BlackRock drives faster cross-team collaboration with Airtable
In today’s economic climate there is an urgent need for financial institutions to both digitally transform and remain nimble in the face of unpredictable markets.
hours freed up/month
faster deployment of new features to clients thanks to tighter release schedules
global team members connected
One of the leaders in this transformation is BlackRock through the Aladdin®, eFront®, and Aladdin Wealth™ platforms. Over five years ago, BlackRock took its institutional DNA to wealth management with Aladdin Wealth™—evolving software and capabilities towards how wealth professionals operate their businesses.
“We've shifted towards helping advisors build effective client proposals and make recommendations—so that they can better serve end-investors and win new business more effectively.”
Dan is the Senior Director of Product Management for Aladdin Wealth™. He joined the team in 2020 and saw a need to align internal communications by connecting multiple teams and disparate sources of information. His team is responsible for product roadmapping, development, and communicating product updates to clients, leadership, and relationship management partners. It’s a pressure cooker environment when you’re working with some of the largest players in the wealth management industry who use Aladdin Wealth™ across their executive, portfolio management, risk and client-facing teams. Dan is always in search of modern, nimble technology that might streamline internal communications and partner with providers that are as committed to transparency as Aladdin Wealth™. As someone who had used Airtable in his personal life, Dan saw this platform as a solid choice for the internal challenges of the day.
“As a global team, it's complicated to keep everybody in the loop. Airtable really helps us stay in the loop.”
Dan’s team built a connected app in Airtable that powers Aladdin Wealth’s collaboration. The app connects technologists and senior stakeholders internally so that they can work together more efficiently on product management, business development, engineering, design, and product marketing. This doesn’t include any client data or personal identifiable information, only internal project information. Before Airtable, internal communications were sometimes siloed between tools like Wiki pages, email, chat, and spreadsheets. Dan centralized this communication in Airtable, helping everyone speak from the same script. His team is able to track everything from tasks to the health of upcoming product launches. The app attaches individual tasks to sales goals and provides talk tracks for client-facing team members to describe product features. Technologists and client teams all need to be up to date on internal information around product launches but not everyone needs to see the same level of detail. So Dan uses personalized views and interfaces to show status updates to leadership and other client managers. It’s meaningfully improved internal communication and trust which makes it easier to explain the value that Aladdin Wealth™ offers to clients of all sizes.
“Airtable has helped us enhance our controls to make sure that the right people have access to the right (and select) information internally.”
Before Airtable, “just knowing the status of projects required more manual processes,” Dan said. It could take a full week of conversations to figure out which product would be released next. Now the product team, client team, and technologists are connected through shared internal information on Airtable’s Connected Apps Platform™. There’s no more sifting through spreadsheets for deadlines; everything is in one place and clear details about each product are accessible to all teams at the same time regardless of where in the world they’re working. This means smoother internal rollouts which lead to faster adoption of new technology. “Since using Airtable to communicate our product updates we've really seen faster time-to-market,” Dan said.
With Airtable’s real-time updates, the team at Aladdin Wealth™ avoids a lot of ad-hoc meetings and chasing people down at the last minute to report product updates to senior stakeholders.
“Airtable frees up 80 hours a week of our product marketing team’s time.”
Dan estimates that the company’s 130 client managers and product team members save nearly 600 hours a month on product communications, based on the roughly two hours a month each person previously spent requesting product updates from his team.
Dan also built a product feedback app with Airtable so client managers can more efficiently share feedback to shape product updates. With Airtable forms, client managers and product teams can submit feedback live during a beta test of a product that automatically populates an Airtable base for technologists and other teams to implement.
This open internal line of communication has led to more specialized product launches. BlackRock recently launched Aladdin Wealth™ Vision, a management- and compliance-focused offering, and Aladdin Wealth™ Focus, an advanced dashboard for advisors. They’ve also sped up the time it takes to go to market.
Dan says, “With Airtable, we've really been able to centralize internal communication and go to market faster for our clients so that they are more equipped to help more and more people experience financial well-being.”