Case Study: Identity Management in Mortgage Banking
Quicken Loans Inc.
Uniting Philosophy and Technology
Despite its status as the nation’s largest online retail mortgage lender, Quicken Loans – which closed more than $25 billion in home loans last year – considers itself primarily a technology company that offers banking services. Named to FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for seven consecutive years, it comes as no surprise that the company’s strong and distinct corporate culture, defined by a set of principles known as ISMs, is attracting waves of new recruits at all levels of the organization.
In fact, at a rate of approximately 75 new bankers per month, Quicken Loans is implementing various training programs to properly manage the process of bringing new team members into the fold and up-to-speed on a number of areas, including training, technology, licensing and more. With a steady increase of new bankers – and the need for copious training – Quicken Loans realized it needed more efficient and effective methods of managing the process of on-boarding team members.
The company turned to Fischer International – a data security company – to automate and regulate each banker’s access to the many IT resources they require throughout their career at Quicken Loans.
ISM: Obsessed With Finding a Better Way
When new team members join Quicken Loans they enter the company’s rigorous training program, Banker Academy. The Academy has several training courses and levels through which bankers move as they gain more skills. As the team members advance through the Academy, they gain access to new resources that are essential to understanding client needs.
Before the bankers can join a “live banking team” – where they are working with actual Quicken Loans clients – they must successfully complete each training module. To make the Academy more efficient, Fischer deployed an automated provisioning tool to provide real-time access to new resources once a team member has successfully completed a module. Previously, Quicken Loans relied on manual provisioning which not only created a burden on the IT department, but also caused delays for the banker. With the automated process, team members are able to save time and Quicken Loans benefits from reductions in both error and cost.
“Our Banker Academy is extremely important to our business as it makes our team members smarter and more successful, which ultimately benefits our clients,” said Keith Weinbaum, Information Systems Security Officer, Quicken Loans. “Now that we have an automated process for facilitating bankers through the Academy, we can focus on keeping the Academy the best it can be while eliminating human error and security lapses that come naturally with manual provisioning.”
According to Weinbaum, security is also a key component. Quicken Loans works with Fischer to ensure that team members do not have inappropriate access to resources or excessive privileges as they move through the Academy. Fischer technology prevents access to certain resources and services until the team member has completed the correlating training course. Additionally, access privileges are automatically added, changed or revoked as the company’s business and security policies evolve.
ISM: Always Raising Our Level of Awareness
To stay competitive in the crowded mortgage lending field, Quicken Loans routinely introduces new client services. Team members are provided a variety of external resources, such as web portals and applications, to make them aware and knowledgeable of these new services. Before bankers can access these new tools, they must complete the correlating training course and Fischer’s automation tool provides access quickly and accurately.
As with Banker Academy, security plays a crucial role. Fischer created security groups for Quicken Loans that control access to various tools and services based on their identity management (IdM) technology. The IdM solution is set to automatically search the system to identify team members that need to either be added to or removed from training groups, as well as allowing or dis-allowing access to certain resources. This not only removes a cumbersome step for IT, but also for human resources. When team members are promoted or change groups, the Fischer tool automatically recognizes the change and adjusts the access and setting for the individual appropriately.
“When we introduce new offerings for our clients, we are careful to ensure our team members are knowledgeable with the service before bringing it to market. The same principle is applied when a banker changes roles – whether via promotion or by switching to a new group,” Keith said. “They key here is the flexibility of technology; we realized we needed a process in place that could automatically add or change access to certain resources to bankers across the organization and adjust to shifts taking place in the industry and in the company’s go-to-market strategy.”
ISM: Simplicity is Genius
As Quicken Loans helps its clients navigate the complicated waters of home loans, it is careful to ensure its internal policies and processes aren’t unnecessarily complex. In addition, by maximizing technology assets, the company streamlines processes that save valuable time and money. Since investing in Fischer’s automated provisioning tool, Quicken Loans is able to manage with just a small team of three employees to oversee the process without having to add more resources. If the company did manual provisioning, Weinbaum estimates they would need at least 15 people to support the demand.
Simplicity also is particularly important to Quicken and its clients, as the finance industry as a whole faces steady changes in regulation and compliance requirements. Since partnering with Fischer, Quicken Loans has been able to simplify the auditing process when facing a review of its adherence to regulatory guidelines. Given the nature of its business, Quicken Loans is often required to show how it provisions and de-provisions its team members. With the Fischer system in place, the company can easily provide proper audit documentation and answer questions.
“With Fischer, we have implemented the required technology that keeps us compliant with industry regulations – without an added workload,” said Weinbaum. “Audits are now simpler and faster and we can remain focused on supporting our team members and clients.”
Quicken Loans is poised for tremendous growth and success even with the current economic challenges. Its dedication to living its values creates a sense of pride and drive for its team members that lead directly to results for its clients. Investment in data security and identity management is not a decision the company took lightly and it continues to work every day with Fischer to ensure its solutions and processes are performing at the highest possible level. By doing so, Quicken Loans is securing its greatest assets – team members and clients – and continues to thrive as an innovative and visionary company.
Document MCC-10-320A July, 2010
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