Another Cutting Edge Innovation from Orion
Orion Advisor Services has long had a well-deserved reputation for innovation in the financial advisory technology industry. They were among the first providers to participate in TD Ameritrade’s VEO and VEO One platforms. They were among the first to create mobile apps for their advisors. They introduced video market commentaries, a creative way for advisors to add video commentaries to periodic performance reports. They partnered with Riskalyze to offer Autopilot, a digital advice platform for advisors. They created the FUSE Conference that brings together some of the industry’s leading developers to collaborate for the benefit of their joint advisor clients. They also developed a true open source client portal that allows Orion and their partners to provide a consolidated digital experience to end clients.
Now, in yet another effort to improve the lives of their advisor clients, Orion is building the FUSE Notification Platform. The Platform which we expect to be officially announced at the FUSE conference in September, is currently still under construction. It is expected that when completed, the user interface will be similar to that of the Orion Client Portal.
Orion is creating a platform with a single question in mind: How do they make integrations tighter, and make it easier to use best of breed software providers, without losing the efficiencies that have traditionally plagued multiple system installations?
The concept is simple: tap into the existing notification capabilities that are built into many existing software products/platforms, and allow them to be shared among all those providers participating in the FUSE Notification Platform.
According to Orion CEO Eric Clarke, the goals of the platform are as follows:
By the time FUSE 2016 rolls around, Clarke expects Redtail, Riskalyze, Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and of course Orion alerts to be embedded in the FUSE Notification Platform. Other partners will be added thereafter on a regular basis.
I’m not going to get into the technical details of how the FUSE Notification Platform works, but interested developers can contact Orion directly for the documentation. Suffice it to say that it appears to be well designed.
According to Clarke, his hope is that the platform becomes a community project. This makes sense. When it comes to projects such as these, cooperation across many firms is necessary for success, and there are synergies to be had when developers at multiple leading firms collaborate for the good of all.
Clearly, the collaborative idea is not new. Perhaps the best example of collaborative success in the space is the TD Ameritrade VEO platform where TD Ameritrade provides the infrastructure, but 105 VEO partners provide input and intellectual property to make it better. TD Ameritrade in fact is building similar alert/notification functionality into its next generation VEO One platform, but that functionality is obviously limited to advisors who custody with TD Ameritrade, and initially at least, advisors would need to custody most, if not all of their assets with TD Ameritrade to obtain the maximum benefit from VEO One. If successful and widely adopted, the FUSE Notification Platform could have applicability to a much broader range of advisors.
As is the case with all new technologies, the devil is in the details. In order for this project to be successful, it needs to be easy to use for all involved, and it needs to work seamlessly. It also requires the buy in of a significant number of other technology providers for it to reach its full potential.
While it is way too early to tell how this initiative will ultimately play out, Orion Advisor Services deserves a great deal of credit for investing their own money to help their partners collaborate for the benefit of all their common advisor clients. This is the type of leadership that one expects from leading providers of technology to advisors. Our hope is that other providers lend their support to make this project a success because the ultimate winners will be the advisors Orion and their partners serve.