Latest Newsletter Aug 2012
Brokerprove Newsletter August 2012
Welcome from Cian Kinsella (CEO)
Welcome to the August edition of our newsletter, we hope you find it interesting and informative. The purpose of the newsletter is to provide Financial Advisors and Brokers with useful information that will help you improve your business performance through Information Technology. It is intended to be both educational and to inform. In this newsletter we are covering the following topics:-
- Introduction to Digiprove: – Who are we? What do we do?, What is Brokerprove?
- Webinars for Brokers: – What are they? How do they work?, Value to business? Example?
- The Cloud for Brokers & Financial Advisors: – What is the Cloud? Why consider?, What are the risks?
- eCommerce Act 2000:- Relevance for Financial Advisors & Brokers for electronic records
- “Brokerprove” =”Compliance made easy”
Introduction to Digiprove
Digiprove is an Irish specialist technology company founded in 2007. Our mission is “Creating Trust in Digital Content”. Our unique expertise and technology is in the space of digital/electronic content security (Documents, Images, Audio, Video etc.) , and in particular securing the provenance, integrity & authenticity of digital content. We have over 7000 users of our technology solutions , with many different applications including copyright & IPR protection, Digital evidence management, Regulatory compliance as examples. Our founders and management team have extensive backgrounds in technology and business, particularly in the area of banking and financial software. Our core Digiprove technology is patented and unique in the following ways
- User digital documents/content remain confidential:- Digiprove never sees your content, it never has to leave your PC
- No need for complex and expensive security key management: – It’s simple and inexpensive to deploy.
- Any stakeholder can verify the integrity of a Digiproved document: – Real-time, on or off-line any file can be verified by any party thus securing trust in the content.
- Enables compliant digital processing and record keeping: – As in the Brokerprove product because it enables compliance with the eCommerce Act 2000 you can go fully digital.
Webinars: – Webinars or Web meetings/conferences are on-line meetings and events using free or paid for on-line services. Some popular ones are www.webex.com , www.gotomeeting.com which are freemium services, in that you can use certain features for free and upgrade for more functionality. www.anymeeting.com has an excellent free entry level service. These services allow you schedule, manage and execute your conference/meeting and provide metrics on your event after it has completed. You can share screens, demos, documents etc. and there can be audio and video interactions. Most people have internet access these days, so your customers, partners, audience can easily participate in your Webinar/Web-meeting. They are highly efficient and save money on travel and conference expenses for both you and your participants.
Digiprove recently held two Brokerprove webinars to launch the product to the Irish Broker market. Our objective was to present the product and its business benefits to Irish Brokers, answer questions and follow up with those Brokers who wanted to see how Brokerprove could deliver short return on investment for their business. Over the two webinars we were able to have a dialog with in excess of 100 Brokers, our attendance was in excess of 87% of registered participants. Our view is that used correctly Webinars improve Sales productivity and reduce costs as part of a complementary strategy to your traditional Sales and Marketing process.
So how can webinars help your business:-
- Increase awareness of your products and services to your target client base (Marketing)
- Use for Sales meetings to further qualify the opportunity, and prepare for a more productive physical sales meeting.
- Improve efficiency and productivity for team meetings, and with providers and other stakeholders reducing travel and meeting time.
The Cloud for Brokers?
There is much talk and hype about the cloud and cloud based services/software, but what is it?, how does it work?, what are the benefits? & what are the risks?. In very simple terms it is a software application that does not require you to install any new hardware or software, all you have to do is through a web browser register/sign-up for the solution and start using it. Everything is taken care of by the provider from their data centre(s) which you are accessing over the web. One of the biggest advantages is that there are no large up-front costs, it’s a rental model in effect. However it’s much more . Read more for advantages and disadvantages.
Also you can read more about:-
Why the cloud is better than local storage for your document access & Retention. Read more .
Data Protection in the Cloud. Read more .
eCommerce Act 2000
The e-Commerce act of 2000 is the primary legislation governing the use of electronic documents and electronic signatures in business in Ireland. In general it is an enabling legislation that clarifies the circumstances and conditions that make electronic documents valid and reliable. There is similar legislation around the world.
Although in general the conditions that are laid down are reasonably easily achievable by companies and individuals wanting to use e-documents, there is one stipulation that has proved difficult, in the area of retention of records. Where institutions, businesses and individuals are required by law to retain certain records for a number of years, this can only be done with electronic records (i.e. not hard-copy or printouts) unless there is a reliable method of guaranteeing that such documents have not been altered. This is an understandable condition, but it requires technology not only to prevent write/update access (by anyone) to such data, but also a fool proof method of detecting changes for immediate action. Easier said than done, and this barrier has resulted in many organisations that need to retain lots of paper records despite the fact that the rest of their business procedures are e-enabled. However it is now achievable using Digiprove’s patented technology. Read more .
“Brokerprove” =”Compliance made easy”
Today Brokers are faced with many new and changing regulatory requirements following the global and local Irish financial crisis. It is understandable from a societal perspective that creating trust and confidence in our financial systems and services is essential and that business and consumers alike are willing to go back into the market for whatever services they need. That said the demands on Brokers & Advisors are ever increasing as regards paperwork, records ,processing information and communications with clients, providers and the regulators.
The sources of regulation include legislation such as the eCommerce Act 2000, the Financial Regulator & the Data Protection Commissioner. The Brokers motivation is to provide the best possible product and services to their customers in an efficient, effective and professional manner. By having these objectives many of the regulatory requirements will be met. Customers trust us with very personally sensitive data and depend on our expertise to recommend product and services that meet their unique requirements. We know and understand the consequences of failing to meet their needs , which ultimately may see the loss of the customer and revenues but also the risk of the loss of license to practice should the regulator determine you are non-compliant.
So how can Brokerprove help achieve compliance. In the first instance you must have the desire and motivation to be compliant, no software solution will completely solve making you compliant without these traits and a strong awareness and commitment by you and your team to best practices and compliance. Let us look at the key areas of compliance and how Brokerprove uniquely addresses each area:-
- Education & Competence:- Because Brokerprove was designed by Brokers for Brokers, its structure and the related product training , re enforces key competence areas as they relate to each of the Regulatory areas in the Digital world.
- Business Processes:- The unique file structure for document and file management is pre-configured within Brokerprove to enable you follow your process flow, in addition there is only one instance of Brokerprove for your business, that all professionals and Back Office staff use, so everyone is using the same, system, process and information.
- Documents:- Brokerprove file structure is designed and pre populated with all the required document types , so simple drop down menus allow the storage and retrieval in a manner that is both effective and efficient for each Client, Case or Provider. A unique automated file naming system ensures consistency in the naming of all documents regardless of source whether it’s a new or edited word document template, a scanned document and e-mail received. Powerful search features are built into the product and in addition there is a unique missing compliance document search feature, which will identify any potential process or compliance exposure you may have at the touch of a button.
- Security & Data Protection:- Brokerprove has integrated Digiprove’s patented technology which assures the provenance, integrity and authenticity for every document at every stage of the process. No other solution can make this claim. At any time, any stakeholder can access on or off-line and verify any document or file and confirm “Trust”. Any tampering whether accidental or malicious will be evident. Only authorised staff can access Brokerprove documents. The remote access and cloud storage uses industry strength security and encryption, and automatic back up of this data adds an additional layer of protection and resilience. Ultimately is the core Digiprove process and technology that ensures compliance.
- Records:- As a broker you’re required to keep a copy of all of your clients’ documentation for 6 years after a case closes. The more cases you deal with, the more clients you have; the more space you’ll lose to old case files. According to the Electronic Commerce Act 2000, documents that are held for compliance reasons can be held digitally. The Act states that information can be held digitally ‘if there exists a reliable assurance as to the integrity of the information from the time when it was first generated in its final form’. This requirement has been preventing brokers, and other regulated industries, from using digital originals because ‘reliable assurances’ of digital document integrity has been difficult to come by. Digital documents are too easy to edit, too easy to falsify in terms of time and date created.
So how do you deal with this problem? For most brokers it means their offices are taken over by filing cabinets and storage boxes. Or they pay to lease storage space. A constant cost that only ever goes up.
But now there are ways to reliably verify the integrity of digital documents. With Digiprove, an integrated service included within the Brokerprove system, all of your documents are authenticated in a secure third party location. Digiprove allows you to create irrefutable proof of where, when and who created any digital document. As well as definitive proof of when the document was edited. As soon as you complete a document and save it within Brokerprove, it’s automatically verified through Digiprove.
With this verification and the fact that Brokerprove also creates a backup copy of the document, you fulfil your regulatory requirements without the need for the paper original. For brokers, that means an immediate cut in costs for paper records and a more efficient business.