Automation & Technology
AIQ at its core: Scalability and innovation unlocked
Eric Kujala, Senior Product Marketing Director, ICE Mortgage Technology
Saying we have been busy at ICE Mortgage Technology over the past 24 months would be a bit of an understatement. In just the past two years, we acquired Capsilon, become a part of ICE, a global data, technology, and market infrastructure company, and accelerated our journey to deliver a truly end-to-end digital mortgage as ICE Mortgage Technology. Beyond the people process, where we got our internal teams acclimated and up-to-speed, we’ve also been making great strides in advancing our products and prioritizing customer success.
As the first to digitize exchanges and streamline networks for fixed income markets, ICE has been a leader in digitization for years and, as ICE Mortgage Technology, we are leveraging these proven strategies to deliver new capabilities that advance our customers’ entire mortgage workflow. Here are four key areas, in addition to many others, that we’ve been focusing on:
1. Engineering and Operations:
Engineering and operations is not always given the spotlight that it deserves, but it’s safe to say that today, scalability is the name of the game. And as we all know, the industry saw record levels of loan volume over the past couple of years, which begs the questions: How did your systems stand up to the surge that came on very quickly in 2020? Were your systems able to keep up with the growing volume without interruption?
ICE Mortgage Technology has invested heavily in years past to answer these exact questions and AIQ™ was ready for the challenge. As volume grew, so did AIQ’s ability to take on this additional volume. Being able to keep up and stay ahead of volume surges will ensure that your systems remain up and running to keep your loans moving forward and your customers moving into their homes. As a key leg in the “stool” of scalability, it’s exciting to see the preventative measures in place come to fruition to support our customer’s growth.
2. Sales and Marketing:
As a legacy Capsilon employee, I know firsthand that the acquisition opened up a ton of new opportunities and colleagues to collaborate with, but the need to scale quickly brought its own challenges. Overnight, the sales team grew by 10-15x, meaning we had to get them up to speed immediately and provide them with the right training, along with the right sales and marketing messages to share with customers.
Fast-forward a year and once again, cross-team collaboration between Sales, Solution Engineering, Growth Marketing, Product, and Product Marketing supported exponential growth in 2020. But getting 100+ people on the same page is no easy feat. So, we returned to our tried-and-true process to enable our sales teams, where we educated our new colleagues on the problems that AIQ solves and focused on the fact that setting customer expectations is key to successful growth.
Without structured collaboration and established processes, it can be difficult to grow together. Thanks to the dedication and efforts from our teammates, we were able to drive AIQ’s success in 2020 and carry it through in 2021.
3. Professional Services:
As more mortgage companies came on board, we were faced with a new question: How do we implement all these new customers? Shea Haley, SVP, Professional Services, and her Professional Services Organization looked inward for the answer and worked cross-functionally with several areas of the business to solve this puzzle. First, they rallied around the best practices that current AIQ customers were experiencing, then they expanded capacity and redefined the implementation process to optimize available resources, which allowed ICE Mortgage Technology to set customer expectations and ensure that we meet their needs on implementation timelines and go-live dates.
We also had to find a way to ensure that Encompass® expertise and AIQ expertise will be shared across the teams. By relying on the tried-and-true structure we had in place and by focusing heavily on cross-team collaboration, everyone stayed to date and were armed with the tools they needed to be successful.
4. Product Enhancements:
As ICE Mortgage Technology, our AIQ product experts were introduced to new integration capabilities and requirements that they had to identify and overcome. Now this may be controversial, but sometimes it’s easier to come up with a solution than identify the problem you’re trying to solve. But that’s where our Product team came in!
To help identify the problem that a customer was trying to solve, Product did two things:
Optimized the performance of the integration:It’s no secret that we all feel the need for speed. In our world today, everything is available at our fingertips and customers expect that in a product’s performance.
Began to consolidate the experiences of AIQ and the Encompass eFolder:By bringing these two products together, customers can leverage the best of what they both have to offer. So, 2020 laid the groundwork in solidifying the current integration. In 2021, we’re focused on aligning these two experiences to advance the automation capabilities in Encompass. At the same time, we’re also focusing on continuing to provide AIQ as a stand-alone system that our non-Encompass customers can continue to leverage and benefit from.
So even though a lot has happened in 24 months and there has been a steady stream of change, work, and learning happening, we’re not taking our foot off the gas! There is much more to come and we know that the ability to scale across all aspects of our business is key to success. This mindset is what has supported the transition of Capsilon IQ into AIQ, advanced the Encompass integration, provided technical scalability for our customers, and equipped new teammates with the information to sell, educate, and talk about our products.
The real-world impact of AIQ
It’s exciting to see all of these teams cross-collaborate so quickly and become aligned on a common mission of solving customer problems to ensure they get the best ROI possible. Take Finance of America Mortgage LLC’s story for instance. Their underwriting income calculation process was highly manual a couple of years ago and this created a challenge in terms of efficiency, loan consistency, and speed to close. Once they started using AIQ™ Income Analyzer, Finance of America Mortgage LLC saw results quickly, and reduced their application-to-close times by three days. Read the success story here. When our customers tell us they are saving time and improving accuracy with our technology, this reaffirms that our priorities are in the right place.
It has been thrilling to be a part of this process and watch our incredible team rise meet new challenges, support our customers’ growing needs, and support each other along the way.
Stay tuned for more exciting news on what we have planned next for AIQ.