BBMC Case Study

In 1998 ABT worked with Credit Unions to integrate Loan Origination systems with loan servicing and core banking systems. Traditionally credit unions were required to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars building their IT infrastructure with expensive hardware, IT staff, and programmers. They found that by using ABT and their cloud-based IT infrastructure they could open new branches at a fraction of the cost. ABT also provided the SSAE certification needed to use an IT vendor for the highly regulated banking industry.

In 2000 Calyx Software approached ABT to host Point servers for their clients. The vast majority of IT companies did not have the expertise to build and maintain servers for complex loan origination systems. ABT has been a close partner and premier hosting provider ever since.

In 2007 ABT became an official Ellie Mae partner. After completing a 3-day onsite training they had the expertise to host not only the Encompass server but also the client end software inside their MortgageWorkSpace platform. Over the years ABT has built on their Encompass expertise and have maintained valuable relationships with the back end Ellie Mae engineers and developers. Ellie Mae now hosts servers but ABT still works with mortgage companies who need the front end hosted and managed.

In 2010 Bridgeview Bank hired ABT to host their Encompass server. They increased their origination department from 10 users to 50 and found that installing Encompass on each user’s PC and keeping up with all the updates was overwhelming.

Bridgeview Bank hired ABT to host all of their software applications including Encompass inside their MortgageWorkSpace platform. This eliminated the need to install Encompass or any other software on individual computers. The software would be updated to the latest version and thoroughly tested before rolling out to MortgageWorkSpace users. This guaranteed a seamless user experience. Hiring IT persons to manage things like Encompass, Office 365 and email were no longer necessary. There was no need to buy any servers because email, document storage, and identity management were all managed in the cloud by ABT. This brought the cost down to each new branch dramatically. Since the market is constantly changing the pay as you go pricing reduced risk by guaranteeing minimal losses if branches have to close or part of the workforce is let go.

Bridgeview Bank found that by using MortgageWorkSpace they could enable employees to work from home, pull credit and originate loans from their personal desktops and laptops. Since they worked inside MortgageWorkSpace the compliance officer knew that there was no danger of leaving confidential data on local hard drives or leaving an opening for an outsider to breach their network. They would automatically be logged out after a period of inactivity.

Disaster Recovery was a major concern for BBMC. If a branch was damaged by a tornado or other disaster the staff could immediately pickup from any location and with any device and immediately continue working. They would have access to documents, passwords, and properly configured applications. Other disaster recovery options may take days or weeks before everything is in place and work correctly.

On-boarding new employees became exponentially faster. Instead of installing each application and configuring it the proper way they could simply add the user in the MortgageWorkSpace admin portal which would automatically give the employee an email account, an NMLS compliant and company branded email signature and access to all of the applications they needed from any device.

MortgageWorkSpace provided groups based provisioning of user credentials so when a new employee started they could automatically login to over 30 different website and cloud-based apps with having to enter a password. Only the IT admin new the required passwords for partner and vendor websites.

New employees loved the fact that they could start working right away and had one portal with one username and password to access everything they needed. They were automatically provisioned with the applications and websites they needed depending on which department they joined. This was the best way to quickly on-board while maintaining the highest level of cybersecurity. Branch managers had an easy way to block access to all data and applications when an employee was terminated or decided to leave.

Bridgeview Bank easily grew to more than one hundred people in the mortgage department. After spinning off from Bridgeview Bank and creating a new company call BBMC they would continue to grow and open new branches. One issue they were having is that branches were having poor internet performance. The V.O.I.P. phone systems and MortgageWorkSpace only work if the local network is professionally managed. The issues consisted of

  • The ISP company was not meeting S.L.A.
  • Lack of experience in choosing and negotiating terms with an internet service provider
  • Branch managers buying low quality or the wrong type of routers and switches
  • Employees using too much bandwidth for non-critical functions like YouTube and Netflix.

BBMC hired ABT to negotiate terms with ISP's. ABT put boots on the ground to install the proper enterprise grade routers, switches, and firewalls. ABT configured the firewall with "traffic lanes" so that business critical systems like V.O.I.P phones and Encompass would always have the bandwidth needed. If too many users were streaming videos those connections were automatically slowed down to ensure the bandwidth was available where needed. ABT was able to install a hardware device with monitoring software in each branch to ensure proper network performance, high security and weekly audit reports of all network activity.

Email is one of the most important applications within any mortgage branch. Email downtime is the just about the worst thing that can happen to a mortgage company. Productivity stops if the email system goes down and valuable messages are lost. ABT has partnered with an industry leading provider of email continuity, archiving and encryption. If ABT exchange system becomes unavailable for any reason users have a fully redundant backup portal. ABT provides a 100% email uptime guarantee.
Email encryption has become mandatory in the mortgage industry. Sending nonpublic personal information (NPI) over public email networks is not safe. ABT provides subject line encryption so that non-sensitive emails can be sent normally and sensitive email can be encrypted by typing secure: in the subject line. The recipients are easily authenticated and able to decrypt the message.

Email messages and attachments are too valuable to lose. If a BBMC employee forgot to archive their inbox and the PC crashed they could lose valuable information. If an employee accidently delete’s thousands of messages and attachments from their inbox they can always be accessed through ABT’s archiving system. If BBMC is ever audited or becomes involved in any litigation ABT provides a way to access a particular user, branch or date range and can go back 15 years or more. ABT’s EmailGuardian provided automatic archiving with unlimited storage. Emails couldn’t be deleted and were saved for thirty years. EmailGuardian provided an easy to use search and discovery tool.

Once a new branch was opened the manager was responsible for buying PC’s but wasn’t quite sure what kind to get. Poor quality components and “home” versions of operating systems were a problem. They did not have a way to encrypt the hard drive or turn off flash drives. The computers came with anti-virus software but it wasn't enough. Sooner or later a user would go to a harmful website or click on a dangerous email attachment. Not only was this a huge security issue but it caused the computers to slow down and again production was lost.

New BBMC branches started buying all of their PC's and laptops from ABT. ABT was able to use their purchasing power to get the best prices on enterprise-grade devices. ABT installed their DeviceGuardian software which provided advanced threat protection, hard-drive encryption, restricted USB drive access and a way to monitor each and every device to make sure that there are no viruses, malware or ransomware accidently installed on the computer. DeviceGuardian deploys a set of rules designed to protect the company such as automatic screen lock, password complexity rules and more:

  • Creates a system restore point before malware remediation
  • Scans all downloads and attachments before they are downloaded from the internet
  • Scans for application updates daily
  • Schedules automatic updates at 3:00 am
  • Monitors user behavior
  • Scans scripts
  • Protects windows, android, Mac and IOS devices
  • Patch Management
  • Management Console

The DeviceGuardian management console not only provided a complete inventory of company-owned devices but enabled ABT to scan the devices for malware and update devices with the latest security patches.

ABT has recently sealed their partnership with Microsoft by becoming a Gold Partner and Certified Cloud Services Provider. With extensive training and insider relationships, ABT is providing companies with the latest cloud-based services through Azure and Office 365. This enables ABT's clients to edge out the competition by using the very latest productivity and security technologies.