Enterprise Vendor Management Platform

This entry is part 3 of 24 in the series Industry Technology

This Article is as much an introduction to a new Platform which uses the same open source technology as Goldman Sachs does as it is a personal condemnation of Eric Miller, the Executive Director of the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS). It is revolutionary in that never again will applications like Pruvan be necessary; that with those NAMFS Members currently onboarding, the reality is that no matter how large a firm is 8 weeks is all that separates them from alpha stage. In fact, never again will NAMFS Affiliate providers like Property Preservation Wizard (PPW) be able to hold data hostage from Management and Labor alike.

Firms like Safeguard Properties (SGP) are talking about years in development of a patchwork of bullshit phone apps hooked to servers which catastrophically fail depending which way the wind blows. We are light years ahead of they and the rest of those whom force the menace of Aspen Grove Solutions (AGS) upon Labor like Guardian Asset Management (GAM). As we discuss later, Goldman Sachs powers nearly 100 percent of their operations on Linux and Open Source. Those high priests whom continue to quietly support third parties controlling data will soon — and I mean very soon — be shown to be the charlatans that they truly are.

As opposed to how Asset Management Specialists (AMS) allowed Lee Mertins to spend millions developing a system that he reinvented again at his new firm, our Clients spend thousands. As opposed to waiting months and years to have a fully functional system, we already have functional systems with less than 8 weeks to alpha stage incorporating our Clients needs.

More on point, though, as opposed to having proprietary has beens forcing yet more money pits down the throats of Labor and Management, our Clients own their platforms and the updates are free — forever!

For nearly two decades the Mortgage Field Services Industry has been a barren wasteland with respect to meaningful technology. With most of the National Order Mills are still heavily invested in COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language) — millions of dollars are spent each year in simply keeping COBOL operational — the fact of the matter is that anything which comes along is suspect unless it has the blessing of Eric Miller — if Eric Miller and his family cannot make a dime on it, you will probably never hear about it. As you will read later, Goldman Sachs is not supportive of the Miller Regime’s set of beliefs.

For those whom doubt me, simply look at the coding of the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) website and the multiple times it has been infected with viruses.

For years, the refusal of the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) to allow any free, open and transparent access to the Industry has stifled both competition and development. In fact, time and time again, the Industry’s dependency upon proprietary, NAMFS oriented software has caused monumental headaches and left the vast majority of the Industry dangerously exposed. If you want to thank someone for that, thank Eric Miller. Miller’s refusal to discuss anything with anyone without enriching he and his family is why the Industry is in a dire set of circumstances today.

Recently, several players came to the game. Pruvan is probably the most well known one. I am going to walk a real fine line here. So, Paul Palmer brought a product which was needed: The ability to stream Work Orders and Photos from the field to the office. Kinda. Pruvan has had numerous scalability issues which is normal for proprietary products. More on point, though, the only reason Pruvan was ever needed was because NAMFS kept such a stranglehold on access to the Industry. You see, had the Industry evolved in a normal way investments would have been made in simply allowing Contractors to access websites vis-a-vis HTML 5.

The commercial media industry is undergoing a major transition as content providers move away from proprietary web plug-in based delivery mechanisms (such as Flash or Silverlight), and replace them with unified plug-in free video players that are based on HTML5 specifications and commercial media encoding capabilities.  Browsers are moving away from plug-ins as well, as Chrome is with NPAPI and Microsoft Edge is with ActiveX, and toward more secure extension models.

1 function setupVideo(url) {
2 var context = new Custom.di.CustomContext();
3 var player = new MediaPlayer(context);
4 player.startup();
5 player.attachView(document.querySelector(‘#videoplayer’));
6 player.setAutoPlay(true);
7 player.attachSource(url);}
8 }

Palmer saw a need and filled it. The only problem is that Pruvan is only required so long as NAMFS can maintain a complete control over whom has access to the Industry. And that power has waned in the last several years. The reality is that for political and criminal implications, the days of Eric Miller simply waving his hand like a high priest and people bowing down, are numbered.

Another product is Property Preservation Wizard (PPW). At the end of the day, PPW is a glitchy version of Excel in the Cloud. Following the tradition of NAMFS — pay Eric Miller your gate money and you get exclusive access and recommendations over others by and through your NAMFS Member Dues — PPW isolated the market. The problem with isolating a market is that you get bloated and eventually hacked. PPW is similar to Yardi — the US Department of Housing and Urban Development‘s (HUD) provider of the P-260 interface — in that both are proprietary, fundamentally archaic and unable to evolve. I say this because instead of working with a prolific source code, the vast majority of their improvements are hacks — hooks and adaptations. This is extremely dangerous and honestly, lazy.

One of the biggest complaints I hear about Pruvan is that their latest debacle now makes it virtually impossible to retrieve the photos a Contractor uploads. And make no mistake that if you do not pay these vultures, all of your data — photos, accounting data, forms, etc. — are held hostage. You see, it is typical NAMFS mentality in that a handful of people behind the curtain want to control everything. G-d forbid you are a Contractor and forced to use these products at the behest of an order mill. You will NEVER get your data if they pull the plug and we know this for a fact as demonstrated by Eric Miller’s great friend Heather Berghorst, the now disgraced and former NAMFS Secretary.

Much like any business model, what drives demand is not being cool; what drives demand is both productivity and profitability. Here, let me give you an example,

One of our first Clients presented with a major problem. He was paying out nearly FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS PER MONTH to Pruvan and PPW to simply move work orders from the field to his processors and then back to his Client. Our Client was a NAMFS Member and a small, regional order mill. So, the fact of the matter is that before even paying anyone — including Labor — he had to pony up the 5k to the NAMFS Gate Keepers. The kicker to this is that our Client had no real power and control over his data. What I mean is that he had no ability to query his data in a semantic setting let alone populate that data via geocoding upon a graphic users interface such as Google Maps or Open Street Maps (OSM) — as a side note Pruvan had to continue to go back and ask questions in a Google Developer Group I am a member of as they had no idea how to fix their mapping problems.

Per year, our Client was hemorrhaging over SIXTY THOUSAND PLUS DOLLARS. Total and complete madness. Our solution; a solution which our Client will own, added both equity and valuation to his Company and will pay for itself in less than a year! That is not a typo. More on point, though, our Client will no longer have his data held hostage. And the added benefit is that not a single Contractor will have to download proprietary software onto their smartphones which negates any warranty under law.

At the end of the day, one of the largest problems with the Industry is the ability to query data in a rapid and meaningful way. I am not talking about the simple PPW queries; I am talking about the ability to query and calculate complex formulations via LaTex Equations. Currently, the vast majority of the skiddy bullshit platforms query data in a flat manner — the recent Ellie Mae debacle wherein they first tried to hang their incompetence upon those of us in Anonymous was, in fact, the product of archaic database structuring.

Flat files are easy and quick to set up. They are easy to use and are ideal for small databases. They have a series of problems. These relate to the repetition of data stored in the database — known as data redundancy — as well as problems to do with adding and removing records or changing the data in records. These are referred to as adding, deleting and amendment anomalies and can result in the data in the records becoming inconsistent.

Our Platform capitalizes upon proven concepts such as Elasticsearch, REST,

Elasticsearch is a search server based on Lucene. It provides a distributed, multitenant-capable full-text search engine with a RESTful web interface and schema-free JSON documents. Elasticsearch is developed in Java and is released as open source under the terms of the Apache License. Elasticsearch is the second most popular enterprise search engine.

REST’s client–server separation of concerns simplifies component implementation, reduces the complexity of connector semantics, improves the effectiveness of performance tuning, and increases the scalability of pure server components. Layered system constraints allow intermediaries—proxies, gateways, and firewalls—to be introduced at various points in the communication without changing the interfaces between components, thus allowing them to assist in communication translation or improve performance via large-scale, shared caching. REST enables intermediate processing by constraining messages to be self-descriptive: interaction is stateless between requests, standard methods and media types are used to indicate semantics and exchange information, and responses explicitly indicate cacheability.

From real-time search at Microsoft to security information and event management at Mozilla, sophisticated analytics at Goldman Sachs, logging at scale at Verizon, and even space exploration at NASA, Elastic is fueling a growing number of use cases.

I want to pause right here. For those of you out there whom think that the Pruvan’s and PPW’s of the world are the best thing since sliced bread, I am going to give you an epiphany. Don Duet is co-head of the Technology Division at Goldman Sachs. He serves on the Firmwide Risk Committee, Firmwide Technology Risk Committee. He is also co-chair of both the Investment Banking Division’s Technology Investment Committee and Clean Technology and Renewables Group Investment Committee. To say that Duet might know what he is talking about, Dark Pools aside, is an understatement.

Duet was one of the earliest evangelists and adopters of open source technology. If you think I am bullshitting, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you watch Aaron Katz, Elastic VP of Worldwide Field Operations, sitting down with Don Duet, Goldman Sachs Co-Head of Technology, to discuss using open source technology like Elasticsearch across the organization. Almost ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of Goldman Sachs is powered by Open Source and Linux!

If that didn’t sell you you aren’t in the financial sector and have no idea what foreclosures are. To sweeten the deal, have you heard of Bloomberg? Yeah, synonymous with financial sector data. Olga Zykova and Sean Hanson of the Bloomberg Software Infrastructure Division discuss the deployment of the Elk Stack — yet another Open Source and Elasticsearch platform — to dig deep in log data.

So, what kind of built in, out of the box, features does our Enterprise Vendor Management Platform (EVMP) have? Glad you asked. First, let’s start with the fact that it is already configured for the Bootstrap CSS framework. Normally, I would pitch this hard and heavy, but the reality is that THERE IS NOT A SINGLE NAMFS OR NON NAMFS PROVIDER OF STAND ALONE SOFTWARE IN EXISTENCE. Bootstrap, at the end of the day, allows a Company to personalize and brand visually their Platform without hiring a coder at $500 per hour.

Bootstrap is a free and open-source collection of tools for creating websites and web applications. It contains HTML- and CSS-based design templates for typography, forms, buttons, navigation and other interface components, as well as optional JavaScriptextensions. It aims to ease the development of dynamic websites and web applications. Bootstrap is a front endframework, that is, an interface for the user, unlike the server-side code which resides on the “back end” or server. As of June 2015, it was the most-starred project on GitHub, with over 81,000 stars and more than 32,000 forks.

Most importantly, though, it means that Bootstrap is compatible with the latest versions of the Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari browsers.

Additionally, Bootstrap works excellently with all Linux and Mac OS X flavors. As many in the Industry are moving away from Windows — Libre Office as a full replacement of Windows Office is a good example although it runs on any Operating System (OS).

Our EVMP uses TikiWiki as its base Source Code. In fact, our Team utilizes the very people whom brought TikiWiki to life. The first lines of source code were added to Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware in 2002. Over the past twelve months, 30 developers contributed new code to Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware. This is one of the largest open-source teams in the world, and is in the top 2% of all project teams on Open Hub.

Lines Of Code In The EVMP Source Code Platform

Lines Of Code In The EVMP Source Code Platform

Real World Valuation and Man Years in the EVMP Source Code

Real World Valuation and Man Years in the EVMP Source Code

What features does the EVMP have, out of the box?

  • Knowledge base: Wiki, FAQs, File gallery, Photo Album, Tags, Search, Kaltura video management integration, etc.
  • Collaboration/Project Management: Wiki, Forums, Tasks, Permissions, Timeline, Proposals/Votes, Blog, Categories, Watch, etc.
  • Publishing/web site: News articles, Blog, RSS, Newsletter, Maps, Themes, Banners, WYSIWYG, SEO, etc.
  • Commerce: Shopping Cart, Payment, Membership, Credits, Accounting, etc.
  • Social networking/Community: Friends, Maps, Inter-user messages, Surveys, Polls, Chat, Share link, Comments, Calendar, etc.
  • CRM / Help Desk: User database, membership, Bug & issue trackers, polls, etc.
  • Office suite: Wiki, Spreadsheet, Slideshow, Drawings, Database (trackers) and Reports, etc.
  • Personal Information Management (PIM): Calendar, Webmail, Address book, Notepad, Time Sheet, etc.
  • E-learning: Quizzes, Slideshow, BigBlueButton webinar integration, etc.
  • Framework: App builder (forms & reports), Workflow, Profiles, Advanced wiki syntax, etc.

What are the underlying technologies?

What are the David Letterman Top Ten reasons to use our EVMP which utilizes TikiWiki as its Source Code?

  1. A confident and future-proof choice
  2. A vibrant community
  3. Tons of features
    • Over 1,500 unique features/options making it the Free / Libre / Open Source Web Application with the most built-in features
    • Ideal for most use cases, such as Collaboration, Publishing, Commerce, Social networking, Office productivity tools, E-learning, etc.
    • Has the breadth and depth to most likely address your specific needs as it has been developed through the collaborative work of hundreds of contributors for over 12 years.
    • Part of Tiki Suite, a server, web, mobile and desktop apps suite with a concerted effort for greater interoperability and security.
  4. Features are built-in
    • No need to research, choose, download and install additional modules/extensions/plugins: There is no feature duplication. All the features are built-in, collaboratively maintained by the community, so you avoid the pain of abandoned modules/plugins/extensions.
    • Everything works with everything: The whole community collaborates on the features instead of having modules/extensions/plugins which may have incompatibilities. Turn everything on and it will work.
    • Quick timely upgrades: When a new version of Tiki comes out, you can upgrade right away and all the features are available.
  5. Interoperable
  6. Open Collaboration: If you need a new feature, join the community and let’s work together. If you are a developer, check out How to get commit access
  7. Innovation: For the latest and greatest and quick access to new features, use the rapid release cycle, with 2 new major releases per year. No other major web applications has had more major releases since 2008. On average, developers update the code (with new features and fixes) over a dozen times every day.
  8. Stability: For a super stable system with very few changes: Use the Long Term Support (LTS) versions, which is supported for 5 years.
  9. Performance: Via Tiki-powered communities, we find and address performance bottlenecks. Ex.: tiki.org has over 20 000 user accounts
  10. Security: The Tiki Security Team is responsible to review security vulnerability reports and to proceed to a pro-active audit at each major release.
  11. Adaptable Look & Feel: A very powerful templating engine and CSS allows total customization of the site appearance.
  12. Easy hosting: Tiki is a mature application and is vastly deployed on shared servers. It is widely tested in all kinds of configurations and offers many benefits for a hosting company.
  13. Easy install: You can use the “1-click installers“. All the features, languages, etc. are available in the basic install.
  14. Easy to configure: All features/options are activated from the web-based control panel. Profiles are available such Small Organization Web Presence, Collaborative Community, Company Intranet, etc. are available for a fully configured site in a few clicks.
  15. Adaptable: By default, only a small number of basic, commonly-used features appear in the control panel. As your needs grow, you can also display advanced and experimental features/options.
  16. Easy upgrades: Upgrade from any past version to any supported version in one step. (so you can upgrade from 2.x to 15.x)
    • No need to deal with diverse release dates of core software vs modules/plugins/extensions
    • The “1-click installers” also support upgrades
  17. Predictability: The Version Lifecycle is well-defined so you can plan ahead for major upgrades
    • Service providers and institutions can make multi-year plans with realistic total cost of ownership (TCO) estimates.
  18. No lock-in: Community supported, no single entity (project or vendor) that has disproportionate weight in the project’s direction.
  19. Free / Libre / Open Source software: Licensed as LGPL, Tiki is free, both Free Software (as in “Free Speech”) and Free of Charge(as in “Free Beer”)

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