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09/16/14
A Week in the Life of Vertican Technologies
Filed under: From the President, Vertican Technologies
Posted by: George @ 8:45 am

Last week was a very exciting one for Vertican Technologies.

Monday:
By Monday, the Q-Soft team had gathered here in New Jersey. They spent Monday at the CLS office and Tuesday at the YGC office, meeting the other Vertican team members.

Tuesday:
On Tuesday evening the entire Vertican Technologies team was together for the first time in one place. We had a picnic-like dinner at my home. A very minor and light rain didn’t dampen spirits at all. Dr. Ronen spearheaded a group activity that stimulated interaction amongst everyone, and everyone had a great time. Other games were played, including badminton outdoors and pinball indoors.

Wednesday:
Wednesday was the CLS beta-focus group meeting that has traditionally kicked off the CLS user meeting. Thanks to all our beta testers for another spirited and lively discussion, and for being beta testers. Every other Collection-Master user benefits from the time and effort you put into helping us test our new software releases.

Thursday:
Then, beginning at 8 a.m. on Thursday, the very first vConference began, with users from all four Vertican companies (Q-Soft, Fillimerica, YGC and CLS) in attendance. It was very exciting. I began the day with a short introduction. Isaac followed with a presentation of our vision for Vertican Technologies going forward. Then Kurt Sund demonstrated Vertican’s first new software offering, Vertiply Compliance. Vertiply is our compliance management software tool. It is a powerful and unique tool designed specifically to manage all the moving parts that are required to adhere to today’s client and government requirements. It was enthusiastically received. Be sure to ask to see a demo of this powerful software at any of the upcoming trade shows beginning at NARCA in Las Vegas in October.

Following the Vertiply demo, the group broke into separate sessions, designed specifically for the software in use in each office. Thursday evening we had a fabulous dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse (don’t go to one of these places unless you’re VERY hungry!). After dinner we were entertained by a hypnotist. He was terrific. A great time was had by all, with a special thanks going out to the brave volunteers!

Friday:
Friday was another day full of rich content. The meeting wrapped up on Friday afternoon. All of the Q-Soft staff, along with some users, stayed to be tourists.

Saturday:
They visited the Statue of Liberty National Monument on Saturday, followed by a picnic on Staten Island. Unfortunately it rained, but that didn’t hamper their enthusiasm.

Sunday:
By Sunday evening everyone had made their way home, full of good food and good memories, but mostly full of great information about their software and systems to bring back to their coworkers. All in all, it was a great week, highlighted by the first vConference. Thank you to all who attended.

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08/07/14
2014 is a “Getting Together” Year
Filed under: From the President
Posted by: George @ 2:57 pm

July has made its inexorable transition into August. For many of us that means taking advantage of the diminishing number of barbecue opportunities to get together with friends and family. Here at Vertican Technologies we certainly love barbecues. But “getting together” has added meaning for us this year. In fact, it has two added meanings.

As you know, Vertican Technologies is now made up of four formerly independent companies: Q-Soft, CLS, YGC and Fillimerica. For Vertican Technologies, 2014 is a “getting together” year, as we combine our excellent staffs into one cohesive technology and service company. Getting together has ongoing challenges, but we can already see new opportunities for us and our great customers, beginning with newly coordinated development by teams that previously worked independently with overlapping, duplicate efforts. Customers will benefit from our new co-development work in the immediately foreseeable future with access to new and powerful software products to help address today’s business challenges.

In addition, “getting together” also now refers to our upcoming vConference next month, on September 11 & 12. This will be our first meeting of the combined companies. We are really excited. The meeting will feature individual breakout sessions that are focused on the software in use in your offices. For the first time, the meeting will increase the fabulous synergy we’ve always had by hosting the first-ever open, cross-pollination of Q-law and Collection-Master users. This year’s meeting will be the industry’s largest and most robust and focused gathering of the best and sharpest collection offices in the country. The opportunity to increase your networking among like-minded professionals will be awesome.

We’re hard at work preparing feature-rich presentations on ALL of our software products. We’re very excited about the synergy this meeting promises to offer. So, please make plans now to get together with Vertican Technologies and other collection professionals at the most unique and exciting meeting we’ve ever had. In 2014, the year of “getting together”, this is one meeting you won’t want to miss.

I look forward to seeing you in September.

Stevan H. Goldman

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08/05/14
Thoughts About a Lawsuit
Filed under: From the President
Posted by: George @ 1:14 pm

In our industry it is impossible to ignore the lawsuit filed by the CFPB against the Law Offices of Frederick J. Hanna and Associates, PC. I’d like to offer my opinion of this industry-shaking action by our government.

I am not a lawyer. So, I am unqualified to offer any opinions about the legal efficacy of the lawsuit itself. But, I have spent my entire professional career designing and writing software in pursuit of greater accuracy as well as efficiency in collection-specialist law offices. So, I do feel qualified to comment on “automation.” And I have read the complaint.

In the complaint, two paragraphs absolutely jumped off the page at me. Paragraph 16b says “The Firm directed its attorneys to rely on an automated system and support staff research to determine whether consumers had sought relief in bankruptcy or whether their debts were barred by limitations;” and 16c says “The Firm directed its attorneys to rely on an automated system and support staff research to determine legally significant facts such as each consumer’s date of initial contract and the date the consumer last made a payment.”

Wow. I mean, WOW! Attorneys have support staff doing research? Goodness, me. How long has this kind of abuse been going on? And, they rely on automation to determine if consumers have filed for bankruptcy protection? Oh, my. Where will the abuse end?

In all seriousness, do the government lawyers who signed and filed this complaint actually believe that bankruptcy records are kept on paper in some hall of records somewhere? And, do they seriously believe that the research is only legitimate if a licensed attorney personally goes to this nonexistent hall of records to personally search through paper records to determine who has filed for bankruptcy protection? Do these same legal geniuses actually not know that records such as dates and amounts of contracts and payments are now kept electronically, beginning with the original credit grantor? Do these Clarence Darrow wannabes think that banking and credit card transaction records are in a paper file somewhere, with teams of bookkeepers updating payments to a paper ledger card every day? Or, do they just not care about facts and reality?

Not only are these types of records now stored electronically, but “using automation” brings a level of accuracy that would be impossible if these records were kept only on paper, and had to be researched manually. Yet, somehow, our government apparently feels that automation means consumer abuse, when the exact opposite is true when it comes to searching and scrubbing bankruptcies.

From my perspective the absurdity of the allegations regarding the use of automation and staff research in this lawsuit cannot be overstated. Without citing a single actual abuse (in my layman’s eyes), this suit implies that because an office is efficient they must be abusing consumers! The CFPB apparently spent many hours in the Hanna office, observing the extent to which they go to try and ensure that they are reaching out to the correct consumers with correct information, and attempting to engage consumers with efforts ranging from letters to phone calls, and finally to filing suits. And, remarkably, after observing the care and effort and significant expense undertaken by the firm to ensure proper, legal and ethical behavior, the government’s conclusion is that consumers are being abused because the firm uses automation and staff research!! How does that even make sense to anyone? Either there is abuse and misconduct or there is not. How can efficiency alone constitute improper behavior?

I am not an anti-government zealot. Far from it. But to me this is government run amok. Frankly, the lawyers who signed this complaint should be embarrassed. The “research” reflected in this complaint is so shoddy and simply wrong as to be laughable. It makes me wonder; did the government lawyers who signed this complaint do all the research themselves, or were they aided by “support staff” to do the preparation? If Mr. Hanna’s office conducted themselves with the same disregard for facts and reality as the government has done in this case, they would deserve to be investigated and punished. But, Hanna does NOT behave this way. Like all other responsible collectors they do just the opposite; they expend lots of time, money and energy in a never ending effort to be accurate and ethical. The result? They get blindsided by government lawyers who make absolutely no effort to be accurate and apparently could care less. I need a new Irony Meter.

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07/24/14
Don’t Be Duped
Filed under: From the President, Vertican Technologies
Posted by: George @ 11:48 am

Like many in our industry, I subscribe to InsideARM. I think they publish worthwhile pieces of interest to the debt recovery business.

Last week InsideARM sent an email with the subject: “Do You Know When You’re Being Duped By a Third-Party Vendor? Probably Not…” The email was to introduce and promote a webinar regarding third-party vendors, and related compliance issues. The tag line in the email was “Right now, you’re probably at risk and you don’t even know it”, and other language in the email said “There are vendors out there making claims that, under closer scrutiny, don’t pass muster.

Here at Vertican Technologies, we have firsthand experience that the statements in this InsideARM email are true!

Vertican Technologies users are regularly approached by third parties, usually “consultants” and third-party vendors, who make representations specifically regarding our software products, Q-Law®, Collection-Master®, YGC and Image-Master. Yet, most of these individuals and vendors have NEVER been formally trained on any of our software. Remarkably, they represent that they can help with configuring and using software on which they’ve never been formally trained! Even “consultants” with prior experience using our software (as former employees of firms who do use our software products) lose touch with our software once they leave their prior employment. So, even those who have seen earlier versions of our software do not have adequate experience with the current version, to say nothing of the new software we’re actively developing.

If you’ve been in touch with a consultant who has never been trained on any of the Vertican Technologies software products, and would have no legal access to official Vertican Technologies software documentation, but represents that he or she can help you with our software, BEWARE!! Think about it. Do you really want to be in a position of explaining to an auditor that your system configuration was done by an individual with no formal training on the software you use? Even worse, if your data is manipulated in any way by an unqualified person, if the integrity of your data is compromised, what are you going to do or say then? Ask yourself if these are risks worth taking, BEFORE you expose yourself to such a big risk.

To be sure, there are very worthwhile consultants, with expertise that can add value to your practice. Qualified experts can offer great guidance regarding your business processes, policies, procedures, staffing and more. But, when it comes to Vertican Technologies software, or any other specialty software, do the SMART thing. Call the author!! No one knows their software better than the company that wrote it and supports it. At Vertican Technologies we offer data manipulation services, performed by the ONLY experts who are available and properly trained to do this detailed work. We offer high-level consulting, designed to help you maximize your use of our software. We will gladly furnish references for the services we offer. AND, if we think an outside consultant can help you, we’ll tell you that too. Vertican Technologies wants you to succeed.

This is certainly not the time to increase your risk profile. Be very suspicious of third-party vendors whose claims don’t pass muster. Don’t be duped. If your question is about Q-Law®, Collection-Master®, YGC or Image-Master, start with Vertican Technologies. If you use other collection software, start with your vendor. You trusted your software vendor when you licensed the software. You can continue to trust your vendor to give you the best service, and advice.

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07/22/14
Welcome to Vertican Technologies
Filed under: From the President, Vertican Technologies
Posted by: George @ 11:06 am

Good day everyone. For those I have not yet met, I’m Stevan Goldman, now President of Vertican Technologies.

I’m super excited this morning, because I’m writing to formally welcome all of you, all of us, to Vertican Technologies!

As individual companies we have all been successful and have well deserved reputations for our skills, our passion, and our integrity. Combined, we have delivered more great software, more great support, more great efficiencies and more great solutions than any other company, or companies, in the entire collections industry. When you look at what we’ve already accomplished, it’s easy to see why I’m so excited about our future together. Together, we’re better!

Shortly, Isaac will conduct our first ever company-wide meeting. He will present our vision for our company going forward; what we want to accomplish and how we intend to get there. We’re also planning our first ever combined user meeting, which is going to be great. In addition to what will be our largest gathering of customers, we’re hoping to get as many of us as possible to meet one another in person. Even I haven’t yet met some of the Q-Soft folks, so I’m very much looking forward to that. Things are going to start happening pretty fast, and it’s all good.

We intend to be what we’ve always been; smart and nimble, delivering great solutions to our customers. We’re going to be great together. I can feel it. Beginning today, with Isaac’s presentation, I’m sure you all will too!

Thank you all for being part of the Vertican team. I look forward to exciting times together.

Very truly yours,

Stevan H. Goldman, President and CEO
Vertican Technologies, Inc.

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