Mortgage Choice swaps Lotus for Gmail

Mortgage Choice swaps Lotus for Gmail

Summary: Home loan company, Mortgage Choice, has ditched Lotus Notes Domino for its lenders messaging needs in favour of Google's Enterprise Apps suite — but it's keeping Microsoft Office as the corporate standard.


Home loan company, Mortgage Choice, has ditched Lotus Notes Domino for its lenders' messaging needs in favour of Google's Enterprise Apps suite — but it's keeping Microsoft Office as the corporate standard.

Neill Rose-Innes, chief information officer of the loan company, told it intended to transition around 1000 users to the platform by the end of the year. It currently has 400 staff and franchisees on the new system.

Rose-Innes said Google Apps would help deliver a lower total cost of ownership compared to on-site software. According to the company's annual report to investors, its technology bill increased by $530,000 over the year to 30 June 2009, leaving it with total technology expenses of $5.3 million.

The suite of software Mortgage Choice locked in with Google for the next three years, included Gmail, Google Sites and Docs. Despite the availability of Docs, Rose-Innes said it was retaining its Microsoft Office suite for the meantime as its "corporate standard".

Users, in particular franchisees, will be encouraged to use Docs as a collaboration tool, and will have the option to use it as an alternative to Office if they chose, according to Rose-Innes.

"In excess of 90 per cent of our users are away from head office," he said, explaining why it had opted for the managed software suite.

Rose-Innes said he was impressed with the improvements in "cloud" software over the past five years, but Google Apps remains its most significant step towards software-as-a-service (SaaS) to date.

For example, Mortgage Choice intended to retain its in-house developed customer relationship management (CRM) for the "foreseeable future", said Rose-Innes. It would do so because the platform included specific loan generation and qualification features that were beyond existing hosted CRM systems.

Lotus Notes Domino, meanwhile, won't entirely lose a space in the business. Lotus will be retained for certain lending support functions to its franchisees, since these applications were built on Lotus.

Rose-Innes said he was impressed with Google's handling of Mortgage Choice's request to customise some elements of its software.

Topics: CXO, Microsoft, Outsourcing

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • Memories

    Ahh Lotus Notes .... I remember when people used to argue quite aggressively that it was the best enterprise messaging/collaboration system available.

    It has been blasted away almost everywhere now.
  • IBM must sell Lotus or buy Google to protect its collaboration strategy leadership

    In May 2009 Longhaus wrote, "In order to align themselves with the movement in the hosted email market, IBM must make a clear decision on the strategic direction of Lotus Notes. This presents itself as two options; buying Google or Yahoo for the addition of a non-corporate freemail service, or selling Lotus to concentrate on maintaining competitive positioning in the enterprise applications market against increasing threats from Oracle and HP. Just like Microsoft�s attempts to purchase Yahoo despite having a competitive search solution in MSN, IBM cannot back a strategy to build their own free-mail market based on Lotus."
  • Personal Info in the cloud

    So I guess this means that loads of personal financial information of Mortgage Choice clients will now be stored on Google's servers "in the cloud".

    I wonder if that means there is more of a chance of identify theft etc. I am sure google would say no, but.....
  • Peter

    Interesting, it won't be just client identity information, it will be all bank details, passport copies, defaults etc.
    I wonder what security policy MC has regarding customer data. I hope they have one and are not waiting until something goes wrong.
  • So I speculation this capital that loads of own business assemblage of Mortgage Select clients testament now be stored on Google's servers "in the cloud"