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News: Webinar – Contract Management vs. Contract Discovery – Big Difference, Bigger Opportunity

Wednesday, January 23

10:30 – 11:30 AM Central Standard Time

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General counsel are recognizing that outside counsel innovation and management practices can reduce costs and improve results. This webinar series will cover the latest developments in legal process and automation innovation. Each session will include industry leaders that are driving change across the legal landscape and will provide an inside look at changes being adopted by law departments.

Legal departments are increasingly tasked with tracking a multitude of contracts. These agreements are typically scattered throughout the enterprise, and keeping track of them is often the most time consuming and costly part of the process. While companies need a centralized repository to manage all contracts across their lifecycle, significant and often untapped value lies within each contract. Their provisions can be utilized for far greater, tangible purposes, such as enabling higher profits, recovering lost revenue, creating new business opportunities, improving business terms, and more. There has never been an easy or cost effective way to “discover” the contents and utilize opportunities in enterprise agreements, until now. “Contract Discovery” is finally here.

Please join LegalShift, an independent affiliate of Baker Donelson, and learn about the rapidly evolving capabilities of contract leverage. Our team will highlight the differences between “Contract Management” and “Contract Discovery,” and share both the opportunities and a roadmap to help you become more than a corporate cost center.


Scott Rosenberg
Managing Director and Corporate Counsel
LegalShift


Dan Safran
President and CEO
LegalShift


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Article: A Short Comparative Analysis of Document Management, Contract Lifecycle Management and Contract Discovery and Analytics Technologies and Systems

INTRODUCTION

Based on LegalShift’s long legacy of consulting to General Counsel on areas of operational efficiency, cost reduction and technology improvement, LegalShift finds that corporate legal departments are often confused by conflicting terminology and unclear descriptions of various types of electronic content capture, search and retrieval systems.

Software companies often blur the lines, claiming their systems to have similar functionality to other software categories.   The reality is that, today, there is no single system that serves as an “all-in-one” technology solution to the following functional categories:

 

We argue that, in many cases, no two software systems listedare reasonably addressed in a single platform.

LegalShift recommends that a thorough and structured requirements analysis be conducted so that the legal department understands and identifies their unique requirements and how they apply to the differing software categories and products.

Too often we see this confusion leading to mis- or under-used software products and investment.

 

 

 

This short overview is intended to address what LegalShift sees as a significant education gap and misunderstanding of the differences and benefits of each class of technology.   Our goal, then, is to de-mystify these automated software categories.

Document Management Systems (DMS)

Document management systems streamline document creation, leverage existing work product, facilitate document collaboration, and provide a central repository for document storage.  While the legal industry commonly uses the term, “document management”, other organizations sometimes prefer “content management”.

A DMS typically manages each of the following document stages:

  • Create/Capture:A DMS facilitates the creation and storage of documents in multiple formats (Microsoft Office, Adobe, etc.). They allow for the re-use of existing knowledge since they can include “best of breed” documents, templates, or other helpful information, and thus can be useful in contract drafting.

 

  • Manage/Version Control: A DMS includes mechanisms for controlling versions of documents, access and security, tracking physical files or allowing check-in and check-out of electronic files. Because they log transactions, they provide an audit trail of versions. Document management systems use metadata from documents to create document profiles including information such as document type, date, author, and more – information that can later be used for m
    anaging obligations and compliance.

 

  • Deliver:A DMS provides a collaborative workspace for publishing and team review, which can be used to facilitate the approvals process. They provide full-text indexing and offer offline, remote access.

 

  • Retain/Archive:A DMS offers a central storage repository; they can also be integrated with enterprise applications such as corporate record management systems.

A DMS can be used to manage some stages of contract lifecycle management within the law department; in particular, drafting (including tracking revision history) and storage.  They do not, however, include functions for tracking negotiation and execution of agreements, nor do they automate contract management such as post-execution obligations management, renewals, or compliance (although they may provide the information needed to perform the tasks), discussed in the next section.

Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) Systems

Contract lifecycle management systems (sometimes termed “contract management systems”) are specifically designed to do just that – manage contracts throughout their lifecycle. They are targeted solely to that function and manage contracts throughout the organization. A big benefit of dedicated CLM systems is their use as a centralized, authoritative repository/database of contracts, amendments, and renewals.

 

Most CLM systems include functionality designed to manage each of these contracting stages:

  • Request/Initiation:Those with access to the CLM system, whether from the law department, the procurement department, or business units, can initiate a contract request.

 

  • Drafting: CLM systems facilitate the drafting of contracts using libraries of customized templates and clauses, typically pre-approved by the law department.

 

  • Negotiation: CLM systems track negotiations, including draft agreements, for reference and audit purposes. The system can track changes and versions of a contract and can flag exceptions to standard terms. CLM systems can also automate the approval process using pre-established criteria, sending notifications to the appropriate parties.

 

  • Execution: CLM systems document and track contract execution, including approvals routing and electronic signature.

 

  • Obligations management:  Many provide post-execution monitoring tools to proactively track the performance of obligations and provide notifications when renewals are required or timelines have expired.

 

CLM systems can be integrated with other systems such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.  For these reasons, most CLM systems are considered functionally rich, “enterprise-grade” solutions, that can be used by teams both inside and outside the Legal function—e.g., Procurement and Sales.

Contract Discovery and Analytics (CDA) Systems

Most organizations want to leverage their contract terms and conditions to maximize value and minimize the potential for non-compliance with laws and regulations.  Contract discovery and analytics (CDA) systems use latest-generation artificial intelligence (AI) processing to automate procedures and identify opportunities for revenue recovery and risk avoidance.  These solutions can support the systematic review of a large contract dataset to assess and ensure compliance with corporate standard terms and conditions.  This application of a machine-learning platform can greatly reduce the time (duration and resource hours) and accuracy of collection, extraction, testing, and review associated with what has historically proven to be a highly labor-intensive process.

CDA systems include functionality designed to manage the extraction and review stage of contract analysis:

 

  • Extraction and Review – CDA systems are designed to extract relevant policies and provisions that represent potential opportunities for revenue recovery and/or risk mitigation and cull these agreements into a contract subset for further strategy and execution.

 

Additional benefits in ongoing use of a contract discovery and analytics system include:

 

  • Aid in contract classification and metadata extraction in preparation for intake into a contract lifecycle management (CLM) system;
  • Assistance in identification of areas of regulatory and internal policy non-compliance and opportunities for additional revenue recognition;
  • Access to a true web-based SaaS solution that can be accessed from anywhere (as opposed to having to invest in purchase of software and its installation and use on premises).

 

CDA systems functionally complement the use of CLM systems to properly monitor and control contracts.  As a result, many organizations subscribe to both CLM and CDA solutions as a means of managing the contract lifecycle while leveraging its value.

Summary

Document management systems (DMS) are electronic repositories for document storage, search and retrieval.   Contract lifecycle management (CLM) systems are specifically targeted for the management of an organization’s contracts. Contract discovery and analytics (CDA) systems focus on extracting and reviewing terms and provisions that exist within existing contracts.

As confusion often exists between DMS and CLM technologies, we offer the following advice:

CLM systems facilitate each phase of the contract lifecycle, automating much of the process.  DMS systems are not ideal for enterprise-wide, full lifecycle contract management but can be useful for some aspects of contract management within the law department, where they can serve multiple functions.  DMS solutions do not offer the functions specifically tailored to contracts that can be found in CLM systems, such as automated approvals or obligations management and the related automated notices. They can, however, be tailored to assist with some contract management functions within the law department.  Specifically, they can facilitate contracts drafting using templates and prior examples, track revisions, provide a central, collaborative space facilitating approvals, and collect profile information that can be used for subsequent contract management.

Document and contract management systems can be integrated with matter management systems and knowledge management systems, facilitating the drafting of a variety of law department documents in a collaborative environment.

Many law department organizations subscribe to both document and contract management systems and use them for different purposes and in achievement of different results.

For more clarification, please contact us at www.legalshift.com.

 

 

News: LegalShift, LLC Focuses Service on Contract Discovery and Recovery

LegalShift, LLC Focuses Service on Contract Discovery and Recovery

New Process Model Enables General Counsel to Become a Revenue Generator

CHICAGO, IL–(Aug 11, 2016) – LegalShift, LLC, a leading advisor to corporate general counsel in the areas of process and technology, announces a significant new service offering enabling general counsel and their legal teams to identify areas of risk and opportunities for revenue recovery, thereby turning the law department into an actual profit center. While not a replacement for contract lifecycle management solutions, contract discovery tools and methods provide different capabilities and can be run independent of (or in conjunction with) the contract management process.

In a just published August, 2016 article in Corporate Counsel, How Electronic Discovery Gave Birth to Contract Recovery, a new approach is outlined based on the belief that the real benefit of properly monitoring and controlling contracts is in leveraging terms and conditions to maximize their value and/or minimize noncompliance with laws and regulations. In consideration of the need for a pragmatic approach to contract discovery, a suggested process model (similar in nature to that used in managing electronic discovery) is provided.

 “The tactics of managing contract obligations through traditional contract management and matter management systems do not allow the organization to be strategic. This new approach allows general counsel to innovate and identify opportunities (cost, risk, time and revenues) in proactive use of contract assets” states LegalShift Managing Director and Corporate Counsel Scott Rosenberg. He adds, “A company may implement a contract discovery solution without even having a contract management system in place.”

LegalShift President/CEO Dan Safran shares, “We continue expanding our services to focus on the areas of interest of greatest impact and value to the general counsel. Our contract discovery and compliance service offerings support our overall mission of helping turn in-house lawyers into risk arbiters and revenue generators. These services tie well into our current stable of Knowledge Management skills and solutions.”

About LegalShift, LLC
LegalShift is a consulting and business advisory services firm launched in 2015 to help in-house legal teams and their law firms better manage legal portfolios, improve business operations and reduce legal spend. The company offers strategic guidance and tactical know-how in areas of financial spend, legal project management, process improvement, legal service delivery, organizational change and technology deployment.

For more information, please contact LegalShift by phone at 844 SHIFT US (844-744-3887) or via email atinfo@legalshift.com, or visit www.legalshift.com.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Media Contact:
Dan Safran
President/CEO
LegalShift, LLC
844-744-3887
Email Contact

Article: What future technologies should law firms and corporate legal departments expect to incorporate into business operations?

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