FAQ

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.

Refined info:

Frequently asked questions

How do I use Smartsettle?


You can use Smartsettle for many types of decision making but it is primarily designed for formal negotiation support. If you have a simple two-party negotiation, choose our Smartsettle ONE webapp. If you have a high-value case with many issues and parties, choose our comprehensive negotiation support system, Smartsettle Infinity. You can prepare for negotiations at the International eNegotiation Exhibition. Invite your opponent to do the same. Once you are both ready you may negotiate your live Smartsettle ONE case here. If you wish to use Infinity, certified facilitators are available to assist you or you may take the training yourself. Contact us for any questions you may have. Coming soon are enhancements that will bridge the gap between Smartsettle ONE and Infinity.




What does Smartsettle cost?


The cost to use Smartsettle ONE can be quoted for you. You also can inquire the cost to use Smartsettle Infinity or have a demo first.




What is the efficiency frontier?


The efficiency frontier is the set of all potential outcomes to a negotiation that are Pareto Efficient. In economic theory, this concept is referred to as the Pareto Efficient Frontier. It is the set of all efficient solutions to the problem. No change can be made to an efficient solution that would produce a gain for one party without another party loosing.




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.




What technical support is available?


Please check here. Or contact us here.




From where can I access Smartsettle?


Smartsettle works anywhere on the Internet. Smartsettle ONE requires no installation as it is a webapp. For Smartsettle Infinity, you can request a demo as the first step.




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. 1. Prepare for Negotiation

  • 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.
2. Qualify Interests
  • 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.
3. Quantify Satisfaction
  • 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.
4. Establish Equity
  • 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.
5. Maximize Benefits
  • Preference representations are refined with help from the facilitators.
  • Optimization is used to generate an improvement to the current Baseline solution.
6. Secure Commitment
  • 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?


The Smartsettle system elicits and analyzes preferences for each individual party. Data is communicated via Smartsettle’s neutral site, which securely manages private preference information. Private information at the neutral site is kept completely confidential and is not seen by anyone without the access codes, not even Smartsettle staff. Even the final agreement is known only to the parties and their facilitator. Each individual party’s data is also protected by the user’s own password, which s/he may change at any time so is not seen by the other party. The neutral site is invisible to the user and the physical location is not known to the public.




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?


Absolutely! If your negotiation is important, it would be wise to choose Smartsettle. Smartsettle ONE was created for this purpose, to be an effective tool in bringing parties to agreement over a single numerical decision variable in a timely, efficient manner. Even though your case may appear now to be simple, more issues may appear. With Smartsettle Infinity, you retain the flexibility in how to proceed. Smartsettle Suggestions work wonderfully well even in simple single-issue cases. For further investigation, contact us today to see which tool is most suited for your situation.




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?


Smartsettle goes beyond mere “dispute resolution”. Smartsettle is introducing a new paradigm supporting negotiations with any combination of quantitative or qualitative issues. Whether your case is a simple two-party dispute with a single numerical issue (See Smartsettle ONE) or a large complex multi-party problem (See Smartsettle Infinity), Smartsettle can help you quickly reach an optimal solution. A state-of-the-art interactive interface is putting a growing number of users all over the world in control of powerful optimization algorithms developed at Cornell University that guide them to solutions “beyond win-win”, i.e., both equitable (fair for everyone) and efficient (no value left on the table).




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.





HOW TO BUY

SUPPORT

COMPANY

© 2020 iCan Systems Inc. All rights reserved

Toll-free: 800-595-9840

200 – 8661 – 201 St - Langley, BC V2Y 0G9, Canada