5 thorny questions to ask debt collection technology suppliers: behind the buzzwords | Flexys

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5 thorny questions to ask debt collection technology suppliers: behind the buzzwords

If you’re considering improving your debt collection operation with an investment in a new debt collection platform or want to evaluate your current system’s performance with a view to making some incremental changes, here are five crucial questions you should ask suppliers to ensure their solution is future-fit and does what it says on the tin.

1. Does the solution exist anywhere as on-premise software
or was it born in the cloud?

Cloud-based solutions simply cannot compete with cloud-native platforms in terms of speed, elasticity and performance. Legacy software migrated into the cloud in a ‘lift and shift’ process can’t realistically be redesigned as cloud-native and often isn’t meaningfully changed before or during migration. This means you miss out on the instant elastic scalability to manage capacity or new business, and the exceptional robustness, speed and agility that ensures you’re prepared for the next unknown. On top of that, old problems won’t magically disappear when an analogue solution is rehosted, so you won’t escape the restrictions that cloud-native infrastructure was designed to conquer.

2. How do you define real-time streaming?

‘Real-time’ can be a slippery term. It might mean twice-a-day updates (in place of a nightly batch process) or perhaps every two hours. But in today’s fast-moving world, customer activity and agent actions need to be updated as they happen to avoid wasteful repetition, such as calling customers who have already made a payment. In the worst-case scenario, important disclosures don’t reach agents before they interact with a customer, leaving your organisation exposed to regulatory censure. Ideally, the whole system should continually update to deliver the ‘always-up-to-date’ operability you and your customers need – ask to see this in a live demo.

3. How easy is it to change data and processes across the entire operation?

It may be costly and time-consuming (or practically unworkable) to proactively change comms, data and processes at will, especially if the system comprises different applications from different suppliers with different data structures. You may have to secure IT resources months ahead to make even simple changes or rely on several suppliers to change each separate application. Being proactive and responsive is easier if you can control your solution. Enquire about low-code/no-code config tools to make in-house changes and ask how quickly and easily more substantial changes are deployed across the entire end to end system.

4. How do you define an end-to-end solution?

Find out if all collections activity is managed on a single platform, from early arrears and customer self-service to agent workflow and recoveries, or if the supplier relies on third-party applications and separate systems to provide functionality. By definition, a single platform is the only truly ‘seamless’ end-to-end option providing a single source of truth (a central repository for data storage, collection and analysis) and managing all activity in one place. Every part of your operation then accesses the same information on a single system – no swapping screens, latency, lost data, or regulatory black holes.

5. Can I see your development roadmap?

Current functionality is important, but to evaluate the future value of your investment, examine the development roadmap for a continual programme of high-value new functionality, updates and improvements. Ask if upgrades still exist and how often they are deployed and costed. Have in mind regular, minimally invasive refreshments of pre-tested individual components in the place of old-style whole system upgrades that need disruptive downtime.

Summary

Your next debt collection and recoveries system migration should be your last. These questions will help you determine if that will be the case.

Why not ask Flexys these questions? Get in touch to talk through the options to improve your debt collection operation at a pace that suits you.

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