Equitech Information Systems™
309 N. Jefferson, #220
Springfield, Missouri  65806

Phone: 417.832.0366
Fax: 417.832.9663

Copyright İ 2000 
All Rights Reserved
Equitech Information Systems LLC


January 2000

GALENA -- Equitech Information Systems is pleased to announce its partnership with Stone County in delivering state-of-the-art software solutions to the southwest Missouri county.

"We're just excited about the flexibility Equitech offers," says Vicki May, collector for Stone County. "We can see the potential in this system."

Adds Allen Berkstresser, the countyıs assessor: ³This is so friendly, one (computer) screen can pull all the items you use and need, as opposed to 36 screens² with the countyıs old computer system.

The new Equitech system includes the use of Virtual Private Networks, a leading-edge technology that allows Stone County to use sophisticated taxation and collection software, without being saddled with the burden of huge licensing fees associated with most software programs. Equitech's VPN utilizes the same technology that the National Security Agency uses for classified information.

The partnership with Stone County will result in lower government costs and a streamlined, enhanced flow of information within the courthouse. Instead of purchasing software programs that often cost upwards of $80,000, Stone County can access the same software via high-speed data lines from Equitech's office in Springfield. The software is used directly from Equitech's secure servers; the county does not pay a licensing fee.

Additional savings are realized when county workers have questions about Equitech's software. Technical assistance with Equitech doesn't rely on calling an office and waiting days for an answer or a visit from a computer technician; Equitech and Stone County are linked together via data lines, ensuring a virtually uninterrupted flow of information between the company and the county.

Where else will Stone County government and its taxpayers see savings? Equipment costs are lower with the Equitech system, because Equitech's software doesn't rely on costly mainframe computers or complex desktop processing power. Personal computers installed by Equitech handle the entire flow of information about assessments and collections in the Ozarks county. Such a dedicated system offers advantages in two distinct areas, May says. While many county employees are unfamiliar with monolithic computer mainframes, almost everyone knows how to use a PC, she says.

"And while we do have PCs," May says, "they've also had to handle word processing" and other office functions. "This puts us back on the main focus of our jobs."

That focus, May says, is much sharper now.  "We've been on a (different) computer system since the early '80s, but we've never really seen the flexibility that this system has the potential of having," May says of the Equitech suite of solutions. "We're actually able to inquire and call up, on screen, the names of people who have paid particular tax bills, and see when the checks were deposited. We were tied to a system that was pretty much non-user friendly."

Too, May says, there was a lack of specific information tied to each tax record in Stone County. "We weren't even able to say how a tax bill was paid each year," she notes. "We simply posted it as paid, not whether it was cash, check, charge or money order." The Equitech system, she says, easily allows such specifics to be attached to each tax record.

Taxpayers in Stone County will soon be able to do something that's impossible for residents in most other counties, May says: "We'll actually have a Web site where people can go in and inquire on their taxes. We'll even see on-line tax payments."

"We're not afraid of change in Stone County," May says.

Berkstresser says the switch from an old, COBOL-based system to the Equitech way "is going really, really well. We had the conversion of data, which was easy, then the training, which was quick and simple. Now the employees are really learning how to use it and even think up new ways and easier ways of doing things. Itıs a very friendly system."

Equitech Information Systems is a Springfield, Missouri-based corporation providing peerless taxation software solutions for the new century. The company's forward-thinking approach includes the use of sophisticated Virtual Private Networks to deliver secure, high-speed connections to counties using EquiAssessor  and EquiCollector software designed exclusively for county government needs.

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