Collaboration and integration

Neal Jannels

November 22, 2021

Neal Jannels OMS

Neal Jannels is managing director of OMS

Collaboration and integration are two important words within any industry from a tech perspective. Throughout the pandemic, many business models and customer engagement processes have evolved to overcome many unforeseen challenges which has resulted in a tech explosion.

This has served to offer individuals greater control and choice over the types of tech they are using from a personal level and tools which they can use for work purposes to empower them to communicate better and be more productive with their time.

It’s more important than ever for tech providers to successfully service the varying needs of their clients, users, customers or creators – however they like to be known.

This can be done through careful planning, trial and error, a degree of luck, partnerships, collaborations, integrations or any combination of the aforementioned. These come in many different forms, so let’s look at a two recent examples covering areas way beyond the mortgage world but ones which have technology at the heart of them.


Instagram is reported to be testing new tools for creators to earn commissions and form partnerships with brands on its platform. The Meta-owned company is expanding its existing native affiliate tool to allow creators to discover products, share them with followers and earn commissions for sales driven by their posts.

Instagram is also testing new branded content partnership features to help creators get discovered by brands. Creators now have the ability to add to their preferred ‘brands list’ brands they’re interested in partnering with, which will give them priority when companies are searching for new creators to work with.


A new US and UK collaboration has integrated artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to support combat forces. For the first time, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) worked with the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) to develop, select, train, and deploy state-of-the-art ML algorithms to support armies.

The research provides wide-area situational awareness tech, and aims to improve decision-making, increase operational tempo, reduce risk to life, and reduce burden on manpower. The four-year partnership agreement includes objectives to accelerate joint UK/US development and sharing of AI tech and capabilities.

These examples couldn’t be more diverse but they do offer a very small sample of how tech can be used in a variety of ways to connect very dissimilar entities for a unique set of purposes.

Bringing this back to the mortgage market, for as long as I can remember there has been a huge emphasis on competition and very individual – at times almost clandestine – approaches to doing business.

This remains the case in some areas but we are also seeing a growing number of companies working together and broadening their thinking to utilise the skills, expertise and specialist nature of other businesses to better service the needs of the end customer.

After all, strong integrations and healthy partnerships can benefit a number of links in the mortgage chain. For those who can look a little outside the competitive box, the right collaborations can open doors to new audiences and build a stronger support network for existing clients. It can also serve to raise the stakes and push individual offerings to do better.

It’s always interesting when having tech-related conversations with intermediaries, specialist distributors, lenders and a variety of service providers to note exactly where this conversation starts and where it finishes.

Different parties come to the table with different ideas, different preconceptions and different needs. What may begin as a discussion on a certain feature, can often end up focusing on another thing entirely.

On the flip side, some people are laser-focused and have already undertaken extensive research when it comes to how certain solutions will impact their business.

As a business, we have certainly evolved our thinking in terms of how to progress the OMS platform. We continue to develop this internally and work on new features but we have also learned that we can progress quicker and more effectively when collaborating with trusted partners with the same ethos who have similar goals in mind.

This is evident in the fact that we have already integrated with four market-leading platforms – Iress, Twenty7Tec, iPipeline and Knowledge Bank to provide users with best in class for product sourcing, protection sourcing and criteria searching.

More relationships like these are expected to be formed in 2022 and this collaborative approach is one which is happening across the industry.

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