Executive Conversations is a HousingWire web series that profiles powerful people in the financial industry, highlighting the operations and the people that make this sector tick. In the latest installment, we sit down with Todd Mobraten, formerly president of RES.NET, who just launched a new venture, OrangeGrid.
Q. When you announced your resignation from RES.NET last year as president and COO, a lot of people wondered why you would leave that position and what you would do next. What was the driving force behind that decision?
A. I worked for USRES for 15 years and was given a lot of liberties to manage operations and create its subsidiary company, RES.NET. For that, I will be forever grateful. I have no regrets leaving such a great company, I just had bigger aspirations to build bigger and more diverse solutions. For the past couple years, I had been working a new technology solution with cutting edge architecture and agile configuration that would solve many of the industry's business process issues.
It’s taken me awhile to fine tune the vision, get the architecture in place, and devise a core team. I have to say it’s been well worth the wait and OrangeGrid is finally ready to hit the market this year. Leaving something you have been dedicated to for so long is never easy and certainly has its long list of risks. I have never felt better than I do today about what I am building and the solutions it will provide to help so many businesses.
Q. What demand are you trying to meet with OrangeGrid? Put more bluntly — why does the industry need another technology solution?
A. When it comes to business process management, technology solutions need to be agile. Customers don’t need another application to solve an individual business process, they need a solution that embeds several processes. Customers don’t need more processing power, they need smarter processing. I see legacy application builders providing the same solutions year after year that fail to meet these requirements. OrangeGrid was designed to consolidate several applications into one, with today’s cutting edge architecture and UX design that will accommodate rapid change needs.
OrangeGrid utilizes a core methodology in the tech space called “iBPMS,” also known as Intelligent Business Process Management Suite. iBPMS is utilized in all types of industries and is typically designed to provide companies' IT departments with a suite of software development tools that don’t require typical, long development life cycles. The tools can be accessed within a user interface and contain series of objects (data fields, tasks, workflow chunks, decision tools, dashboard elements, reporting engines, etc.) that allow creativity to the user to meet objectives of all business process types.
The OrangeGrid iBPMS solution is being provided with a twist. It will be offered as an Enterprise solution, with minimal IT support needed from the user. The end result is an agile software solution at affordable pricing. In addition, OrangeGrid brings a unique element by providing registration and access to third-party vendors, bringing the entire supply chain into the workflow.
Q. Your branding on OrangeGrid is really distinctive. What is the meaning behind OrangeGridand what’s your strategy in breaking the industry mold with your design?
A.The color “Orange” in many countries is considered the creative color. The term “Grid” references several computer systems tied together to make a single solution. OrangeGrid provides the creative space to allow companies to build workflows and rules around the way they manage processes, while providing the capability to consolidate applications.
A mold is confining, and possibly referenced within this industry due to how serious we must take heavy regulation and strict rules. However, we believe it’s time to break the mold, not the professionalism, and remind this industry it’s still about people behind any solution. We want our customers and future customers to really see our unique, individual characters. Real character is how we build relationships.
Q. One of the questions in the industry right now is how small and mid-cap companies can survive with increased regulation. Will OrangeGrid make a difference to these companies?
A. If these companies are most concerned about cost, time, scope, and efficiency, then yes. These are often the items that make combating regulation difficult. Regulation is typically identifiable requirements in your business processes. Technology is supposed to be the conduit to ensure these processes are measurable and leading the user down a path to successful results. OrangeGrid is being placed on the market to provide mid-cap and smaller companies with a solution that is flexible and affordable that can be implemented and altered at speeds that are palatable.
In addition, third-party vendors have become a large focus on compliance. New regulation shows that a user cannot pass liability onto the vendor, even when the vendor is at fault. Investors and servicers need better tools to track and monitor activities operating on their behalf. OrangeGrid studies show that most processes include some kind of third-party vendor and often, more than 50% of the process is completed by that vendor. Companies can no longer afford the risk of blind management. OrangeGrid provides a portal for all vendor types, of all processes, to interact with companies and their workflow, identifying timelines, content and performance.
Q. What’s the thing that excites you most about OrangeGrid?
A. The culture and the energy of the team behind it. Technology solutions are only as good as the people that drive it. I have an experienced team with a positive attitude that represents professionalism and celebrating life at the same time. People will often misconstrue conservatism with professionalism. That couldn’t be further from the truth.