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Fidelity Charts Next Phase of Innovation for Financial Advisors with Access to New Cloud-Based Virtual Desktop Solution
First-of-its-Kind Solution Tackles Advisor IT Responsibilities and Provides Access to Entire Suite of Business Tools and Applications from Anywhere, Anytime, On Any DeviceBOSTON -- Fidelity Investments® today announced that it is unveiling a cloud-based virtual desktop solution for financial advisors.1 Working with cloud outsourcing company, External IT2, this solution will help enable the “anywhere advisor,” providing advisors access to their entire suite of business tools and desktop and cloud-based applications from anywhere via a web browser, including from mobile and tablet devices. This first-of-its-kind solution underscores Fidelity’s commitment to charting the next phase of innovation for financial advisors, helping them as they consider cloud and mobile technologies to reduce IT responsibilities and better serve their clients.
According to recent Fidelity research, operational, technology and back-office support was ranked as the No. 1 support need for advisors considering a switch to an existing or new independent firm3. Through the use of virtualized desktop technologies, financial advisors custodying with Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services® may be able to increase their ability to scale their business quickly and efficiently, conduct business regardless of geography and decrease the time and costs associated with back-end infrastructure.
“Years ago, Fidelity set on a course to bring the latest in innovation and technology to the advisors on our WealthCentral® platform,” said Edward O’Brien, senior vice president and head of technology, Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services®. “Offering choice and flexibility through effective integrations was the first frontier on that charted course. Today, we’re looking ahead to the next frontier –products and services for anywhere advisors in their pursuit of running a practice from a mobile or tablet device.”
According to recent Fidelity user groups, 39 percent of advisors were currently employing some form of cloud computing, and 76 percent were planning to store more than 50 percent of their documents in a cloud environment within five years. In addition, 48 percent of advisors prioritized gaining workflow efficiencies from cloud computing as their top technology goal.4
Through Fidelity’s arrangement with External IT, advisors will have the opportunity to contract directly with External IT for the provision of bundled or customized services at a discounted rate. The External IT solution will feature:
• Access from anywhere to cloud-based applications and data via a browser, including from mobile and tablet devices;
• The ability to reduce an onsite computing infrastructure;
• A central document repository hosted in the cloud, enabling advisors to access all of their documents and Microsoft® Exchange email from anywhere, anytime;
• The potential to host all business applications in the cloud and access them anywhere via the virtual desktop; and
• A subscription-based pricing model for a streamlined billing process.
These services include dedicated External IT support personnel specifically for Fidelity advisors, unlimited dual site replicated email storage, replicated file storage, mobile device support and a desktop/laptop agent for software updates, antivirus, patching, asset inventory and remote support, among other features.
“Because we recognize that every firm has distinct needs, we are focused on helping our advisors think through the technology solutions to find those that are right for them,” continued O’Brien.
“That’s why we worked closely with External IT to provide access to a solution that not only features a wide range of options for our advisors, but one that is all about scalability based on those unique needs.”
About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity Investments is one of the world’s largest providers of financial services, with assets under administration of $4.1 trillion, including managed assets of $1.7 trillion, as of March 31, 2013. Founded in 1946, the firm is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and many other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals and institutions, as well as through 5,000 financial intermediary firms. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit www.fidelity.com.
About External IT
External IT is a leading provider of unified cloud computing solutions to small- and medium-sized businesses. The company’s cloud-based solution is delivered via its unique OS33 virtual desktop platform, which provides all of a user’s applications and data simply in one place. The company offers integrated managed services that provide everything from end user helpdesk to data migrations, nationwide on-site assistance, and remote management of clients’ networks. Founded in 2000, External IT has been delivering IT services for more than a decade and is a recognized innovator and pioneer in the cloud computing space. For more information, visit www.externalit.com.
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