety of industries. We also provide detailed reporting, feature-rich options, compliance tools and database management resources that rival other companies’ much more expensive Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. If your company wishes to integrate our services into an existing platform, we have developed a robust Application Programming Interface (API) that accomplishes this with ease. At CIA, we look forward to innovatively helping our clients meet and exceed their business goals.
ABOUT TIER1 FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS
Tier1 Financial Solutions is a leader in global relationship management software for the financial industry. It empowers its clients to increase productivity, reduce relationship risk and enhance customer ROI. Tier1 augments the Salesforce platform with a capital markets grade security engine, coverage management and accelerated web and mobile workflows to support the unique requirements of Capital Markets, Corporate & Investment Banking and Investment Management professionals. Trusted by more than 19,000 users worldwide, its flexible, scalable solutions empower collaboration, transparency and communication across the institutional financial ecosystem. In 2017, Tier1 Financial Solutions received significant equity capital to accelerate growth from a group of investors led by WaveCrest Growth Partners with participation from MassMutual Ventures and Salesforce Ventures. For more information, visit www.tier1fin.com.
The financial industry is abounding with data, providing participants with ample opportunity to gain greater market insights and make more informed decisions. However, harnessing the oceans of data that’s available is a challenge faced by financial institutions, regulators and analysts. CIA’s Omnigage platform was designed to address this very issue.
In the first part of our series on how to enhance customer engagement practices, we examine the first of Omnigage’s three differentiators – data integrity.
Enhanced flexibility across your multi-channel engagement platform
When figuring out how to enhance technology capabilities for financial service firms, one of the first considerations must be the simplicity of the product. While flexibility and nimbleness are factors that firms desire when modernizing their fintech applications, they ultimately want something that can be easily implemented without disrupting their current workflow.
Omnigage is designed so that no additional plugins are required in order to access the platform’s suite of capabilities, whether it’s a banking analyst storing a list of contacts to issue research reports or a more advanced data set that’s applied across an organization.
With the ability to control data and content parameters across the platform and gain a holistic view of all customer information and data-driven insights, organizations are more efficiently able to identify opportunities and organize information without having to worry about data security or leakage.
Keeping up with compliance across customer communications
Compliance and regulatory initiatives – such as MiFID II, which was enacted on January 3, 2018 – have put a much greater emphasis on how data is managed and it remains a top priority for firms in 2020. With that in mind, the CIA team has a comprehensive understanding of these developments and has engineered Omnigage to ensure consistent compliance around global regulations. The platform not only allows users to review and submit data around engagements, but the process is seamless and effortless.
As the industry landscape becomes more complex and data demands more arduous, it’s important that firms do not underestimate the value of a solid client engagement platform so that the integrity of customer data is not compromised.
In Parts 2 and 3 of our series around elevating customer engagement practices, we’ll be looking at employing efficient workflow tools and the importance of detailed and accurate reporting.