September 29, 2009

At Transparent Value, an equity asset management company owned by Guggenheim Partners, "asset management is all about customer service and scale," says Julian Koski, president and co-CEO. "A small firm like ours doesn't have the manpower or infrastructure to provide the kind of IT service and support that traditional firms have."

This drove the firm to begin using Salesforce.com's hosted customer relationship management software, specifically a version customized by Navatar Group. (Navatar also provides IT support for the system and provides security for the data stored in the CRM database.)

"The mutual fund industry is a complex, data-driven business, it's driven a lot by the back office, custodians and administrators," Koski says. "How do you bring all that information together in one place that helps decisionmakers make decisions? That's a difficult process."

Navatar provided the necessary integration with back-office and middle-office applications and created a dashboard of sales results that Koski uses to manage his business. "There are so many touchpoints, for us to build that ourselves would have been inefficient and very expensive," he says.

Any qualms about putting customer data on Salesforce's cloud were assuaged with the knowledge that Salesforce is used by many large organizations. (Salesforce says it has 63,200 customers.)

The new CRM system has helped Transparent Value improve employee efficiency. "You can do so many tasks with fewer people, there's far more efficiency on the platform," Koski says. "Without the Salesforce/Navatar solution, I would probably need a back office staff of 15 people to do this. With Salesforce you only need two people because you can automate so much of what you do."

The future direction for this project is to expand it to the broker/dealers, intermediaries, and subsidiaries Transparent Value with, "so in the end, we'll sit behind all of the disparate things Transparent Value needs from outside sources to run their business," says Alok Misra, principal, Navatar Group.

Navatar is building partnerships to create a portal that will facilitate Transparent Value's collaboration with these entities and the applications they use.

"This is cloud computing at its best," Misra says.

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