Friday, April 28, 2006

Technology: The semantics of tech

Saw Anthony Garritano's column in the most recent Mortgage Technology newsletter, where he writes of the differences between end-to-end and best-of-breed, two of my favorite buzz terms (they rank up there with SOA-enabled and MISMO-compliant).

Tony did a survey recently that revealed that 31% of the industry believes that the future technology will be built around end-to-end systems, while 69% think it will revolve around best-of-breed.

Now, Dorado is talking about the end-to-end experience. Think of it as a mixture of the best of both. It's an end-to-end system built of best-of-breed components. Nice. These are the guys that came up with demand-chain management. Master marketing guys. They also have some big companies using their software, which says more than any pithy positioning statement. But I still think they're muddying up the water here a bit.

Think about it. Who produces the best automobiles in the world? I can hear a bunch of different answers out there, but they are all automobile manufacturers. Not a single chemical manufacturer or oil company makes the list, does it? People who make the best products tend to specialize in making those products, which is why we call them specialists and seek them out.

In our industry we have some top technologists creating LOSs, AUs, Document management systems, business rules management systems. We see a bit of overlap, but there has never been a single firm that has been called a specialist in the production of technology for the entire, end-to-end process of delivering a mortgage. And you're unlikely to see one.

That's why the best minds in the industry are working with MISMO to establish data standards to allow seamless sharing of data between the various components that will become parts of the various end-to-end loan making "experiences" that will be created by lenders in the industry. Is there great software out there that can manage the loan making process from end-to-end? Yes. Dorado is proud of it's software. And so is Mortgage Cadence, Dexma, Vuecentric, Del Mar Database, and others.

Forget about end-to-end, except to think of it as the simple process of taking a prospect through the process to closed loan like you have always done. Seek out best of breed components and make sure you have a MISMO-compliant, SOA-enabled core operating system that can pull them together without any evident seams. And go back to work.