Jonathan Corr is Chief Strategy Officer for Ellie Mae, an award-winning provider of innovative software and services for the mortgage industry. He is an expert in loan origination technologies, paperless mortgages and marketing automation solutions.

In this edition of In This Corner, Jonathan discusses a new software developed by Ellie Mae and how bankers use technology in today's financial climate.

HW: What is new with Ellie Mae?

Jonathan: "We just launched Encompass360, a new mortgage management solution that was in development for over two years. This is our biggest announcement in five years. We think Encompass360 is going to change the way the industry looks at mortgage management technologies."

HW: Is Encompass360 just the next version of Encompass?

Jonathan: "No. Encompass360 is not just another release of Encompass. It’s a completely new mortgage solution. Over two years of testing, research and design have gone into creating Encompass360. It was designed to revolutionize the way that companies manage the mortgage process."

HW: What makes Encompass360 so different?

Jonathan: "First of all, the industry has never before had the level of visibility, transparency and access that Encompass360 provides. Users can access literally any aspect of the mortgage chain, exactly the way they want to access it, in moments. Everything—every action, every document, every detail—can be seen and accounted for with one to three clicks. Secondly, the mortgage industry is a data-driven business. Not being aware or able to see through every part of the mortgage process can create critical vulnerabilities to a mortgage company’s business, sooner or later. Encompass360 is the industry’s only solution that addresses that issue head on.

"These days, words like transparency, visibility and access have become buzzwords, so it’s easy to overlook their value. What Encompass360 does, is to take a seemingly endless amount of critical details for every single loan in a lender’s system, and package those details in a way where the information becomes immediately usable. Users can actually drill down, accessing the specifics of any loan at any stage in the process, with just one to three clicks. Management gets better oversight and the ability to locate any issues, and originators and processors get fewer mistakes and faster turn times.

"Also, as one of our beta testers said, Encompass360 is the first solution to address the uniqueness of the mortgage industry. The system takes into account that our workflow process is tied to documentation, that every piece of information must be backed up and verified by actual documentation. Encompass360 enforces document accountability and 'auditability' at every step of the way."

HW: How are bankers using technology differently these days?

Jonathan: "We’ve seen a massive acceleration in the use of EDM—electronic document management. In fact, we have seen a 400 percent increase in the amount of loan files that are using some form of EDM in Encompass over the last 12 months. There are a few reasons behind this. Our industry went from primarily stated income loans to fully documented loans, and now companies have to find ways to manage all of that documentation. There’s also the issue of getting disclosures out within allotted time frames, and accommodating adjustments like those in RESPA, the HUD-1, GFE and TIL. Bankers know it simply makes sense to bring technology into these processes, not only for the efficiency it brings, but also to ensure the entire enterprise stays current with the latest changes.

"Bankers are also using technology for issues like fraud prevention and compliance. They need seamless and direct access to those service providers, which help them to protect their interests, and provide faster turn times and higher quality customer service.

"The mortgage industry is merely a reflection of what’s going on with technology in a global sense. The entire world is using technology to better manage their lives, personally as well as professionally. During the boom, it wasn’t as important to ensure a lean operating process. These days, mortgage bankers are more focused on using technologies that help them better leverage their warehouse lines, prevent buybacks, secure better pricing, and transact loans faster."

HW: How does it stand up to other products in the space? In other words, what really sets Encompass360 apart?

Jonathan: "We sincerely believe that Encompass360 is in a new category by itself, and simply does more, with higher ease and efficiency than any other solution currently on the market. Users get faster, deeper visibility and access, while still getting the information they need, right up front. No other solution can claim the same total user experience in the way we provide it.

"The bottom line is that Encompass360 functions more like a 'partner' than other technologies. It seeks out opportunities for better business processes and relays that information to the user. It’s really like having a team of experts working at the speed of light, exactly the way you want them to. 'The devil is in the details,' as they say. Encompass360 is the only solution that allows companies to view and access those details almost instantaneously, while enabling the user to configure and personalize their experience.

"I know it seems like a lot to claim, so we encourage people to check out the system. Seeing is believing. We believe Encompass360 gives the user a full, complete and unprecedented view of their world, and we’re very proud to bring it to the marketplace."