The following are frequently asked questions about Smartsettle. If you can’t find the answers you are looking for, click on the button down bellow and we will be more than happy to answer your questions.
Frequently asked questions
How do I use Smartsettle?
What does Smartsettle cost?
What is the efficiency frontier?
When can I access Smartsettle?
Anytime. The Smartsettle server is always accessible.
What is the Zone of Agreement?
The Zone of Agreement in a negotiation is the set of possible outcomes that would be acceptable to all parties.
What is the future of Smartsettle?
Smartsettle is the leading eNegotiation system worldwide. Wherever there are two or more decision-makers with conflicting objections, Smartsettle will be there…helping them negotiate anything, anywhere, anytime, beyond win-win!
Is Smartsettle really a neutral party?
Smartsettle is private and independent. It is not an agent or representative of any sponsor or party using the system.
From where can I access Smartsettle?
How can Smartsettle solve impasses?
With preference analysis, Smartsettle knows how each party becomes satisfied. With that knowledge, it can make suggestions that will simultaneously satisfy all parties in some impasse situations.
When and why should I use Smartsettle?
Smartsettle is the only alternative providing a full range of single-to-unlimited issue solutions (Smartsettle ONE to Smartsettle Infinity) using secure online negotiation technology with optimization to produce formal agreements that are fair and efficient. Negotiating online with Smartsettle reduces the time and space constraints of negotiations that are strictly face-to-face. You will decide, together with your facilitator, what combination of online and face-to-face meetings makes most sense for your particular situation. Where distance is not an issue, a warm handshake at the end of the process may still be a good idea.
How does Smartsettle go beyond win-win?
Win-lose is only one party getting what they want, e.g., one party giving in to solve an impasse. If parties are close enough to each other at impasse, SmartSettle can find a solution that not only satisfies all parties (win-win) but goes beyond that to maximize mutual gain. Smartsettle can do this simultaneously for any number of parties in a negotiation.
What happens if no agreement is reached?
While there is no pre-set limit to the number of negotiation sessions, either party may declare Final Session at any time. If parties opt for Smartsettle’s Expert Neutral Dealcloser, then they can ensure a settlement, even if regular negotiation does not produce an outcome.
Can Smartsettle generate efficient solutions?
With preference analysis, Smartsettle knows how each party becomes satisfied. With that knowledge and sophisticated optimization algorithms, Smartsettle can generate solutions that maximize satisfaction for all parties.
How does Smartsettle help negotiators reach an agreement?
See down bellow Smartsettle’s Process for a brief description of the six process phases. In practice, these phases overlap and may be entered numerous times in an iterative process in the search for an optimal solution. The exact path that negotiators take is up to them. An agreement will be declared whenever all parties accept the same package.
Two or more parties wish to negotiate an agreement about certain matters.
Parties may participate in orientation or training depending on the size and complexity of the case.
Parties review and accept guidelines for conduct.
Parties may engage a single Smartsettle facilitator to serve each of them or each have their own private facilitator.
A Smartsettle facilitator sets up the case online and optionally gives access codes to each party.
The facilitators help parties work together to discuss their interests and identify issues without making specific demands. Parties may meet online or face-to-face.
Parties agree on a Single Negotiating Framework that represents unresolved issues.
For each of the issues, parties agree on options or a range where the solution will likely be found.
The facilitator works independently with each party to elicit their confidential preferences.
Parties exchange information (may include telephone and/or face-to-face meetings) and offer visible or invisible concessions.
Smartsettle generates suggestions based on party preferences and concessions.
Equity is achieved when parties reach a Baseline solution by agreeing on the same package.
Preference representations are refined with help from the facilitators.
Optimization is used to generate an improvement to the current Baseline solution.
When any party wishes to end the negotiation, the Single Negotiating Framework is filled out with the current solution, signed and implemented.
Why do you say that the efficiency frontier is a moving target?
Live negotiation problems are dynamic; negotiating ranges change, issues change, and preferences change. Any of these things will affect the location of the efficiency frontier and since these things are continuously changing in a live problem, the efficiency frontier is a moving target.
Are transactions between the software client and server secure?
For Smartsettle Infinity, communication between the server and clients are encrypted using an Internet standard security mechanism called Secure Sockets Layer or SSL. Smartsettle currently employs the widely used OpenSSL algorithms with the 168-bit triple-DES encryption algorithm, specifically, the OpenSSL DES-CBC3-SHA algorithm. More information can be found at http://www.openssl.org/.
How does Smartsettle keep information private and confidential?
What happens to my confidential information at the end of a case?
Smartsettle Infinity users may deliberately remove themselves from a case at any time. Once their party is deleted, any information on the neutral site associated with that party is no longer accessible. Prior to removal, if so desired, a party may export their own private information to a file on their own computer for their own records. Smartsettle ONE users may also delete their private information from a case before leaving it.
How does Smartsettle help negotiators expand the negotiation pie?
Smartsettle requires parties to think logically about the problem and their preferences. Logical thinking produces better solutions. Conventional advice to negotiators has been to simplify problems to as few issues as possible in order to reduce the complexity of the problem. However, with Smartsettle’s access to a powerful computer at the neutral site, complexity is not a concern. Every additional issue on which parties have different preferences creates more benefits to divide.
Is there any point in using Smartsettle for simple single-issue cases?
Can Smartsettle really find solutions for the most complex problems?
How well Smartsettle does depends on how well the problem and preferences are modelled. The most complex problems with interdependencies may require iteration before it converges on an optimal solution.
How can Smartsettle work with confidential negotiations over the internet?
The computer network configuration includes a secure neutral site. Data that flows between computers is encoded or encrypted and the neutral site provides parties with access only to their own data.
Does Smartsettle require a party to reveal preference information to another party?
No. What and how much is revealed is completely under each party’s own control.
How is Smartsettle different than other dispute resolution or eNegotiation alternatives?
How can Smartsettle deal with the emotional and subjective issues of real life negotiation problems?
Emotions are a very real and important part of the negotiation process. Unfortunately, conflict often brings out the worst in us. The Smartsettle process helps to minimize the negative aspects of conflict by separating people from the problem. Parties are required to clearly define areas of conflict and focus on unresolved issues. Subjective, qualitative or optioned issues take more time to define than objective, quantitative or numerical issues but can generally be represented as yes/no or with a number of options. Smartsettle can consider anything that parties would value documenting in a final solution produced by the negotiation process. Parties do not need to explicitly quantify subjective issues. The only requirement is to be able to identify preferred packages among alternatives. Smartsettle can then elicit all the information it needs. Comprehensive satisfaction functions to represent party preferences are created implicitly behind the scenes with a powerful equivalent alternative analysis.
What are the two measures of a good agreement and how does Smartsettle help negotiators to achieve them?
The two measures of a good agreement are EQUITY and EFFICIENCY. Equity has to do with fairness, i.e., how benefits are divided among the parties. This decision, of course, must be determined by the parties themselves. However, Smartsettle facilitates this by simultaneously revealing acceptable solutions. Once the Equity problem is solved, Smartsettle can focus on efficiency, which has to do with the total quantity of benefits. Smartsettle’s objective is to make sure no value is left on the table at the end of the process.