Keeping Up With Standards

By Renee Boucher Ferguson  |  Posted 2004-02-16 Print this article Print

At the same time, WellFound is represented on the MISMO board and keeps its software up-to-date with emerging standards. In addition, a committee within MISMO is replacing the old standard with an XML-compliant version, something AHL is looking forward to using.

"As part of the framework, the schemas we use internally are normalized to MISMO," said McCoy. "Then, when we get a business partner [communicating electronically], we dont have to go through any transformation with them. WellFound does that uniquely; some other [systems integrators] dont sit on that committee" that ensures MISMO standards are up-to-date, he said.

AHL has completed Phase 1 of the architecture implementation, dubbed the Total Customer Experience project, which called for training the companys 1,400 employees on the TCE portal. Phase 2, slated to take place this year and next, will look to bring the broker community online with the portal.

The TCE portal infrastructure models AHLs mortgage process, from loan origination through servicing accounts.

In addition to automating AHLs workflow and providing an event-driven notification system, the TCE online system is an open, standards-based infrastructure that enables AHL to work across channels, including its call centers and the Web. At the same time, BEAs 8.1 platform allows AHLs developers to continue to build and deploy .Net applications—the companys preferred development environment.

"At the end of the day, anyone can build stuff," said WellFounds Gain. "There are a lot of smart people out there. But AHL has a custom system with custom maintenance. ... With the Mortgage Information Framework, modules are prebuilt and preintegrated toward the mortgage industry. So AHL doesnt have to spend a lot of time writing integrations."

AHL has a number of objectives in mind for TCE, including reduced processing costs, shorter decision-making times based on automated underwriting, reduced development and integration costs, greater processing capacity, and more participation and loyalty from its broker community.

"We hit budget, we hit our time frames and were in production," the key goals for Phase 1, said AHLs Pathman.

When the portal is rolled out to brokers in Phase 2, AHL is also expecting time and cost savings.

"It will give brokers visibility into the status on loans theyve submitted to AHL versus them making calls into [our office]," said McCoy. "They can actually subscribe to information based on the loans theyve submitted and receive e-mails throughout the process on loans in process or funded. Basically, they can subscribe to how much information they want to see or subscribe to events they want to see."

AHL will provide the portal as a service to brokers, lowering costs and reducing the amount of phone time between account executives and brokers. With the portal, brokers can submit loans electronically.

"Weve certainly got the technology into production and in such a way that weve been able to roll out the portal internally," said Pathman. "Because of the style and look and feel, information is just a click away ... and weve been able to roll out access to technology to all our sites in the U.S. in a lightweight fashion. And weve increased the flow of information to the field."


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