Frequently Asked Questions

This area will provide answers to the most frequently asked questions about Quantrax, RMEx (formerly Intelec) and the the IBM iSeries (formerly called the AS/400). The key areas discussed relate to the following. You can skip directly to an item by clicking on it.

Is RMEx a complete system or will it integrate with an existing collection system?

RMEx is a complete collection system that also has an integrated dialer. It will replace your existing system. Quantrax will develop a data conversion to map your information from your present system to RMEx. Quantrax will also assist you in converting some of the custom programs you may have developed, to work with RMEx. Many users find that RMEx will provide most of the required functionality, but there is always the possibility that you have some special processing that will need to be analyzed, and potentially handled through a custom modification.

Can we keep our database and use RMEx’s knowledge-based technology to add “intelligence” to our system?

RMEx’s “thinking” and intelligent features require access to RMEx’s data base. Circumstances are evaluated and decisions are made based on information stored within RMEx. Converting this technology to work with another system is extremely complex and could be compared to developing a new system. Once an organization understands the design and features of RMEx, they usually have no concerns with converting from their existing system to RMEx.

How long does is take to set up the knowledge base in RMEx?

Setting up and changing the knowledge base goes on as long as your business needs change. We initially recommend setting up basic Smart Codes with logic to move accounts to different people, and logic to close accounts. Other rules can be developed as you learn more about RMEx and how you want to manage your business. Remember, it is easier to make good plans and then set up RMEx than to set up the system quickly and change everything because you did not plan correctly. We recommend that a company allocates about 6 to 8 weeks for the initial setup of the system.

What is the “average conversion time”?

A typical conversion usually consists of a “data conversion”, management and operator training, and setup of the new system (knowledge base, letters, rules, collector options etc.) The data conversion refers to programs that map the data from your existing system to RMEx’s format – It will be simple or complex, depending on your ability to provide file layouts, test data etc. as well as the complexity of your present system. Since you may want to use the conversion to “clean up” some of the data you have, you may need to understand the options available within RMEx prior to providing us with specifications. E.g. Some clients may wish to separate “newer” accounts from the “older” accounts at the time of conversion, so they can be separately grouped and worked. In a well-planned conversion, a thoroughly tested conversion could be developed in about 30 – 45 days.

With regard to the time taken to set up the system, this can vary significantly depending on the client. Quantrax will usually provide 3 – 4 days of high-level management training shortly after the hardware has been installed and key management personnel have had an opportunity to review some of the on-line training modules. Some companies like to start with a well-planned, feature-rich knowledge base with many automated processes. We always suggest starting with a relatively simple system that can be built upon as users become more familiar with the knowledge-based concept. Provided management devotes the necessary time to the conversion effort (about an hour a day at the early stages and 3 – 4 hours towards the latter stages), a functional system can be set up on about 6 weeks. At this time, you would be “ready to convert”. During the time prior to conversion, the on-line training modules would be used to make collectors and accounting personnel more familiar with the system. Quantrax would also be available to respond to questions with regard to operational or system issues. At the time of conversion, Quantrax would usually be on site for 4 – 5 days to provide training and support in the different areas of the system.

A sample knowledge base is provided. Can we use most of this?

Most of the information in the test company (Company 98) can be copied into your active companies. This includes Smart Codes, Close Codes and letters.

How flexible is iSeries Security?

The iSeries is arguably one of the finest systems with regard to security. The following is reproduced from the IBM security manuals.

By using security level 50 and following the instructions in the Security – Enabling for C2, SC41-5303-00, you can bring a Version 4 Release 4 iSeries® system to a C2 level of security. C2 is a security standard defined by the U.S. government in the Department of Defense Trusted System Evaluation Criteria (DoD 5200.28.STD). In October, 1995, iSeries formally received a C2 security rating from the United States Department of Defense. The C2 rating is for V2R3 of OS/400, SEU, Query/400, SQL, and Common Cryptographic Architecture Services/400. The C2 rating was awarded after a rigorous, multi-year period of evaluation. iSeries is the first system to achieve a C2 rating for a system (hardware and operating system) with an integrated, full-function database.

In 1999, iSeries received a C2 rating for Version 4 Release 4 of OS/400 (with feature code 1920), SEU, Query/400, SQL, TCP/IP Utilities, Cryptographic Access Provider, and Advanced Series Hardware. A limited set of TCP/IP communication functions between iSeries, attached to a local area network, were included in the evaluation. To achieve a C2 rating, a system must meet strict criteria in the following areas:

  • Discretionary access control
  • User accountability
  • Security auditing
  • Resource isolation

What about security within the application?

RMEx has many features that allow a user to control or restrict access to accounts and information within those accounts based on what access level a user is assigned. This allows you to meet your internal security objectives as well as requirements mandated by your clients.

Can important information be encrypted?

RMEx automatically encrypts key information relating to credit cards, bank information and a all social security numbers. When information is backed up, it is the encrypted data that gets saved. Complete backups (all data) can also be encrypted using different 3rd party products (there are hardware and software-based solutions).

How strong is the encryption?

We offer 128-bit encryption (which is very very strong). Key size can indicate how weak or strong the encryption is. As a general rule, the greater the key size, the better the data is protected (e.g., a 256-bit key generally provides better protection than a 128-bit key). However, this is not always true. For example, data encrypted with the RSA algorithm using a 256-bit key is not as safe as data encrypted using the AES algorithm using a 128-bit key.

What is the algorithm used for encryption within RMEx?

The algorithm used within RMEx is the Rijndael Algorithm in Counter mode of operation. Important features of this algorithm are as follows:

  • Supports key lengths of 64 bits,128 bits or 256 bits.
  • Symmetric Algorithm (Same key is used for encryption and decryption)
  • It is free and not patented
  • It is the algorithm that is considered the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
  • It is a block cipher which encrypts 64 bits blocks at a time.
  • Counter mode of operation allows the block cipher to work as a stream cipher. Thus the input length does not have to be a multiple of block size.

What is the best encryption technology?

In 2000, NIST sponsored a competition to identify the best available encryption algorithm. The Rijndael algorithm won the competition hands down. This algorithm has been designated as the current advanced encryption standard (AES). AES is a good choice for protecting ePHI. The most widely used public-key algorithm is RSA. But this algorithm is not a good choice for protecting ePHI because it is much slower than AES. However, RSA is an excellent choice for encrypting electronic signatures and exchanging keys. A newer public-key algorithm is known as “elliptic curve cryptography” (ECC). NIST has specified a preference for ECC over RSA in future government procurement because ECC is believed to be stronger and faster than RSA.

The system allows users to accept and store credit card information for one-time and recurring payments. What about real-time credit card authorization?

Our system will allow a collector to set up a credit card and get a payment authorized for that day, while the debtor is on the phone. This takes a few seconds and greatly reduces the amount of administrative work needed to complete the transaction and have the funds placed in your account. We will work with different payment providers and presently have interfaces to BillingTree (

There is a great deal of focus on PCI certification. How do Quantrax and its partners help companies with regards to these requirements?

Our responsibility is to provide technology that is safe and secure. We believe that security and compliance requirements will change with time. We will respond accordingly to the different types of security requirements. In addition to the requirements within your software (e.g. encryption of sensitive data), each agency has to meet certain requirements based on their volumes. This will be the responsibility of each company. While we will work with any merchant service provider selected by our clients, we have created and tested interfaces with the provider BillingTree. These include batch processes, real-time credit card authorization and interfaces for electronic checks. We have had our clients ask about what they should look for in a company that provides merchant services. While the choice of vendor is yours, following is the type of information provided by Billing Tree with regard to their qualifications to provide services to our clients. ‘BillingTree is a Best Practices member of NACHA which ensures security compliance while operating in the ACH Network. Regarding Credit Card Security, BillingTree is finalizing a Level 1 PCI DSS certification, which will occur annually, and is also pursuing ISO 27001 certification. BillingTree understands the need for diligence and best practices concerning information data security. We endeavor to comply with industry best practices ensuring the security of our data systems as well as the continuance of our business in the event of a disaster. We are pursuing these certifications through third-party audits in order to provide these assurances to our partners and clients. When necessary, we verify our partners continued adherence to the appropriate data security standards (PCI, NACHA compliance) and their third party certification(s).”

What are the advantages of an integrated solution between Quantrax and a company such as BillingTree?

BillingTree’s integrations create efficiency. From the collectors on the front that get to take the payment within our system and get a real-time confirmation, to the accounting department that receives the auto posting, BillingTree’s goal is to automate and open as many payment channels as possible.

Why do I get so many different types of pricing quotes from different merchant service vendors? Isn’t it all the same?

No, different merchant service providers have different costs. They may be an independent sales organization that does not have a direct relationship with an underwriting bank, which would increase their costs. There may be an instance where a sales representative does not have the collection agency underwritten as a collection agency, that would cut their costs, but put them in jeopardy if the underwriting bank uncovered this (BillingTree says that they run into this all of the time and it is a serious problem and practice that BillingTree does not participate in). BillingTree is much more than a merchant service provider and has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars integrating their gateways with over 45 partners within the ARM industry. BillingTree underwrites collection agencies, and their underwriting banks charge a slight premium because of the perceived risks associated with the ARM industry.

Why do I need to register a DBA (Doing Business As)?

DBA is a way of keeping Visa/MC from giving ARM clients undue scrutiny. Visa/MC perceive collection agencies as high risk business. Our partner BillingTree wants to ensure that they are treating all of our clients fairly and not selecting collection agencies for audits because of the fact that they are a collection agency. It is not a requirement, but a best practice to keep clients processing and avoiding undue scrutiny.

What is the application process like with regard to setting up a relationship with a merchant service provider?

With regard to BillingTree, they initially require the up front underwriting fees outlined in a EULA. Next, BillingTree requires underwriting documents (about 6 items, but may vary by type of company) to be submitted. After that, an application specialist will follow up with the signor and take an application over the phone. They will submit the underwriting packet to underwriting for review which takes about 5 business days. Once approved, the client will be notified and a training time will be established.

Why do companies have to submit so much information?

With reference to BillingTree, they do due diligence in the underwriting process. They have over 1400 collection clients using their services and state that they have never had a client shut down because of bad business. Their underwriters ensure that companies are doing what they say they are doing, are in good financial standing, and going to process by the rules of NACHA or Visa/MC. The underwriting documents help the underwriters confirm that all standards are going to be met and reduce the risk to BillingTree. BillingTree is ultimately responsible for any fraudulent business, and as a result, BillingTree wants to make sure that their clients are not going to put their business in jeopardy.

What about the use of the CVV2 code? Does the use of the CVV2 code effect the rate that you get from a merchant service provider?

No, the CVV2 code does not affect the rate. It is used for added security and also to help with responding to charge backs and inquiries.

How are recurring transactions processed?

Our system will check to see which recurring transactions are ready to process. Once determined, you either send up a batch with all transaction that are ready to process for that day or you can send them individually using a web service and real-time.

How do we run different offices or types of business on RMEx?

RMEx is a multi-company system. On a single database, RMEx can maintain up to 99 different companies. Each company is separate and distinct, with its own security, clients, collectors, accounts and rules. Some companies will convert different locations or business entities into separate companies. In some cases, some lines of business (Student loans, early out operations etc.) can be worked in separate companies.

If we use multiple companies, can we search across companies?

There is security for the access of each company. Even though accounts do not link across different companies you have the ability to allow certain users to display accounts from the different companies when an account search is performed. This can be used in an area such as payment entry.

How long does Nightly Processing take?

This depends on the number of open accounts in your system and the processing power of your AS/400. You can also use features such as Smart Code Series that involve complex logic and increase processing time. If your iSeries is correctly sized, the “dedicated” part of Nightly processing (when no one can use the system), including backup, should take less than 30 minutes to complete.

What about recovery options in the event that there is a problem with Nightly Processing or some other option?

While the processes within RMEx were designed to run without abnormal failures, problems could occur from time to time (e.g. Power outages). In these rare instances, most jobs can be rerun and they will pick up from where they were interrupted. Custom modifications may need to be considered if Nightly Processing has to be restarted.

When do all users have to be off the system?

During normal operations, the only time that RMEx requires users to be off the system is during the dedicated portion of Nightly Processing. (With a correctly sized system, you will probably require less than a 30-minute window for this process.) There is an optional feature within the purge to reorganize files and free up the space used by deleted records. If selected, this operation requires a dedicated system. Even during month-end processing, other users can work. You should not “post” new business or payments until the month-end reset has been completed, since this may place some statistics in incorrect processing periods.

How long does month-end processing take?

Within RMEx, month-end processing and client remittance statements are different processes. These processes were efficiently designed to run very quickly. Month-end processing which consists of running reports, and resetting month-to-date information will usually take less than an hour (and it can be run while other users are on the system). Time to print reports are not included, and we refer to the time taken to complete the processing. Remittance statements can be run after the month-end processing, since this process is date-range specific. The processing for remittance statements will usually take less than 1 hour.

What type of hardware does RMEx require? What is the programming language used?

RMEx was designed for the IBM AS/400 (now called the IBM iSeries) The iSeries offers a complete line of powerful, scalable, easy to manage servers. Most users will opt to attach their server to a PC network, thus obtaining the reliability and security of a midrange computer combined with the range and flexibility of the PC. RMEx is written in RPG/400 and ILE/400. Several graphical user interfaces are available for iSeries applications, offering access to the application through a variety of methods including dial up and the web. The hardware, operating system, database and communications software are all supplied and supported by IBM. This results in very strong integration of the different components, and a reliability that can not be matched.

How many accounts can the system hold?

This will depend on your disk capacity and the amount of information you add to each account. (Number of notes, payment transactions and how you use additional screens) Disk space is relatively inexpensive, and retaining very large volumes of information will not be a problem.

How do I know that I may need more disk space?

If you have purged (Periodically removed from the system) as much information as possible, you should consider more disk space if your total disk utilization is frequently exceeding 70 percent. Having insufficient disk space can restrict your ability to take new accounts and will affect processing time.

What response times will RMEx provide?

Response time usually refers to interactive response – When a user presses a key, how long does it take for the next screen to be displayed? If your system is correctly sized, you should see average local response times that are in the sub-second range. The response times for remote systems will vary depending on a number of different factors. Running batch jobs such as large account loads, posting payments, running Multiple Smart Codes or large reports, could temporarily affect response times. As with most computer systems, managing the number of batch jobs that can run at one time will help with maintaining good response times.

If I have a power failure do I lose everything I did for the day?

With RMEx and the IBM iSeries, the chances are that you will not lose any important information in the event of a power failure. You could lose some of the information that was being processed at the time of the power loss, but all prior transactions should be secure. There is some risk to processes such as payment posting, which is the reason you should have a battery backup to maintain power during a power outage. Even if you did not lose data, the time taken to bring the system back after a sudden power loss could be several hours, and this is not desirable.

What about viruses on the iSeries? How do we protect ourselves?

In the long history of the iSeries and AS/400 family of systems, there has not been a single instance of a virus on any system. (There are about 1,000,000 systems installed worldwide!) Based on the architecture of the operating system and the way the software interacts with the hardware, this is unlikely to change. You must, however, be concerned with personal computers and viruses.

Should I use “dumb terminals” or PC’s?

This depends on your requirements. If you plan to use PC software along with your collection application, you should consider PC’s which can be attached to your server through a network.

Does RMEx have a Graphical User Interface?

Applications on the iSeries traditionally run in the native “green-screen” environment. RMEx is now presented in a graphical environment. This allows RMEx to be used with familiar PC-type screens. (The server continues to be the iSeries) The terminals utilized must be personal computers that would usually be on a network and communicate with the iSeries through a network card.

Is RMEx web-based?

RMEx can be accessed through the internet. This can be accomplished with the graphical interface, which also “web-enables” the product. All you need to securely access your application is a web browser!

How do I move files between the iSeries and a PC?

There are many products that will help you to do this. IBM’s Client Access is one product that will accomplish this.

Why did Quantrax select the IBM iSeries as its hardware platform?

AS/400The IBM iSeries is best described as a “midrange system”. While it is an attractive option for a smaller company, it can also replace a mainframe at the higher end of a product line that offers amazing scalability. While many confidently forecast the “death of the mainframe” in the early 1990’s, PC’s have not taken over the world as was predicted at the time. Mainframes as they existed in 1990 are almost extinct, but many corporate users have accepted the advantages and value of centrally controlled, very predictable and reliable computing systems. That is exactly how the IBM iSeries would be described. Recent excesses and irresponsible spending on technology have resulted in many companies being burdened with several unconnected and poorly-performing applications and computer systems. Today, IBM is well positioned to provide the broad range of services that are being demanded from a single provider in a very technical workplace. The collection environment is no exception, calling for high interactive use, extremely reliable hardware, very stable system software and large volumes of data. Our choice of the iSeries as the hardware platform for RMEx was directly related to the unresolved weaknesses of PC-based systems, IBM’s successful long-term midrange strategy, their growing list of satisfied customers and their dominant position as the greatest technology company in the world.

RMEx is not a Windows-based product. Why should we consider it?

The Windows environment is very popular. But an objective observer must ask if it can really compete with the iSeries when it comes to reliability, security and cost of ownership. As an example, the average down time for the iSeries family’s worldwide installed base (over 1 million installed) is in the range of minutes per year! Most systems have never encountered a single failure. Unlike with a Windows-based system, the iSeries comes prepackaged with an operating system, a powerful DB2 relational database, an Internet server, communications facilities and hardware. All hardware and the core software needed by any computer system are built and supported by a single vendor, IBM, and they work seamlessly with each other. Hence the legendary reliability of this system. There can be no “finger-pointing” in the event of a problem.

As for technology, IBM may have failed to effectively present its technical superiority with regard to the iSeries and AS/400 family. As an example, RMEx was running in a 64-bit architecture when Windows systems were still operating in a 16 or 32-bit mode. The iSeries utilizes a single-level storage model for its addressing. Even today, few PC-based software systems can take advantage of a 64-bit architecture. Why? Because the applications have to be rewritten for the new hardware. This is not true with the iSeries family. The iSeries can run any application and fully utilize its 64-bit architecture because of a technology-independent machine int"Blue screen of death!"erface. This is a layer of computer microcode that acts as a buffer between your applications and iSeries hardware. The applications communicate with this interface and can remain unchanged even if the hardware underneath is dramatically changed. The result? You are offered significant investment protection with the iSeries, because when you upgrade your hardware or the operating system (and this will happen!), you do not have to change all your application software to take advantage of the improvements. The savings in costs and conversion expenses can be dramatic. The cost savings also come from the awesome scalability of of the iSeries. Unlike PC servers, the iSeries lets you grow rapidly without painful and expensive transitions to new systems.

A single iSeries can simultaneously run all the applications you need. Try that on a PC server, and you will often get substandard performance and system crashes. You can manage a complex and expensive network of multiple PC servers running separate applications — or you can run everything on one easy-to-manage AS/400. With all of these advantages, it is not surprising that with the iSeries, the cost of ownership is lower than with a Windows-based system. There are many reasons for this, but the reliability of the system and system architecture are the main reasons.

The iSeries has security that can be described as “airtight”. We all know how vulnerable PC’s are to attacks from the outside world. In the history of the iSeries there has never been a “computer virus” or “security breach” that has affected a single system! This is testimony to the security of the system.

The look and feel of a PC is far superior to the traditional “green screens” on an iSeries. In the collection environment, experienced users will say that a green screen is more productive for a collector. We agree, but we also know that there are advantages to “graphical interfaces” (GUI’s). They feel more comfortable. Our goal — give users the best of both worlds. We can offer a graphical interface with RMEx – The terminals would be PC’s networked and attached to the iSeries via a network card. The application would still run on the iSeries and take advantage of the power, flexibility and savings afforded by the system.

Finally, consider the iSeries for a practical reason. The best collection software available today, runs on the iSeries. (We may be biased on this one, since we are talking about RMEx!) RMEx will offer significant savings on your overheads even if you are currently automated, due to the groundbreaking design of the system. It will give you a level of management control that no other system can approach. The iSeries family has been available for a long time and is projected to be around for many more years. No other hardware platform has enjoyed that longevity and offers such a level of stability. In the medium-term, hardware is a very small fraction of your expenses. People are expensive and make up the largest percentage of your costs. A collection operation has to be evaluated, not based on its hardware costs or specifications, but on how profitable the operation is. Today, most companies cannot increase their fees but they can certainly reduce their expenses and increase efficiencies. RMEx and the iSeries offer technologies that can reduce expenses and increasemprove productivity like no other system can.

What if I want to run Windows or Linux applications on the iSeries?

Most of us are accustomed to having to decide on one operating system for the hardware we select. Depending on the applications we run, we can therefore end up with multiple operating systems, and multiple servers. This creates a complex infrastructure and many different systems that need to be managed and backed up. With the new iSeries platform, mutiple operating systems are supported on a single hardware platform. IBM describes it as “…. reducing complexity and improving flexibility and productivity with a highly integrated and highly secure POWER5+™ processor-based system. Runs i5/OS®, AIX 5L™, Windows® and Linux® simultaneously-offering tremendous flexibility in application choice.

What about the microprocessors used by the iSeries and their speed?

Unlike its competitors, every iSeries contains a hierarchy of hundreds of microprocessors that focus on specific tasks. While some perform calculations, others fetch data from storage, communicate with workstations or peripherals, or manage networks. Each microprocessor is optimized for its particular job. By contrast, many competitive servers use a handful of processors to manage most or even all of these tasks. So while they may run at very high megahertz (MHz) speeds, they often can’t perform as much real work as a comparably priced iSeries. That’s why in test after test, the iSeries and AS/400 have proved that they can deliver more computing performance for your dollar.

What about custom reports? Does RMEx have a report writer?

RMEx does not have a traditional “report writer”. Remember that very often, there are many variations of the same report within RMEx’s base system. As an example, there are over 200 versions of the Placement History report! In spite of this flexibility, you may need special reports from time to time, and you should consider a report writer. They are inexpensive and are not difficult to use. IBM’s Query product is one option. There are many others that could be considered based on the technical expertise within your company. We also offer a powerful reporting / business intelligence platform. This offers a new generation of reporting and analytics tools.

 What is business intelligence and how can it be used in the collections industry?

BI is one of the hottest technologies within information systems. Unfortunately, it has not been exploited by collection systems. Our BI platform was written for our application. Please check this link for more information.

Does RMEx have an accounting package?

RMEx does not have an accounting package. You can select any commercially available account package and enter information into that system from RMEx’s reports. Alternately, Quantrax could write electronic interfaces based on specifications you provide.

What if I use a 3rd party service for printing letters?

Quantrax can modify the letter processing programs to create a file in the format needed by the letter printing service. You can send the complete letter to the service or only the variable data that will then be merged with standard text or preprinted forms.

If we are a collection agency and our clients need to access their accounts, how can they do that?

RMEx’s standard on-line client module allows clients to access their accounts. You define the client numbers that can be accessed, and what options a client is allowed to use. While clients can not “work” their accounts, you can allow them to enter new accounts and direct payments in addition to searching for and displaying their own accounts. In the event that a debtor has linked accounts that belong to other clients, those accounts are not displayed or included in the “linked balance” when a client accesses their accounts as an “on-line client”.

Does RMEx support an integrated dialer?

RMEx has its own integrated dialer. I-Tel is fully integrated with RMEx and is designed to provide outbound dialing, inbound call management, call recording and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) capability.I-Tel is a radically new approach to dialing technology compared to all the traditional dialing platforms. It will allow you to obtain “superb performance even under the toughest dialing conditions, while working within the strictest rules pertaining to automated dialing”.

What about Credit Reporting?

The base system supports exception or balance credit reporting in the current format.

 RMEx is impressive. But how does it compare with other systems?

This is a difficult question and one that is best answered by you after careful consideration of the different options available from other vendors. In the interests of earning your business, software vendors are known to be somewhat “over-enthusiastic” in describing their systems and their capabilities. Often, it is difficult to evaluate the claims of a software vendor or the productivity of a system in the limited time one is afforded to understand that system. It is also very difficult to project the actual benefits that could be derived from a new system. Quantrax is committed to making sure that their product is accurately represented. It is for this reason that the product is always demonstrated by technical people. (This has also become a requirement since Quantrax does not have any designated salespeople!) While evaluating software is a very complex task, it will be very clear that RMEx’s fundamental design is different from other system. No other vendor can claim to have a system that can be set up to think like a human being! However, your challenge is to determine the value of such a system. Based on the potential of the technology and our own experience that now exceeds 10 years, we can confidently state that it is impossible to economically compete against an intelligent system, using conventional data-based software.

Cost is a defining factor in many instances. Quantrax believes that collection software should be looked upon as an investment, rather than an expense. In a typical collection operation, over a 5-year period, a very high percentage of the cost is in salaries. The technology costs are almost insignificant compared to the expenses related to people! One must always consider this when making a decision about technology. E.g. Would you prefer to invest $100,000 today, to save $200,000 per year, as compared to spending $50,000 for a new system that does marginally more than what is being done today? Over a 10-year period, Quantrax’s clients have clearly demonstrated RMEx’s ability to reduce annual expenses by 20% or more, compared to conventional systems. How does that compare with other systems?

Please review Quantrax’s “Checklist for evaluating Collection Software” that was designed to help a prospective client to objectively compare different products with regard to some of the more advanced concepts and features that could be available in a collection system. The other sections within the “Our Products” area of our web site will also give you more information on what makes RMEx different from other systems.

Since this technology is so promising, why have other vendors not endorsed it and redesigned their products?

Our opinion is that other vendors have accepted the value of this technology. Unfortunately, creating an expert system calls for a new product to be designed and built. In addition to the very large costs involved in engineering a new product, the industry and the end users are not demanding more from their software vendors. These are probably the reasons that the major vendors have no plans to rewrite their products even though they were designed nearly 20 years ago! As an alternative, many of them have incorporated some limited “thinking” into their products and are advertising this as strategies, tactics, workflow management etc. In spite of these attempts, it is a fact that none of these systems can be described as an expert system. Compare what has to be done with these systems to create some of the automated environments and processes that are easily created using RMEx. The difficulty in setting up and using the “thinking” features in these other systems is directly related to the fact that unlike with RMEx, these features were not incorporated into the original design of the product but were added much later on in the life of the product. The results obtained from these competitive systems are different, and for any collection software vendor to claim that a conventional data-based system can compete with an expert system is both irresponsible and inaccurate.

Are there any reasons why RMEx may not be a viable solution for my company?

While its virtues are many, RMEx is not recommended in an environment where management is perceived as weak or reactive. Proactive management is almost a requirement for the best utilization of this creative technology. Many collection operations have developed a structure that depends on their own technical people to enhance, support and maintain their system. Often, RMEx will be perceived as a threat to some of the technical personnel within these companies. Quantrax believes that while RMEx will provide the user with a solution that will be superior in many ways, much of the investment in existing technologies could also be retained. There will always be some applications or processes that are specific to each company, and these will sometimes not be a part of RMEx’s base system. To merge these technologies and to consolidate and maintain the new environment will usually create new opportunities for existing technical people. There is no doubt that responsibilities will change, and RMEx promises very positive changes offering significant avenues of system development and growth for the progressive company.

Does Quantrax provide support after normal business hours?

Yes, if you have a software problem, you can reach a technical person at any time of the day, holidays included!

How often do we receive enhancements?

Quantrax will provide at least one major revision a year. Additional updates can also be expected.

Does Quantrax have user meetings?

Quantrax conducts courses at its offices or at other selected locations, designed to train new personnel or provide advanced training for the experienced user. In addition, there is an annual user conference for the key decision-makers and management personnel within a company. At this meeting, user issues, Quantrax’s plans, proposed enhancements and industry-related issues are presented and discussed. It also provides users with an opportunity to interact with personnel from other companies, and to learn from discussing and sharing experiences and ideas.

Will Quantrax support me if I wanted to hire my own technical people to make some of the custom modifications I needed?

Quantrax will always work with you to give you the best solution to your requirements. We will always encourage you to work with Quantrax to develop major changes that can not be accommodated by the base system. We believe that the best plan for its clients and Quantrax is to have a strong base system. Many software companies readily offer to modify their systems and charge for these changes, even when these changes should really be a part of the base, by virtue of the fact that the required changes have broad appeal and could be used by many users. In very specialized collection environments, there will be the need for some custom work – These changes should be planned, designed and skillfully worked into the product, so that there is seamless integration and long-term ease of maintenance and support of the change. In addition to their superior knowledge of the system, any custom code developed by Quantrax will be supported by Quantrax and modified (at no charge) to keep up with new releases. There are specific types of changes that can be effectively developed and supported by our clients. Some examples are new account loads, interfaces to clients and special reports. These can be relatively easy to develop and maintain. The changes you develop can be retained in a different area, and supported by your technical people. The only concern is that if you modify key areas of the system and this results in any problems, support often becomes very complex.

Of course you always have the option of having Quantrax do all of your custom programming (as most of our clients do). While the cost may be slightly higher than having your own programmer, you will have the support of an entire company and not just one or two programmers. Having you own technical staff creates a new set of challenges and you should carefully consider the benefits of using Quantrax for all of your custom work.

What about source code?

Quantrax provides file layouts and descriptions for all the data on the system. In addition, the source code for all but several key programs is currently supplied. The objective is that Quantrax is able to protect its trade secrets, its product and its investment since it could suffer significant damage in the event that the source code was made available to or used by any unauthorized persons or companies. Many software companies will not supply the data file layouts or any source code for their systems. Quantrax believes that this leads to an unfair dependence on the software vendor in the event that the vendor is not able to deliver quality, economical support for its product.

What about custom programming and what turnaround can we expect?

Quantrax’s policy is to provide standard functionality through the base system. Many vendors will charge clients for developing changes that should be a part of the base system – This is costly for the client, and increases support expenses for the software vendor. From time to time, most clients will need a modification that only pertains to their company. Some examples are programs to electronically load new accounts, or creating a payment file to be transmitted to a client. Quantrax feels that they can economically supply all of a client’s custom programming requirements. A special programming request from a client usually translates into the need for systems analysis and programming. Systems analysis is a more costly resource than programming. For the typical modification we are involved in, the percentage of analysis is small, and most of the work is programming-related. Our maximum standard delivery times are 7 working days for a 10 hour project and 2 weeks for a 25 hour project. The actual time taken will depend on the quality of the specifications supplied and the client’s ability to test the changes in a timely manner. You can guarantee a faster turnaround by setting up a special programming arrangement with Quantrax. This usually involves a monthly financial commitment on your part, based on an estimated number of programming hours that will be available. Under these circumstances, Quantrax will, if needed, prioritize your jobs ahead of the standard jobs requested by other clients. Under a special agreement, you could expect same or next-day service when it is justified or required! This option if properly designed and managed, will provide a user with better response times and quality than offered by in-house programming staff, without the challenges of managing and retaining your own programmers.

Can important information be encrypted?

RMEx automatically encrypts key information relating to credit cards, bank information and a all social security numbers. When information is backed up, it is the encrypted data that gets saved. Complete backups (all data) can also be encrypted using different 3rd party products (there are hardware and software-based solutions).

How strong is the encryption?

We offer 128-bit encryption (which is very very strong). Key size can indicate how weak or strong the encryption is. As a general rule, the greater the key size, the better the data is protected (e.g., a 256-bit key generally provides better protection than a 128-bit key). However, this is not always true. For example, data encrypted with the RSA algorithm using a 256-bit key is not as safe as data encrypted using the AES algorithm using a 128-bit key.

What is the algorithm used for encryption within RMEx?

The algorithm used within RMEx is the Rijndael Algorithm in Counter mode of operation. Important features of this algorithm are as follows:

· Supports key lengths of 64 bits,128 bits or 256 bits.

· Symmetric Algorithm (Same key is used for encryption and decryption)

· It is free and not patented

· It is the algorithm that is considered the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

· It is a block cipher which encrypts 64 bits blocks at a time.

· Counter mode of operation allows the block cipher to work as a stream cipher. Thus the input length does not have to be a multiple of block size.

What is the best encryption technology?

In 2000, NIST sponsored a competition to identify the best available encryption algorithm. The Rijndael algorithm won the competition hands down. This algorithm has been designated as the current advanced encryption standard (AES). AES is a good choice for protecting ePHI. The most widely used public-key algorithm is RSA. But this algorithm is not a good choice for protecting ePHI because it is much slower than AES. However, RSA is an excellent choice for encrypting electronic signatures and exchanging keys. A newer public-key algorithm is known as “elliptic curve cryptography” (ECC). NIST has specified a preference for ECC over RSA in future government procurement because ECC is believed to be stronger and faster than RSA.