NexJ Systems to Deliver Hosted CRM Desktops via Private Clouds

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Posted 2012-01-05 Print this article Print

NEWS ANALYSIS: NexJ Systems has partnered with Winfund to create a cloud-based offering of hosted desktops for financial services markets.

CRM solutions vendor NexJ Systems is aiming to extend its footprint into mutual fund dealers, brokers and life insurance distributors by offering a fully integrated cloud-based desktop. The company, which is well-known in the financial industry for its CRM offerings, is partnering with Winfund, a vendor of wealth management solutions, to create a specialized hosted desktop offering that incorporates specific capabilities needed for the financial markets.

The Winfund/NexJ Systems collaboration should prove to be very interesting, especially since financial businesses, such as mutual fund dealers, brokers and life insurance dealers, are bound by complex compliance and security needs. That situation should making the private cloud offering even more significant. If the companies can successfully deploy cloud-based desktops that meet the security and compliance requirements of their customers while hosted off-site, NexJ and Winfund will have blazed a trail into a new territory and may help to dispel many of the beliefs that hosted desktops don't offer adequate protection.

NexJ enterprise CRM solutions are designed to allow companies to understand more about the customers they interact with so they can make more informed business decisions and generate bottom-line results. Featuring industry-specific capabilities for financial services and insurance, NexJ brings customer information in multiple systems together into a unified and comprehensive view of the individual. Companies use this people-centered view to develop and rapidly evolve innovative customer service strategies and become more competitive.

Through this agreement, Winfund will integrate a select set of NexJ's next-generation CRM functionality into its W.connect and solutions to provide Winfund customers with further value while maintaining a seamless user experience. Customers will have the option of a private cloud solution hosted off-site or on-premises. Both types of deployment will be provided on a subscription basis.

Of course, NexJ is not the only company offering hosted desktops or desktops in the cloud. Several vendors are experimenting with the very same concept under a moniker often referred to as DaaS (desktops as a service). DaaS vendors include the likes of Desktone, MindShift Technologies and Nervogrid, which are using VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) technology to deliver hosted desktops.

Where NexJ and Winfund differ is in the specialization and requirements needed by a vertical market and also the flexibility to deploy the desktops on an in-house private cloud or an off-site private cloud, which gives the customer choices beyond the typical DaaS vendor offerings.

Ultimately, NexJ/Winfund's play into the DaaS space may spell out how the market evolves and how other services may change to compete, or it could be the first step in the fragmentation of the market that will evolve to serve specific vertical needs.

Regardless, both companies are bullish on their success. In a prepared statement, Laird Elliott, president and CEO of Winfund, said, "We believe this provides us with significant strategic advantage in new business opportunities and further provides our existing W.connect and customers the ability to leverage additional functionality with their current deployment."

John Vincze, senior vice president of NexJ, said in the same statement, "Our relationship with Winfund will allow us to further expand our sales channels and reach a new market segment by delivering our integrated private cloud solution as a subscription service."

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at

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