November 10, 2015 9:52AM

The Buzz from “Breakthrough” in Las Vegas, Nevada

This year’s MRI International Users’ Conference (IUC) was the largest and arguably most successful MRI IUC to date, with a whopping one thousand people in attendance and an almost palpable, positive energy that suffused the entire four days. This dynamic, electric air was in large part due to the contagious excitement and jubilant, animated energy of CEO Patrick Ghilani, whose enthusiasm about MRI’s real estate technology solutions and MRI’s commitment to its partners and users set the conference tone and distinguished it from conferences past.

“Breakthrough”—the IUC’s official theme—solidly focused on two core elements: Cougar, MRI’s investment management tool, and, of course, MRI X, the newest version of this award-winning real estate software system.

It has been less than a year since MRI acquired Cougar Software to expand its solution suite into the global investment management space, and development of this product continues its exponential trajectory. In addition to its existing asset, portfolio, debt, and valuations capabilities, at the IUC, we learned that MRI has in-the-works plans to significantly expand these investment management capabilities to include accounting, capital transaction management, investor reporting, and more.

According to the MRI folks, nearly 75 percent of their client base is already using MRI X—a pretty impressive statistic for a platform that was only released last spring. And if any IUC participants weren’t already on X, they left Vegas desperately wanting to upgrade: plenty of speakers, workshops, demonstrations, and other marketing accouterments touted the many amazing new features of MRI X, the new and improved Corporate Accounts Receivable Module; budget and forecasting module; improved financials; workspeed; and more. (For a quick rundown of our favorite X features, check out our recent blog.)

MRI did a fantastic job laying out its “Roadmap,” highlighting recent achievements and upgrades made and informing users on further improvements that are on the MRI horizon, both near and far. As real estate technology consultants, we have heard dozens of company “roadmap” presentations, and even for we industry veterans, the transparency, sincerity, and informative utility of the MRI presentation was quite striking.

The roadmap focused on three categories: bug fixing (particularly as regards usability and decision support responsiveness), architectural investments, and new features. Conference participants were given the straight-up low-down on soon-to-be-released upgrades such as, improved manual payments functionality, web inquiry enhancements, new reporting and mobile picture capture solutions for workspeed, and the new Condo Plus module. Those a bit further down the pipeline included: major improvements on Prospect Connect, DHCR, and Bostonpost; as well as tighter integrations with Rainmaker LRO, Blue Moon, and Vaultware.

Undoubtedly, the Budget & Forecasting (B&F) session was another highlight of the MRI IUC. MRI has now officially rolled out a capability to directly import straight- line rent, much to the visible delight of session participants. Other formatting issues that had plagued B&F users are also remedied, including those related to formatting and screen views.

In sum, the MRI IUC in Vegas reinforced MRI’s reputation as a responsive, forward-looking, award-winning real estate technology solution company. As a sponsored partner, REdirect particularly appreciated the organizers’ sincere acknowledgments of our partnership with them, and we look forward to continuing to share what we’ve learned in Vegas with our MRI clients across the nation.