M3 launched Innovation Lab yesterday on the tradeshow floor of the National Mortgage Conference in Montreal.
Innovation Lab is touted as collaboration between the industry’s myriad players whom—until yesterday—worked disparately. M3 will work in tandem with TD Bank, First National and Equifax, and the list partners is already in the process of growing.
“It’s another source and another way of getting input into our product rollouts,” said André Boisvert, M3’s chief technology officer. “Of course we have our product managers but the goal here is to connect much closer in a much more interactive way. In this forum, people use each other’s ideas and build on them. Typically, when you have a one-on-one conversation, the idea only goes to a certain level, but with these types of setups, everyone builds on an idea and it becomes a better, more complete, idea. For us, the idea is to be yet another source of input for our product rollouts.”
M3’s tradeshow booth was elaborate and surrounded by glass panelling whereon people scribbled their ideas with a marker. Going forward, the company is accepting emails and will even be unveiling a website. The goal, says Dino Di Pancrazio, M3’s executive vice president of strategy and innovation, is to propel the industry forward.
“We have some long-term and short-term ideas,” he said. “There are some we could put in the pipeline quickly, and when you’re talking about technology it could be months.”
The rollouts from the experiment in the Innovation Lab will begin manifesting within two quarters, added Boisvert.
Whether it’s creating lead generation from non-traditional sources or leveraging technology to make the mortgage process easier for customers, M3 promises the industry changes.
“As we get into our next strategic planning cycle, the idea is to get some ideas that will help with planning for that,” said Di Pancrazio. “In technology, you can spend money like water, but what we’re trying to do is direct our spend towards things that will have an impact on our brokers and on our lenders, and on the whole ecosystem. How do we remove the points of pain? Whether it’s a cost issue or revenue generating issue, the idea is to build this so that our strategic plan is fed from these ideas.”
Added Boisvert,“The next step is execution on those ideas. We’ll come up with roadmaps based on the ideas and come back to the people and deliver them, otherwise it would just be a brainstorming session and that’s not what this is all about.”
Earlier this month, the network unveiled M3 Tech, which is headed by Boisvert, and it will leverage scale, data and artificial intelligence in an effort to aid the broker channel.