Podium pushback will fade with education: Weston

by Adam Smith17 Feb 2012

Advantedge general manager of broker platforms Steve Weston has conceded that some brokers are unhappy with the aggregator’s new Podium software, but said the company is investing heavily in training its members to make the most of the system.

Since unveiling the software across its Choice, PLAN and FAST networks, Weston told Australian BrokerNews there has been “a lot” of feedback that the system is too complicated. However, Weston likened the change to the pushback around other software updates.

“I would compare it to getting a different version of Windows. When you first turn it on, you say ‘No, no, no! Give me my old one back.’ After three months, now do you want the old one back? No,” he said.

While Weston argued brokers would eventually become comfortable with the system, he said Advantedge would do its part by employing an additional eight staff to train brokers in the platform. The training will include further face-to-face instruction, webinars and updates.

“It is a lot to get your mind around, so we have to do an even better job at training brokers, so that’s what we’re working on,” Weston said.

Weston called the Podium software a “powerful asset”, and said it represented a “new way of doing business” that would meet NCCP obligations and provide best practice for engaging with clients. He said the platform had thus far received positive feedback from brokers who had not previously used PLAN software.

“We are seeing almost no issues with FAST brokers who are using it, because they didn’t have the old version of the PLAN software before podium. They’re coming from using other software, and they’re loving it from day one. But from Choice and PLAN where they’re swapping from software they’ve sometimes used for a decade, there absolutely has been pushback,” Weston said.

Competitors have targeted Advantedge aggregators over this pushback, Weston said. However, he contended that the Podium platform was “leading the market by a mile” in independent analysis.

“It will take time for it to be accepted. I appreciate that,” he said.

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  • by Unhappy Choice Broker 17/02/2012 9:57:32 AM

    The problem is they have consultation with a few head honchos from the sub-groups and dont come and see small 2-5 broker groups like me to see what we actually want from the software. Whilst I didnt overly like the Plan software, the new Podium is shocking and actually makes it more difficult to process a loan. I'm now moving to an independant software provider.

  • by Getting used to new software - Broker 17/02/2012 10:21:31 AM

    I would like to comment froma different perspective. In part i agree with the Disgruntled broker. This was my first reaction after being switched over in November 2011, there were quiet a number of adjustments to be had...very challenging when you have a few deals on the run.
    I can say now after making a focused effort that i would not go back (as suggested by Steve Weston). Once the client's data is in teh system it makes the next deal as easy as 'updating previously gathered information' and it all auto populates into the application.
    Like all good software there is a major thinking shift needed to stay on top of the changes, but at this stage three months on i am happy with the result.

  • by Unhappy User 17/02/2012 10:22:57 AM

    I agree with Unhappy Choice Broker in regards to the lack of consultation that seems to have taken place with "front line" brokers. I have been using it now for many months and I do everything in my power to avoid using it. It's just not user friendly and seems to have no flow to it.