The 2017 Software Survey, co-sponsored by Advisor Perspectives, Inside Information and the T3 conference, is available. On behalf of the sponsors, I want to thank the 1,064 professionals who provided us with useable responses, telling us not only what you used but also your rankings of each software tool on a scale from 1-10.

What did we learn? The final survey was broken out into categories, starting with CRM, which many regard as the hub of the technology stack. Few would be surprised that Redtail (24.11% of the respondents) and Junxure (20.72%) were the runaway market-share leaders, but a surprising 24% of the respondents did not report using any CRM tool at all. With one exception (Advisors Assistant, which had a ranking of 5.20) users were generally satisfied with their choice; the overall average user ranking was 7.04 on a scale of 1-10, with the highest ranking achieved by Concenter XLR8 (8.19), a SalesForce overlay that customizes the generic institutional CRM to advisory firms.

When the results were broken down by firm size, business model and advisor experience, it became clear that Redtail – the least expensive CRM option – was the runaway market leader among dually-registered and state-registered advisory firms, while Junxure, which is more complex and feature-rich, owned the largest market share among firms that self-identified as “asset managers” and “comprehensive wealth managers.” Firms with over $4 million in revenues preferred Junxure and the generic institutional CRM SalesForce. SalesForce, however, collected a relatively low user rating (6.95) while the customized SalesForce overlay, XLR8 from Concenter Services, reported the highest user rating (8.19).

In the portfolio management space, Schwab PortfolioCenter (used by 24.48% of the respondents) and Morningstar Office (21.75%) were the clear leaders, ahead of the multi-function rebalancing, CRM and trading platform provided by Envestnet/Tamarac (13.09%). Orion Advisor Services, a large outsource provider, came in fourth (9.70%) and Albridge, which is primarily an account aggregation and performance reporting tool, finished a hair behind (9.60%).

Users were not totally satisfied with their options in this category; the overall rating was just 6.59, and market leader PortfolioCenter received a 6.76 average user rating. Those who used Addepar’s primarily large-firm solution (7.75) and relative newcomer AssetBook (7.65) were the most satisfied customers of their portfolio management software.

But which of these products would best fit a firm of your size and makeup? Tamarac users tended to be larger, more established firms; the program earned a 29.57% market share among firms with more than $4 million in overall revenue and 21.29% of firms that self-identified as comprehensive wealth managers. Orion also picked up market share as firm size grew, and also as advisors reported more experience in the business. Morningstar Office was the runaway market leader among the smallest firms.