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Tue, 08/31/2004

By technology company standards, Document Systems Inc. is old-that is, if you consider 1988 to be "old." In the technology industry, that's positively ancient.

September 14, 2004 - Don Ianitti, president of Carson, Calif.-based DSI, said the key to the company’s success has been adaptability through several generations of new technology applications. “Our growth has been unbelievable, and it’s just getting started,” Ianitti told MBA NewsLink. “There’s a dynamic in the company—it’s very tangible.”

DSI provides loan document production and delivery systems to the mortgage industry. Its best-known product is DocMagic, a closing loan document software system that enables users to print and view complete loan packages over the Internet. More than 10,000 mortgage lenders, brokers, correspondent lenders and lawyers use DocMagic and DocMagic Online, Ianitti said. Other products include LoanMagic, an integrated mortgage customer contact management system that assists users before the sale of a loan; and DocMaster, a proprietary PCL-based viewer and printer program.

DocMagic recently announced a partnership with Ellie Mae Inc., Dublin, Calif., that gives LoanMagic users access to service providers and lenders through development of a direct interface to ePASS, Ellie Mae’s electronic Web-transaction platform that connects third-party mortgage origination companies with wholesale and correspondent lenders and settlement service providers. By developing a single interface to ePASS, LoanMagic enables users to draw from additional resources, including credit reporting, insurance title reporting, underwriting and other mortgage-related services.

The Ellie Mae partnership, Ianitti said, was 15 years in the making. “DocMagic Online was developed originally for ePASS years ago,” he said. “We put it down on proposal, but at the time it didn’t happen. So it’s nice to now be able to do the integration. It’s doing so well because that’s what it was designed to do. For us, it completes a goal we originally had.”

Another example of the company’s adaptability is in its product line’s ability to now accept MISMO 2.3.2., the mortgage industry extensible markup language (XML) standard developed by the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization with support from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

“Before that, we had our own proprietary XML standard, but now we feel that with the MISMO standard, integration will be faster,” Ianitti said. “DocMagic has been referred to as ‘bulletproof.’ The beauty of XML and the request to validate the data means the data already has some integrity. So there are assurances there that the data is not garbage.”

DSI’s success has taken a different path from other technology companies, which first targeted top lenders and “trickled down” to smaller lenders. DSI worked with smaller lenders and through word of mouth grew steadily and profitably.

“We didn’t focus on capturing the Top 50 lenders. We wanted as many clients as possible,” Ianitti said. “We like dealing with any company that appreciates good customer service. By bringing more clients, we reduce our risk—we didn’t have to worry about mergers. We’ve seen this trend toward larger lenders, who are looking at trends. But the small clients of today are the big clients of tomorrow.”

Bill Lambropoulos, DSI’s general counsel, agreed. “I speak to the same people over and over again, but they have moved from company A to company B to Company C,” he said. “Brokers tend to move a lot, and they tend to bring us with them.

“We get 15-30 downloads of DocMagic every day,” Ianitti said. “We circulate tens of thousands of CDs every quarter. We’re capturing loan data much earlier in the process. Because we have the data at the beginning of the process, we want to be able to serve that up. Our goal for LoanMagic is that we want to provide a way to get access to these services. And with the DocMagic Direct process, we’re seeing a lot of larger lenders looking at us and using us.”

Many lenders still use “antiquated” services to accessing, Ianitti said. “It tends to be a manual process. LoanMagic gives them the ability to process earlier in the process. I think we are going to see a wider acceptance.”

One recent large client that came on board was Washington Mutual, Seattle. “WaMu came to us before rates took a nosedive,” Ianitti said. “We developed a new engine for them and rolled it out in six months. That was huge—new technology for both them and us. Now it’s integrated into DocMgic’s back end. They wanted a way to get to our back end. We’re bulletproof and we have to be and they don’t want to worry about it. That’s integrity—we would not have predicted this.”

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