Data Security & Private Equity Software – What You Need To Know

Clients often come to us with questions about their private equity software and the security of their data. The good news is that Altvia solutions are built on the Salesforce platform. This benefits our clients in multiple ways, including that Salesforce:

  • Has a comprehensive security program
  • Can meet privacy requirements
  • Backs up your data at no additional cost

For these and other reasons, Salesforce is an ideal foundation for private equity software.

Advanced Data Protection in Your Private Equity Software

When your data resides in our private equity software, you can be confident that it has industry-leading protection. Salesforce has a comprehensive privacy and security program that encompasses all areas of data safeguards—certifications, policies, practices, people, and technology.

This policy ensures that our clients who are subject to privacy-related laws governing how they must handle data can meet all of those requirements.

Ensuring the Availability of Private Equity Software Data

Data security means more than simply protecting data from access by unauthorized individuals. It also involves ensuring that authorized users can always access the data in a private equity software solution.

For that reason, storing data on in-house servers is extremely risky. If an incident should occur—a fire that destroys the room where a server is located, for example—all of that data is lost. You can, of course, arrange for a local server to be backed up. However, third-party providers charge a fee for that service, and that fee is on top of the costs you’re incurring to purchase and maintain the equipment you’re using to store your data locally.

In addition, getting your data restored following an incident can take time—time that could potentially hurt your chances of closing a deal or connecting with the ideal investor when it matters most. Salesforce backs up its servers regularly and at no additional cost to you. As a result, losing your data is essentially impossible.

Anytime, Anywhere Access to Your Private Equity Software and Data

As the business world continues to move toward a dispersed workforce model, having access to your data from any location with internet access whenever access is needed is essential.

Even if your employees still spend a significant amount of time in your office, anytime, anywhere access to your private equity software and data can be a lifesaver. If your team is forced out of your office by some type of disaster, for instance, they can simply relocate to your local coffee shop or anywhere with internet access and get back to work quickly.

Enabling the Right Amount of Access to Your Private Equity Software and Data

When working with a SaaS (software as a service) solution provider like Altvia, it’s normal for our application experts to have access to your system so that we can assist you as needed with any challenges you encounter. With Salesforce, you can limit that access to a level that meets your firm’s security requirements.

That said, whenever you work with a SaaS company, you should ensure that it’s a trusted, reliable company. Ideally, the provider has an excellent track record in their field of expertise and has been in business for a significant amount of time.

It can also be reassuring if you look at their client list and see organizations you recognize. The fact that they surely did their due diligence in selecting the provider shouldn’t be a substitute for your own research, but it can be used to confirm what you’ve learned about them.

Client retention rate is another important metric to consider. It should be a red flag if a SaaS company you’re considering doesn’t have a rate that’s in the 80-90% range or higher. Also, you want to be sure you’re comfortable with how and where the provider is storing your data.

Private Equity Software Data Secured by Salesforce

No doubt you have plenty of mission-critical, time-sensitive tasks on your plate. Knowing that your Salesforce-based private equity software is protecting your data means that this extremely important, ongoing action item is covered!

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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.

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