MCAP turns to MCI Canada to host Web-based applications

Canada’s largest independent mortgage and equipment-financing lender is offloading its Web-based applications to a hosting provider as it prepares to expand the online services it provides to investors and borrowers.

Toronto-based MCAP has  not set a specific timeline for moving its Internet properties to MCI Canada’s data centres, but the development of a project plan is already underway. MCAP specializes in residential mortgages, commercial mortgages, construction loans, and equipment financing, managing $30 billion in assets.

MCAP CIO Patti Somers said the company has “dabbled” with MCI’s hosting services since 2001 but the new agreement will specifically cover its Web portal, where more than 100 institutional investors have access to their portfolios. The long-term plan is to offer similar capabilities to its more than 130,000 borrowers, Somers said. MCAP tends to develop its Web-based applications in-house but occasionally turns to third parties for support, she said. 

“We’re in high-growth mode and are anticipating a much more significant Web presence,” she said.

MCAP’s growth includes the expansion of its Vancouver-based Western Region Equipment Finance Division and the creation of a National Healthcare Division based out of Burlington, Ont. Some of MCAP’s business processes, such as line of credit processing and transaction history, have already been outsourced, Somers said. “The new world is definitely a multi-sourcing environment.”

Although MCAP didn’t seek out MCI Canada to specifically address compliance requirements, Somers said there are advantages in having a provider who can offer ’round-the-clock focus on its online environment.

“(Web-based applications) are a very different animal compared to back office,” she said. “They’re out there and open to the public. They have to be available.”

Marc Eaglesham, MCI Canada’s director of major accounts, said it takes time to develop a trusting relationship with customers and managing their expectations on a project-by-project basis.

“Technology breaks, we all know that. It’s how you fix it that’s important. That’s much more important than the price,” he said.

MCAP is among the customers MCI Canada has won since last year’s acquisition of MCI by Verizon. MCI Canada is now part of the Verizon Business division, which Eaglesham said will provide access to additional resources around marketing, support and development. MCI Canada’s Hosting Services are directly integrated into Verizon Business’ global IP network, which the company said will deliver optimal Web site performance and reliable access.

“Locally, the look and feel is the same,” he said. “We have some of the same people I’ve worked with for nine years.”

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