A consensus is growing in the planning industry that customer relationship management software is essential to running a successful practice. Most financial advisors, though, have checked out industry-specific products, such as Redtail, Junxure, Advisors Assistant and Ebix, which scored well in FP's annual Tech Survey. There are a host of general-purpose cloud providers as well, such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce. Some lesser-known products are often overlooked. One of them is Grendel Online.

As with a growing number of applications for advisors, Grendel Online is cloud-based. There is no software to install. You simply sign up, receive a user name and password, and access the software through a web browser. Grendel Online focuses on three goals, says company rep Aaron Guidotti: easing an advisor's workload, protecting the advisor and increasing revenue.

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