On-demand Webinar

New Procurement Playbook: Leveraging AI Across Contracts, Featuring Travelzoo

Supplier stakes are higher than ever, yet most contract data is locked away in silos. How can you best leverage advanced artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities across procurement operations? In this webinar, Travelzoo General Counsel and Head of Global Functions Christina Ciocca and Evisort Chief Marketing Officer Michaela Dempsey lead an interactive discussion on best practices for integrating AI across the procurement and contracting lifecycle. You’ll learn how to:

Evaluate and test machine learning in real time

Integrate AI-powered technology to supercharge your operations

Accelerate powerful business outcomes and drive measurable ROI

On-demand Webinar

New Procurement Playbook: Leveraging AI Across Contracts, Featuring Travelzoo

Supplier stakes are higher than ever, yet most contract data is locked away in silos. How can you best leverage advanced artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities across procurement operations? In this webinar, Travelzoo General Counsel and Head of Global Functions Christina Ciocca and Evisort Chief Marketing Officer Michaela Dempsey lead an interactive discussion on best practices for integrating AI across the procurement and contracting lifecycle. You’ll learn how to:

Evaluate and test machine learning in real time

Integrate AI-powered technology to supercharge your operations

Accelerate powerful business outcomes and drive measurable ROI

Ian (00:04):
Hi, everybody. Good afternoon. Welcome to today's webinar. My name's Ian Lawless. I'm Procurement Leaders Conference Director. I'm delighted to be joined today as we are going to be discussing the topic of the new procurement playbook and the benefits of leveraging AI across procurement contracts.

I am nicely joined by Christina Sindoni Ciocca, General Counsel and Head of Global Functions at Travelzoo, and Michaela Dempsey, Chief Marketing Officer at Evisort, who we partner with on this webinar. Welcome to you both today. Thank you so much for being here.

Michaela (00:34):
Thank you.

Christina (00:37):
Thanks for having us.

Ian (00:39):
Great to have you with us. If you wouldn't mind, as we kick things off: I'll come to you first, Christina, just a little bit about you, about you in the role, just to kind of help us dive us into the conversation to kick us off today.

Christina (00:49):
Sure. Nice to be here today. As Ian said, I'm coming from Travelzoo. I serve as general counsel. I've been practicing in law for, I guess almost 10 years. After law school, I worked at a law firm in M&A for a number of years, and then I came in-house and now been in-house for, I think going on five years. So I have a nice view of both law firm versus in-house life, and yeah, focused on everything that Travelzoo needs, but contract management is near and dear to my heart.

Ian (01:32):
Fantastic. You have fantastic perspective today of the work that you do, and that's great as well, so thank you for joining us.

And Michaela, lovely to have you back with us for another one of our webinars here, and a really interesting topic to discuss. But just if you wouldn't mind, uh, an overview with yourself and from the Evisort perspective.

Michaela (01:47):
Oh yes, I am the chief marketing officer at Evisort, and, we're an AI contract analytic organization that will help procurement and the rest of the business really keep track of all of your important obligations within your contracts at a click of a button and as easy as Google.

Ian (02:15):
Superb. Well, thank you both very much just for helping set the... just a bit of context to start with on your, on your roles and responsibilities.

To set the scene with a bit of context on today's particular agenda, as I mentioned at the top, we are looking at that new playbook, procurement playbook, and the benefits of leveraging AI across procurement contracts. I think supply stakes are higher than ever, most of our contract data is also locked away in silos, which is a bit of a contradictory aspect there really. So we want to really dive into how you can best leverage advanced AI capabilities across your procurement operations.

So as a bit of an agenda for today, we'll find out a bit more about Christina and the organization that she supports, and how, they have leveraged AI across contracts there at Travelzoo. And also gonna have a look at that startup and strategic change in a bit more depth and in more detail with both Michaela and with Christina over the next 40 or 45 minutes or so. These are entirely interactive webinars. Please do put your questions in. We want to hear from you throughout, because  our speakers to get further insights from them with the information that they're sharing. So, we do have an opportunity to put that into the Q&A box. Feedback is always important to us with our, with any of our webinars, so do let us know about we can, improve as part of the survey question as well. Any technical difficulties, which I sincerely hope there won't be any, and hope none at all, check out the help section. Uh, there'll be a lot of information for you to contact us, otherwise, I'll put a question into the box and one of our helpful team will be able to support you on that one.

So we want to kick off though with, uh, a bit of a, a bit of a poll, uh, just to get a pulse of the room, pulse of the audience and those that are with us today. That question is, have you used AI in your procurement or contract operations? So please put your responses in now. Michaela, gonna come to you first, just as the audience are putting their responses in. What are you hoping to see here?

Michaela (04:11):
Well, I'd love... I mean, I'd love to see everyone using AI, because I know that it works, and it's very successful. But I, I have a feeling that most people aren't, aren't really utilizing it yet.

I know over the years we've all been waiting for AI to really be successful, and we're at that point right now, so, I, I don't expect a ton of people are using it, but, um, I hope that soon everybody will be. Even our product just, it will help so much more for them.
Christina (04:45):

Ian (04:45):
Absolutely. Absolutely. Anything there for you, Christina, or, given your own experience in thinking that will be the landscape?

Christina (04:52):
I have to say, not to stereotype, but I think lawyers can sometimes be a bit, uh, slow to adopt technology or change.

Ian (05:04):

Christina (05:05):
So, while I feel like AI has been in the background, and been used in kind of small ways, even back when I was doing M&A at my law firm, I don't know if that kind of like adoption rate has increased drastically over the past few years. But maybe it has. I know at Travelzoo, we've been using it now for a few years, so hopefully. Hopefully [inaudible 00:05:32].

Ian (05:32):
Hopefully indeed.

Christina (05:41):
on the bandwagon.

Ian (05:42):
Absolutely. Well, thank you for your responses. So let's take a look then in that case, what the audience is indeed saying. So there we go, we have, uh, 54.5% say, "No, not currently," but they do plan to in the next  year. Kind of that, 20, 25%, about a quarter of our audience, Michaela, that say yes, kind of utilizing it, there's some work to do to kind of prove the effectiveness. The bit I'm interested in, and I think we can make a bit of headway into this number over the next hour, is those that have plans to do so. So this is where we've got an opportunity here, Michaela and Christina, to talk to this audience and talk about how they can look at implementing such an excellent opportunity for their business.

Any additional response from, from either of you then, Michaela?

Michaela (06:22):
No, but I look forward to showing people some of  what we can do in exposing the success that Travelzoo's had, so that's great.

Ian (06:34):

Christina (06:34):

Ian (06:38):
Absolutely. I'm sure we do. In that case then, let's dive into it. I mean, I mentioned just before kind of some of the areas that we're gonna cover. And how we can kind of go into some, into some more depth on this.


Michaela, I'm gonna hand over to both yourself and to Christina now, just to, just to kick us off and to find a bit more information really on Travelzoo, and the work on the partnership between the two of you.

Michaela (06:59):
Oh, great, great. Thank you. And I'm really thrilled to be joined here by Christina and have her share about Travelzoo's success. Christina, could you start off by sharing a little bit more about what Travelzoo does. I know I get your Travelzoo email on a, on a daily, but most people may not know what Travelzoo is, so take it away.

Christina (07:25):
Yeah. Absolutely. Travelzoo is actually a publicly traded, travel media company, which are primarily... The media that we are primarily focused on is email, as Michaela said. We do a weekly top 20 that has all the best travel deals of the week, and some basic statistics about the organization. As a global organization, we have 16 offices worldwide. We partner with over 5,000 top travel suppliers, and we've been working for, I think next year is our 25th year anniversary, which is crazy. We publish deals from more than 2,000 travel entertainment and local companies. And we have kind of, um, staff who get the deals to make sure that they truly are best in the market. And yeah, it's a great company to be a part of.

To the less glamorous side from travel to contracting, just to kind of frame the discussion, the way we primarily contract is kind of two buckets. We have what I refer to as our kind of like Travelzoo agreements, which are insertion orders and, and hotel agreements, and merchant agreements, and for that we haven't yet moved over to Evisort. It is something that's on my mind and a potential for the future.

And then we have what are our third party vendor agreements, more the procurement side, relating to this discussion today, and that we have moved over to Evisort. So when I'm talking about our contract management today, that's what I'm referring to is those vendor agreements mostly.

Michaela (09:12):
Oh, cool. So why don't we dive into a little bit more about the operations and vendor relationships that you are supporting on the next slide.

Christina (09:21):
Sure. So prior to Evisort, which I've... As I said, I've been with Travelzoo, I think, going into five years now. When I first joined, it just... contract management wasn't really top of mind for the legal department. It was a legal department of one person, supporting a global organization, so it just wasn't a priority, I think, up until then. When I joined, there was more resource within our department to start kind of focusing on this. And around that time, we started conversations with some contract management providers and platforms, and Evisort, obviously, was one of them.

But yeah, I think during that time, not to put anything negative about Travelzoo, because, like I said, it just wasn't a high risk area or a priority at that time, but we didn't have any sort of CLM technology, our vendor management was limited. It was really handled more by each department or function, and less by the legal department, so there was kind of a little bit of a lack of communication and flow in terms of like the contracts between those departments. We realized though that especially, and we'll get into it later, with COVID, and with just general management, we needed more kind of holistic spend management, which is another reason why we thought working with an all-in-one platform would be helpful.

And yeah, I think I touched on the other points already, but we, we're lacking kind of a contract repository that was one central source of where everything was, so just a lot of things getting lost in email, a lot of people signing things and not communicating it to others, people not always reviewing when they probably should have, things like that. So it just became a bit more difficult to manage, especially as the company was growing.

Michaela (11:21):
Well, it sounds like there were, like, just so many moving parts and pieces, and as we think about contract as the underpinning, of these global relationships and business operations, I know we're going to talk about how teams can incorporate AI into their procurement and contract management, but let's take a step back. How, how would your team know that there was even an opportunity here? Can you walk us through how your contract management was like before Evisort?

Christina (11:53):
Yeah. I think it was just a bit of a local departmental thing, and not a centralized, legal function, and I think that was part of the problem. There was... The communication was not really flowing amongst the functions or departments, and a- part of the reason for that was there just was no consolidated way to see what was even going on in terms of contracts. That also led to kind of miscommunications and misunderstandings between not only legal and the local departments, like marketing and IT, but also with finance, because then there'd be invoices coming through, we'd be making payments for things, and we didn't actually even know if we had a signed contract on file. It just prompted the discussion of really the dollars and cents of what we were paying made us realize that we probably needed to tie things together a bit more so we could have a better insight into our expenses.

Michaela (13:02):
That's great.

Christina (13:02):

Michaela (13:02):
And how did the new search for a contract management solution fit into your legal team's evolution overall?

Christina (13:12):
Yeah. I think it happened to be good timing.  I... we wanted to move towards having, um, like a single source of truth, as it says on the slide, and  we wanted to have an easy way to pull reports that we could then share with other departments like finance or marketing or IT. That was kind of the main thing that prompted the change, and the conversations of Evisort and others, initially.

Then as we got to know more about what a platform like Evisort could offer, we realized that there was also this area of opportunity for legal review, just like shortening our time for legal review. Despite being a global company, my legal team was only two, and then there was only one, and then we expanded and now have four. But that being said, it's not a ton of people for the number of contracts that we probably need to review on a weekly basis, so seeing how a platform like Evisort could also help us shorten the review time was another win.

And then the final piece was this auto renewal management. There just were so many instances where, um, we needed to cancel something and we weren't aware, so having Evisort use its AI to pull reports for us to notify us in advance was another great area that we wanted to explore, and which we can talk more about during this call.

Michaela (14:44):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think we have a slide on that  later.

Christina (14:48):

Michaela (14:48):
So thanks for explaining the process. I'd love to dive into really how you're, you're looking at Evisort today, and what the implementation looked like, if you wouldn't mind sharing that with us.

Christina (15:04):
Sure. So I think building on these like priorities, we, um... The way that we're using Evisort today maybe has evolved a bit from how we kind of initially contemplated working working with, with Evisort or a contract management platform. It really goes to those three areas that I just talked through. We have a system setup now where we're still heavily an email based organization. We do our contract review, back and forth over email, but Evisort worked with us to figure out a way to kind of seamlessly put in Evisort into our day-to-day work in the way we were already working. So now we just have like a contracts review, list serve that has my entire team on it.

People in the business know that they send an email request with a contract to there, we review it, and then when it's final and signed, we have another email address, final contracts at Travelzoo that the contract gets forwarded to, and then that automatically pulls it into Evisort, and Evisort works its magic and helps us be like organized and on top of everything, so it really has fulfilled that ability to do contract management, and it did so in a way that didn't upend my legal department, and we didn't really have any kind of like lag time in terms of implementation, so it was really great.

Michaela (16:36):
Wow, that's, that's amazing to hear. I know, I know it's a lot, especially to get all those parts and pieces into a system, so, you know, great job for you guys.

Now I'm certain that, at a global travel company, it's critical to keep everything organized, right? And compliant with internal policies. Can you talk about, um, how that process works now with Evisort?

Christina (17:05):
Yes. So now that we have all of the documents in one place, rather than every time a request comes up having to contact the business owner, ask them to look in their email, ask them to pull from their marketing share drive, you know, digging in our email inboxes, it just... now we can just go right to Evisort, run an easy search. The search feature is like... just like I think you said earlier, similar to how Google works. You literally... I just type in whatever comes to mind related to the contract, and nine times out of 10, it's able to pull it up for us. And then the time from a request to finding the contract is like two minutes. Like it's, it's just like a very seamless login search process. I'm able to pull the contract up and then we can check it for whatever we need.

Evisort also has a really handy summary section, in there, without having to actually open the contract, I can already see the key things that I probably need to know. There's also another tab which pulls out like the key legal provisions. So most of the time most of the questions I'm getting are like, "When does this contract expire? How much is it for?" Things like that. And I usually don't even have to open the contracts, I can just look at the summary page and it tells me exactly what I need to know, and I can respond.

So an old email request from someone in the business, that might've taken like 20, 30 minutes. Now, it literally takes five. So I think that's a key way that it's helped, and helped our compliance program.

Also, we're starting to implement kind of an auditing, feature, which we're working with the AI that Evisort provides and using those summaries, and also the reporting, so it just spits something out for us that we can then cross check against our finance records every quarter, um, so it cuts down on that time as well. And then it also just gives us a holistic picture of all the contracts that we have in the organization.

The last piece-

Michaela (19:23):
Yeah, Oh, sorry.

Christina (19:24):
... on that. I'm sorry. Go ahead.

Michaela (19:25):
No, no, you go ahead.

Christina (19:27):
The last piece on this slide is data privacy, which, is an area that I honestly didn't think that Evisort could help us with, but it has. And that's because now, with QDPR and the new CPRA, in California...

Michaela (19:42):

Christina (19:43):
... there's certain provisions that are required in contracts or addendums, and Evisort is able to recognize what those provisions are, so I can just look and be like, "Oh, look, I have a data privacy provision on this contract," so I fulfilled my duties for data privacy, check, check. So that helps with compliance as well.

Michaela (20:00):
Yeah, no, it's a nice tool because it can cover any type of compliance, depending on the industry that you're in, because of the search feature. You know, for the audience to think of Google when you're typing in and looking for something, or looking for a phrase, it can find that in a clause, and not only that, but it can report it. So if you needed to have like a dashboard reporting on, on these issues, that's something that you can have in real time as well. So it's really, really helpful, I know, for all our customers.

Thank you for going through all that. The next area is also really interesting, because it highlights the businesses that use AI to save money and time. Can you expand on how Travelzoo has achieved, um, the success using Evisort's AI?

Christina (21:01):
Yeah. So I think again, like, as I was saying, this was more of a secondary opportunity, and now that we've kind of been working through how to fully utilize that opportunity, we're realizing that it actually probably should've been a primary concern when we were first thinking about a platform to work with. But, yeah, all of our contracts just get digitized immediately. Evisort, when we send to that final contracts list or email group, it gets pulled into Evisort, it scans it, it works its magic, uses the OCR and then pulls out the relevant like provisions in things that we have set as critical to our business.

So, the data privacy one was an example. I think another great example would be leases, I could just pull up every lease very easily using the search. It will have been scanned. I mean, leases can be like 100, hundreds of pages, and I... it pains my soul to have to read every line of a lease, so... (laughs)

Michaela (22:12):

Christina (22:15):
Having, um, a partner who can do that for me is just such a... just helps so much. So it can pull like the terms, usually, like, the expiration, when it renews, if we have, I don't know, a right to renew or a... Things like that, I can just locate that provision very easily, and it just saves so many hours with review and, and answering questions, like I said before.

Michaela (22:46):
Yeah, that's awesome. I'm so glad you guys are able to do that. And what we were talking about earlier with contract renewal, I know it's played a big part in your decision really to buy Evisort, and I know it's the bane of every procurement and company's issue, so would love to have you walk through, walk through those stories with us.

Christina (23:13):
Yeah. Yeah. I think this is the easiest way to sell why a platform like Evisort is most useful to a legal department. And I'll give you a practical example. Before, when I was saying like before we started really focusing on contract management, and was a bit of the wild, wild west, we would be getting invoices through finance for charges and half the time (laughs) we didn't know who the vendor was or like what it was for. It could be the case that someone might have signed an agreement and then left the company, and so we don't have a copy of that agreement anywhere. It got lost in their email. They didn't store it on SharePoint or whatever, and we were just paying for things.

And then we find out... either we get a copy of the contract after digging and spending time, and then we see, "Oh my gosh, there's an automatic renewal on here, and the person didn't cancel it before they left, so we've literally been paying a service for like months that we didn't need." And that can add up. And the bigger your company gets, the more likely you're gonna have those scenarios.

Being able to catch ahead of time that something's gonna auto renew, saves so much time and like struggle on the back end. So it really has helped us to save, I think, thousands of dollars because we know when a service is coming up for renewal. Evisort sends us a report. My contract manager goes through the report, talks to the business owner and is like, "Are you aware that this is expiring and is gonna auto renew in a month? Do you still want it? If so, let us know and we'll, we'll leave it. If not, we will send a termination like today so that we'll get out of the notice period of the contract." So yeah, it's been, it's been a big help from Evisort.

Michaela (25:12):
Yeah, I would imagine it's also helpful too if you're finding that multiple people are using a similar product, so you can consolidate, consolidate things as well.

Christina (25:24):
Definitely. Definitely.

Michaela (25:24):
And so that really paints a picture on how Travelzoo is using the AI in daily operations. And I'd love to explore a specific project next, if you don't mind. I know at the start of the pandemic it was a very difficult time for all of us, and especially, being a travel provider because of, you know, all that was going on. How did you look at past risk analysis and response with that?

Christina (25:57):
Yes. I was so happy that we had already been working with Evisort for a while, and had already kind of integrated it into our day-to-day, because then when the pandemic hit, it was all hands on deck. We needed to very quickly evaluate and cut our expenses to kind of get us through the pandemic period, as I think a lot of companies travel or not, had to also.

And while of course we had our list of expenses from Conquer, that didn't, that doesn't give a full picture, because we don't know what we've agreed to with those vendors. So we were able to quickly pull things from Evisort, evaluate which contracts we thought would... we could get out of, we could cancel, we could negotiate, prioritize which ones were like the biggest cost savings. And we were doing this for multiple departments with less resources because, you know, we had to unfortunately do furloughs and things like that.

So having Evisort do most of the work was almost like having an additional headcount and it was just focused on this contract management for us. So it really helped us, um, to significantly cut costs during the pandemic, um, and pivot quickly. And I think it was critical to have it, and I'm glad that it was already in place before the crisis started, because of course you never can predict when it, when there may be another pandemic or other issue like that, and so already having the process in place and the procedures there, just made our lives so much easier, and it was like we could just focus on getting through the pandemic.

Michaela (27:41):
Yeah. All that was just so, so crazy, so wow, thank you so much for walking us through all of this. You know, when you look at it, because a lot of times our time when we are at home and, and working or in the office even during the pandemic, time sort of got so blended. And, and when you do look back at all the things that you've done, you've really accomplished a lot. Like the whole team has, but it, it really is a tremendous amount of work. What are you doing when you're... you know, what are you thinking about when you look forward?

Christina (28:21):
Yeah. So now, great... luckily and gratefully, we are moving forward from the pandemic, so we're out of kind of crisis management mode, and, we have the time and resources to be focusing more on compliance again and kind of getting our day-to-day, more mundane operations in order, and kind of prepping for next year, and just making sure everything is in place and running smoothly. So we're kind of reconnecting with Evisort in a way,  and moving away from that crisis management into this more compliance focused, focusing on improving our contract auditing, and utilizing Evisort to its full potential for that.

We now feel comfortable that we've pretty much organized all of our agreements across the organization. Everyone in the business is following the process that we had set out a couple years ago. We are saving our time on our AI enable searches, so when my contract managers are negotiating, they're able to quickly look back at other contracts that we have agreed to in the past and look at the provision, and then that helps them to kind of remain consistent in their negotiations, which is also a huge helper.

For example, we now, you know, a very easy example, we made the decision that we really wanna try, even though Evisort helps us with auto renewals, to always negotiate away from auto renewals, or always include a termination for convenience or something like that. We're able to look back at contracts of a similar type very easily and see what we... what language we had agreed to in the past, and then my contracts managers who are in different countries can be consistent globally.

We had talked about before trying to kind of make the case for why we should move to a contract management platform, and I think it goes both ways. Evisort also helps Travelzoo to make the legal department look a bit better, because unfortunately, legal professionals, we often have to deal with the fact that we're a cost center in an organization. We don't bring in revenue. It is what it is, but it always comes down to the cost savings we can bring to an organization, and I think Evisort being able to help us quantify that both from like a number of contracts and time management and savings, and then also cost savings perspective helps a lot, and helps make the legal department look even better.

So going forward, we wanna keep refreshing those compliance programs and just like perfecting the process, getting rid of, points of friction and making things go smoothly. We're improving our contract auditing process, and then we also wanna utilize... look into potentially utilizing Evisort for draft management, which we haven't yet made the jump, but I know that Evisort has great technology to support that piece of the business, so...

Michaela (31:31):
Yes, it does, that will be great to get you moving forward into that. Would you-

Michaela (31:37):
Would you like to share, maybe an ah-ha moment that you've had with, Evisort?

Christina (31:40):
Hmm. An ah-ha moment. Trying to think. I think that it really... It was a few things. First, it was like, wow, I didn't realize we had so many contracts in this organization, (laughs) active or inactive, but still. Seeing them all in one place and organized was, for me an ah-ha moment, because it just speaks to my type A contracts focused personality. So yeah, I think that would be the biggest. It's just like, wow, we really have a lot of contracts. You don't realize that when they're all being held in different areas. I think that would be the ah-ha moment, for sure.

Michaela (32:27):
Well, thank you, Christina, for taking us through your contracting and AI journey with Evisort. I can imagine you all have amazing questions for Christina. And before we get to them, I wanted to share just a bit about Evisort, especially for anyone who may be hearing about our AI solution for the first time.

Evisort offers an AI powered contract life cycle management and contract intelligence platform. As Christina shared, our purpose is to build our platform so that anyone and everyone can use it. You don't need to be a data scientist as it's a code... no code solution. And we have trained Evisort's proprietary AI on 10 million contracts enabling it to easily understand the context and meaning of legal language.

I use the platform myself for marketing contracts and can attest that it is super, super easy. But it's similar to Google, it just is probably faster, because you don't get all the things that you don't need, it's just the stuff that's in your contracts. Um, our platform is built to be easily integrated with your existing document repositories so that there's no need to migrate data. And Evisort can pull straight from your Google Drive Box or Dropbox or even digitize your old paper contracts. We can integrate with familiar procurement tools like Coupa, Ariba, Workday Strategic Sourcing, and any others that you may know of.

And Evisort works with organizations of all sizes, industries, and here are a few of our amazing customers that we get to collaborate with on a daily basis. And working with our customers, it is so inspiring to see how they're using Evisort in different ways to innovate and transform their processes and businesses. From compliance and vendor contracts, as Christina mentioned, to reviewing, revenue recognition reporting and deal acceleration, there are many different ways businesses around the world are using Evisort to create value and impact.

So let's jump to the Q&A, because I think you know we have a ton of questions coming in.

Ian (34:40):
We sure do. And thank you both very much for, uh, taking time just to, to really get a... paint a picture of the work you've done together and clearly seen a lot of value and impact as, as a result, so thank you very much for being able to share the story.

You mentioned we have a lot of questions. We do exactly that, Michaela. There's a lot that have come in from [inaudible 00:34:59] throughout the course of the last half an hour. So let's dive into some of these.

I'm gonna... you touched on at the top as well is making business case. A really important one for all the [inaudible 00:35:15] procurement side at the moment, when it comes to [inaudible 00:35:18] being quite tough, you mentioned as being cost centers. How did you make the business case, Christina, for investing, uh, in legal tech [inaudible 00:35:26]?

Christina (35:28):
I think it goes back to what I was saying, like really there's two areas that you can make... use to make the case, and one is resource allocation and time management, and then the second is tangible cost savings. Um, so for Travelzoo, um, being a, a very small legal department, um, I just, we just don't have the time to like review in the detail that we could, and having Evisort to not only save us time on like doing a deep dive into a contract and then also save us time on compliance and other things, I think that is a kind of a critical way to make the case for this.

You know, my time as general counsel, it's how is it better spent, probably not on reading every line of a contract, um, more trying to think of more global and impactful things for the organization and the business as a whole. So that was one way that we kind of made the case.

And then the second is just the cost savings that can be achieved by being on top of your contracts. Being able to review or have a repository, like if you have a new vendor that comes up, you can search and be like, "Oh, I paid XYZ for this ven- for a similar vendor in the past. Here are the terms I agreed on." Helps you with negotiations from both a cost perspective and a legal perspective. And then also with not missing those auto renewals. I think you can kind of add all those together, and it just comes out to being a cost savings, to compare to the cost of paying for a platform like this.

Ian (37:13):
Thank you. Michaela, anything further you want to add on to that, the business case aspect?

Michaela (37:18):
You know, there's a, there's a lot of different pieces to looking at audits and, and compliance. So we've seen customers really use the product quite a bit for audits from healthcare and all the way through to, you know, regular tech companies doing your annual audits, as...

And then I just recently spoke to a customer that was talking about, you know, taking all their, their data out of Iron Mountain, you know, their paper data, and just having it as peace of mind, but when they looked at it, they had 60 boxes which they didn't think of as having that much, but it came out to be about $72,000 a year, because it's about $100 a box. And they have the peace of mind of having the data that they can easily grab.

So there's a lot of good reasons to have all this searchable, and, and in the cloud, because you... You know, when you think about any of the technology we've moved to over the years, you know, we all, like we all have our, our mobile phones, but you, you want to be able to utilize all that information that exists. And since the technology exists now to really have that easily and readily, it's really the time to really reign it in and grab, grab that technology and start using it.

Ian (38:43):
Awesome. Thank you for that. The questions are coming in thick and fast, so make sure we try and cover as much as we can here.

We had a question from a multitude of people across the audience, but, James asks, how do you add new contracts? Is it centralized at procurement, or is everybody able to enter a new contract?

Christina (39:07):
So, I think you can set it up in a number of ways. We decided to just have the final contracts like email [inaudible 00:39:14] really accessible by everybody, so I guess that does end in maybe from time to time we get a contract or a some... a document or something there that, we don't need, but it's easy to just delete it out. It's not a big deal.

Anyone can submit those final contracts, and we train... When we came up with our kind of procedure for contract review, we trained business to understand that if they're coordinating signature on their end, once that they have that fully signed document, they forward it to final contracts, and then we kind of stay on top of email chains and things to, to make sure that it does get submitted. But exactly for that reason is why we are thinking maybe to start using Evisort for draft management, because there is a bit of a gap between… You know, we respond to email, we give our feedback, and then the business owner goes away and gets it signed, and unless we're literally staying on top of them, there's a chance that they might not send it into that email list. I think it makes a good case for why having draft management also included, um, within a platform helps.

But yes, long answer to your question, um-

Ian (40:29):

Christina (40:29):
Anyone can forward that email address. But only the legal department can review a all the contracts within Evisort currently.

Michaela (40:42):
Yeah, and, and I... what I would add to that is that, you know, every, every organization sets things up differently, and permissions can be set so that, you know, different groups can review and look at, at different content. You know, we even have a, we even have a, a good number of customers that do M&A, and they'll have a, a cl- what we call a clean room, where they can have that, that data in there, because obviously you really don't want many... you know, you have very limited people looking at, at that type of documentation. So it's all in how you organize and set up the permissions, and then obviously the workflow.

Additionally, the searches can stay with those groups too, so, you know, you have out of the box, immediate, information, but you can have custom tags and searches so that they are related. Like let's say you're in IT and you wanna just look at IT information, so depending on how you have it set up, the contracts sit in one, you know, one brain, and the permissions basically allow people to have the information that's important.

Because I know like in procurement, you need to do the score carding and all that, so you're gonna want to have constant access, and you can add the notes into where, where you are, et cetera.

Ian (42:04):
Thank you both for your answers on that one. I, I have another question in here, um, [inaudible 00:42:10] any advice that you'd give to others here evaluating CL- CLM products, because [inaudible 00:42:14] I've got a couple of questions I'm just gonna merge it together here, which were, which were based around the merit system, why you chose Evisort over a, over another offering. But I guess then, you know, what advice would you give to others who are then evaluating in that particular process, different products and what led you towards working with Evisort specifically?

Christina (42:34):
Yeah, absolutely. That's a great question. And I won't, I won't name names for any of the competitors that we didn't end up going with, but I did a pretty full evaluation. I think we spoke to four or five different players at the time, and this was, I think, three or four years ago. Evisort was a relatively new company at that time. They have come such a long way from there. I mean, they were already great, but, the things they've built and customizations and things like that have... are now in the platform are crazy.

But back at that time, we had a very kind of narrow use case, as I've talked about on this call. So I wanted someone that could kind of meet that use case without completely upending our organization and the way we were doing things, like fit seamlessly into what we were doing as opposed to having to adapt to a completely new process or system. If that makes sense.

So for us, Evisort was very kind of customizable. It was able to be inserted into our day-to-day instead of the other way around. The onboarding of all of our contracts and like digitizing was super fast, super easy. We had a team there to support us, and that was important to me too, because I didn't want to have to spend time like ad- like getting up to speed on the system, I wanted someone to just do it for me.

Lastly just like the customer service really stood out to us. Like a very open, collaborative team, like here's your concerns. And, if there was something I didn't like about the platform, they would immediately research it and tell me, "Oh, maybe you're using the wrong way, or maybe try this." Or, "We'll fix it. We can do it this way." And, there's been a number of like requests we've made that they then take back and kind of integrate into the whole platform and then push out for other customers and vice versa, so that's, that was [inaudible 00:44:44] really critical just having a team there to support us, as we kind of made this adoption. And to me, Evisort had that over any of the competitors.

Ian (44:56):
Excellent. And, and just follow-up, 'cause Colin [inaudible 00:44:59] asked, asked a question as well, and you've just mentioned there about kind of the, the support and the work the, uh, that you had from the team to... in a collaborative nature. Colin [inaudible 00:45:07] asked how long did you take to implement the solution that was then customized to your needs specifically?

Christina (45:14):
It's, it's been... So to start using Evisort, I think it took a couple of days, maybe a week. Like once we signed the contract and it was like a two day process, I think, to get our contracts up into the system, and then they worked with us to figure out how we wanted everything to flow, and then it maybe took like another day or two to like make all that work.

Really, the delay was on us, not on Evisort, because we needed to get all of our stuff organized to be able to provide it to Evisort to like put into their repository. So, so yeah, it was a very quick process. And of course, if you have more contracts, or you know, you need a more complex kind of process or setup, then it might be a different situation. Ours was fairly basic, but still, I think Evisort was super responsive. And it took... It did not take a lot of time.

What maybe took a little more time was just getting the business owners, um, comfortable with following the new process, but again, that was on us and not on Evisort.

Ian (46:19):
Excellent. Well, thank you.

Michaela (46:22):
And I would just jump in and add here what is truly amazing about Evisort and one of the main reasons I joined the company, is that you can see it happen real time, so you can bring contracts in real time and have it searchable. And, you know, we've done it, we've done it with a publicist, or not publicist, but a person, you know, a reporter, and shown live like on a, on a streaming thing, loading in 10 contracts. But we, you know, we have companies like Bank of New York that have over a million contracts that are searchable. And the product itself can digest 70,000 contracts a day and have that like at your fingertips right away.

So, you know, the bigger part always is setting up the workflow, so, you know, obviously you need to understand how your business is going to work. But, you can really get up and running immediately, which is a really amazing thing about this technology, this particular technology.

Christina (47:42):
Yeah. Yeah. And the learning curve for knowing how to use Evisort, I thought, was pretty short. It's just it's like programs and things that you already are using, so once you kind of know where to look and what to click, like it's, it really was super easy for my team to be familiar with it.

And the only thing I... that maybe has taken a little bit longer is just like fully optimizing everything that Evisort has to offer. I think there's still things that we probably don't even realize we could be using, but to start using it day-to-day was super short.

Ian (48:22):
Excellent. [inaudible 00:48:24] We're fast approaching kind of on the end of our time together, so we'll try and get a few, a couple of these questions, uh, a bit quicker. Michaela, there's some questions that are more specific towards the platform itself, so just a couple you might be able to answer quite succinctly for us. One that's come in is around how long does it take Evisort to analyze and report on contracts?

Michaela (48:43):
Um, I don't know exactly what that question means, a report on contracts, we can digest, like I said, 70,000 contracts in a day. Contract itself, by definition, for our organization is 100 pages, so if you had like a 200 page contract, that would be considered... it would be contained as one, but it would be, you know, two contracts. But, but essentially, it, you know, it, it digests, and they're immediately, immediately available.

So we have out of the box, like 100-plus out of the box, um, clauses and, and, and things, but we have, we have all different types of industry, so, you know, we've got Travelzoo here, we've got Bank of New York, we've got Microsoft, we've got Netflix doing marketing. Like it's grabbing all those different terms, those obligations, those words, and, and making it so that marketing at Netflix... I mean, actually, I was at Workday yesterday, and they were able to pull out like in the contracts, who had in there contract, gotten a Workday rising pass. So like it, it... everybody can like immediately access that information, because it truly is like a Google search, you know. I mean, it isn't Google, but it's, you know. It may be better than Google, but it (laughs).

Ian (50:05):

Michaela (50:05):
So easy.

Ian (50:08):
And thank you. I've got another question on here as well. And you just mentioned some links to that. There's companies around having a lot of contracts that are currently not digital. How tough is it to get them analyzed in a system like Evisort's?

Michaela (50:19):
I- it's not. it's... What I'm saying is it's easy breezy. It doesn't... It makes no sense why it's so easy, and then of course because it's that easy, it makes no sense why everyone isn't actually doing it, you know. Which was... Again, I was at Workday yesterday, and it was a conversation we were having, because it's like what else can we do? Because we have, we have customers that are using it for revenue recognition. I mean, there's, there's so many different ways that you can use the information, because it's... Think about all the critical information that you have in your contracts, like it's all in there, all the nuance, like are there rebates, are... is there a critical thing, and obligation that you need to meet? What are the SLAs? You can like... Then you can start…

You know, people use it for IP, and as I said, like, like a lot of our healthcare customers are using it for audits and saving so much on making sure that they're hitting their Medicare rulings that they have to have so that they can stay in business, so they can you know, meet the needs of their patients. So, it's something to look at. Honestly, you should... at least if you're looking, you should look at it, because it really is a good tool.

Ian (51:39):
Excellent. I think, um, there's an awful lot in here that, question-wise, we'll probably get a chance to actually get through today. One though that I'm, I'm looking to the future. Does Evisort plan to have their own app?

Michaela (51:52):
Um, I suppose. I mean, you can use it on mobile as it is. Right? So I, I could pull it up on my phone as it is. Um, so...

Ian (52:03):
So yes. [inaudible 00:52:05]

Michaela (52:06):
I guess. Yeah. I mean, for now-

Ian (52:06):
[inaudible 00:52:07]

Michaela (52:07):
... it's mobile. Like it's mobile ready, so...

Ian (52:11):
Excellent. Um, we are... As I say, there's a, there's a few questions in here that I think, would be well worth taking the opportunity to connect with the team at Evisort, and Michaela, and colleagues specifically, afterwards. Oh, we had one question come in from Joanna Kazara, uh, who was asking about being obviously [inaudible 00:52:31] on this particular webinar today. There's an opportunity for us to go [inaudible 00:52:34] in that respect, during this conversation, but I'm very sure Christina will be happy to follow-up-

Michaela (52:38):
Oh yeah.

Ian (52:38):
... with you-

Christina (52:38):
[inaudible 00:52:39] happy to do that.

Ian (52:40):
[inaudible 00:52:40] (laughs) Yeah. Exactly. And there was further questions in there kind of on sort of the usability from [inaudible 00:52:46], from Jennifer, and [inaudible 00:52:47], who'd like to know kind of some other aspects around the draft management process as well, which they won't have time to cover, unfortunately, as part of the conversation, uh, as we close up the conversation today.

(52:57): But a huge thank you to you both. We've spent the better of the last part of 55 minutes kind of going into a lot of depth on the kind of the process and how we can leverage the AI across an organization like Travelzoo. So thank you very much for leaning in on that.

Any final comments that you, you'd like to leave kind of with the audience to, to take home for today, in, in this particular area, for them to really think about as they, they [inaudible 00:53:22] go back to their, their jobs and think about, um, kind of the conversation? Any kind of things that... major takeaways you'd like to leave them with?

Michaela (53:31):
Um, well-

Michaela (53:32):
... I'd just like to thank everybody for coming, so thank you.

Christina (53:36):
(laughs) Yes, I agree. Thank you, everyone for coming, and I... I would just conclude with saying, you know, contract management maybe is not the sexiest of things, but I think it's extremely important, for legal departments and for companies as a whole, and across all industries and countries and everything. So yeah, having a partner who can help you do that in a better way is just so critical and just makes life so much easier, so it's worth considering, if you have any interest at all. So yeah, thank you for joining us today. It was a pleasure speaking with you.

Ian (54:15):
Yeah, absolutely. Thank you all for joining us, hugely appreciate it. Big thank you to Christina and Michaela as well for the deep dive into the case study.

Do take the time, as I mentioned, to look at the additional resources page and have a look at the, inaudible 00:54:28] feedback to us, and also the upcoming calendar webinars that we have scheduled here at Procurement Leaders over the next remaining couple of months of the year as we set up 2023.

And yeah, a final thank you to everybody for joining us and for our speakers today. And we really look forward to seeing everybody again soon. Bye for now.

Christina (54:46):
Thank you.

Michaela (54:46):

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