Agiloft Is Moving CLM From Legal Tech to Enterprise Tech

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The pandemic has brought lasting changes to how companies do business and accelerated digital transformation. As digitization continues, Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) becomes even more critical for businesses. In this context, Andy Wishart, CPO of Agiloft talked about the Winter Release of Agiloft, and the new features, and benefits of the new release.

Could you tell our readers about yourself and your role at Agiloft?

I am the Chief Product Officer at Agiloft and have over 20 years of experience building innovative legal technology solutions. Most recently, I worked as Vice President of Product Management at Thomson Reuters where I led a team focused on legal drafting and productivity solutions. I was co-founder and chief technology officer of Contract Express, the contract automation solution that Thomson Reuters acquired in 2015. With a degree in artificial intelligence and psychology from the University of Edinburgh, I am passionate about enhancing legal productivity through intelligent and easy-to-use solutions.

Over the past 2 years, businesses have had to make an extra effort to stay competitive in an unprecedented environment. What are the benefits of CLM Software in the post-Covid-19 era?

Before the pandemic, digital transformation roadmaps were frequently more aspirational than realistic. Organizations that had not already invested in new technology were stuck between needing to digitally transform and conserving cash to survive. But where there is a crisis, there is an opportunity, and digital transformation can do more than just help companies become proactive. Contract lifecycle management (CLM) software provides faster contract approval times to create an ease of business and a positive customer experience that can’t be easily measured. And as many organizations continue to work remotely or in hybrid work environments, automated workflows help keep teams on task and up to date. Increased visibility of contracts across departments creates a greater level of ownership that cannot exist with a manual process.

The market for CLM is evolving rapidly. What are your reflections on the future of the market?

There is a new conversation happening around contracts, and much of the excitement comes from businesses realizing what is now possible with CLM technology. For too long we’ve thought of contracts as a shield, relegated to dead-end digital representations of paper. We are reimagining contract data as a digital asset, the DNA of your business, or the instruction set for every single business relationship both inside and outside of your company. The leading CLM vendors recognize this and are moving beyond digital repositories for contracts to maximize value and minimize risk using more accessible contract data.

Agiloft announced its 2021 Winter Release, extending the business value of CLM across the entire enterprise. Could you give us more information about these innovative new CLM features?

With the 2021 Winter release, Agiloft is moving CLM from legal tech to enterprise tech. With the new release, Agiloft empowers organizations by connecting them to contract processes and data, increasing collaboration, and accelerating CLM as the connected system of record across the enterprise. Agiloft’s next-generation no-code platform allows customers to add and configure new capabilities and functionality precisely to their needs. In today’s distributed workforce, enabling teams to work through deeply connected experiences—while maintaining ease of use and flexibility—is critical to business value.

To maximize the value and speed of contracting, enterprises must boost collaboration by bringing more departments into the CLM process, and one way to do that is to bring CLM functionality to them in the apps they already use. Business collaboration tools have grown at a record pace, with Microsoft Teams users growing to over 145 million in 2021. With Agiloft’s 2021 Winter Release, Microsoft Teams users can see the progress of contracts and even approve contracts directly within Teams.

How do these new features allow enterprises to drive better business outcomes through improved contract management practices?

Our latest release is focused on delivering connected experiences that enable users to connect contract processes with the trusted tools they use daily. Distributed workforces are the new norm, and the ability for teams to collaborate is critical. This newest product release makes it easier than ever to use contract management solutions across the enterprise.

Agiloft helps reduce cycle-time from RFx to signed contract, automate supplier onboarding, and maintain contract and regulatory compliance. It also does the heavy lifting when automating contracts across procurement departments. Users gain speed and control when enabling CLM to reduce time spent onboarding, optimize key procurement processes, and standardize contract language with templates and a dynamic clause library.

The pandemic caused most businesses to accelerate their digital transformation. What advice would you give to those who are ready to take their digital transformation to the next level?

COVID-19 greatly accelerated digital transformation efforts for organizations, requiring enterprises to change rapidly to adapt, and there’s little sign of going back to a pre-pandemic way of doing business. Enterprise decision-makers need to adopt agile and configurable technology as businesses expand and evolve over the years to come. As companies change due to growth, new initiatives, and competitive situations, technology systems must adapt to constantly meet the evolving needs of the business. Rather than staying locked into traditional processes with legacy technology, organizations must continuously scale at the pace that their business grows.

What are the most important criteria for CLM software selection?

With a rapidly growing market, it’s easy to be overwhelmed when shopping for a new CLM solution. Transitioning an entire organization to a new contract management system is a significant undertaking, and it all begins with selection. It’s important to look for these features when selecting the right CLM for your organization:

Software with flexibility and configurability to be maintained in-house will reduce vendor dependence and the total cost of ownership.

Automated approval workflows ensure efficient and timely approval task communication and free staff members to focus on more specialized activities.

System integrations and connected systems facilitate the flow of contract information. Integrations with ERP and CRM systems remove data silos, making contract data visible and actionable across the enterprise.

A central repository provides an organized location to access and store contracts, reducing office interruptions. This feature minimizes the time staff members spend on recurring tasks.

What is your strategy of growth for 2022?

With two more product releases planned for 2022, we will deliver more Connected Experiences to allow our customers to utilize Agiloft CLM functionality in the tools they are already using. This will be in addition to the Microsoft Teams, MS Dynamics, and Tableau Connected Experiences released this November. We are excited to roll those out in 2022, so please stay tuned.

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