*Beyond The Buzz*
**By Ted Hicks**
***Our industry loves buzzwords. But those buzzwords have created a lot of confusion in the market concerning technology as definitions vary greatly. Two of today’s most common buzzwords are “web-based” and “end-to-end”. When we consult with lenders, we find that sometimes think that they want one thing but their actual need speaks to a different option.
****We hear a lot about the need to be “web based.” What does that really mean? Our lenders typically ask for web-based technology to have anytime, anywhere access and easier deployment without the need for resource-intensive applications. But what they don’t realize is what they are asking for is already available—through the use of their current client-server model or even mobile applications.
****The term client server is lumped in with terms like antiquated and rigid. That’s just not the case. The client-server model has become flexible enough that client server can now be deployed over the Web as an ASP. Client servers can enable off-line activity and automatic uploads of off-line files to the server upon the next login.
****Mobile applications, although not widely accepted or used in the mortgage industry right now, provide global 24hour access without unwieldy installations. Mobile applications are, in essence, client server applications, not web applications viewable on a mobile screen. These “mobile servers” are designed to keep us plugged in wherever we are without the performance, control and security issues that they can sometimes experience with a true web-based system.
****Our second buzzword du jour, “end-to-end” has also created a stir among our clients. Let’s talk a bit about what end-to-end really means. End-to-end is different as compared to all-in-one. When you are talking end-to-end you need to define the starting point and the stopping point. You can be end-to-end when it comes to processing only, for example, or you can stipulate the starting point as the 1003 and the stopping point as the 1st payment after closing. “All-in-one” is a complete package that includes all forms, documents, services, and servicing.
****That means a system where just one vendor provides every single one of the services for which you would normally use best-of-breed third-party vendors. Look at it this way: you would typically expect an LOS to offer expertise in mortgage origination software. If you see one that also claims to be a document services company or a flood certification company, what is the likelihood that it is going to be able to provide excellence in all business models at the same time? More often than not, quality will suffer in one or more of the “businesses.” If you find a system touted as “all-in-one” and look closely at its capabilities and functionality, you’ll find that they just don’t have what it takes to be “all-in-one.”
****What does all this really mean to you? It means that there are options for you. Rather than immediately jumping on the buzzword bandwagon, truly analyze your functional needs in a platform. You may find that you already have what you want and need. But you won’t know until you move beyond the buzz and get to the facts.