PC Week Names First American Top E-Business Innovator
December 28, 1999, SANTA ANA, Calif.
PC Week ranked First American Financial second in its annual Financial Services Fast@Track 100 list, which was compiled using an extensive database of 260,000 corporate IT sites in North America. Each site was scored based on its innovative use of business-to-consumer e-commerce, business-to-business e-commerce, customer relationship management, data warehousing, virtual private network, intranet and other cutting-edge technologies. The scores for each site were then rolled up to the enterprise level. Each enterprise received a total score based on the average score of each of its sites. Companies with the highest scores were then ranked on the Financial Services Fast@Track list.
The technology publication recognized First American's FAST solutions, a suite of e-commerce initiatives that allows First American to efficiently transmit data and gives customers access to the company's wide range of products and services through a network of advanced back-end solutions. These systems electronically accept orders and route, process and speed delivery of First American's array of products and services directly to its customers' desktops.
"We are very proud of the recognition PC Week has given to our technology efforts," said Tom Rubadue, vice president of First American's interactive division. "This ranking helps to validate our efforts and the successes we have achieved. The future of the industry demands advances in technology, and no one is more committed to technology than First American."
PC Week acknowledged First American's strides in transforming a historically paper-based industry. Over the last two years, First American has introduced a series of Web sites that provide its customers with quick, online access to property files, tax information, credit reporting and other data that has traditionally been stored and exchanged on paper.
A number of acquisitions and joint ventures added to First American's technological ability by giving the company both digitized content and integration technology. In 1997, First American entered into an agreement with Experian, an international information services company, which gave First American the nation's largest repository of title indexes, real property databases and imaged records.
First American's initial strategy was to ensure that its technology could directly integrate title, credit check and other information from its FASTWeb e-business sites, with its customers' back-end systems. FASTWeb, launched two years ago, now has more than 30,000 registered users and allows customers to access First American's products in one location.
Other First American electronic initiatives include FASTDirect, a direct connection between a customer's loan origination system and First American's products, and FASTWin, a Windows-based desktop application for product ordering via a dial-up modem connection.
"First American is at the forefront of driving technology trends within title insurance through Web delivery systems," said Sabra Brinkmann, senior director of insurance research for Advest Inc., a stock brokerage firm in Hartford, Conn. "Fifty-five percent of mortgages are originated by the top 10 companies ... and those large customers want business-to-business connections."
Innovation is not new to First American. Last month the company announced the launch of its latest Web-based service FASTCredit, the first service to provide users with merged credit report data from the nation's three largest credit bureaus, delivered over the Internet. First American's investment in technology is another step toward its goal of maximizing efficiencies in the real estate process, while improving the value it offers its customers and shareholders.
The First American Financial Corporation, based in Santa Ana, Calif., is the nation's leading provider of business information and related products and services. The corporation's three primary business segments include: title insurance; real estate information and services, which includes mortgage origination, mortgage servicing and database products and services; and consumer information and services, which provides home warranties; automotive, subprime and direct-to-consumer credit reporting; property and casualty insurance; property and automotive insurance tracking services; resident screening; pre-employment screening; lender-placed flood and hazard insurance; investment advisory; and trust and banking services. Information about the company and an archive of its press releases can be found on the Internet at www.firstam.com.