Research Affiliates partners with the world’s leading financial institutions—which offer ETFs, mutual funds, and separately mingled and comingled accounts—to deliver solutions in indexing and asset allocation strategies. This dynamic organization is a global leader because of its innovative approach and strong foundation built on research.
In fact, Research Affiliates’ competitive differentiator is their innovative approach. They are an entrepreneurial organization that is constantly striving to make their clients more successful, and their ability combine the rich academic research they are known for with real-world experience makes them successful advisors.
However, the firm was experiencing serious problems with Salesforce CRM, which had been in operation for several years. Salesforce was not only difficult to use and manage; it was getting in the way of the firm’s growth and beginning to jeopardize their success. Here are they challenges they were facing with Salesforce:
1. It was impossible to configure Salesforce to work with the complex, unique business structure that was the firm’s competitive differentiator. Salesforce was rigid, forcing the firm to change their processes.
2. Very few employees were using Salesforce despite the number of years it had been installed at the firm because the interface was awkward and even confusing. This made it a challenge to provide the in-depth research on which the firm had built its reputation.
3. It was becoming extremely expensive to support, make changes to, or upgrade Salesforce. It was questionable if modifications could even be made to meet the needs of the firm, but even if they could, the cost of that and support would be too high.
4. Research Associates required security measures that were complex and unique, but these measures would also benefit the firm by creating efficiencies and new opportunities. These security needs could not be accommodated by Salesforce.
5. Integrating Salesforce with other data and systems including Outlook. Silos of information caused impacted visibility, access to data, reporting, and activity tracking.
6. Research Affiliates’ business model brought with it clients with complex interrelationships that it was critical to manage. Salesforce was simply not sophisticated enough to handle this, which put those relationships at risk.
7. As an entrepreneurial organization, one of the firm’s most important long-term goals was to have the ability to grow and to do so independently. They needed an extensible platform that could support their plans for growth, and they wanted to be able to support and modify it internally. Salesforce could support neither goal.
After evaluating the options, Research Affiliates chose Microsoft Dynamics CRM to replace Salesforce.com and selected AKA Enterprise Solutions as their implementation partner. Dynamics CRM had power and agility, while AKA had the expertise in financial services. The combination of the two answered every challenge the firm had been facing and helped them reach their goals to get on a path to independent growth.
Want to learn more about how making the switch to Microsoft Dynamics CRM and AKA lowered TCO while improving usability, security, visibility, and reporting for this dynamic organization? Download a copy of the Research Affiliates success story.