6 Ways to Manage Your Passwords in Your Private Equity Software

It wasn’t long ago that the only passwords a person needed to remember were for their email and their bank account. But now it seems that every time you turn around, you’re on a site that requires you to create a login and either sign in with Google or Facebook or create a new password to remember.

We find that password managers can be a handy and secure way to keep track of passwords for email, data rooms, Cap IQ, Preqin, and any of the dozens of other online sites that require the creation of a password.

Based on our experience, below are a few thoughts on password management and tools to manage passwords.

1. Password Managers: To Use or Not To Use?

The thought of storing dozens of your most important passwords in one place might terrify some people. But the fact is, short of memorizing a different 8+ character random alphanumeric password for every system you access, password managers may be the most secure way to protect these precious character strings.

Using the same password in multiple places around the web obviously is a flawed strategy because you’re taking a huge risk every time you create a new online account.

If the password for that new account is compromised, the password for all of your accounts is compromised. And depending on how often each service requires you to change your password, you could find yourself constantly making modifications to ensure all your accounts stay in sync.

Password managers are also invaluable when you lose a device or have one stolen. All of your passwords may be on that device, but if they’re protected by a password manager that is properly configured, they aren’t likely to be lost along with the hardware.

2. Doesn’t My Browser Help Me Manage Passwords?

Yes, most modern browsers will store passwords for you as a convenience. Many people utilize this feature nearly every day. But it provides virtually nothing in terms of security.

And with many browsers offering password sync across devices, passwords stored in your browser may be even more vulnerable.

3. RoboForm vs. LastPass to Manage Passwords

Two of the more established names in the password management space are RoboForm and LastPass.

Both are solid options in terms of usability and security. And in terms of the features they offer, they’re very similar—down to the way they capitalize their names. If you’re new to the tools used to manage passwords, either of these two proven winners should suit you.

4. Manage Passwords With Dashlane—The New Kid On the Block

Dashlane seems to be the new favorite for password managers, based in part on the $22 million round of funding they raised.

Skeptics are saying that this largest-ever fundraising round for a password management tool might be an overreaction to the Heartbleed bug, but Dashlane’s product is a slick option for those seeking a cutting-edge password management tool.

5. Two Additional Approaches Used to Manage Passwords

There are two other password management techniques that are commonly used and you may be familiar with. The first is what’s called single sign-on (SSO). With this approach, one set of login credentials is used across multiple systems.

For example, if you have a Gmail account, another cloud-based solution that you want to access may give you the option to “Sign in with Google.” If you select that option, the system confirms that you’re correctly signed into the account you’ve linked to and lets you in without requiring an additional password.

The second password management technique is called two-factor authentication. You may also see it referred to by names like dual-factor authentication, two-step verification/authorization, etc.

Basically, this means a user is required to provide two pieces of information, rather than just one, to gain access to a system.

For example, you might have to enter your password and then answer a security question. Or, after entering your password, you may need to enter a code that is sent to you in a text message.

6. Manage Passwords for Your Altvia Products

At Altvia, we take security very seriously. Fortunately, Salesforce does, too. But if you lose your password, the system does allow you to reset it.

The reset process involves receiving an email. If you find that nothing is happening when you click Reset Password, there are steps you can take to ensure you get password reset emails from Salesforce.

A traditional crm was built for general ‘customer’ scenarios

Software platforms have made the world a better place by making work a better place. Indeed the world is better off when people enjoy their jobs even marginally more, and workplace applications on big CRM platforms like Salesforce.com have done that and much more.

But the potential that platforms like these offer presents diminishing returns: once the platform provider has engineered too many industry specific components into its platform, its usefulness for other industries begins to be threatened, and with that so do the usefulness of the component tools built into the platform.

So it is with the CRM category that Salesforce.com has defined: it is generic enough to work for many industries, and yet still offers the potential for others to round off the edges and nail more vertically-oriented and extremely tailored software solutions.

Private capital markets are actually a great demonstration of this dynamic. Where generic CRM platforms simplify — appropriately so — to assume there’s a business, a customer, a sale, and service of that customer, there are a few industry-specific pieces that are missing.

Take for example, that investors become customers by investing through legal entities the GP raises. It’s a subtle but important nuance that just doesn’t make sense at a platform-as-a-service level (because it’s overly complicated for a simple one-time sale that many industries require), but which can easily be added without 10 years or software engineering. Once provided, the rest of the platform’s components become tremendously powerful again and you’re set to take over the world.

As a traditional CRM in our pillars methodology, these nuances must be present to properly account for investors in these legal entities, potential target companies and which are owned by these entities, the context of all interactions with these parties (as well as the appropriate overlap, ie co-investments), and how you’re arriving at finding these opportunities on both sides of the equation, such that you’re able to piece together what’s effective and what’s not. Not just because we say so, but because these are the very relationships and data that are key to the motivation behind a CRM in any industry.

It’s critical, too, that the valuable publicly-available information that helps to enrich CRM systems and save users painful steps of entering it themselves is fully-integrated at the platform level.

Again, look no further than the 3,000+ pre-built integrations that Salesforce.com — the creator of the CRM platform concept — has at a platform level to do so, and which only exists by way of holding just short of overly-specifying certain industry workflows that would present challenges to properly integrate.

Stakeholder reporting and communication (investor relations) draws on a range of datasets

The traditional “customer service” model of CRM systems once again makes overly-simplified assumptions about the customer relationship when applied to private capital markets.

In fifteen years I personally have yet to hear the terms “warranty” or “service call” in this market because it’s just not the same. But make no mistake, as uncomfortable as it may be to say aloud, customer service is more important now than ever and it’s constantly happening; the industry is, after all, considered to be a financial “service”.

As it turns out, that service is primarily information-based — it’s driven by data and takes the form of reports and analysis that drive decisions, and then end up again in investor-facing reports and analysis.

The foundational elements of a private capital markets CRM must be built such that they accommodate this data (like we discussed above), but so too that it can accommodate additional supporting data that investors (customers!) need in the context of service.

Oftentimes this supporting data — financial metrics and time-based values, for example — is believed not to meet the traditional definition of CRM and the natural thought is “well, better do this in Excel!”.

While I happen to believe Excel is still the greatest software application ever built, its introduction to this value chain we’ve discussed herein actually creates the problem many firms suffer from: key data needed to provide customer service (again: effectively the entirety of a firm’s reports and analysis) is now in disparate systems and detached.

Both of those dynamics are important and distinct: not only is this supplemental data disparate, but when brought together there is no logical association that can be made between the two data sets.

Allow me, then, to make the point very simply: not only can this financial and time-based value data (you may be thinking about is as “portfolio monitoring” or “accounting”) be a part of a CRM, it is arguably the most important part of a CRM because it’s at the core of what providing service to the customer entails — information that comes out of data!

Firms need a digital method to engage stakeholders (ie investor portals)

Investor portals are not new; in fact, for many of us — including myself — they conjure up horrifying nightmares in which we’re aimlessly guessing at folders to find the newest document we need.

So in lies the opportunity: not only have the portals we’ve come to hate not simplified the process of acquiring information, they’ve failed to create an entirely new experience that is “customer service” driven.

To be fair, this is not a B2C market where you’d be long out of business for not having focused on customer service and thus the customer’s technology-driven experience. But don’t expect to be around too much longer if you aren’t thinking about this shift.

Today’s institutional investors increasingly expect this same consumer-like experience, and a massive opportunity is being missed by not providing it. It’s not about providing them the experience they desire; it’s more about the ability to measure engagement that is had in return.

Put simply: what’s keeping the market from providing this experience is the availability of the information that’s required to create the service that provides the experience.

If you’ve hung in this long, you know that by focusing on your CRM, you have the data that’s required to manage the customer relationship and the technology-driven experience through which that information is shared to create a differentiated and opportunistic customer experience.

investor relations