Upping the ante in advisory firms’ technology integration battles, TD Ameritrade is touting an “open platform” as a differentiator ahead of an October launch of its Salesforce product for advisors.

TDA’s cloud-based data integration solution, built around the popular Salesforce customer relationship management system, works with more than 20 common industry technologies such as portfolio management systems, financial planning software and document management software.

“Our approach at TDA is that we really want have an open platform,” says Jon Patullo, the company’s director of technology platform management.

TDA is fine-tuning its solution with the intent of rolling it out at its fall regional conference, slated for Oct. 27 in Washington, D.C. The company says its CRM-centric integration solution was shaped by feedback from advisors, who want to run their businesses more efficiently—but without having to switch technology solutions.

TDA’s Salesforce.com initiative has been in the works for the better part of a year; a beta version of the solution is currently being tested by a small group of advisors.

Omaha, Neb.-based TDA is just one of several custodial firms that have been busy creating data-integration solutions that promise to make advisors’ businesses more efficient. Earlier this month, Charles Schwab’s advisor services unit announced a new business, Schwab Intelligent Technologies, that will produce a platform to enable data integration between Schwab systems and those of three CRM providers.

And Fidelity announced its Technology Investment Evaluator, an Excel-based system created to pinpoint where technology upgrades could improve advisors’ workflow and project the economic impact of making strategic technology upgrades.

TDA’s Salesforce offering will work with advisors’ existing applications and can be customized to fit their business needs whether they are large or small, the company says. The company wanted to be sure to create a highly configurable solution that fits advisors rather than the other way around, says Patullo. “They’re independent advisors for a reason,” he says

The CRM system will be integrated with Veo, TDA’s Web-based advisor platform; a single sign-on will open access to Veo and other integrated solutions.

TDA’s salesforce solution caters to advisors’ desire for efficiency with more than 50 workflow processes, such as new-account opening, change of address and electronic signature. It will feature integration with vendors including Advent, Orion, and BlackDiamond.  The solution is built to handle data from multiple custodians.   


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