The Vertican Newsletter - December 2022 / January 2023

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Isaac’s Essentials

A Culture of Accomplishment

In the August edition of vConnect, I shared that the Vertican team has been coming together to better understand and recover from stress. I referenced Peak Performance, a book that details how stress plus recovery can equal growth. The Vertican staff has been collectively putting this concept into action by dedicating this year’s last two quarters to a company-wide theme (which usually changes each quarter). Themes help everyone engage in a shared experience and learn from one another. For this quarter, I wanted to invest more time so that the team could collectively look at, leverage, and grow from stress both personally and professionally.

Volunteers came together and conducted an employee survey to understand more about stress triggers, coping strategies, and suggestions to make life easier at work and home. We shared and discussed the results of the survey during our recent All Hands meeting.

I wasn’t surprised with the sources of stress “reported” – work deadlines, family/general relationships, and health concerns are the typically mentioned stressors. But when you dig deeper, you’ll find that most stress is born not from circumstances, but the frustration and misguided, often self-imposed, expectations around them.

How we view and experience frustration is subjective, yet it generally comes down to feeling like you lack control or have an unclear sense of the road ahead. So clearly, we can avoid frustration when we walk a well-defined path towards our goals.

I’m always working to provide the Vertican team with the tools and support they need to feel self-assured and confident in doing their jobs. Vertican exists to improve peoples’ lives beginning with our team, and extends out to our clients, our clients’ clients, and the consumers they service. And while no one can single-handedly eliminate stress or frustration, nor should we want to, we can do our best to manage both.

After all, any attempt to eliminate stress would not be realistic or even practical because, remember, stress plus recovery equals growth. We must navigate our way through cycles of stress then experience recovery to ultimately grow. Truly meaningful personal and professional growth are not easy, and both take patience and time. If it was quick, easy, and stress-free everyone would do it – and life would be super boring.

The Rocks Pebbles Sand story is a cool analogy about effectively managing responsibilities over time, which ultimately avoids frustration. In this practice, rocks represent important, non-negotiable and often long-term projects, pebbles are less important tasks but still essential, and sand is the “stuff” that can bury you with distractions if you don’t know how to set boundaries and apply priorities. At Vertican, we are focused on strategizing our time to address our most important business objectives without being suffocated by minutia. As individuals, this is easier said than done.

So, a second way we leverage stress and make life easier is by creating a culture of accomplishment. We do this by benchmarking what we know to be true in the simplest of terms. More on that in a moment.

I’ve said in the past, what gets measured gets managed. So, we dare to metricize more than just the business, we’re metricizing our satisfaction on the individual level. Because in the end, we are the business. So, at Vertican, we are having conversations about how to zero in on the things that really matter. We’re doing this by defining what makes a day good for each person and reflecting on this daily, weekly, and so on. By sharing and measuring these things, we’re supporting and helping each other put stress into perspective.

We maintain growth beginning always with intentionality; so, it’s super important to confront the many nuances that tempt us to lose sight of the big picture – you know, things like frustration … and sand.

As a company, Vertican is also making some business adjustments. At our New Jersey headquarters, we’ve implemented the option to work completely remote. As a technology company with employees throughout the US and other countries, we’ve had a well-established remote policy in place meaning we’ve been set up for success long before the Covid years. For our New Jersey team, the option to work virtually allows people a little more equanimity at the beginning and end of the workday should they choose not to travel to the office. However, there’s always a positive workspace, fresh coffee, and friendly faces for those who still choose to come in.

Additionally, we implemented more departmental and cross-departmental meeting rhythms into our already existing team alignment practice. We continue to look at the actionable feedback from eNPS and NPS surveys and improve our policies, communications, services, and relationships. This means we’ve paid attention to and taken a deeper look into what makes employees and clients happier. Specifically, we listened to our Collection-Master clients’ concerns and feedback about upgrading to Q-LawE on their terms, and therefore we will not be sunsetting the product for the foreseeable future. There’s much more on that in this issue of vConnect.

Finally, with the holiday rush upon us, Vertican will be briefly slowing down to allow the team a little extra time with family and friends, and simply recharge. So, between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, the Vertican team will take a break from meetings, developing, releasing product updates, and making any software changes. Of course, vExchange will continue with scheduled daily processing, and Client Success will still be on hand should a Severity 1 issue come up.

I’m not a platitudes kind of guy, but I don’t mind telling you we are embarking on a new, exciting year! And by exciting, I mean there’s much to accomplish. Vertican in 2023 emanates a redefined and right-sized organizational structure, including enhanced quality assurance processes and an expanded Account Management team for our valued clients. It also includes more Vertican Help Center resources and educational opportunities for our users, as well as transparent and steadfast partnerships – because a culture of accomplishment extends to our clients.

But progress does not begin on January 1 and cease on December 31; it’s a continuous road that’s not always comfortable to navigate. If anyone can tell you about roads of labyrinth-like proportions, I can. Few are straight, most are rocky, and none more worth the journey than the ones you pave yourself and travel on with the support of trusted friends.

With that being said and on behalf of the Vertican team, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a peaceful and healthy holiday season. May your 2023 road be good to you and allow you to meander a little and grow a lot.

Product Story

Collection-Master is Here to Stay!

You spoke and we listened. Vertican has officially pivoted from sunsetting Collection-Master. Both product support and feature enhancements will continue indefinitely. There is no plan to sunset and no requirement to upgrade to Q-LawE in the foreseeable future. 


Q: What drove Vertican to make this pivot?

A: While Q-LawE is a powerful tool with enterprise automation, Vertican recognizes that, despite Q-LawE’s sophisticated features, Collection-Master clients have invested in a significant learning curve over a period of time.

In fact, Collection-Master’s roadmap will converge in some areas with Q-LawE to leverage best-in-class functionality and make for a faster learning curve should you eventually decide to upgrade to Q-LawE in the future. 


To focus our product roadmap on your priorities, we took three polls at the November 9 Mastermind session with John Currey, Product Owner and Nicholas Arcaro, SVP, Business Development.   

Mastermind Poll 1: Product Features 

Clearly, the priority of most firms is for the tool to be more user-friendly, with simpler processes.  

Follow-up: Please take the 1-question poll below, whether or not you attended the Mastermind session. 

New 1-Question Poll

Do you have a concrete suggestion for making the tool more user-friendly and simplifying processes? 

Honestly, we’re looking to make an immediate impact that will save the most time and benefit the most firms. 

Tips for your response 

  • According to John, “For suggestions to be actionable, it really helps if you think of specifics instead of generalities. In other words, what would it look like? How do you want it to work? Do you have any examples of how something can be improved? We are very eager to target our work on your biggest priorities; concrete specifics will ensure we understand your needs.”

  • An example of a less-than-useful submission is “make accounting easier.” An actionable example is “In accounting, when processing payments in AutoPost, add a button to process all trust accounts consecutively without asking about processing the next account.” 

Take the 1-Question Poll!

Account Management: Business Advice 

Because many of you will choose to remain with Collection-Master, we want to make sure you’re getting the most out of it.  

As Nick observed, “In my conversations with clients, many are unaware of how to fully use Collection-Master. Helping you optimize your software lowers your cost to collect. This is where Account Management comes in.” 

Account Management was previously only available to Diamond clients. In October, Vertican extended this premium service to Platinum clients and the team is being expanded. 

Account Management services: 

  • Provide advice on optimizing your firm’s use of the software. 

  • Learn about your firm’s needs on a proactive basis to prevent issues. 

  • Partner with you at your client meetings to help meet your clients’ demands.  

  • Develop customized training solutions* for your firm. (*Billed as Professional Services.) 

  • Act as an escalation point of contact for support tickets. 

Mastermind Poll 2: Product Training 

Mastermind Poll 3: Product Support 

As a reminder: 

  • Using Vertican Support Access (VSA) in the software will expedite resolution of your issues. 

  • Vertican’s initial response time service level agreement is based on severity level and support plan. Please refer to the Help Center > More Information > Charts > Initial Response Time. 

  • In addition to the Collection-Master help manual, we have a number of DIY resources on the Help Center at Self-Help Resources > Collection-Master > How To, Videos, and Software Tips. 


Thank you for taking the time to respond to our poll. We hope it’s crystal clear that Collection-Master is fully supported and enhanced to meet industry needs into the future.


Please go to the vTrivia section and answer the questions based on this article to be entered to win one of our three prizes!

Lessons From an SME

Automation of TALX Hits That Can be Used for Garnishments

A major requirement for garnishment service is that sometimes firms have to serve a Registered Agent location rather than the physical office location where the defendant works.

Q-LawE’s EMPLOYER table can be used to store your Registered Agents. An option is available to import spreadsheets that contain Employer/Registered Agent information to populate the EMPLOYER table. As TALX Hits come in, a WorkNow task will be added to the account for review. The goal of this task is to add a button that the user can select to quickly link the Registered Agent information stored in EMPLOYER to the account.

There are two options to do so:

  • Option #1: In the GAR contact screen, there is a button labeled EMP Lookup. When the user clicks on this button, the logic below will be used to make a decision as to whether this employer has an agent registered in the EMPLOYER table.

Click on image to view larger version.

  • Option #2: A DDAS function can be used that will follow the same logic below.

The logic for both of the above options is as follows:

The system will review the GAR contact’s DNAME.NAME field and DNAME.STATE to compare them to the EMPLOYER table name and state. If a match is found, the system will prompt the user to click “Ok” to auto update the GAR contact with the EMPLOYER table address for service.

A noteline will be created documenting the auto selection of the GAR contact: “The GAR contact was updated to use the employer ID: 99999 with employer name of: ABC Company and state: FL.”

The EMPLOYER table has a field named STATESERVE that lists the state where this Registered Agent location is used (Ex: Florida would be set up as STATESERV = ‘FL’). If a field is not set up, the EMPLOYER.STATE field is used.

When the system finds a matching employer in the EMPLOYER table, before updating the GAR contact, a copy will be saved as a POE (1-9) contact to preserve the original POE sent by TALX.

Events & Happenings

The Mastermind Series

The Mastermind Series, an ongoing program of virtual training sessions presented by Vertican’s top developers and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), has been well underway! Are you missing out?

Topics are developed to help improve clients’ ability to use our platform features and tools effectively and maximize efficiency. So, take advantage of this exceptional opportunity to learn directly from industry trailblazers and Vertican’s visionary developers.

We’re finishing 2022 with the following Mastermind session:

We Want to Hear from You!

Amazon.com gift card design

To embrace spirit of the holidays, Vertican is giving you even more chances to win! As 2022 comes to an end and we begin planning for the new year, we’re focusing on our Mastermind series and would love to hear your feedback!

Complete the survey by Friday, December 16 to be entered to win a $50 Amazon gift card! 3 winners will be chosen at random from those who submit their feedback.

The Latest Conference News

Maggie DiPalma, Director of Marketing, and Maryann Savulich, vExchange Product Owner, are attending the annual Women in Consumer Finance Conference in Palm Springs the week of December 5.

They are excited to be apart of the WCF community, an industry-leading network dedicated to supporting women in leveraging knowledge and recharging their careers, and delivering even greater value to their teams back home!


Isaac Goldman, CEO,  Nicholas Arcaro, SVP of Sales, Kent McCammon, CFO and Head of Corporate Development, and Julia O’Day, Account Manager, are looking forward to attending the RMAi 2023 Annual Conference in Las Vegas!

Will you be there? Follow this link to schedule one-on-one time with Nick or Julia.

Click here for more information on the conference and be on the lookout for an opportunity to schedule a time to meet with the team.

Vertican Help Center

The Vertican Help Center, located on vPortal, provides an extensive amount of resources for our clients to access at any time. Here are a few highlights:

  • Three factors that affect how support cases are prioritized.
    Help Center > Technical Support > Your Expectations > How are support cases prioritized?

  • Emergency Support information (Severity Requirement, Hours, Emergency Contact, and Cost).
    Help Center > Technical Support > The Basics > Emergency Support

  • Step-by-step user guide for Vertican Support Access (VSA).
    Help Center > Self-Help Resources > VSA Help

We also want to hear from you. Click here to complete the survey and make your voice heard!

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)

📢 Keeping your software up to date is important! Are you getting the latest software version notices?

If you have unsubscribed from our notices, click here to re-subscribe and make sure you hear about all the latest software features and bug fixes!

📢 Have you missed out on any of our recent Masterminds? Below are some suggestions.

Find more information and past session recordings at the Vertican Mastermind page! Mastermind attendance is free but registration is required. The calendar is continuously updated so check back often!

Do you have a topic in mind for a future training session? We want to hear about it. Please send us an email with your suggestion.

In the Spotlight!

Welcome to the section of the Newsletter where we share an inside look at some of Vertican’s amazing team members. This month, we’re pointing the spotlight at Michael Smither and learning more about one of the most recent additions to the VT team!

What is your title and when did you begin working at Vertican? I started with Vertican on October 1, as Senior Legal Counsel. (Read Vertican’s recent press release: Vertican Announces Hiring of Senior Legal Counsel to Protect Intellectual Property).

What sort of work did you do before joining Vertican? In addition to practicing law, I’ve also worked on Capitol Hill and in the financial services industry.

What is a typical day at Vertican like for you? There have really been no typical days so far. I’m working on several very diverse projects, so every day seems to be different.

What do you like most about working for Vertican? No doubt, my favorite thing about working for Vertican so far is the people! It’s truly a terrific group of people!

If you could learn anything new, what would it be? My daughters recently gave me a guitar as a birthday gift. Now I just need to find the time to learn how to play it!

What was your very first job and how old were you? My first job (other than mowing lawns for the neighbors) was picking up the driving range balls at a local golf course. I was that guy driving around in the range machine.

What is something about you that may surprise your colleagues? After graduating from law school and before starting work as a new lawyer, I went on a motorcycle trip across the country for six weeks, hitting every Western state and parts of Canada. An absolutely amazing experience!

What (else) do you like to do outside of work? I like to pull for University of Virginia (UVA) sport teams, though sometimes this can be disappointing.

Do you have a favorite movie, artist and/or book?

Movie: Raising Arizona

Music: REM (best rock band of all time!)

Book: A River Runs Through It and Other Stories by Norman Maclean

Please share a favorite quote. “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Software Tip

Zone Security

Overview

If you weren’t aware of this feature, you can access Zone Security by going to screen [4-1-S-6-1]. You can use this feature to block and allow certain users access to any selected area of a claim. For example, many firms would use this feature to block creditor numbers and other sensitive information. This would be controlled via Zone 1, which covers all Collector information. (Screen [4-1-S-6-1] has a list of all Zone numbers with the areas they cover.)

User Group Access

In the Zone Security Grid screen, Zone Security can also be altered by controlling access via the user group, as opposed to individual users. This may be a more convenient option for most firms.

In this screen, you would simply control the level of access to each Zone by setting user group access to “Y” for yes or “N” for no. As you can see below, for Path 1-1, Zones 1, 6, and 8 are set to ”N”. This would cover any Collector, Accounting, and Account Card fields while within the claim.

The *** or Everyone Group provides the default Zones that will be assigned to all users. Vertican recommends that you assign “N” to every Zone for the Everyone group.

Click on image to view larger version.

The Help Manual includes all the default values of Zones within a claim. For example, here is a screenshot from the Help Manual for the Debtor Demographics. You can see that most of the fields on this screen are within Zone 1, but some are in Zone 3.

Click on image to view larger version.

Based on the security we set up above, users will not be able to modify any of the fields in Zone 1 as those fields are set to “N” in Zone Security. However, the Srv field is in Zone 3 as indicated in the screenshot above.

In the screenshot below, the Srv field can be modified because Zone 3 is set to “Y”. If you wanted to prevent users from modifying the Srv field, then Zone 3 can be set to “N” as well. Users would be able to see the fields but not modify fields in any Zone that is set to “N”.

Click on image to view larger version.

You can change where a specific field is currently zoned by creating a ZONES.INI in the CUSTOM directory. Here you will enter the field and the desired Zone and any settings to that Zone will be respected.

In the example ZONES.INI below you can see that DEBTOR.BKCY_FILENO was moved to Zone 1, even though the default is Zone 3.

Click on image to view larger version.

Software Tip

Talk Off Scripts

Did you know you could create scripts for your collectors or account managers to utilize when speaking with a consumer or third-party?

“Talk offs” are scripts that can be used for outgoing and incoming phone calls. These scripts can be customized for the different scenarios that occur when receiving phone calls or making outgoing phone calls to consumers. Talk off script setup can be completed in the Maintenance menu under [Setup talk offs].  Once in the menu, you will see the existing talk offs scripts.

Click on image to view larger version.

Setting Up Talk Off Scripts

To add a new talk off, select [Edit], choose [Add new], select [Yes] to add a new talk off or [No] to discontinue. The selected talk off will be duplicated. Select [Edit] to assign a unique code up to 10 characters, an optional stage name to correspond with the stage of the file, an optional substage category to further define where the case stands, and an optional detailed description for even further clarification.

When customizing your talk offs, merge fields are available to help make your scripts more personal. Selecting the [Insert field] will bring up a list of the most commonly used merges. If you insert a merge field that uses the wordmerg database, a conversion to the program custom field string is needed, i.e., if the debtor’s first name and last name is selected from the list, it will be added as <<ALLTRIM(WORDMERG.D1FNAME)>> <<ALLTRIM(WORDMERG.D1NAME)>>. This will cause an error. This can be converted to the actual program string, <<ALLTRIM(CONTACTSEEK(“DEB”,”1”,”FNAME”))>> <<ALLTRIM(CONTACTSEEK(“DEB”,”1”,”LNAME”))>>. Should you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Client Services.

Once you have completed customizing the script, be sure to check the box next to “This talk off is active”. This will activate the script so your users can now access it. If for any reason you do not want a talk off script available to users any longer, it can be deactivated.

Click on image to view larger version.

Using Talk Off Scripts

From the accounts in both Q-Law and Q-LawE, talk off scripts can be generated from the Main Work Case screen or in the Call screen.

Main Work Case Screen

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Call Screen

Click on image to view larger version.

Click on image to view larger version.

Software Tip

The Future of vMedia: SQL Server

This tip is for vMedia Admin users.

The future of vMedia points us towards using SQL Server as a backend database engine. In order to provide the security and protection many need for their data, switching to SQL Server will put you on the right path. While the actual installation and backend configuration is beyond the scope of this tip, a brief overview of using it in vMedia will give you a better understanding of why it’s the best route for the future.

More Storage

Without SQL Server, there’s a limit on storage capacity. While a million records may seem like a lot, a small office can reach that limit in a few years. On the other hand, a very large shop would find it hard to reach the limits of SQL Server in a reasonable time frame.

Better Security

SQL Server is very secure. Unless you have specific user name and password information, unauthorized access to your data is nearly impossible. Furthermore, vMedia can secure access with a randomly-generated password.

Access to SQL Server

There are two types of access to the SQL Server. The options may be confusing, so here’s some help.

Option 1 – User/Password:

If you have only one vMedia database, we suggest that you use a simple connection. Once a SQL Server database container is set up, follow the steps for connecting it that are listed in the Help Manual > Setup > Database Configuration > Configuration: SQL Settings.

  • Make sure that the Windows Authentication check box is clear, with no check mark.

  • Fill in the SQL User Name and Password fields.

  • Click the OK button.

Click on image to view larger version.

The information will be saved in a special DSNX file. The DSNX file is similar to the normal DSN file but instead of keeping the data in a plain text format, like the following:

Click on image to view larger version.

It stores it as encrypted data that looks like this:

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As you can see, figuring out what’s in a DSNX file would be tough unless someone could guess your password.

Password Management

That’s where the next layer of security begins. vMedia can randomly generate a password and automatically change it after a set period of days. In the example below, the box is checked to have the application automatically change the password and the duration of days can be set with the toggle.

Click on image to view larger version.

Your SQL database administrator (DBA) can always change your password if necessary, but otherwise your password is unknown to anyone except the computers; and they’re not telling anyone.

Option 2 – Shared Access:

With Shared access, multiple vMedia databases can share the same SQL access information (user name and password). The information for shared access is stored in a local table as encrypted data, which can be used for any number of vMedia databases.

Setting one up is very similar to setting up a normal SQL Connection, with the addition of an Entry Name that you use to share between databases.

Click on image to view larger version.

vTrivia Contest

October / November 2022 Winners

Congratulations to the winners!

Jennifer Hester – Cooling and Winter

Alanna Martinez – Snow & Sauerteig LLP

Chris Van Mill – Lloyd & McDaniel, PLC

They were randomly selected for having answered the following questions correctly:

1. What are the three zodiac signs for fall? Libra, Scorpio, & Sagittarius

2. What country did Halloween originate from? Ireland

3. What is the Full Moon which occurs closest to the Autumnal Equinox called? The Harvest Moon

4. What year did Starbucks introduce their Pumpkin Spice Latte? 2003

Winners had the choice of one of these prizes:

Congratulations again to our three winners!

December 2022 / January 2023 Contest

Can you answer this month’s quiz?

Three winners will be chosen at random from correctly everyone answering all four vTrivia questions based on this issue’s Product Story. Complete the answer form below and good luck! Contest ends January 31, 2023, at 5 p.m. (ET)

    1. Which statement is the best example of actionable feedback you can provide to improve Collection-Master? (Choose 1)

    2. During the November 9 Mastermind session, John Currey and Nicholas Arcaro took 3 polls. According to the third poll, on average what do firms find most important?

    3. Provide an example of Account Management services provided to Diamond and Platinum clients outlined above.

    4. True or False: Collection-Master will be fully supported and enhanced to meet industry needs in the foreseeable future.

    Prize selection (see below for descriptions and select one)

    First Name

    Last Name

    Company Name

    Your Email

    Your Title

    December / January vTrivia Prizes Up for Grabs

    White Noise Machine

    CUSTOMIZED SOUND EXPERIENCE: With two-speed options for adjustable tone and volume, making it simple to create a personalized sound environment, excellently masking background noise and allowing for better sleep, office privacy, effective soothing for kids and babies, and calming for sound-sensitive dogs.

    Blink Outdoor 2 Camera Kit

    Wireless, battery-powered HD security camera that helps you monitor your home day or night with infrared night vision.

    Bissell Portable Carpet Cleaner

    Tackles tough pet spots and stains with strong spray and powerful suction

    📢 vConnect will be continuing a bi-monthly publication schedule. Have a Happy New Year and we'll see you in February!