Own vs Managed XPLAN Sites
At Enzumo, we are frequently asked by clients for a hosted (or managed) XPLAN site. Often, the request is predicated on client’s assumptions of sites, specifically around ease of use/maintenance and cost.
In order to understand this issue it is important to understand the key terms that surround this. The third-party XPLAN configuration market has inadvertently used interchangeable terminology, which can often confuse customers
- Own-site - Xplan site is owned by the individual adviser/practice. Licensing and contracts are directly between firm and IRESS.
- Managed site - These are also referred to as ‘Hosted Sites’ .XPLAN site is owned and run by an independent third party (usually an XPLAN configuration firm). Licensing of XPLAN may also managed by this third party or a tripartite agreement in place.
The correct way to go is based on a set of variables, as each type of service have pro’s & con’s. To help a firm make the correct decision we would typically ask the following questions:
1. How many XPLAN users are in the business (ARs and support staff)?
2. Do you have your own AFSL?
3. What flexibility do you require now (or in the future) to modify your CRM structure, advice templates or to expand to other businesses?
4. What are your growth plans?
Own Xplan Site
· Full control over all aspects of site.
· Clear control of the commercial arrangements with IRESS.
· Flexibility in template & wizard design.
· Control of data
· Ability to scale easily.
· Additional initial costs to develop custom templates.
· Time & effort required to ensure CRM structure is optimal.
Managed XPLAN site
· Lower initial costs for ‘renting templates’
· Easier ongoing maintenance (outsourced)
· In some instances reduced licensing costs (group buying)
· No direct relationship with IRESS as software vendor.
· Reliance of third party for ongoing site support, data and maintenance.
· If you terminate the relationship you may lose all wizards and templates.
· Performance issues can occur as the number of users on the site grows.
Enzumo has a limited number of clients on it’s managed site service. Whilst, we are happy to maintain these relationships, we have decided to stop offering this service moving forward.
We ultimately believe the cost difference on the initial site configuration are well and truly offset by the long-term benefits of site flexibility and performance. We believe the third party configuration market will continue to offer these but as IFAs to continue to merge to build scale that XPLAN site independence will be an increasingly important factor.
Peter Worn, Head of Strategic Relationships at Enzumo, recently commented. “Investment in technology is not just buying software, it is investing further capital and resource to ensure that your business extracts maximum value from it. Too many firms continue to see software as a necessary evil, rather than a key asset.”