A week does not go past at Kurtosys where customers and prospects ask us, “What Content Management System (CMS) do you recommend?” or rather “Do you build websites as part of your platform?”
Often times these kinds of questions are asked because our customers feel that financial services — or asset management in particular — is “different” and that they need specific features that most CMS’s don’t offer. We have toiled with this question for many years and in fact in 2009 we purchased a company, FundWorks, a UK technology firm focused on asset management that had built its own proprietary CMS for helping customers build and run their websites. In doing so we gained a tremendous amount of experience working with some of the largest (and smallest) asset managers, all of whom were looking for the right platform to build out their digital footprint. I specifically mean the actual websites where ease of content editing, workflow, template design, integrations with CRM, specific plugins for things like event management and map integrations are vitally important.
In doing so, we have asked ourselves the same question we ask our customers all the time, “Why are you building that when you can buy the same thing off the shelf that is better, faster and cheaper?” It was a somewhat chilling moment. Here we are telling customers to give us their business based on the very argument we were not posing to ourselves.
Fast forward a few years (and a few internal debates) and it’s exciting for us to be able to announce that we no longer develop a proprietary CMS, and furthermore, we are very much saying that proprietary CMS platforms have had their day. In our opinion the concept of CMS is changing considerably. Proprietary CMS systems are basically like buying kit cars. You get a very cool set of parts and features but you still need a ton of expertise, time (= money) to put it all together. And at the end of the day, what do you have? A car.
We believe open platforms are the future. We have firmly put our strategy into integrating WordPress, a hugely successful CMS, into our product suite.
Why WordPress? There are many reasons, most of which you can find elsewhere, but for Kurtosys it’s simple:
- Their focus on the “content manager” experience is second to none
- WordPress is feature-rich and is being extended every day with a massive set of plug-ins and features
- With it you can now build really (really) large enterprise, multi-site digital footprints
Kurtosys has augmented the WordPress offering with our in depth expertise in security, hosting and application management to provide a truly enterprise scale web site management suite that addresses many of the issues that our clients, large and small, have to contend with. Ten specific examples below:
- Speed: We have developed an implementation approach that has high velocity in terms of design to realization
- Change Management: We have developed an approach to the distribution of change management into the enterprise with appropriate security (including features like 2-factor authentication into the WordPress admin areas)
- Integration of Kurtosys “widgets”: We have integrated Kurtosys widgets so we can easily incorporate client and/or market data from the Kurtosys platform or a client platform with asynchronous data requests (e.g. through JSON injection of AJAX calls)
- Scale: Global scalability using multiple regional data centers, elastic computing, distributed CDN with advanced cache control in a multi-tenant rapid client onboarding
- Security: Hardened security stack with DDOS, SSL quality monitoring, real-time mounting of loads
- Off the Shelf, Certified Plugins: We have a range of certified plugins for integrating with CRMs such as Salesforce and Marketing Automation systems, and a variety of super widgets for Event Management, geo-location services, secure sign-on and geo-location services
- Marketing Analytics: Integrated analytics for client dashboards to allow for rapid marketing decisions
- SSO: Single sign-on integration using the latest protocols such as Oath, OpenID Connect, SAML 2.0 for integration to other client properties
- Intranet/Extranet: Ability for differentiation of Internal Access (Intranet) from external access
- Design: Laser-focused on Financial Services, we extend best-of-breed presentation and advice.
For us here at Kurtosys the decision was ultimately simple. We respect the fact our customers will continue to have many choices with what CMS they choose — and our technologies operate with any CMS in the market. But when it comes to building websites for our customers we are firmly backing our Bank-Grade Enterprise WordPress model. It’s time for our customers and prospects to see the significant flexibility and return on investment this strategy can bring them.
He is a non-executive board member of a number of Fintech startups and takes a broad interest in how innovative technology is shaping the future of financial services.
Mash holds a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Warwick and a Masters in Finance from London Business School. Away from Kurtosys, Mash is most likely to be found with his family and dog, Bode, or indulging his passion for soccer, supporting Arsenal F.C.
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