Loan Market has become the latest aggregator to move its business platform into the cloud computing realm, announcing its switch to Google services across its broker network late last week.
Cloud computing systems, like Google services, allow users to simultaneously share and edit information and documents online - meaning, for instance, that a broker in Sydney can update a loan document in real-time alongside their client in Newcastle, without having to physically meet or send emails back and forth.
Loan Market’s general manager of operations, Stephen Scahill, says the new system offers a ‘dynamic’ computer technology platform and says more enhancements in broker technology are planned for 2013.
“After the successful deployment of Google Services across the Loan Market and Ray White corporate networks, we’ve begun to offer these services to our broker network, with 150 coming on-board at the end of last year and the remaining team likely to switch over in the next few months.”
While the mention of cloud computing frequently raises security fears, a Loan Market IT spokesperson says clients’ private documents and financial details will be safe.
“It’s all password protected and Google Chrome releases security updates for websites that aren’t safe – no other browsers have that – and it gives download warnings, like for spam and malware.”
The spokesman also says it's unlikely that brokers or other users will accidentally share documents or private client information with others within their network.
“You have to click ‘share’ and if [the person you’re trying to share a document with] isn’t in your organisation, a warning comes up to tell you. You would have to be extremely careless in order to share a document with someone you didn’t want to.”
Loan Market isn’t the first aggregator to use cloud computing - Mortgage Choice, one of the first to do so, switched over back in 2009. But Loan Market mortgage broker, Phil Rogers, says the introduction of cloud computing will make a big difference to how he does business.
“With access required for multiple offices, which includes several brokers and numerous admin staff, we were often faced with challenges regarding remote access. With a platform as real time and mobile as Google, our business is able to run completely live, which allows for considerably less down time and has increased the productivity of our business dramatically.”