Sage Software this week purchased financial services compliance and document tracking technology from VerticalFalls, in order to expand Sage’s ACT product family.
This is the second vertical market that ACT has targeted; earlier this year, the company released ACT for Real Estate.
The new acquisition will allow ACT to introduce a contact and customer management application tailored to the financial services industry, Joe Bergera, ACT senior vice president and general manager for Sage, told CRM Buyer.
VerticalFalls will continue to operate as a reseller, as well as provide implementation and consultingservices.
Targeting Compliance Needs
Bergera noted that financial services companies have a far greater need for compliance functionality thanother industries. These requirements include increasingly sophisticated reporting features and improved retention of customer interactions and their related internal decision-making processes.
“These firms must also demonstrate that they follow strict risk controls for their customer data,” he added.
“The increased importance of record retention, data privacy and compliance tracking within the financialservices industry makes the linking of these processes with contact management capabilities especiallyinteresting,” said Laurie McCabe, research vice president for AMI-Partners.
ACT views this industry as a significant market opportunity, especially for financial services firms that have a number of small and possibly independent offices, such as insurance or stock brokers, Bergera claimed.
At present, many of the larger brokerage firms use ACT typically because independent firms have purchased the application or they have a master agreement with the parent company, noted Bergera.
In addition, software adoption of competing applications is still very fragmented, leaving space for companies such as ACT to make inroads.
The ACT’s industry verticals are developed on the ACT Premium platform. This past May, Sage introduced the first ACT industry application, ACT by Sage Premium for Real Estate.
This particular application incorporated ACT’s contact and customer management functionality with realestate-related features for referrals, property marketing and sales activities.
Other real estate-oriented features include customized layouts, sales letters, reports, and one-click access to local multiple listing service systems.
The application also links to Palm OS or Pocket PC handheld devices for mobile data access — important to agents who are always in the field.
If a third vertical is released, it will be in an industry similar to financial services or real estate –an industry characterized by large companies with many small offices or one served by a small, fragmented vendor community rather than a single, large entity, noted Bergera.