SMSF Awards 2017: Investment platforms winner

BT Financial Group’s new platform – BT Panorama – has taken out the platform category of the SMSF awards, following the success of its predecessor – BT Wrap – the previous two years.

BT Financial Group head of platforms Kelly Power admits she’s particularly proud of this award because it’s determined by advisers – 400 advisers to be exact who participated in the research – and BT Panorama was built by advisers.

Power has just completed the three-year build of the new Panorama platform. Although not cheap – it’s estimated to have cost BT over half a billion dollars – it is a major simplification of the existing legacy products at the group and should also provide a major cost saving as a result of these efficiencies.

“We have $110 billion funds under advice across all of our platforms and they are some of the most widely used in the markets, and we’ve obviously made a significant investment through the Panorama platform which reinforces our commitment to this industry,” she says.

“In terms of what we’ve been focused on, we had completed our super build in March and spent a fair amount of investment in our managed portfolios offer.”

The group is pleased with the success and feedback from advisers and other researchers on the new platform’s capabilities.

The development of Panorama involved an intensive customer-focused approach with plenty of input from users and advisers.

“We get both quantitative and qualitative feedback from advisers, end customers – SMSF trustees, and accountants. We then take that and build prototypes, and then watch them use prototypes,” Power explains.

This kind of research resulted in features such as improved reporting systems, enhancements to the mobile application and providing unique log-in capabilities.

But it’s not just about the digital servicing capabilities, although services such as click to chat are important; old-fashioned customer service is paramount too.

“As we grow the platform we grow our team to ensure we can provide excellent customer service. The team has grown in proportion to the scaling up,” Power notes.

Advisers continue to look for, and demand, tools and services that can help them better engage with their customers. One enhancement made on the platform last year enables advisers to quickly share any news article about a particular investment a customer owns.

Seeking feedback from advisers and customers isn’t just a monthly or quarterly event, it’s an ongoing process for the platform juggernaut.

“We’ve embedded a design team into our product team. It’s a design team that is 25 people strong and their entire focus is on looking at what is coming out of research and speaking to advisers on a weekly basis,” Power says.

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