Contract Heroes

The Future of Enterprise Legal Teams: A Game-Changing Partnership with Justin Silverman & Andy Wishart

Episode Summary

This episode of the Contract Heroes Podcast features a discussion between the co-hosts and Justin Silverman and Andy Wishart. Justin is the Senior Vice President, Product Management & Product Strategy at Mitratech while Andy is the Chief Product Officer at Agiloft. In our conversation with Justin and Andy, we dive into the recent partnership between Mitratech and Agiloft, which has generated considerable excitement within the industry. We explore the implications of this collaboration for their esteemed customers and envision the future of contracting. Our discussion primarily centers around the alignment of technology, integration capabilities, and the shared commitment to customer success, which makes this partnership a natural fit. Moreover, we delve into their strategic plans for implementing the solution among their existing customer base and introducing it to legal operations teams actively seeking effective resolutions. This partnership is seen as a game changer in the legal tech industry, offering customers a comprehensive and efficient solution for their legal operations needs.

Episode Notes





Episode Transcription

Audio V1 - Agiloft - Contract Heroes.mp3


Intro [00:00:05] You're listening to the Contract Heroes Podcast, your one-stop shop for all things contract management. And now here are your hosts, Marc and Pepe Toriello.


Marc Doucette [00:00:14] Hello, everyone  and welcome to another episode of Contract Heroes Live at Clock. During today's conversation, we're going to be doing something that we've never done here on Contract Heroes. 


Pepe Toriello [00:00:24] And that is discussing a new partnership between two organizations that was announced during our time at the event.


Marc Doucette [00:00:32] So joining us from Mitratech is Justin Silverman. He's the senior vice president of Product Management and Product Strategy and  joining us from Agiloft is Andy Wishart, Andy is the Chief Product Officer at Agiloft.


Pepe Toriello [00:00:45] So, gentlemen, thanks so much for being here. We're extremely excited to talk about this partnership, not only what it means to both your Organizations, but what it means to those that are our customers or those that are thinking about being customers. So let's go ahead and dive in


Justin Silverman [00:01:00] It's great to be here.


Andy Wishart [00:01:01] Thanks, Pepe. Great to be here. I'm a big fan of the podcast and I'm really pleased to be here finally on Contract Heroes.


Pepe Toriello [00:01:07] We've been talking about this a lot of times, right? So this is going to be phenomenal because we have like a new release. And I mean, we've been talking a lot of Agiloft success cases. But Justin, can you give us just a brief introduction about MitraTech?


Justin Silverman [00:01:23] Sure. Yeah. It's really great to be here. Thanks for hosting us today. So Mitratech is a leading provider of software to help corporations drive efficiency, to manage risk and deliver great outcomes and kind of their core corporate functions. And we focused mostly on legal risk and compliance and human resource functions in particular. So most relevant today, obviously, is the stuff we do in the legal space overall.


Pepe Toriello [00:01:47] Awesome. All right. So Andy, let's start with you. Okay. So can you explain how this partnership with Mitratech Alliance with Agiloft's overall strategic plan and are there specific goals you hope to achieve through this collaboration?


Andy Wishart [00:02:03] Sure. So I think we have a vision for what we believe the future of Contracting will look like. And that vision is one where we'll see contract processes that are more connected, they're more intelligent, and there's greater automation in those processes, and that's going to help drive greater value and efficiency within organizations. So our strategy to execute on that vision, it requires us to build the most connected CLM in the marketplace. And that's the journey that we're on, one where we will see data flow seamlessly across the enterprise. And I think that's so critical for establishing these sorts of interconnected systems for the stakeholders that are involved within contracting. So from that, it makes a ton of sense for us to integrate the leading CLM  solution in the market with the leading ELM solution in the market with Mitratech so that legal teams can see that flow of data between contracts and barriers. They've got greater visibility on that data. So yeah, this is a natural partnership for us on the execution of our vision for creating the most connected CLM.


Marc Doucette [00:03:21] And, you know, I mean, just yesterday, just talking to a bunch of people that were at the conference, I mean, that's going to be the way that everything wants to go, right? Everybody wants everything interconnected. And wants it to be something that they can use in their ecosystem. So I think it's fantastic, you know, and I think all of us are excited about this. And, you know, Justin, why did you guys choose Agiloft out of all the CLMs that are out there to kind of partner with?


Justin Silverman [00:03:45] Yeah, You know, for us, it's a really natural fit overall. I think there's really I think there's three things that really stood out. One is the Tenet technology piece for Agiloft which is just so well aligned with what Mitratech does and the strengths that we bring to bear. One is around the configurability. They're just a super configurable system. That's what Tim Connect is for MitraTech, enabling us to support the largest, most complex organizations as well as midsize organizations as well. And that's exactly what we see in Agiloft a highly configurable system that really can cater to what companies need. Along that technology side, you also see a real focus on integration capabilities and a strong capability there with the integration hub that Agiloft has launched. And then the third piece there within the technology segment is just a really strong cutting-edge focus on things like AI and driving that forward. And so it's a really strong technology line with number one. Number two, we went and looked at said who is really able to deliver in this space. And what we saw from Agiloft, some tough talking to partners, from talking to companies out there was just an ability to deliver. And, you know, in CLM's space we hear about a lot of challenges in the fermentation and we just didn't hear that from the companies we talked to the partners to talk to about Agiloft. It was just a really strong success. And then the third piece that aligns so well with us was just the mindset and the people just really customer success is driven. How do we make customers get great outcomes from working at that? And we combine those three things. It just was a great fit with the way we approach the market and the way they do as well.


Andy Wishart [00:05:08] And just add to that and it's been really satisfying for both Justin and I to watch our product teams come together in short order and in working with customers, working with partners to develop this. It's been fantastic to see. Pepe, you asked earlier about, you know, what are some of the specific goals that we're looking to achieve from this collaboration? And I think there are probably two things that are top of mind for me. One is obviously we want to drive adoption of these integration capabilities in our core customers, in customers that have both Agiloft and MitraTech. So getting the integration capabilities into the hands of those customers, that's our first goal. The second and it ties back to Justin's point around, you know, these are two highly configurable platforms. The second goal is that we want to learn from those customers. Our teams have established what we believe to be the most valuable use cases in the integration between CLM and ELM. But we want to hear from customers as well. What other areas in that flow of data and those workflows between contracts and matters are most valuable to them? And, you know, that's the second goal to learn from customers, to iterate on this, to develop new capabilities in use cases going forward as well. And we're really committed to that.


Marc Doucette [00:06:26] And, you know, I think it's obvious we know Agiloft side of of the customer base, but so is the plan to kind of roll this out to, you know, to your current customers and your current customers where you'd like to introduce this partnership and see if you can kind of sell this solution to everybody that's in that ecosystem.


Andy Wishart [00:06:45] For sure. And also, you know, there will be organizations here at CLOC this week, legal operations leaders who haven't yet established processes and tools across their legal department that are out there searching for solutions. And there isn't a single solution that does absolutely everything across ELM and matters in spend management and contract lifecycle management. So we're trying to make it easier for them to work with us both. You know, we're teaming together, going in together into those opportunities to make it easier for legal operations teams to navigate the legal landscape.


Justin Silverman [00:07:23] Yeah, I think this is just the connection that we've built here, has an opportunity for Legal Alliance to really transform the way they operate, the way they interact with the rest of their organization, the way they interact with law firms around legal matters and contracts. And so we've already as we've started to discuss this with the market's seen tremendous positive feedback and we've seen it from a couple of places. We've seen it from joint customers that we already have together, where we can now connect those systems in a way they haven't been connected. We've seen from customers that one of us has and the other may not where they're trying to advance their ELM or try to advance their CLM and they see this as an opportunity to do that in a way that's really connected. And quite frankly, we've seen it already with some customers out there who are looking to completely change what they're doing that may not have really a great system in place for either of these and it's a great place for them to start and have that roadmap where they know they're going to be launching with both the Mitratech platform and Agiloft kind of from the beginning or as they transform overall. So I think all three of those scenarios are really attractive and have a chance for these companies to really transform what they're doing right.


Marc Doucette [00:08:26] Then from our perspective as implementers, we're being a part of over 150 implementations. And one of the things that all of our customers are looking for is exactly that flexibility because every company have like different processes. And when you see them like on different verticals, right, a biotech company has a completely different, you know, requirement for a company that does real estate. And I think that disintegration makes a lot of sense because it's not just about how to automate contracts or documents, but it's the whole legal team. They have a lot of things. They have to work with things about H.R. They got to work also with legal matters. How they are spending the money with external consultants, with their law firms. And I was thinking, like you both say that this integration process is a more streamlined process for operations. But Andy and Justin this is for both of you, can you give us like some examples of the expected impact of this on the day-to-day operation of a typical legal department?


Justin Silverman [00:09:28] Yeah, I think that's a great initiative. You know, we've started out by defining a set of use cases that we're supporting from day one. But as Andy talked about, we're really open to hearing from customers what's going to drive the most value for them. And given the configurability of the integrations, the cable is the product. I think that's going to evolve dramatically over time. But to start off, we've come up with a couple of areas we're really focused on. One is on this legal intake portal. The concept here is, is that Mitrotech offers what is in the market as the leading tool and platform for legal departments to provide a portal for all the employees within the organization to request support from legal, and that support could be questioned. It could be an issue they have. It could be a contract they need. Those business stakeholders don't need to know what system they go to, or who they go to. They just have one spot where they can do that. So what we've done here is we've supported connecting that legal intake portal with the Agiloft system so that if it's a contract that needs some work that can automatically be routed to the contract administrators within the ad that is working with Agiloft they get it in their queue, they can execute on it seamlessly, get back to the person that's requested it. And so that's number one. It's a connection to that legal intake portal. The second use case we see is that there are sometimes contracts that require the legal department to really dig in and often to use an outside law firm to execute on it. Maybe it's a new IP licensing agreement that that department doesn't do themselves often. And so what we've done is we've connected Agiloft into team connect within Mitratech such that very quickly you can assign a law firm you can track and that law firm can build against that. And normally that was a very slow manual process to get that set up. We streamlined that completely.


Marc Doucette [00:11:06] Yeah, I mean, I'm excited about this, right? This is the first time that I'm hearing about this and we hear from our customers that they want a singular portal that they can go legal through. Right. Obviously, Agiloft is the end-user portal for contracts. But I mean, I'm excited because I think this is going to be a great partnership. And I think this is something that, you know, Agiloft partners or customers need and our customers want as well. So that just sounds awesome.


Justin Silverman [00:11:29] Yeah, I think that legal one is going to be probably the most visible one because it just impacts entire organizations but to get that all into one spot. So I think I totally agree. And I think that's a critical piece and that's a very configurable process that companies can set up in the way that they set up that intake portal. I'll hit one more area and then Andy, I'll turn it over to you. But I think the third one here I think I want to call out is, you know, there are times when contracts result in some sort of matter that results in. It could be litigation that comes out of it. And right now there's not really visibility into how that's happening and where those connections take place. So by connecting the systems there on both sides, you can see when there are matters that arise out of a contract and connect all those documents together. So there's one source of truth to connect it all together. Yes, that's the third largest. But I think that legal and take one is it's really going to be very visible.


Marc Doucette [00:12:15] I agree with you, Justin, on the legal intake. That single front door, I think is really important and helping legal operations professionals sort of continue on their elevation within the organization of being seen as that strategic business partner across the organization as a whole. So we're really excited to see the uptake of that single front door for both contracts and matters. Again, thinking about the impact, ultimately this is about faster cycle times and greater efficiencies, but with the integration between contracts and matters, it's also ensuring that data is synchronized between those two solutions that you're avoiding. All of the risks are related to manual entry or reentry between different platforms. So so I think that the outcomes, the benefits to legal operations professionals can be huge here. Transformative.


Andy Wishart [00:13:10] Yeah. And this year I think we're seeing that, you know, people are trying to make a decision, you know, do we hire people to do this or is there a partnership out there that, you know, before this? I don't know if it existed between two different types of solutions that integrate so well that maybe they don't need to hire somebody to manage this data, right? Because they work together. So synchronously. .


Justin Silverman [00:13:31] There is nobody out there in the market that has a best-of-breed offering in this core enterprise legal manager capability, along with that CLM contract manager capability. There just isn't. And so these are two fundamental parts of what the legal department needs to do, and connecting them together is different from anything else you'll see out there in the space.


Pepe Toriello [00:13:48] So, I mean, this partnership promises to simplify the accomplished tech stack. You know, this is what we while we are talking about. So what do you think are the key challenges, if there are any, that you guys anticipate in implementing this and how are you preparing to overcome them?


Andy Wishart [00:14:04] Yeah, maybe I could talk to that Pepe The integration is really straightforward to set up. You know, I know that you and your organization are really familiar with Agiloft after you've worked on hundreds of implementations on the Agiloft side where utilizing the integration hub that we launched last summer. So that contains the recipes for the trigger points of integrating data between contracts, Agiloft, and Mitratech. So they're available out of the box, right? That's really, really simple to set up. Then we have they're making use of the APIs on both sides and Justin talked about their TAP product as being the workflow solution for that front door. So there's some work to be done on the implementation, but it's a natural part of what has been done within the implementation of CLM and ELM already. So perhaps some data mapping, it's just all common process stuff, right? That is a natural part of that implementation. So, you know, we share some common partners. We've got partners that are really interested in what we built here and our own teams, they're all going to be on hand to assist customers with this integration. But really straightforward stuff.


Marc Doucette [00:15:16] Yeah, I mean, it sounds great, right? And I think that everybody out there should be excited about, you know, what this partnership is is able to do. And just I mean, how do you see it the same way? Do you have customers out there that are asking about CRM and want something that integrates with your platform?


Justin Silverman [00:15:33] Yeah. Part of driving this is speaking to the customers and chatting with them about what's most important, and we absolutely hear from them that they want to see an offer. They want a capability that allows them support the critical pieces of legal needs to do and that it cuts across that core enterprise, legal management, that matter management, that it building components a legal hold with the contract piece, which is so fundamental to what a legal department needs to get involved with. So really, this is a response to what we're hearing from customers about wanting these things to connect and have a common way. So they're not retyping things. They're not risking, you know, the inefficiency of sending things back and forth, the email or retyping things. So Andy talked about some of the benefits, and that's why customers are asking for it. And that's what we're responding to with this.


Marc Doucette [00:16:14] And how do you see this interacting with other departments beyond legal? How is this going to make their life easier too?


Andy Wishart [00:16:20] I think it comes back to that legal front door, that single point of entry for anyone in the business to have interacted with legal, whether they're requesting a contract, whether they have a legal issue that needs answering. And so creating that common, simple user experience for those in the business.


Justin Silverman [00:16:39] Andy talked about adopting a connected ecosystem, and I think that's really fundamental for what MitraTech is doing as well. And we think about our roadmap initiatives. I really like to focus on collaboration in the way that a legal department collaborates with the different people within their organization in the context of contracts. It could be collaborating with a sales organization or procurement organization. It could be collaborating with the outside law firms that they're using. And so that ability to connect with those different departments in an automated way and easy-to-use way as possible, allow people to see where things are in the different parts of the process. Check on the status of contracts or different matters is really a big focus for us from an organic investment perspective, and I think it's a big step forward with this integration as well.


Marc Doucette [00:17:19] And I think you touched on something there that I think is important now because we see contract management, the procurement team right there, they're very heavily involved. We're seeing deals being driven by the procurement team. So I'm just curious, you know if we focus on them and how they're going to engage with this, do you see them using the system at all or is it, you know, them working with legal through the system? But I guess from an intake perspective, right, they're going to be able to go through that end user portal to submit contracts.


Andy Wishart [00:17:47] I think it depends on like if we think inside of that procurement function, you're going to have sophisticated contract managers that are responsible for those relationships with the suppliers. They're going to be an Agiloft. Day. On day. Right. They're unlikely to be used in that front door experience because of their contract and professionals so their work is within Agiloft. But at the point whereby for example, they're working on a third-party agreement for a huge sort of source in issue or an IP licensing issue that is not the bread and butter of what that procurement team are doing, even with their own in-house legal function day to day. And they need support from outside counsel. That connectivity between contracts to initiate from inside Agiloft the creation of a new matter, to engage outside counsel and to synchronize that data back into Agiloft. I think that's going to be the impact for them. Now, there will be perhaps other individuals within the organizations that are in functions that are that they need a new supplier or they need a new contract with a supplier. They're not working inside Agiloft every day. They could be their point of entry would be that front door.


Marc Doucette [00:19:07] Right. And also working with the sales team. Right. You, you get a close or all those cycles faster and you just need to you know.


Pepe Toriello [00:19:15] I really like this front door term because it's like it's the one place where you can have access to the legal team. Right now I'm just going to act like legal ops consultant or CLM consultant, you know, because we have a lot of customers, who're asking for a lot of things besides contracts. Right. So how how do you envision partners with Mitratech or Agiloft for working together so they can offer these services to their customers? Because. I think one of the main things about being in that consulting is that you get to be, you know, specialize in different verticals, right? I mean, you can be an expert with specific kinds of contracts, but let's think about now that we have or you could have opened the space with ELM, like how do you guys think partners are going to also benefit from this partnership and how they can offer that to their customers.


Andy Wishart [00:20:10] So for partners like you Pepe Toriello. Coming back to the point that I was making on the implementation is straightforward. We're providing the box recipes within Integration Hub. We've got the connectivity between the core contracts and the matter records within Team Connect. But I also talked about every customer's implementation of CLM and ELMis unique, whether that's by vertical or type of organization. So there there may be some data and mapping exercises on those integration points. So that's one thing. Then the other is to think about the user experience of that front door. Like that user experience has to cater for a lot of variability between questions that are typically answered by the legal team. There may be some pattern requests that are going to create a matter within Team Connect. There will be contract requests that are going to flow through Agiloft. So there is work to create those guided workflows within that front door, within the top workflow product. So there are opportunities there for partners to be helping teams with thinking about the way in which a user flows through that, that front door wizard. Right?


Marc Doucette [00:21:26] So and you know, ChatGPT is all over the place. A.I you know, I mean, I'm a huge fan. I use it every day, every single day. I use artificial intelligence just to ask them, you know, random questions and just learn more about what's going on in the market, what's going on with specific solutions. Do you have anything or how A.I. or the company is going to be integrated into this new type of solution in how legal ops staff it's going to be? I mean, we are focusing on streamlining processes, but now that you have A.I. there, like how do you think this is going to benefit all the customers?


Andy Wishart [00:22:10] It is a really exciting time. Right now we're seeing a transformation that I think in ten years' time will probably reflect back on 2023 years. That was the time that ChatGPT was launched. What were you doing around that time? In the same way that we think about in the late nineties when Google had indexed the entire internet in a really simple way for people to find that information, I think we're going to reflect on 2023 in a similar way. I'm as you know, Pepe Toriello and Mark, we launched back in the early part of this year our combo AI conversational search capability within Agiloft, which also utilizes large language models to help customers and users find the information that they're looking for in their repository of contracts using natural language questions and. Follow-up questions as well. That's the start for us. Right. That is just the beginning of where we are with large language models within Agiloft. We've got new capabilities coming out very shortly with help in team train, A.I use a really simple user-friendly interface, but we've also identified, you know, dozens of use cases across the workflow, across the workflow in the contract side from initiation all the way through to execution. And we're exploring those within our teams as well. I think for me, the natural language search and that chat experience I think is really important providing just new ways for users to interact with data and we're really excited about that opportunity and potential.


Justin Silverman [00:23:50] Yeah, I think it's similar on the Mitrotech side of the house where we've launched what we call Invoice IQ, which is a machine learning-driven capability to analyze legal invoices to help corporate legal departments save time and allow them to focus on more value-added work than the detailed line item review of invoices and also to save money in terms of making sure that they're paying for the right type of work through their legal counsel. We have capabilities in other parts of our media organization leveraging some of the document summarization capability so that when you get large documents, and new regulations that come in, you can much more efficiently see what's relevant and get a synopsis of what's there. And just like Andy, I think it's just a start. It really is a transformative period of time. We're working through different use cases. How do we bring that out across the ELM segment overall? And I think you'll see over the course of the next 6 to 12 months a series of different use cases that we start to support using that new capability and the speed of transformation. This in this area is just almost unheard of, really, in terms of the speed at which it's advancing.


Marc Doucette [00:24:52] And, you know, I think this year has been interesting, right? I think we're seeing a lot of people be more cautious with how they're spending money. And I think that this partnership could be great for organizations that are more cautious but want to make sure that they're putting the right technology in place to make sure that they are spending their money wisely. And I guess a question that I have is. For those companies out there that that are being more cautious about how they're spending money. How do you see this partnership working for them that maybe aren't in this space yet? Right. It's a legal team that doesn't have the technology and working together to show them an entire platform that they can use that's going to be in and over and solution that that they can implement all at once.


Justin Silverman [00:25:33] You know, I think what it comes down to is companies have to make decisions on how they best allocate the funds that they have. And I think putting the right software in place, and automating the right capabilities, ultimately is a key step forward to optimizing the way an organization works. And if that was often about freeing up time for people to work on the highest value things, that's working well, it can be. And I think the combination here of a best-in-breed enterprise legal management with the best-in-breed contract lifecycle management capabilities give customers that option of the kind of deciding how they want to optimize their spending and where they want to automate where they want to put those resources. And it just gives them a chance to do that in the most efficient way possible.


Marc Doucette [00:26:08] And I know we keep touching on this, right? But you want legal to spend their time where they are at the most effective rate because they're expensive. So you want them to focus on those things that they are the best at and that they need to focus on. So Justin I think that's a great answer.


Pepe Toriello [00:26:24] And one of the things that I forgot before that we were talking about, I think this front door also makes a lot of sense because when you I mean, right now with how LM models work is that you need to fit them with information and the legal team they always have like memorandums about specific things. They have like, you know, frequently asked questions for the sales team, for a procurement team, and you can't use this type of technology in for them to have access to that information without having the legal team to spend time, you know, explaining what do you need to know? What are the risks for certain types of contracts? And I'm thinking this is an analogy with a legal team having standard contract templates. This is what you need to do. This is the closest maybe you can have like, you know, a playbook with some fallback provisions. But if you have this type of information and have them as a template, you know, with their frequently asked questions on how the sales team can just get some answers about some of the legal risks, about, you know, maybe negotiation that term, a credit or loan or any other legal binding commercial relationship. This is going to be awesome because they are now going to have a Robot, if you want to call it that, having all the information from the legal team in one place at the front door in these is going to make a complete change in the market because now they're going to have all that information and you can continue refitting with more information. Right. And it's going to become even smaller than when you started it.


Andy Wishart [00:28:01] Pepe, I love your enthusiasm, which is phenomenal, is just a fan. And.


Justin Silverman [00:28:07] So if we think like breaking this down into that experience on the legal front door, which will be a point of entry and you know, the question that you might ask a user, the first question is what do you need today from the legal team? And and there will be options around that type of thing, you know, is a piece of advice. They have a contract that needs to be reviewed. So it's going to be a guided process to take them through the options to then determine where we're going to route that request, whether that's going to be routed through into Team Connect or through into Agiloft. And it has to be a guided process. You're having to provide guidance to the business user to help them make the decisions as we gather information about their requests.


Pepe Toriello [00:28:54] I think, interestingly, we're going to be seen in a lot of that data. Is there ways for us to aggregate and use that data to help predict in the future ways in which users are going to navigate through that? I think that is a really interesting potential use case as well.


Marc Doucette [00:29:12] And I think that takes us back to just the beginning of our conversation, right? This new partnership and how it's going to integrate, how is it going to help the end-users at organizations? Because that's really what we're trying to do is enable them to make their life easier, make the legal team's life easier as well. So, guys, this has been a great conversation. I mean, I could sit here on this couch and probably talk about this all day, but thank you so much, Justin, and Andy for joining us. This has been a great conversation. Really excited to see where this partnership goes. And thanks so much for joining us.


Justin Silverman [00:29:41] Thank you for hosting. It's been a fun conversation. I think this partnership with Agiloft is going to be a real game-changer. And I'm glad we got a chance to discuss it today.


Andy Wishart [00:29:49] Yeah. Thank you, Pepe. Thank you, Mark. It's great to be here finally on Contract Heroes. Hopefully, you're going to invite us back again sometime soon as well.


Pepe Toriello [00:29:58] I think so.


Marc Doucette [00:29:59] I think so. This has been great. Well, thanks, everybody, for listening. This has been another episode of Contract Heroes.