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The Monthly Vertican Newsletter - June 2021

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Issac's Essentials

A Canceled Phrase: Garbage In, Garbage Out – How Data with Integrity is Guiding VT’s Development

Isaac Goldman

A few weeks ago, I boarded a plane bound for Florida to attend the NCBA conference. As I settled into my seat, instinctively putting my tray in the upright position, a slew of things ran through my mind. Things like my trip itinerary, upcoming appointments, associates I needed to connect with at the conference. While I focused intently on a litany of priorities, there was one thing I didn’t really think about. Something, to put it lightly, critical to my trip barely crossed my mind: getting there safely.

After all, if I had an ounce of doubt in the airline’s ability to bring me to my destination without harm, why would I spend the money (never mind the risk!) to use their service? There was a good faith – yet a serious expectation – I enjoyed as the customer that anything less would have been unacceptable. Whether or not a promise of safety was advertised, this is without a doubt an airline industry standard.

When a company successfully delivers on its brand promise every single time its clients interact with it, the stronger the trust and value of that brand. I’ve never met someone who stumbled upon excellence. It’s an understatement to say it takes years of commitment and work to yield that expected experience – and yield it consistently.

In Vertican-past, we would utter the mantra, garbage in, garbage out. This notion meant the onus was on our clients to use our tools properly to avoid mistakes. Of course, as a platform user you must learn the product and apply that knowledge to do your job well. And as a software provider our stance was that we were merely the carrier of the package. We could deliver the goods and be responsible for the round-trip, non-stop service, but the contents within were not really our concern.

Since then, the business has changed and now that phrase is eliminated from our vocabulary. As the custodians of our clients’ data, Vertican is making a promise to not only deliver it securely, but to help ensure the data has integrity … every time.

A significant way we are doing this is through vExchange and our partnership with one of our large Senders by “building gates.” When the Sender forwards claims to law firms, they provide a series of rules that are broken into categories. That’s where we have come in to build out gates to ensure that firms are submitting data that meets the Sender’s preset requirements.

To expand on this functionality, gates are filters we design to exclude or prevent any pollution of data not meeting the level of integrity required by the client. When the client sends a file using vExchange, the gates programmatically read the contents of that file and make sure several conditions are met before we process it – and the key here is before.

A specific example is when an affidavit request is sent by a firm to its Sender. We have various gate rules in the affidavit category to address pre-established requirements. So a step in Vertican meeting its brand promise of data with integrity is enforcing that law firms are adhering to what the Sender needs to fulfill requests.

Whether it’s an affidavit, a payment, or anything that’s a compliance risk for a Sender, the gate rules will perform one of two tasks: 1) block or reject inaccurate or incomplete data, or 2) be that last checkpoint to ensure the data is cleansed and meets what they need. Either of the two scenarios minimizes risk and validates compliance while preserving the important flow of accurate information into our financial system.

Vertican’s analysts and developers are working with Senders and continually examining our gates so bad data doesn’t slip through the cracks. And we are constantly working to improve efficiencies and redundancies.

We are also in this next iteration of EDIs, called DTPs, within a single interface. vExchange allows different languages and the different adapters to send data (i.e., data in the YGC standard), where it gets translated from its native form through vExchange, cleansed through the gates, and finally dispatched to the Sender.

This advanced engineering allows us to do a multi-threaded process where we have various streams of data from Senders going out to multiple streams of Receivers. Our vision is to include third-party vendor management in that data flow as well.

Data that is unreliable even to the most minute detail is unacceptable when it’s for the greater good. If we can improve the level of integrity with the data within the Vertican ecosystem then, by virtue of association, we can improve the debt collection industry exponentially!

This means at times Receivers will be responsible for modifying data to meet their Senders’ requirements, and we’re here to help at every gate. Rejection of data is not a bad thing. It means the system is protecting both parties. The gate rules are saving you time in the long run from dealing with the costly repercussions of errors and non-compliance. And the vExchange standard is keeping the Vertican brand promise of data with integrity, ultimately optimizing your profitability. I invite you to take the ride with us.

Think about all of this the next time you get on a plane (with the world thankfully resuming activities, it may be sooner than later). Think about how absolutely imperative it is that your airline corrects all of the potential problems before you even set foot in the airport.

As any company ventures to scale forward, there needs to be accountability. Not some accountability. Not accountability most of the time. But a standard that converts an expectation to an experience every time.

Vertican’s brand promise addresses our great responsibility, and it’s been guiding much of our decision-making. It may require extra time and extra steps to adhere to and maintain “a standard.” But it’s no longer our goal to just provide uninterrupted service. Vertican stopped being solely a software tool a long time ago. We are a resource, a proactive guardian committed to delivering data with integrity among clients and within the financial system at large.

Lessons from an SME

How to Secure Data in Collection-Master

The world is compliance-crazy and client requirements are changing faster than the price of Bitcoin. So, keeping your business-critical software up-to-date is essential, particularly Collection-Master. Yet to do this in Collection-Master, you only need to run the latest version to benefit from Vertican’s ongoing software enhancements.

The introduction of Secure Data in Collection-Master has implemented significant features in compliance and security, allowing administrators to implement security protocols that restrict end-users from having direct access to sensitive data files. With the appropriate implementation and utilization of best practices, your office will:

  • Have enhanced protection against crypto and other viruses due to direct access to critical data folders being limited, significantly reducing the potential infections.

  • Mapless drives allow for greater security and compliance with critical data folders now available to be kept outside of F:.

  • Limit the data that can be moved/deleted (accidentally or maliciously) by users.

  • Secure Data also allows for more targeted backups with the following advantages:

    • Backups of critical data folders are faster and more efficient.

    • Can be performed more frequently to ensure more reliable and up-to-date data in the event of a restoration.

    • Secure Data is not bogged down with potentially large directories such as OUTPUT.

  • Implementing Secure Data requires the use of the Client-Server.

  • Due to the nature of Secure Data and the drives not being accessible to the end-user, ODBC will no longer function with its implementation.

Secure Data Configuration

Secure Data allows administrators to implement security protocols restricting end-users from being able to directly access sensitive data files.

As always, it is highly recommended that you have an accurate and reliable BACKUP prior to upgrading or changing your system. BE SURE it is a complete and verified backup. It is also suggested to first configure Secure Data in a test environment to ensure that any custom programming is compatible.

  1. Install Collection-Master 9.1 or higher

  2. IMPORTANT: Before beginning to configure Secure Data ensure the following:

    1. All users are out of Collection-Master.

      1. Verify this through the Task Manager on the server that now processes such as BRServer.exe, br64.exe, etc. are running.

    2. Automated tasks, such as SQL_SYNC and Export2CM are temporarily disabled.

    3. QMonitor is not running.

  3. On the server, run F:CLSINCBATCHMove_2_Secure_Data.bat to move the COMMON/DATA/HISTORY/PERM & SHARE directories to the Secure Data location.

    1. Type CONFIRM to be able to proceed with the move to Secure Data.

      1. Note: Must be in all caps.

        Click on image to view larger version.
        Type CONFIRM

    2. Path of Collection-Master installation will automatically be designated.

    3. Path of Secure Data (e.g. S:CMDATA) must be specified by the user.

      1. Note: Mapped drive or UNC path can be provided.

        Click on image to view larger version.
        Path of Secure Data must be specified by the user

    4. Confirm that the Secure Data location is accurate.

      1. Y – Begins the move to Secure Data5.

      2. N – Allows you to re-enter the Secure Data location.

      3. Note: Must be an uppercase letter.

        Click on image to view larger version.
        Confirm that the Secure Data

    5. Script will move the following directories using Robocopy:

      1. COMMON

      2. DATA

      3. HISTORY

      4. PERM*

      5. SHARE

    6. A log file documenting the move of the directories will be created and can be found in F:CLSINCMove_2_Secure.log.

  4. MapDrive._CS must be manually configured to point to the location of the Secure Drive to be used. Below is a sample configuration assuming a Collection-Master installation of F:CLSINC and a Secure Data path of S:CMDATA

    Click on image to view larger version.
    Rem Start of CM-SETUP

  5. Enter Collection-Master and validate trust accounts [2-S-3-F4] to auto-correct the change in the path name.

IMPORTANT: Implementing Secure Data requires the use of Client-Server. Ensure that any shortcuts defined are pointing to a Client-Server executable (BRClient.exe, BRClient64.exe, BRClient32.exe).

NOTE: Due to the nature of Secure Data and the drives not being accessible to the end-user, ODBC will no longer function with its implementation.

If you have any custom programming that is not currently compatible with Secure Data, contact our Client Services department to review the affected programs and determine the appropriate course of action.

Read the complete article.

Product Stories

EZ Messenger for Q-LawE

On May 21,2021, Vertican announced its collaboration with EZ Messenger for the Q-LawE Platform. While you may have received the press release announcement, we want to make sure you understand how essential this feature is to your firm.

EZ Messenger logoThe US is made up of over 3,000 counties, and a similar number of local county courts. When attorneys need to file a lawsuit, they are required to file in the proper jurisdiction. Q-LawE contains a county lookup tool that compares the zip code and county to the list of courts. This is a widely used tool in many states as it accurately determines the appropriate jurisdiction. Numerous states have overlapping zip codes within jurisdictions, city names, townships, or are just dictated by county accessor’s office. These states include Ohio, Michigan, Arizona, Texas and, in some areas of California.

In many cases, firms must call the courts to determine the venue. This requires hours of manual labor. Since courts limit the number of cases they will answer in a single phone call, this can be not only be time consuming but costly to the firm.

To save our clients time and cost, Vertican has collaborated with EZ Messenger to integrate their product, EZ Venue, with the Q-LawE platform.

What is EZ Venue?

EZ Venue was developed to simplify the time-consuming and costly process of locating and selecting the proper jurisdiction or court venue for filing cases.

EZ Venue was initially developed by EZ Messenger in 2012 for a client in Texas, where venue identification can be unclear and time-consuming. Since that time, EZ Venue has grown to encompass more than 35 states and is the gold standard in venue identification.

With the integration of EZ Venue into the Q-LawE platform, law firms can now vastly reduce the time spent finding and verifying the correct venue to file suit in as it will be an integral part of the Q-LawE case production process.

EZ Venue provides the ability to tailor court mapping for clients who need to customize the venue’s results for their cases directly into the Q-LawE process. EZ Venue can also provide custom venue mapping that will exclude certain courts and even indicate whether to file up to a county or district court in place of a justice court, all as defined by the user.

What does this mean for Vertican clients?

Q-LawE clients can take advantage of this integration free of charge with subscription pricing. Saving hours of manual labor, our clients can enjoy the simplicity of automation. It’s even easy to use! Within the software, users can add a venue selection task to the account. Job Scheduler will then send that list of accounts to EZ Venue, and it will generate the appropriate venue. Lastly, it will return the court code for the account back to Q-LawE.

Vertican is excited to introduce this integration to our clients. Not only will it save a substantial amount of time and cost, but it comes at no extra cost and the installation is simple. Contact our Client Success team to get your firm up to speed.

Mastermind Training Series continues on June 9th

 

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 underway! Are you missing out?

Topics are developed to help improve clients’ ability to use our platform features and tools effectively and maximize efficiency. Here’s a glimpse at our upcoming sessions: (details coming soon)

Attendance is complimentary but advanced registration is required. The calendar is continuously updated; to learn more on these and other training sessions being offered click here.

Take advantage of  this exceptional opportunity to learn directly from industry trailblazers and Vertican’s visionary developers.

We’re looking forward our trip to Stowe, Vermont for the Executive Summit 2021, August 2-4.
Planning to attend? Schedule time to meet and catch up with Isaac Goldman, CEO, and Nicholas Arcaro, SVP of Sales by clicking here.

Welcome to the section of the Newsletter where we share an inside look at some of Vertican’s amazing team members. This issue of vConnect focuses the spotlight on Patricia Reyna and Anthony Strahn.

Patricia Renya

Patricia’s key role with Vertican Technologies is as a Client Success Representative. We talked with her about her work at Vertican and learned more about her personal side.

What sort of work did you do before having joined Vertican? Customer Services mostly.

What is a typical day at Vertican like for you? A typical day for me is coffee, follow up on any open tickets from the day before, and, with Covid restrictions, scheduling with the newer technicians so they can shadow me.

What do you like most about working for Vertican? My teammates are incredible teachers and are always willing to help, regardless of how busy they may be. I’m learning every day, our products are very robust, always evolving and expanding. Love the challenge.

If you could learn anything new, what would it be? Woodworking. I would love to make my own furniture.

What was your very first job and how old were you? I worked at McDonald’s at the age of 14.

What is something about you that may surprise your colleagues?  I recently became a pescatarian which is basically adding fish and seafood to a vegetarian diet.

What (else) do you like to do outside of work?  I have a 3 ½ year old Schnoodle named Dexter that I love to take long walks. I also like to experiment with new food combinations just so I can feed those around me (no complaints so far).

Share something exciting you did in the last 12 months. I travelled to Rhode Island to visit with family who live out there. Unfortunately, due to Covid, many places were still closed so there wasn’t a whole lot to do. But I did enjoy dining at a few of the seafood restaurants for which the area is well-known.

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

Movie: Any of the Disney classics, such as Aladdin, Lion King, and Mulan. I also love Documentaries.

Music: Music is life! I love it all. Few favorites, Bob Marley, The Police, Anita Baker, Jay-Z, and Drake.

Book:How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent” & “In the Time of the Butterflies” By Julia Alvarez

Please share a favorite quote. “You are not the world; the world is in you.” – Deepak Chopra

Vertican employees logo

Anthony Strahn

Anthony’s key role with Vertican Technologies is as Service Group Leader, Business Analysis. We took this opportunity to get to know more about not only Anthony’s position at Vertican, but what he enjoys doing outside of work.

What sort of work did you do before having joined Vertican? Prior to working at Vertican, I worked for a Collection Law Firm. I started off as a Collector, moved on to a Collection Manager, and then to IT Manager.

What is a typical day at Vertican like for you? A typical day often feels like a combination of a detective and firefighter at the same time. There is always a puzzle to solve as a business analyst, but we need to be agile enough to address any fires or priority issues, as they arise.

What do you like most about working for Vertican?   The fact that there is never a dull day.

If you could learn anything new, what would it be?  Bladesmithing (the art of making knives, swords, and blades using a forge, hammer, anvil, and smithing tools). I’ve always had an interest in forging.

What was your very first job and how old were you? Stone’s Ace Hardware, working in the plumbing department. I was 14.

What is something about you that may surprise your colleagues?  I was born two months early to the day, which happened to be both Good Friday and April Fool’s Day. Can you imagine how that conversation went with family members back in the day before modern technologies like cell phones and digital photos? “Congratulations, you’re a grandparent!” “Yeah, yeah – April Fool’s.” “No really, you’re a grandparent, not a joke!”

What (else) do you like to do outside of work?  Spend time with friends and family. Could be anything from doing a science experiment with the kids, having a social get together, or just relax to a good movie.

Share something exciting you did in the last 12 months. Well, with a pandemic, my definition of exciting has had to adapt. I would say having a small purchase turn into remodeling half of the house was the biggest excitement that I’ve had recently. As for upcoming excitement, I have travel plans with the family to Ukraine and Cyprus.

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

Movie: Lord of the Rings

TV: Doctor Who (David Tennant and Tom Baker are my favorite Doctors)

Music: U2

Favorite Authors:

  • Fiction: Weis and Hickman, Robert Jordan, R.R Tolkien, A. Salvatore, and Robert Jordan

  • Non-Fiction: John Maxwell, Gary Chapman, and Florence Littauer

Please share a favorite quote.

  • The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” – Various

  • Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

Software Tips collection Master

Time Zones

The laws regarding collections specify the hours of the day in which collections may be attempted. This program allows users to set up valid collection hours for each time zone, relative to their location. Once the hours have been set up, Collection-Master prompts the user to review the claim or the diary item outside of the valid collection hours.

Security policy MAST:WARN_TZ  must be set to “N” for this warning feature to function. Setting the security policy to “N” allows time zone warnings to appear.

The Time Zone feature is accessed via the [1-S-4-Z] path.

By entering the zip code into the “Your Zip Code” field, the time zone fields fill in with the default hours of 8:00 am to 9:00 pm.  Manually override the default hours by simply typing in the hours desired for both early (a.m.) and late (p.m.).

Click on image to view larger version.
Collection Master tip Time Zone Set Up

Collection-Master automatically calculates the time zone based on the zip code entered for each debtor.

Once time zones are set up, Collection-Master shows a warning message if the user attempts to review a claim outside of the valid collection hours for that time zone based on the zip code. The user must click “ok” to bypass this message.

Click on image to view larger version.
Collection Master tip Time Zone Set Up Click okay

When a user accesses the Call Screen (Ctrl+F12) on a claim outside of the valid collection hours for that time zone based on the zip code, Collection-Master shows a warning message. The message notifies the user that calls are currently restricted in this time zone. The user must answer yes or no to the prompted question.

Click on image to view larger version.
Collection Master tip Time Zone Set Up continue call

If a debtor’s zip code is not in a restricted time zone, but the debtor’s area code is in a restricted time zone, a warning message will appear when the call screen is accessed.  The warning message instructs the user not to make a call due to time zone constraints. The user must click “ok” to bypass this message.

Click on image to view larger version.
Collection Master tip Time Zone Set Up constraints

More detailed information on this topic can be found in the Collection-Master Help Manual.

Software tips q law

Default a Cost Code to Never Charge the Debtor (QL/QLE)

Did you know that you can default a cost code to never charge the Debtor? It is a very simple process. Here’s how:

To update the cost code, from the Main Menu, [Bookkeeping]. Then, [Cost code matrix].

Click on image to view larger version.
Bookkeeping Screen

Select the cost code that should not be charged to the Debtor. Once selected, tab over to the Chgdebt column and type “N”. When the column is left blank, it automatically defaults to “Y.”

Click on image to view larger version.
Chrgdebt column of the cost code matrix

If “N” is in the Chrgdebt column of the cost code matrix, when the cost code is selected, it will automatically default the Charge cost to debtor acct & paycard box unchecked. This will keep the Debtor from being charged costs.

Click on image to view larger version.
Cost Account Disbursements screen

vMedia Software Tips

Change the Print to vMedia Document Output Format

Here’s how to change the Print to vMedia document output format.

C:IMASTERPTVProperty.EXE

Click on image to view larger version.
Window

Run PTVProperty.EXE from C:IMASTER and select the desired document format under “Save Document as” (TIF or PDF).

Click on image to view larger version.
PTV Settings

enter to win

June 2021 Contest

Can you answer this month’s quiz?

This month our trivia highlights everything good in the month of June. Let’s celebrate!
Three winners will be chosen at random from everyone answering all four questions correctly.

1. June 25th is National [fill in the blank] Day.

2. What is June 19, 1865 referred to as?

3. What year was June declared LGBT Pride month?

4. The first Father’s day took place on (MM/DD/YYYY)?

This contest has ended. Please check the July 2021 vConnect newsletter for the winners.

This month's prizes

Camcorder

Camcorder

Video Camera Camcorder Full HD 1080P 30FPS 24.0 MP IR Night Vision Vlogging Camera Recorder

Levitating Plant Holder

Levitating Plant Holder

Magnetic Levitation Air Bonsai Pot, Mini Sky-Garden Rotating Flower Pot Planter  (Dark Wood)

Whiskey and Rum Making Kit

Whiskey and Rum Making Kit

Age scotch whiskey, spiced rum, or a full-bodied Kentucky bourbon to your taste with this handsome cask.

May 2021 Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the May contest!

Daniel Potts, Lloyd & McDaniel

Kelly Warren, Portfolio Recovery Associates

Patrick Wirth, Saldutti Law Group

The answers to the May trivia questions:

1. The most famous horse race in the United States takes place on the first Saturday in May each year (except 2020). Name it.

The Kentucky Derby

2. According to an old Cornish superstition, it is unlucky to buy what in May?

A broom

3. What famous United States building opened on May 1, 1931?

Empire State Building

4. What was vConnect’s very first vTrivia prize? (There were 10 winners!)

Vertican branded Tile Mate

The winners had the choice of one of these three prizes: 

Nespresso

Nespresso

Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine Bundle with Aeroccino Milk Frother by De’Longhi Graphite Metal

Powermask by Silentmode

Kindle Paperwhite – 32 GB

The thinnest, lightest Kindle Paperwhite yet—with a flush-front design and 300 ppi glare-free display that reads like real paper even in bright sunlight. Comes with a $50 amazon gift card.

Kindle Paperwhite

Powermask by Silentmode

True blackout, designed microfiber, machine washable, memory foam, super sonic sound, noise isolation, 24 hour battery life.