Contract Management Tech Is Booming. How Do You Choose the Right Provider?

May 18, 2022

We’re back from CLOC (Corporate Legal Operations Consortium) Global Institute 2022, and we had a blast sharing and learning alongside top legal operations professionals.

One thing we observed: there are a lot of vendors who focus on contracts.

This dramatic proliferation of legal technology is a boon for professionals who work regularly with contracts in law, vendor management, and related fields. It’s always good to have options. It’s also great that organizations such as CLOC promote best practices, advancements in technology, and innovation strategies.

On the other hand, the sheer number of software providers in this space can make it difficult to determine which one is best for your organization. Many providers make similar claims regarding their capabilities, but software solutions are not all created equal.

It’s important to evaluate any contract management system based on what will work best for your own team and business overall. How do you choose the right solution provider for your organization’s needs?

We’ve identified three key actions to take when evaluating contract lifecycle management and analytics solutions:

1. Insist on hands-on time with the platform

One of the most vital steps in buying a software solution is trying it first. Look for a free trial period that allows you to actually use the platform with your own contracts.

The provider should give you unchaperoned access during the trial period. If they don’t, ask yourself why. Is the software too hard to use without assistance? Does it take extra work to replicate the results you saw when the sales team demonstrated the product for you?

Make sure the vendor allows you to upload a high volume of documents during the trial. This will allow you to evaluate how the solution works in real time, and how accurate and scalable it is — in short, whether it has true machine learning capabilities or not. We recommend making the system ingest as many documents as possible. Again, you should be free to upload the files yourself so you can see the results that the system generates on its own.

2. Test the built-in data analysis and visualization tools

A simple contract repository is not sufficient in 2022. Businesses are data-driven, and legal departments are not exempt. There’s an increasing appreciation that in-house legal teams need to be just as focused on efficiency and effectiveness as any other business unit.

It’s important that your technology can help you analyze and improve your legal and contract management operations, such as by identifying and eliminating bottlenecks in the approval process.

At CGI 2022, it was clear that many people considered data on operational efficiency important. Data about the contents of the business’s contracts, however, has become even more important for many attendees and their organizations.

To that end, it’s not enough just to gather raw contract data in one place. The next, crucial step is to synthesize and present that data to generate actionable insights you can share with executives and colleagues.

A good contract management solution will help you do that — and the best software will eliminate the manual work of data entry and tracking altogether. Look for a CMS that includes automated dashboards to help you effortlessly monitor the business data you need across your entire contract portfolio.

Dashboards and workflows, like the rest of the platform, should be part of the trial. Test the dashboards to see whether the data that the system pulls from your real contracts, without human intervention, is accurate and easy to consume.

3. Experiment with real cross-functional collaboration scenarios

It’s easy to think of contracts as something that the legal team “owns.” However, contracts touch every aspect of a business, from sales transactions, to hiring agreements, to software licenses. The legal team may manage those files, but the terms within impact stakeholders from other teams. The data that is locked in contracts is not just the legal team’s data — it's company data.

Sharing this data across functional silos and obtaining stakeholder input requires collaboration and workflow coordination between teams. Fortunately, the easier it is for business stakeholders to comply with your processes, the more they will comply.

That’s why you need to implement a system that’s easy to adopt. You and your team shouldn’t have to learn complex, new interfaces or features — the technology should do the heavy lifting. Once you have standardized processes and tools that are easy to learn, follow, and use, you can identify champions throughout your organization who will help you get the rest of the company onboard with your new system.

In short: the leading contract management solution providers will give you hands-on time with the platform to see how easy it is for you and your team to manage and analyze your contracts.

Ready to get started? Schedule a demo with Evisort today and see for yourself how easy and fast contract intelligence and management can be with the right tools.

We’re back from CLOC (Corporate Legal Operations Consortium) Global Institute 2022, and we had a blast sharing and learning alongside top legal operations professionals.

One thing we observed: there are a lot of vendors who focus on contracts.

This dramatic proliferation of legal technology is a boon for professionals who work regularly with contracts in law, vendor management, and related fields. It’s always good to have options. It’s also great that organizations such as CLOC promote best practices, advancements in technology, and innovation strategies.

On the other hand, the sheer number of software providers in this space can make it difficult to determine which one is best for your organization. Many providers make similar claims regarding their capabilities, but software solutions are not all created equal.

It’s important to evaluate any contract management system based on what will work best for your own team and business overall. How do you choose the right solution provider for your organization’s needs?

We’ve identified three key actions to take when evaluating contract lifecycle management and analytics solutions:

1. Insist on hands-on time with the platform

One of the most vital steps in buying a software solution is trying it first. Look for a free trial period that allows you to actually use the platform with your own contracts.

The provider should give you unchaperoned access during the trial period. If they don’t, ask yourself why. Is the software too hard to use without assistance? Does it take extra work to replicate the results you saw when the sales team demonstrated the product for you?

Make sure the vendor allows you to upload a high volume of documents during the trial. This will allow you to evaluate how the solution works in real time, and how accurate and scalable it is — in short, whether it has true machine learning capabilities or not. We recommend making the system ingest as many documents as possible. Again, you should be free to upload the files yourself so you can see the results that the system generates on its own.

2. Test the built-in data analysis and visualization tools

A simple contract repository is not sufficient in 2022. Businesses are data-driven, and legal departments are not exempt. There’s an increasing appreciation that in-house legal teams need to be just as focused on efficiency and effectiveness as any other business unit.

It’s important that your technology can help you analyze and improve your legal and contract management operations, such as by identifying and eliminating bottlenecks in the approval process.

At CGI 2022, it was clear that many people considered data on operational efficiency important. Data about the contents of the business’s contracts, however, has become even more important for many attendees and their organizations.

To that end, it’s not enough just to gather raw contract data in one place. The next, crucial step is to synthesize and present that data to generate actionable insights you can share with executives and colleagues.

A good contract management solution will help you do that — and the best software will eliminate the manual work of data entry and tracking altogether. Look for a CMS that includes automated dashboards to help you effortlessly monitor the business data you need across your entire contract portfolio.

Dashboards and workflows, like the rest of the platform, should be part of the trial. Test the dashboards to see whether the data that the system pulls from your real contracts, without human intervention, is accurate and easy to consume.

3. Experiment with real cross-functional collaboration scenarios

It’s easy to think of contracts as something that the legal team “owns.” However, contracts touch every aspect of a business, from sales transactions, to hiring agreements, to software licenses. The legal team may manage those files, but the terms within impact stakeholders from other teams. The data that is locked in contracts is not just the legal team’s data — it's company data.

Sharing this data across functional silos and obtaining stakeholder input requires collaboration and workflow coordination between teams. Fortunately, the easier it is for business stakeholders to comply with your processes, the more they will comply.

That’s why you need to implement a system that’s easy to adopt. You and your team shouldn’t have to learn complex, new interfaces or features — the technology should do the heavy lifting. Once you have standardized processes and tools that are easy to learn, follow, and use, you can identify champions throughout your organization who will help you get the rest of the company onboard with your new system.

In short: the leading contract management solution providers will give you hands-on time with the platform to see how easy it is for you and your team to manage and analyze your contracts.

Ready to get started? Schedule a demo with Evisort today and see for yourself how easy and fast contract intelligence and management can be with the right tools.