Success Story: Fannie Mae

  • Headquarters

    Washington, DC USA
  • Industry

  • Challenge

    Implement real-time operational intelligence and analytics to proactively respond to potential process issues and meet customer demands for accelerated loan process cycles.

  • Solution

  • Results

    • 80% reduction in troubleshooting and resolving issues
    • Accelerated service and product delivery
    • Doubled number of product releases annually
    • Reduced processing errors

Fannie Mae

Amplified intelligence transforms operations from reactive to proactive and predictive


Real-time actionable insights help Fannie Mae instrument the customer experience

The mortgage lending industry is as vulnerable to digital disruption as any. With the realtime expectations of connected consumers, established players have felt the pressure to cut loan processing times from weeks or months to just days. This means heightening engagement and collaboration within their digital ecosystems to come up with innovative ways to improve the customer experience. Fannie Mae plays a critical role in the industry’s transformation.

“The industry is in this partnership journey together,” said Bruce Lee, Senior Vice President and Head of Operations and Technology at Fannie Mae. “Fannie Mae has always been innovative and we’re in a good position to reinvent the mortgage process.”

Advancing innovation despite complexity

Fannie Mae sits at the center of a vast ecosystem of banks, credit unions, reporting agencies, title firms, property appraisers and federal agencies. The cross-dependencies and disparities between systems and processes each party brings to the table, complicates the mortgage lending process.

“We knew that industry innovation would lead to operational complexity among this ecosystem, but would be in the face of rising customer expectations for higher quality, faster and more reliable service,” explains Lee. “Given this, you have to have the monitoring, the controls, the intelligence, across this ecosystem to deliver against those expectations. Our lending partners expect real- time analytics, real-time ability to process and underwrite the mortgages.”

“Operational intelligence provides the way to look at the whole customer experience and then drill back to your systems and processes. And from that, you can gain real insights into what matters to the customer.”


Smart decisions through intelligence

To optimize Fannie Mae’s business and service processes, and pave the way for innovation, operational intelligence took center stage. The idea was to focus on the different ways their customers experienced a particular process and improve it, rather than begin with an internal audit of every potential operational pitfall.

According to Lee: “We needed to instrument the customer experience. Operational intelligence provides the way to look at the whole customer experience and then drill back to your systems and processes. And from that, you can gain real insights into what matters to the customer.”

They started with a critical business application: processing a credit risk assessment application to determine eligibility for a mortgage through Fannie Mae. This is of strategic importance since the company processes hundreds of thousands of loans every day, each of which ultimately becomes part of Fannie Mae’s securities portfolio. Therefore, access to the application must be available and the application process needs to be quick and satisfactory from the consumer’s perspective. With the right operational intelligence solution, Fannie Mae can closely monitor the entire process in real time and proactively respond to potential problems before they happen. Staying ahead of the curve through operational intelligence ensures that loan cycles are as short as possible, enabling lending partners to remain competitive in the borrowers’ market.

“We’re now able to isolate very, very quickly as to when things may be going wrong,” says Lee. “And when you have a lot of interconnected players, everybody is suggesting theories as to what it could be causes of the behavior. Using the instrumentation and the operational intelligence dashboards, we’re able to go very fast and go straight to the issue. We can now take proactive steps and know the state of the customer experience at all times.”

Lee continues, “Operational Intelligence provides real-time actionable insights in the behavior of our systems AND those of our customers and partners. So, it is not about being closely linked to a specific system, but as a set of process points that need to work seamlessly to deliver a good customer experience.”

A trustworthy solution from a trusted source

It takes a healthy dose of due diligence to pinpoint a solution that is so critical to Fannie Mae’s ability to respond proactively to the demands of a dynamic market and drive innovative among such a complex ecosystem. After evaluating multiple proofs of concept, interviewing several peer organizations and consulting market practitioners, the housing finance giant chose Axway.

“Our conclusion was that Axway was a company that we could work with to develop real-time operational intelligence in the evolving US home ownership market,” states Lee. “Axway’s Decision Insight was selected because of its ability to examine real-time process dynamics and intelligence. And really, Axway’s ability to make it all about the business process. We’re leaning on Axway for its depth of experience with operational intelligence to allow us to rapidly go from no real-time insights into complete dashboards.”

Intelligence pays off

It’s still early, but Fannie Mae is already seeing immediate, measurable results. The time and resources needed to troubleshoot and resolve issues has been reduced by at least 80%. With Decision Insight, project prioritization identification and product delivery has accelerated. But, according to Lee, that’s not all. “We’ve doubled the number of product releases in the year, we’ve reduced the number of errors, improved quality and increased the number of function points in every delivery.”

Axway’s Decision Insight enables the company to prioritize a number of new operational intelligence initiatives that will deliver rapid customer value and address regulatory requirements. “Our design thinking is really to get into what is important to customers and not trying to guess what they want but actually look at that process, observe and work out what is really needed. So, that’s helping us sharpen our focus on what to deliver.”

“Axway’s Decision Insight was selected because of its ability to examine real-time process dynamics and intelligence.”

Bringing it home with self-service

Going forward, Fannie Mae intends to put operational intelligence directly in its customers’ hands. The company has instrumented a number of individual systems and processes. Once a larger set of core processes are built out, Fannie Mae will be able to provide customer-facing dashboards.

“Our vision is one of continued customer-centricity,” Lee says. “Our next step is to aggregate multiple views on a number of processes into a single view that we’ll ultimately share with our customers. This will really create a self-service model.”

Ready to learn more?