Day Two: Tech Info at Spring Forum & Expo

The future of collections tossed around, discussed and realized in Las Vegas. Multiple speakers in #ForwardTECH sessions acknowledged that technology of 2030 will be in place fast – and collection businesses need to be ready!

3/12/2020 8:00 AM

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Day Two: Tech Info at Spring Forum & Expo

After a marvelous evening catching up with old friends and colleagues during a reception at ACA’s 2020 Spring Forum & Expo in Las Vegas, conference attendees were ready to go Thursday morning ahead of a busy day packed with technology, business and compliance sessions.

Similar to other ACA events, the Spring Forum speakers were exceptionally knowledgeable about their given areas of expertise and were more than willing to share information to benefit their peers.

Thursday morning kicked-off with an interesting session under the #ForwardTECH banner called “A Look Into the Future: The Collection Office of 2030,” in which Ranjan Dharmaraja, CEO of Quantrax Corp., of Bethesda, Md., and Dan Womack, senior director of engineering and product management, Ontario Systems, Inc., of Muncie, Ind., offered their thoughts on robots and the shift toward “agentless collections” and even avatars. When asked for a show of hands among audience members as to how many companies currently deploy agentless collections technology, very few hands shot into the air.

Dharmaraja believes technology trends reveal a growing number of companies will advance toward robots as this approach is more likely to reduce information and/or compliance related errors, among other benefits. However, several audience members seemed to cringe at the thought of no longer utilizing humans for two-way communications related to working through debt collection issues. Nevertheless, Dharmaraja said the technology is available, so the next step is for companies to decide how to blend it into their business models.   

Everyone seemed to agree that consumers (particularly millennials) prefer to be contacted via email or text leading Womack to question whether there will come a time when consumers will revolt and return to the days of visiting collections offices to pay a bill. While anything is possible, most attendees nodded in agreement that the future is upon us and the way companies engage and recover debt today will be very different in 2030.

As the day continued, the #ForwardTECH sessions, led by John Bedard, owner of the Bedard Group in Atlanta and chair of ACA’s newly created Technology and Innovation Committee, shifted to a discussion on Information Technology. Session speakers Jim Warner, chief technology and security officer, State Collection Service Inc., Madison, Wis., and Dan Medina, director of operations, Gulf Coast Collection Bureau Inc., of Sarasota, Fla., engaged in a high-level conversation about what actually happens in Information Technology departments including their thoughts on evolving corporate IT needs in the coming year – for example, the increased need for data security and compliance related issues.

Medina shared a few interesting tidbits on data snafus that can lead to major problems while Warner discussed project planning and corporate strategy. He suggested companies should consider developing – and sharing with employees – thoughtful corporate strategy plans to ensure that everyone is onboard and has a clear understanding of the employer’s goals.

Meanwhile, Bedard also led a lively, open discussion marked by attendees sharing real-world experiences marrying technology and compliance in an environment where regulatory policies are murky. Attendees discussed email (and outsourcing email), text messaging, PayPal and other systems. As a note of interest, in this well-attended session, Bedard asked how many attendees are currently using text messaging to communicate with consumers– and only one attendee lifted his hand. However, several attendees indicated their employers were using email as a means of communications.

Finally, the day ended with a rooftop reception at the M Resort and closing of the silent auction to benefit the ACA International Education Foundation Loomer-Mortenson Scholarship program. Winners will be announced Monday, March 16, in Daily.

Pictured, Doug Easly, business development executive with NPC Inc. took a brief break during the Expo Hall reception.


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

Day Two: Tech Info at Spring Forum & Expo

After a marvelous evening catching up with old friends and colleagues during a reception at ACA’s 2020 Spring Forum & Expo in Las Vegas, conference attendees were ready to go Thursday morning ahead of a busy day packed with technology, business and compliance sessions.

Similar to other ACA events, the Spring Forum speakers were exceptionally knowledgeable about their given areas of expertise and were more than willing to share information to benefit their peers.

Thursday morning kicked-off with an interesting session under the #ForwardTECH banner called “A Look Into the Future: The Collection Office of 2030,” in which Ranjan Dharmaraja, CEO of Quantrax Corp., of Bethesda, Md., and Dan Womack, senior director of engineering and product management, Ontario Systems, Inc., of Muncie, Ind., offered their thoughts on robots and the shift toward “agentless collections” and even avatars. When asked for a show of hands among audience members as to how many companies currently deploy agentless collections technology, very few hands shot into the air.

Dharmaraja believes technology trends reveal a growing number of companies will advance toward robots as this approach is more likely to reduce information and/or compliance related errors, among other benefits. However, several audience members seemed to cringe at the thought of no longer utilizing humans for two-way communications related to working through debt collection issues. Nevertheless, Dharmaraja said the technology is available, so the next step is for companies to decide how to blend it into their business models.   

Everyone seemed to agree that consumers (particularly millennials) prefer to be contacted via email or text leading Womack to question whether there will come a time when consumers will revolt and return to the days of visiting collections offices to pay a bill. While anything is possible, most attendees nodded in agreement that the future is upon us and the way companies engage and recover debt today will be very different in 2030.

As the day continued, the #ForwardTECH sessions, led by John Bedard, owner of the Bedard Group in Atlanta and chair of ACA’s newly created Technology and Innovation Committee, shifted to a discussion on Information Technology. Session speakers Jim Warner, chief technology and security officer, State Collection Service Inc., Madison, Wis., and Dan Medina, director of operations, Gulf Coast Collection Bureau Inc., of Sarasota, Fla., engaged in a high-level conversation about what actually happens in Information Technology departments including their thoughts on evolving corporate IT needs in the coming year – for example, the increased need for data security and compliance related issues.

Medina shared a few interesting tidbits on data snafus that can lead to major problems while Warner discussed project planning and corporate strategy. He suggested companies should consider developing – and sharing with employees – thoughtful corporate strategy plans to ensure that everyone is onboard and has a clear understanding of the employer’s goals.

Meanwhile, Bedard also led a lively, open discussion marked by attendees sharing real-world experiences marrying technology and compliance in an environment where regulatory policies are murky. Attendees discussed email (and outsourcing email), text messaging, PayPal and other systems. As a note of interest, in this well-attended session, Bedard asked how many attendees are currently using text messaging to communicate with consumers– and only one attendee lifted his hand. However, several attendees indicated their employers were using email as a means of communications.

Finally, the day ended with a rooftop reception at the M Resort and closing of the silent auction to benefit the ACA International Education Foundation Loomer-Mortenson Scholarship program. Winners will be announced Monday, March 16, in Daily.

Pictured, Doug Easly, business development executive with NPC Inc. took a brief break during the Expo Hall reception.


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

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