Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Portellus: new client uses platform for startup

Irvine-based Portellus Inc. has announced that Sydion Financial, a new mortgage bank based in Seattle, will be using three of the company's technology products, the LOS, a rules management system the company calls Enterprise Rules Management (ERM) and an integration services hub called PIXMO. The lender hopes to attract tech-savvy brokers and build out a low-cost origination network.

According to founder and CEO Spencer Richardson, the mortgage company can do this by fully leveraging the Portellus solution from the Point-of-Sale. "All too often, lenders implement promising solutions but then fail to utilize technology to full capacity."

That is true enough. I've heard many technology vendors cry that they spend millions on development of new software tools only to watch lenders plug them in and use them to push paper around their offices. It's the equivalent of buying a high-performance automobile to haul trash down to the local dump.

In the lenders' defense, there are plenty of good reasons that they don't fully leverage the technology they invest in--and a fair number of no so good reasons. MBA says lenders are investing more in technology than ever before (which isn't saying a whole lot because, according to Doug Duncan, MBA's chief economist, lenders spent about 10% of what most industries spend on tech). I confirmed this in conversations with some the nation's largest lenders at a users conference I attended last week.

The big difference between investments made now and those made just a few years ago is that now lenders actually have time to listen to their vendors yak on about all the cool things their technologies can do. Expect to see more companies doing a better job of fully utilizing their tech investments in the days ahead.

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