You just don’t see vendors to advisors get named to Gartner’s list of “cool vendors.” Sorry, I know RIAs think they are really a big deal but in the enterprise world covered by Gartner, the RIA segment of the financial services industry just does not matter much.
So when Craig Brauff, founder and CEO of Erado Message Control Solutions, an email and social media compliance solution, sent me a copy of Gartner’s research naming his company a “cool vendor” today, I was thrilled.
Erado was on my radar screen for the last few years but did not get on my personal list of “cool vendors” until about three months ago, when Brauff came to visit me here in Long Island.
Brauff is an economist who taught himself programming. In his early 50s now, he’s an entrepreneur with a track record
of success. He’s a hands on guy, totally obsessed with doing great work. For instance, Brauff built his own data center because he decided that was a requirement for building a world-class advisor compliance business.
With an intensity that matches my own, Brauff and I are kindred spirits. When we sat down together in my home office after dinner one evening and got to know each other, we almost immediately became excited about one another’s work.
Erado was making technology simpler for advisors. For example, other social media compliance vendors had created proxies for logging into social networks. Big social media vendors have been requiring that advisors log into a compliant version of Linkedin, Facebook, or Twitter and use that to post content to their social networks. That means those other vendors have to support software proxies for smartphones, desktops , tablets, Androids, Macs, and PCs. I have learned from personal experience that ths is a bad approach.
Erado’s approach is different. It does not create a proxy to log into social networks in order to enforce compliance. It rids advisors of the need to use a proxy. Erado capture what is posted and turns it into an email where it can be reviewed by compliance officers and archived. Brauff went in a different direction from most vendors gaining momentum with enterprises. And it has paid off.
Gartner’s recognition is fantastic but the real recognition that Erado is doing something better it that its systems are getting adopted by large institutions. Erado now provides email and social media archiving for tens of thousands of advisors, and it is the compliance vendor chosen by many large BDs, including LPL Financial.
When Brauff told me about his ideas for advisor email and social media compliance three months ago, I knew right away that Erado was a cool vendor. But what was really cool is that Brauff felt the same way about Advisor Products!
I showed Brauff how the Financial Advisor Social Media Content Stream from Advisor Products would work. (It just went live recently and we are looking for beta testers
.) Brauff got it. While other vendors offered content, Brauff on the spot that evening validated that what Advisor Products is doing would be better. Advisor Products, Brauff understood, was dong something really cool!
It was at that moment when we decided Erado and Advisor Products would work together.
In a few days, Advisor Products and Erado will start providing RIAs with Erado compliance solutions — email archiving and encryption as well as social media archiving.
The price will be 20% below what Erado charges RIAs for its compliance solutions. Erado is treating Advisor Products like a large enterprise buyer and Advisor Products is passing on the savings to RIAs.
RIAs will be able to buy cloud solutions for Office 365 and Google Apps bundled with email and social media compliance.
Advisor Products has been in search of a compliance vendor that could meet the needs of RIAs for about five years. But Erado really is a cool vendor and that’s why we chose Erado.