Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Y-Waite: Going beyond the technology

Duane Waite of Y-Waite Solutions is not your typical software developer. It's not just that he resembles an NFL linebacker and it certainly doesn't have to do with his development skills, which are excellent, based on the quality of the application he showed me. Rather, it's his approach to technology as a tool to help title agencies succeed.

I worked for a title company back in the day, but I'm the first to admit that I don't know much about what it takes for these companies to get ahead in their business. But I know it takes solid technology that allows them to track and process orders, interface seamlessly with mortgage lenders and borrowers and never make a mistake that will lead to a title insurance claim. But Waite says it takes more than that, and he says he's built it into his Magellan bundled services system.

"Just investing in a new order management platform isn’t enough to ensure success as a bundled services provider,” said Waite, president and CTO of Y-Waite. “If you don’t know your workflow and process, you may be wasting your time and money with an ‘off the shelf’ technology."

So before Y-Waite installs a new system, the Pittsburgh-based settlement services software developer conducts an expert review and analysis of clients’ current workflow, highlighting processes and areas where would-be bundled services providers can improve turn-around time on orders and services.

Waite says the Magellan Bundled Services system is the next generation of order management technology, designed especially for title operations of all sizes seeking to provide packaged services. Waite touts the system as one which is easily customized to fit the business plan of the client. In fact, he recommends customizing the platform.

"This new service reaffirms what some technology developers may not want you to know—technology is only a tool to enhance your business. It’s not an instant solution," he says. "Our analysis service can help business owners get a better understanding of how technology can help them—and where it won’t be able to."

Waite is probably right in that most tech developers don't like to focus on what their technology can't do, but we've been hearing about a number of companies over the past couple of years that have been working to increase the consulting side of their business. Fidelity with its Aqua project is one case in point. In some of these cases, technology firms faced with lower sales in a down market will try to bump up revenues by charging for consulting. Waite may be implementing such a strategy. But I doubt it. I've met him. Title companies interested in delving deeper into bundled services should probably visit with him.

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