i4C to Intelliflo
Intelligent Office has had its own set of planning tools for many years but Intelliflo have long had an approach of allowing competing tools to integrate so advisers can select their own best of breed options.
In all honesty the in-house tools were far from the best part of the system, so buying a specialist provider makes a lot of sense. The existing third-party options will continue to be available via the IO store so everyone should be happy.
With their international expansion plans, and contrary to thoughts in some quarters, that is not just about Australia, Intelliflo, and their parent Invesco, will certainly be able to take i4c to a far wider audience than just the UK in ways that would have been hard, if not impossible, for the fledgling planning tools business.
While the UK market for planning tools is full of incumbents from long standing players like Prestwood and Voyant, the incredibly fast growing CashCalc and the stunning Focus Now:Plan Digital toolkit (for those who have deep pockets) being owned by the largest practice management solution on the market has to give you an advantage.
Intelliflo tell me they bought the business because while many planning tools of all shapes and sizes have worked with their suite of APIs, they wanted there to be a tool in the market that takes full advantage of everything their APIs can offer. This is an interesting message and is something Intelligent Office users should watch.
I see valuable synergies between i4c and the pending Open Banking service from Intelliflo.
It is actually hard to see a loser in this deal although it does highlight that not all practice management systems are as open in giving advisers the ability to choose their preferred tools provider.