Volume 10 Number 3
Spotlight on Chicagoland
TitlePoint takes on the Toddlin' Town
The town that Billie Sunday couldn’t shut down is about to open its doors to TitlePoint’s title and tax search capability. It is the most ambitious market launch in TitlePoint history, thanks to the depth and complexity of the eight Chicagoland title plants.
For the product, technology and client services teams supporting the launch, this is a high-profile project made possible by a major commitment of resources by Property Insight and its customers.
User training in TitlePoint will begin March 19. By that time thousands of hours will have been invested in the success of the release.
Conceived in 2010 by President John Walsh, the plan to replace TractBook with TitlePoint was a bold one because of the volume represented in the eight counties that comprise the Chicagoland market.
TractBook, the mainframe application in service since 1974, is still functional, but incapable of enabling the workflow efficiencies – such as the ability to view a document image in a title chain – long sought by customers in the Midwest.
“If we’re going to do this, we have to commit to nothing less than a complete feature-for-feature replacement for TractBook,” John said when he announced the project.
“We were fully committed to ensure the success of TitlePoint in Chicago at the start of the project,” said Ron Free, Executive Vice President. “A number of us knew we had to make Chicago our home-away-from-home to make this happen.”
Customers were key to the planning process
At the outset of the project, Midwestern Operations Manager Mike Carsella coordinated group meetings with key customers to review TitlePoint’s features and functionality and to collect user requirements that would enable customers to switch from TractBook with confidence.
“Our customers were already familiar with TitlePoint’s image retrieval capability, so the news that we were enabling title and tax searching was well received,” said Mike. “Their input at the early stages of the project helped us tremendously.”
In 2010, Product Manager Lisa Roessler began facilitating customer meeting, traveling from California to Chicago to painstakingly document functional specifications.
“We met with the users throughout the project,” said Lisa. “Subject matter experts from various operations were called together to participate in an open forum to discuss their current workflow, review proposed designs and provide feedback on the features as they were developed,” she explained.
Senior Vice President Jim Violette, responsible for the technology architecture supporting TitlePoint, is also a high-profile participant, hearing first-hand the expectations of Chicago clients and guiding TitlePoint development.
Regional Client Services Manager Sean Tracy, aided by Account Manager Penny Sohovich, has been busy surveying customer locations to assess installation and training support needs and to identify clients that may require special support during the transition.
Preparing customers for the upgrade
Training for customers began the week of January 16, and the plan calls for customers to be trained and converted within eight weeks of the launch date.
“We’re flying product trainers in from California and Florida, and our goal is to set up and train more than 125 departments, or about 1,000 users, in their offices in eight weeks,” said Sean. “This is likely the most complex, fast-paced conversion project that Property Insight has done.”
“Our customers are so ready for the upgrade,” said Penny. “Everyone is excited to finally get it in their hands. They have been very patient because they understand we’re focused on doing this right,” she added.
The initial plan called for a fall, 2011 roll-out, but the date was pushed out to the first quarter of 2012 to ensure that crucial database and functional components of TitlePoint are fully operational.
To meet customer expectations for data and product functionality in TitlePoint, Property Insight is keying an expanded record layout for plant postings. The Cook County property tax and Chancery retrieval applications are being re-written, and new property control functions are being added. Effectively, the entire automated plant system, from database to interface, is being overhauled.
Orders open in TractBook are being loaded into TitlePoint so that customers can upgrade without having to use two systems.
Upgrading workflow using TitlePoint
“We’re excited about the deployment of TitlePoint,” said Mike Carsella. “Not only are we going to perpetuate unique functions offered in our current plant system, we're adding new features that are new to this market, like the integration of data and images, improvements in the presentation of search results and higher level of technology,” he added.
“We have an opportunity to deliver real and substantial workflow efficiencies for our customers,” added Lisa. “We are streamlining their on-line experience by making things more fluid. The combination search alone will allow the users to search all elements needed for their search package from a single entry,” she said.
In the end, TitlePoint’s roll-out to Chicago is not about meeting minimum requirements; it’s about exceeding expectations and creating what innovators call “The Wow Factor.”
TitlePoint and TitlePoint Xpress are registered trademarks of Property Insight, LLC in the United States.