Orion Advisor Services has announced the general release of Orion Social, an advisor-facing application that connects advisors with Orion experts, online training tutorials, and advisor peers with the goal of accelerating the implementation and use of the Orion platform.
Orion Social is unique in that it provides an unprecedented level of transparency plus comprehensive training and support in one consolidated location. The application is well designed and intuitive.
“Orion Social was designed with the intention of truly becoming an extension of the advisor’s team,” said Orion CEO Eric Clarke. “We want to provide advisors with the ability to engage with our support team and share best practices with each other.”
WHO’S WAITING ON WHOM?
Advisors can log in to the site to see all open items that are transpiring between the advisory firm and Orion. Open items are divided into two categories: “Waiting on Me” and “Waiting on Orion.” In the case of a Waiting on Me item, the advisor knows that an action is required on their firm’s part in order for the workflow to proceed, and they can react promptly. In the case of an item that is Waiting on Orion, the advisor can click on the item to view the current status and a projected completion date. In both cases, advisors can add notes to an item in the flow. Since this data resides inside of Orion’s internal version of Salesforce, all of the data provided is real time data.
MY ACTIVITIES FEED
Orion Social incudes a “My Activities Feed.” This feed works in much the same fashion as direct messaging in Twitter. Using the @ sign, an Orion user can directly and privately communicate with another Orion user; all that is required is the other user’s name. One would simply type @username and the message to be sent.
The Groups section of Orion Social provides access to features in context. For example, if you go to the Billing section, all billing related training is accessible there. The group forum is also accessible here. Unlike the activities feed, the group forum is a public forum. If an advisor has a question about how to perform a task or needs a best practice, for instance, they can post to the forum where both advisors and Orion staff can respond. Orion also intends to use the forum to post development ideas. For example, if they are contemplating adding a new feature, they can post to the forum and ask for feedback from advisors. If they are trying to decide between which feature should be added next, they can use the forum to allow advisors to vote on which one should be given priority.
Orion Social makes it very easy to submit a support request from within a group page. You just click a button from within the group and submit the request. There are group pages for billing, trading, reporting, performance, market data, integration and implementation. The only major subject area lacking a group page currently is reconciliation, but Orion plans to add that at a future data.
LESSONS IN SERVICE CULTURE
Although Orion has always prided itself on their service culture, the release of Orion Social takes that commitment to a whole new level. It is a clear example of how combining quality technology with proven human capital, firms and improve efficiency and provide a better client experience. Competing firms, as well as the advisory firms that are Orion clients, can learn a great deal from what Orion has done with Orion Social.