Systems and Process Integration for CLM and Sales Ops

Contract Lifecycle Management implementations often lead to broader discussions on Systems and Process Integration for Sales Operations. More often than not, these discussions turn to value realization from process integration weighed against the investment costs of system integrations. Seems odd that client organizations would look at process streamlining from solely a value returned perspective while streamlining information flows through systems integration with a CLM is viewed as an expense to be accounted for. For those of you interested in hard...

Our Latest Article in ACC Docket—Realizing ROI from Contract Management Technology

Recent innovations in Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) software have paved the way for new and exciting opportunities for businesses to become more effective, efficient, and profitable in their work. Among other advances, Artificial Intelligence (AI), has opened the door to new methods to author, store, analyze, and manage contracts. But technological advances are only part of the story about how CLM software is changing our relationship to legal work. Historically, the decision to adopt CLM technology has required a leap...

Boost Your Sales with Contract Management Technology

Contract management has a significant impact on an organization’s sales numbers! Automated contract management adds wings to the sales team’s productivity and efficiency. CLM integrates with CRM and ERP systems of the organization to fetch customer details, so the sales team doesn’t have to enter this data manually. CLM also integrates with email client such as Microsoft Outlook to allow contract requests via the sales team’s familiar platform. Just select appropriate details from a drop-down menu to trigger the right...

CLM Benefits to Sales Operations

When we meet with sales operations leaders and discuss their contract challenges, we find similar data points: They need to simplify agreement drafting / assembly They want to automate the template selection process They would like the approval and review workflows to be automatic, but flexible and extensible They need to make sure that the process cannot be avoided They want it integrated into their current process and current system landscape They need it to be seamless and require no...

Contract Management Budget for 2018

What stops most organizations from embracing a recent technology? Fear of the unknown, and inertia! Times are changing for contract management. More and more companies are deploying Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solutions and reaping their benefits. If you are debating an investment in CLM, the new year is the perfect time to set your contract management budget. To help you with the numbers, check out our ROI calculator links below. CLMs offer numerous business benefits such as: Enhanced productivity of...

Best Practices to Ensure Contract Compliance – Part 4: Define Contract Performance Benchmarks

Well-defined contract performance benchmarks are key to demonstrating compliance. Quantifiable performance measurement across the organization is pivotal to establish transparency in the system and define targets. This also helps enforce entitlements and identify processes or business units which are underperforming. The challenge is to establish acceptable parameters for measuring contract performance across business. Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such that they are relevant to the success of a contract and can be easily measured and tracked periodically (preferably in real-time)—for...

Best Practices to Ensure Contract Compliance – Part 3: Create Standard Workflows

Welcome to the third blog in our series on best practices to ensure contract compliance! This post will discuss how standardized workflows contribute toward achieving compliance for your contracts. A standardized workflow not only accelerates contract authoring and approval but also ensures necessary input from all relevant stakeholders. The standardization of workflows is essential to reduce contract cycles and guarantee every stakeholder’s involvement, thereby eliminating ambiguity and confusion. The business-specific rules in workflow ensure that each step of the approval...

Rundown of Our Latest Webinar – ‘Taking Contract Management Beyond the Edge of the Enterprise’

Thanks to all the attendees for your active participation during our latest interactive webinar hosted with IACCM, ‘Taking Contract Management Beyond the Edge of the Enterprise’. For those of you who missed it, here's a quick rundown.   The webinar, presented by Arthur Raguette (Co-founder, Ultria) and Tim Cummins (CEO, IACCM) talked about the need to introduce a collaborative culture of contract management among the contracting functions (Sales, Legal, Finance, Procurement, HR). CLM tool’s integration with other enterprise systems like...

Best Practices to Ensure Contract Compliance – Part 2: Maintain a Contract Template and Clause Library

Related: Best practices to ensure contract compliance – part 1 Thanks for being part of our blog series on best practices to ensure contract compliance. Today’s post will talk about best practice #2—maintaining a contract template and clause library. Standardized contract creation = Faster contract creation! Drafting contracts from scratch makes authoring time-consuming and error-prone. Using configurable templates standardizes the contract language across contract categories and reduces the chances of errors. A comprehensive library of pre-approved clauses (including alternate and...

Best Practices to Ensure Contract Compliance – Part 1: Establish Audit System for Internal Processes

Every organization strives to achieve compliance for their contracts. Establishing a smooth audit system for internal processes is one of the best practices to ensure your contracts are always compliant. Conducting audits periodically will ensure adherence to various contractual terms and conditions and reinforce timely fulfillment of obligations. This, in turn, will facilitate effective enforcement of penalty clauses (for missed milestones of payment, etc.), identification of opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling of products and services, and an overall prevention of...

Best Practices to Ensure Contract Compliance

Achieving contract compliance is one of the most important goals of post-award contract management. To do so, it is imperative to manage the various contractual obligations well, track important milestones in a timely fashion, and ensure meeting necessary regulations.   The best practices to ensure contract compliance include:   Establishing a smooth system of contract audits for internal processes Maintaining a contract template and clause library Creating standard workflows Defining and communicating essential benchmarks for measurement of performance   Download...

Benefits of Automated Post-Award Contract Management

Thanks for being part of our blog series on post-award contract management! While part-1 of this blog series established the significance of managing contracts post-signing, part-2 focused on the challenges to effective post-award contract management. Today’s blog post will discuss how automation helps address all those challenges successfully.   Benefits of automated post-award contract management include:   Effective obligation management: CLM’s integration with external databases and systems such as CRM, ERP, and CPQ tools enables milestone tracking to facilitate tracking...

Quantifying the ROI from Contract Management Technology

Whether implementing a contract management solution will generate profitable returns for organizations is the one question on everyone’s mind!   To answer this, one can utilize industrial research data and estimate CLM’s ROI for their organization based on: Reduction in legal employee costs Prevention of financial losses Reduction in sales operation costs Management of renewable contracts Penalty avoidance and/or recapture Identification of consolidation opportunities   (Refer to the infographic on the right.)   Our latest whitepaper provides a stepwise breakdown...

5 Challenges to Post-Award Contract Management

In our previous blog post in the post-award contract management series, we explained the term and established the significance of post-award contract management processes. Today’s post will address the core issues we often face with post-award contract management. Enterprises deal with thousands of contracts spanning various functions like legal, sales, HR, procurement, and so on. Manually managing this many contracts and tracking post-award contract compliance becomes problematic, to say the least. The most common challenges to effective post-award contract management...

Does Post-Award Contract Management Really Matter?

Welcome to our blog series on post-award contract management! In this series, we will discuss all that you need to know about post-award contract management—what it means, the challenges contract managers face, how best to go about it, and so on. We will take on the most frequently asked questions we have received from our customers and bring all the answers to you. For starters, let us discuss what does the term “post-award contract management” really stand for. A contract’s...

Day 3 @ ACC Annual Meeting 2017

Day 3 (Final Day) update. Okay so really its day 4 but who counts the receptions? Super summaries for optimizing legal operations through increased leverage of appropriate technology. Embedded Artificial Intelligence and Smart contracts are complementary to the profession, not replacements. Great to be associated with this forward thinking group, and I think Contract Lifecycle Management is a powerful lever for in-house counsel to streamline a steady state business critical function.

Day 2 @ ACC Annual Meeting 2017

Insights from some leading companies at the Ultria booth (#148) at the ACC Annual Meeting 2017. Great insights on SaaS Contract requirements from experts at Xerox and Symantec today. Visit Ultria at booth 148 for a demo before the end of the ACC Americas Annual Meeting.

Day 1 @ ACC Annual Meeting 2017

Here is how the first day of the much awaited ACC Annual Conference at Washington D.C. panned out. Ultria is present at booth #148 Great first day at Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting in Washington. Hot topic at Ultria's booth - Artificial Intelligence enabled Contract Management!

Day 3 @ IACCM Americas Conference 2017

Great Take-aways from the 2017 IACCM Americas event in Toronto - Fantastic inspirations from the winning Future Leaders team - Future Technology of Contracting to encompass Artificial Intelligence, Simple UI / UX, Intuitive process and in-depth analytics. The future (and @Ultria ) is already here!

Day 2 @ IACCM Americas Conference 2017

"The whiskey is strong, but the meat is rotten"... This morning's session on Artificial Intelligence at IACCM America's - Toronto reminded us all of how far AI has come - from the days of room sized computers translating Russian (and poorly by some measure) to today's near perfect real-time translation on smart phones. The future of AI to improve and streamline the contracting process is about complementing human knowledge and judgement not replacing it. And for those of you scratching...

Day 1 @ IACCM Americas Conference 2017

Greetings from IACCM Americas in Toronto! Our first full day at IACCM Toronto and ULTRIA Contract Lifecycle Management interest continues unabated with emphasis on artificial intelligence enabled self-service portals and post award compliance management. Companies from manufacturing to management consulting are exploring increased value creation through full life-cycle management. See you at the reception!

Realizing ROI from Contract Management Technologies

Recent innovations in the world of CLM have paved the way for new and exciting opportunities. The companies deploying CLM solutions not only enjoy a simpler and highly efficient contract management process, but are also able to generate great savings. While there is no doubt about the many benefits implementing a CLM solution brings, quantifying its returns is the tricky part. A CLM’s ROI can be determined based on parameters such as: Reduction in legal employee costs Prevention of financial...

Following the Right Path

Workflow and approval routing is an often-overlooked core requirement for Contract Lifecycle Management. Proper configuration can mean the difference between improving turnaround time and burying bottlenecks inside a black box.  The trick to minimizing turnaround time is optimizing workflow usage. A few tips / tricks: Limit the number of workflow participants: Avoid including an unnecessarily large number of reviewers / approvers in the workflows. Provide for parallel reviews: Provide for parallel review processes (e.g. Health and Safety, Environmental Impact, Regulatory Affairs,...

Everything you need to know about Smart Contracts – 1

While trade and barter systems have been around since ancient times, today’s formal contract system was a by-product of the Industrial Revolution – a period when economic activity shot up through the roof. We are on the brink of another revolution, this time, courtesy of machines that can think, analyse, derive conclusions and act without relying on human input. Contracts today are written, tracked and executed largely using human intelligence – of course, there are systems to facilitate and streamline...

AI-Driven Futuristic CLM Capabilities-3: Context Sensitivity

In parts 1 and 2 of this blog series, we talked about predictive risk profiling and advanced data analytics, respectively. Continuing with our discussion, this blog post will address another futuristic CLM capability: Context sensitivity How do you define context sensitivity for a CLM solution? It is the ability of a CLM to determine what a contract requires, based on its understanding of the context. This understanding drives the CLM to make AI-based suggestions and facilitate quicker authoring of all-inclusive,...

AI-Driven Futuristic CLM Capabilities-2: Advanced Data Analytics

Thanks for being part of our blog series on AI-driven futuristic CLM capabilities. In part 1, we talked about predictive risk profiling. Today’s blog post will focus on advanced data analytics. Advanced data analytics CLM is a repository of thousands of contracts, clauses, compliance-related documents, and more. Up until now, this data was merely being stored so as to be able to dig it up later and look for necessary information, whenever required. Courtesy Artificial Intelligence, modern data analytics capabilities...

A Rundown of Our Latest Webinar – ‘AI-Powered CLM – Aligning Operations with Strategy’

Thanks to all the attendees for your active participation during our latest interactive webinar, ‘AI-Powered CLM—Aligning Operations with Strategy’. For those of you who missed it, here's a quick rundown. The webinar, presented by Arthur Raguette (Co-founder, Ultria), talked about modern-day Contract Lifecycle Management solutions’ AI-based advanced capabilities which go beyond fulfilling an organization's strategic requirements for contracting—efficient authoring, ensuring compliance, optimization of internal resources, and increased profitability. It focused on the following: The disconnect between strategy and implementation in...

AI-DRIVEN FUTURISTIC CLM CAPABILITIES-1: PREDICTIVE RISK PROFILING

The era of AI in CLMs is upon us. A few years back, CLM solutions were mostly deployed for functions such as central repository or contract templates. However, they now come with powerful capabilities which take care of every step of a contract's lifecycle—from raising contract creation requests to authoring, negotiation, approval, sign-off, and even post-award analytics. With the latest developments in AI, modern-day CLMs are coming up with futuristic capabilities which have the potential to revolutionize the entire contract...

Obligation Management-3

Thanks for being part of our blog series on obligation management. The first blog in this series, Obligation Management-1, talked about the importance of managing contractual obligations. Obligation Management-2 focused on the reasons due to which managing obligations is challenging for large enterprises. Today’s blog post will address how a CLM solution effectively tackles those challenges. Modern-day CLM solutions offer various capabilities which help enterprises manage obligations: Central repository – A centralized repository ensures that all contracts and supporting documents...

Obligation Management-2

In our previous blog post, Obligation Management-1, we established the importance of managing contractual obligations well. Today’s blog post will address the reasons why it is difficult to ensure obligations are successfully met by all parties involved. A lot of enterprises rely either on manual methods or on Microsoft Excel to store contract data. However, when there are a lot of contracts to be managed, Microsoft Excel lacks the scalability and functionality to cater to an organization’s dynamic requirements. The...

Obligation Management-1

Organizations invest a lot of time and effort in preparing an all-inclusive, error-free, unanimously approved contract. Getting it signed by the respective parties is the sweet fruit of labor. However, once it has been signed off, it is usually stored among thousands of other contracts, never to be looked at again. All those contractual obligations that took so much deliberation to be framed are seldom measured. Contractual obligations, simply put, are the legal commitments that the signing parties have agreed...

Contract Lifecycle Management and Artificial Intelligence: The Future is Now

We see numerous applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in our day-to-day lives. Be it in the form of voice recognition, predictive analytics, or machine learning—AI has truly opened new vistas of innovation. Yet, this remarkable field of technology has, so far, made few inroads in tools for legal professionals. In terms of a substantive tool, the introduction of AI into law is just dawning, but as implementation accelerates, the changes that accompany it are potentially dramatic. Perhaps most significantly, it...

A quick run-through of the ACC Legal Operations event—Using Analytics to Improve Contract Lifecycle Management

Ultria recently participated​ in the ACC Legal Operations event (format: Shark Tank) on Analytics and Contract Lifecycle Management in Chicago on 5th June 2017. The event witnessed leading contract analytics providers talk about how contract management systems optimize operations and drive continuous improvement. They discussed how the latest AI-based developments in contract analytics improve contract lifecycle management.   Next-generation contract management systems, such as Ultria CLM, provide great insights into the post-award phase of a contract’s lifecycle. Such insights are...

Extending CLM to the Edge of the Enterprise – 3

After looking at how CLM benefits the sales function, let’s see how it improves the way distributor and reseller agreements are managed. Managing several different entities, spread across the globe, working in different currencies and regulations is a daunting but highly critical task. Often, these distributors and resellers are representatives of the parent organization in certain regions and are tasked with withholding its reputation. Several considerations need to be made for a reseller/ distributor agreement and it needs to be...

Post Award Contract Management – Role of the contemporary CLM

Often, contracts are forgotten soon after they have been signed. This leads to a lot of missed opportunities and lost revenue due to inadequate or non-existent contract tracking and enforcement. A cutting edge CLM solution empowers you to use your contracts to generate intelligence for taking better business decisions. Ultria is hosting a webinar titled ‘Post Award Contract Management: Role of the Contemporary CLM’ in association with the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) on Thursday, the 11th of May at 2...

Taking CLM to the Edge of the Enterprise – 2

After discussing the CLM maturity levels currently, it is time to see how a cutting-edge CLM helps different functions in an organization own their contracts and derive greater value from them. This week we’ll be having a closer look at the Sales function. CLM for Sales   Without contract automation, sales cycles are elongated – leading to delayed revenue realization and increased likelihood of errors and miscommunication with prospects and customers. There is also too much reliance on the legal...

Taking CLM to the Edge of the Enterprise – 1

Contract management is the last major area for enterprise automation, offering extensive performance benefits. While current CLM solutions have mostly failed to meet client needs or expectations, emerging technologies offer a new start. CLMs have mostly been relegated to a repository and a searchable database, due to which corporates fail to get the promised returns in terms of savings and efficiency. At the edge of the enterprise, Contract Lifecycle Management empowers the user community closest to the trading partner –...

A Rundown of Our Latest Webinar co-hosted with IACCM – ‘Taking Contract Management to the Edge of the Enterprise’

Last week, Ultria hosted its latest webcast – ‘Taking Contract Management to the Edge of the Enterprise’ – in partnership with IACCM. The event was followed by an interactive Q&A session with the attendees. This webinar focused on contemporary strategies and the benefits of automating the “flipping” process from proposal or order to contract. The event was a chance for Arthur Raguette, EVP, Ultria and Tim Cummins, CEO, IACCM to discuss – How CLM can work as the enterprise contract...

Artificial Intelligence in Contract Management – The Robot Lawyers are Coming!: Part 3

After discussing Artificial Intelligence and how it matters for contract management in the previous blog posts, it is now time to dig deeper into AI. The functions of a contract management solution can be broadly divided into three parts – authoring, storing and analysing. AI helps in each of these stages, making the automated process of contract management more powerful and enables organizations in realizing greater value from their contracts. Authoring –Most CLM solutions have a repository of templates and...

Upcoming Webinar: Taking Contract Management to the Edge of the Enterprise

Major business functions negotiate commercial details long before getting the words (and numbers!) down on paper. CLM can be integrated with existing systems to introduce it to non-legal functions. Whether it’s a new employee contract for HR, a sales contract by Sales, or an order by Procurement, using CLM (in conjunction with their existing systems) will make the process simpler and error-free, while minimizing wasted time and resources. It would also help in better obligation management and performance tracking as...

Artificial Intelligence in Contract Management – The Robot Lawyers are Coming!: Part 2

While our previous blog series around blockchains was well received, this one (dealing with AI) is already looking like it’ll be more popular than that. This week, we’ll see how AI entered the world of contracts, and why it is proving to be so popular. Contracts – Just Pieces of Paper? While contracts have been an integral part of business for centuries, for most of their existence, they’ve been viewed as a repository of obligations, rules, rights, remedies etc. Even...

Artificial Intelligence in Contract Management – The Robot Lawyers are Coming!

The last few years have added a new abbreviation to our lexicon – AI (Artificial Intelligence). While it has been a staple of sci-fi for decades, the fast growth and adoption of AI in the business world is affecting organizations in myriad of ways. One of the most important components of business that is sure to get affected by AI is contract management. Most companies have already moved from a manual, or semi-automated contract management tool to a fully automated...

Upcoming Webinar – ‘Levelling the Playing Field – Intelligent parsing of 3rd party contracts’

While contracts have always been important for businesses, the connected and ever shrinking world has brought them into sharper focus. Clear and unambiguous contracts are a necessity, yet, not every organization has reached the level to draft such tight agreements. However, while we strive for tighter, clearer contracts, the insertion of third party paper into our well-structured drafting and approval process may be disruptive. Utilizing third party contracts efficiently leads to smoother collaborations within and external to the organization and...

Blockchain and smart contracts – 4

After a string of blog posts discussing blockchains, smart contracts, and their use cases, it is time to bring the series to a close with a look at the benefits of using smart contracts over traditional contracts. Benefits of Smart Contracts   Speed and real-time updates – Smart contracts solve the problem of slow speed inherent in manual processes. It also provides enhanced visibility through real-time updates Accuracy – Manually constructed contracts are error-prone while smart contracts boost the accuracy...

Blockchain and smart contracts – 3

  We ended 2016 with a couple of blog posts about smart contracts and blockchains – the technology driving such contracts and how smart contracts are different from traditional contracts. This week, we pick up the thread to have a glimpse at a few real-world examples of smart contracts in action. Range of use cases   Even though it’s a new technology, new avenues for the use of smart contracts are being discovered every day. Below is an indicative list...

Looking Back at 2016…with CLM colored glasses

With less than two weeks left in 2016, it is time to take stock and revisit our greatest hits of the year. Our blog is quite new but we have already started covering topics that is rapidly becoming critically important for the contract management and legal tech communities – blockchain and smart contracts. The past year also saw us attending major industry events for the first time and we also organized a well-attended webinar in the last month of the...

Limiting Liabilities, Mitigating Risks with Automated Contract Management – A Rundown of Our Latest Webinar

Last week, Ultria hosted its latest webcast – ‘Limiting Liabilities, Mitigating Risks with Automated Contract Management’. The event was followed by an interactive Q&A session with the attendees. The webcast outlined how to minimize risks and ensure optimal utilization of your contracts using automated Contract Management solutions. The event covered following keynotes – How automated contract management is becoming increasingly important for enterprises How contractual risks can negatively affect global organizations How traditional authoring, storage, and management of contracts may...

Blockchain and smart contracts – 2

We started this blog series two weeks back with a cursory glance at blockchain – a new technology which might alter the way companies around the world conduct their business. This week we’ll focus on the second part of our blog title – ‘Smart Contracts’ to learn what they are and why they are being considered the future of contracting. Traditional Contracts Paper based contracts and their creation and management present some inherent challenges to legal teams and other business...

Things to be thankful for

Things to be thankful for

As we plan to sit down around the table with our family and friends this Thanksgiving, it is time to remember those things that we should be thankful for. At Ultria we deeply appreciate our team members for their dedicated commitment to team success, and our customers for sharing their passion and best practices in contract management. From our families to yours, we would like to offer our thanks and best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving.

Blockchain and smart contracts – 1

Even though it was conceived in 2008 and first implemented in 2009, ‘blockchain’ looks to be the technology term of the year for 2016. Have a cursory glance at any tech blog, website, or publication and you are sure to come across the term multiple times. While most people know blockchain as a core component of the digital currency bitcoin, it is now being recognized as a critical computer technology that has the power to change the way the world...

Gearing up for our 1st Online Event

Next month, Ultria will host its first webcast – ‘Limiting Liabilities, Mitigating Risks with Automated Contract Management’. In our webinar, Arthur Raguette, a vice president here at Ultria will be discussing how to minimize risks and ensure optimal utilization of your contracts. The agenda for the event includes the following topics – How automated contract management is becoming increasingly important for enterprises How contractual risks can negatively affect global organizations How traditional authoring, storage, and management of contracts may prove...

Raising the Curtains!

Hello and welcome to the new Ultria blog – your new destination for all things CLM (Contract Lifecycle Management)! But do we really need another blog on contract management, you may ask? The idea to launch this is based on our discussions and interactions during this year’s ACC Annual Meeting held in San Francisco between October 16-19. It was our first time at ACC and we received an unprecedented response from the attendees. We met several professionals from varied job...

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