Several mortgage-related entities were recognized for their innovative use of technology -- with five in the running for the information technology project of the year.
InfoWorld Media Group announced Monday the winners of its InfoWorld 100 awards, which annually honor IT projects that "stretch beyond the typical, off-the-shelf solution, using multiple technologies in innovative ways to serve well-defined business goals."
The nominees were reportedly submitted in late summer by InfoWorld readers, technology partners and end-user companies. The awards were dispersed among 18 industries, which included the financial services sector.
"IT departments continue to learn hard lessons about business realities and realistic [return on investment]," said Eric Knorr, InfoWorld executive editor at large, in the announcement. "The InfoWorld 100 provides a forum for IT managers to get the recognition they deserve for smart projects from an audience of their peers."
AmSouth was among mortgage-related companies to win in the financial services category. AmSouth was recognized for its knowledge management system. E-Trade was honored for its Digital Security ID solution, according to the announcement, while First New England Mortgage placed because of its customer relationship management integration and customization.
GMAC Commercial Holding's iDeal document management solution landed it a spot on InfoWorld's awards, and Option One parent H&R Block Financial Advisors was recognized for its Web services-based client acquisition system. North Shore Credit Union was credited with business processes optimization, according to the publication, and PHH Mortgage's MyChoice loan application/platform won it an award. U.S. Bank was also awarded due to its service-oriented architecture initiative.
In addition to making the list of the top 100 projects of 2005, five mortgage-related entities are amongst the 20 finalists selected to compete for the InfoWorld 100 Project of the Year Award, which will be announced in March, according to InfoWorld.
Lehman Brothers' Total Access Control is in the running for project of the year. Among other things, the companywide user-access, rights-provisioning system and enterprise identity management system reportedly counters the risk of having "a disgruntled former employee with access to sensitive customer data to wreak costly havoc," the magazine said.
Coldwell Banker Elite, which says Coldwell Banker Mortgage is the nation's sixth largest retail originator, is among the 20 finalists because of its upgraded IT infrastructure to broaden communication. Amongst the upgrades, a "talking house" application was built to describe properties in several languages and connect buyers directly to an Elite real estate agent. The upgrades reportedly enabled the firm to reduce its monthly phone costs by 80 percent, streamline operations, and increase both employee and customer satisfaction.
Prudential Financial's business systems management solution to rejuvenate the way it handled employee retirement coverage plans, according to InfoWorld.
American Express, which provides mortgages through American Express Bank FSB, integrated the top 100 due to its Investment Optimization 2.0 financial management solution and is in the running for the Project of the Year Award because its Web-based traveler profiles retain customer preferences and ease business travel, the magazine indicated.
Electronic Data Systems, also known as EDS and parent to residential and consumer loan servicer Wendover Financial Services Corp., was among the winners in the computing industry and is a finalist for project of the year with its redesign of the Bomb Arson Tracking System used by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. The redesigned database system is one of the first Web-based data-sharing initiatives accessible to local, state, and federal agencies, InfoWorld said.