PMI Tracks Mortgage Apps

The mortgage insurer is using new software from Cyclone Commerce to keep customers in the know--and happy

Charles Babcock, Editor at Large, Cloud

June 20, 2003

2 Min Read

PMI Group Inc., the nation's largest supplier of private mortgage insurance, is at the center of the torrent of mortgage refinancings as homeowners and new buyers rush to take advantage of low interest rates. PMI underwrote 397,000 mortgages in 2000; this year, it's headed for 1.4 million.

Although CIO Dan Roberts' IT staff hasn't expanded, "the tolerance for delays has shrunk," he says, as big lenders and small mortgage brokers all compete for business. PMI has 45 seconds to approve insurance for a mortgage applicant from the Freddie Mac federal mortgage lending agency. As a customer's costs of switching to a competitor get smaller and smaller, "our service-level agreements take on higher importance," Roberts says.

So the company is using Transaction Director from Cyclone Commerce Inc. to see when transactions hit the site and then track their flow through the business processes. The new software, released last week, creates an integration hub, or soft network, inside a business organization, where incoming EDI, XML, and other messages and documents can be captured, transformed if necessary, and forwarded to the correct internal application.

PMI's SLAs have taken on greater importance, CIO Roberts says.

"If there's a hiccup, [managers] know what it was and where it was in the process," says Roberts, noting that until now managers didn't know about problems until a customer called to complain. Even then, several high-level technical staffers had to track down the lost transaction, figure out what went wrong, and report back to the customer.

Next up: letting mortgage lenders who submit insurance requests view the progress of a transaction. "That's in the immediate future," says Mark Madrid, director of E-business. With self-service, the cost of the customer-service call center typically drops 20% or more, Roberts says. Meanwhile, EDI transactions are now routed into the Cyclone Commerce hub, traveling over the Net instead of a private value-added network. That cuts out value-added network expenses, which amount to "several cents per transaction" for 200,000 to 300,000 EDI transactions per month, Roberts says.

Available now, Transaction Director comes in three modules: Tracker, Support, and Self Service. Pricing varies.

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About the Author(s)

Charles Babcock

Editor at Large, Cloud

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive Week. He is a graduate of Syracuse University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism. He joined the publication in 2003.

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