Seal Software’s Discovery — a Disruptive Approach to Contract Visibility & Management (Part 2)

June 25, 2012


Following on from part 1 of Thomas Kase’s article on Seal Contract Discovery, part 2 takes a look at more examples of the application of this unique technology. Whether it’s a straight discovery exercise, an audit, due diligence or to locate, identify and abstract contract metadata in order to populate a contract management system, Seal has it covered. Read part 2 below (catch up on part 1 here):

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Seal Software’s Discovery — a Disruptive Approach to Contract Visibility & Management (Part 1)

June 18, 2012

We recently met with Thomas Kase, Principal Analyst at Spend Matters, a respected online source of information around supply management and procurement, and were able to brief them on Seal’s Contract Discovery solution. We were rather pleased with Thomas’ objective write up – read part 1 of his article below (part 2 coming soon):

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Engaging the experts – why partnering is the right approach

April 27, 2012

Partnerships have been around a long time. Two people working together to achieve something that, alone, neither of them could – perhaps something as simple as lifting and moving a heavy object. Scaling this up, two villages, towns, or even two countries getting together, can achieve something they couldn’t do alone, such as defending their borders.

The same is very true for companies. Perhaps they could go it alone and achieve their goals over time, but do they have the appetite to wait? For many, the answer is no, and so identifying another organisation that has complementary skills, knowledge or a market presence is an extremely attractive prospect.

At Seal we recognise that there are many complementary areas to our core strengths around contract management and contract discovery, but do we have all the expertise in house? Of course not, and we’re the first to admit it.

So that’s why we partner, where together we can achieve more than if we go it alone. We recently announced two partnerships that are classic examples of how two companies can achieve more together. Nuix are experts in eDiscovery, electronic investigation and information governance technology. Bringing Nuix and Seal together enables organisations, lawyers and advisory firms to gain better business insights and take control of their contracts. The partnership delivers a complete, scalable contract discovery solution, deployable in as little as one day – the expertise is built in. Read the full announcement here.

LexisNexis are a leading global provider of content and technology solutions that enable professionals in legal, corporate, tax, government, academic and non-profit organisations to make informed decisions and achieve better business outcomes. The Lexis Contract Finder service, powered by the automated search engine of Seal Contract Discovery, makes it easy for organisations to quickly locate, categorise and manage all their contracts. LexisNexis provide additional services including scanning and digitisation of paper contracts, thus enabling legal teams to digitise and manage their entire contract universe. The Contract Finder service helps make managing contract risk more efficient for legal teams and their commercial colleagues. Read the full announcement here.

For us, the relationship we have with our customers is yet another prime example of effective partnerships – we need customers, that’s a given, and our customers need solutions to their business challenges. Together we achieve our goals through partnership.


Understanding your contract landscape

February 24, 2011

Understanding your contract landscape should be the first key stage of an enterprise contract management strategy.

Contracts are central to the way that business is conducted. As business-to-business transactions become more international and complex, so too have the contracts that support those transactions. Contracts contain a myriad of milestones, commitments and obligations that need to be identified and tracked in order to manage contracts effectively.

Lost or hard to find contracts
Unfortunately for many companies, much effort is put in to the negotiation of terms and conditions and less attention to what happens to the contract once it has been signed. Contracts that should be proactively tracked and managed end up lost or hard to find in file shares, computer desktops and other repositories.

Three key questions to ask yourself
Here are three questions that should be asked as a litmus test to assess the level of visibility and control over contracted commitments:

  • Do you know exactly how many active contracts your company has?
  • Do you and other key stakeholders in your company have visibility of all contract milestones, commitments and obligations?
  • Can you demonstrate to your senior management team that all contract related commitments and obligations have been complied with?

For most General Counsels, there are two options to address the issue of legacy contract visibility:

  1. do nothing
  2. conduct a time consuming, complex and expensive audit using specialist external consultants.

Dolphin AutoCapture – the legacy contract discovery engine
Dolphin AutoCapture is the first legacy contract discovery engine that uses search and artificial intelligence-based technologies to:

  • Rapidly locate lost or hard to find legacy contracts in Windows File Shares and computer desktops
  • Automatically extract key contract milestone data from contract documents
  • Present key contract related data to senior managers in a simple management dashboard.

Dolphin AutoCapture automated contract audits are significantly faster and cheaper than conducting manual audits with external specialist consultants.

Understanding your existing contract landscape should be the first stage in your contract management strategy.

Free webinar
Join Dolphin Software for a free-to-attend web seminar to find out more.  Visit http://dolphin-software.com/lp_contract_landscape.htm for further information and to register.


Are contracts the icebergs of your company?

January 23, 2011

Are contracts the icebergs of your business?An estimated 80% of business-to-business transactions are underpinned by legally binding contracts and agreements. Though many of these contracts contain clauses, terms, conditions, commitments and milestones that need to be tracked and managed over the contract’s life to maximize business benefits and minimize associated costs or risks, most organizations never actively manage their contracts during the agreement period. Contracts are archived away in departmental filing cabinets never to be reviewed again until a problem arises or the contract has already expired.

Research firm, Faulkener Information Services estimates that as many as 10% of contract documents are lost each year.

Some of the world’s most respected companies have contract management practices that leave much to be desired.  Many companies do not simply have control over contracted commitments, milestones or obligations because key business stakeholders are not able to readily access relevant or timely information about what is contained within contracts because the contract documents are either lost or hard to find.

It is common for General Counsels and other contracting professionals to express frustration that they do not know how many contracts their organisation has or what commercial terms and commitments are contained within them.  Contract Management software systems play a significant role in gaining control over the contracting process, but they largely ignore the issue of capturing existing or legacy contract contracts and data.

Dolphin AutoCapture is a unique Contract Discovery solution that makes use of advanced search and artificial intelligence-based technologies to conduct an instant and automated audit of your contract landscape.

Starting at as little as $15,000, Dolphin AutoCapture will automatically locate lost or hard to find contracts in Windows File Shares and computer desktops, identify duplicate documents and tell you exactly how many contract documents (and by type) you have throughout your organisation.  Dolphin AutoCapture also extracts key contract milestone data from recovered contracts (like start/termination/renewal dates, contract parties, locations, values, currencies, right to assign, etc) and presents this data instantly for Legal, Finance and other contracting professionals to analyse and interrogate.

To find out more about Dolphin AutoCapture, visit http://www.dolphin-software.com/autocapture.htm and navigate around your contract icebergs.


Before last weekend, did you consider printer cartridges to be a risk?

November 2, 2010

No, nor did we.  It is surprising to discover what other unknown risks you may have hidden in your organisation.  Take contracts, for example.  Do you have full visibility and control over your executed commercial and procurement contracts?  Are there inherent risks in your contracts that you do not have ready access to, or that your business is not managing effectively?  Do you base your business plans on contracted obligations and commitments that you do not have control over?

As Andy Kyte at Gartner says, ‘contracts are the lifeblood of an organization and if you are not in control of your contracts, you are not in control of your business’.

So, what should you do about hidden or hard to find legacy contracts that are not being managed effectively?  Typically, you will normally have two choices:

  • Ignore the problem and leave your legacy contracts as they are (but run the risk of contracted obligations and commitments not being managed)
  • Hire resources to locate, scan (if in paper format) and manually profile legacy contracts and milestone data. (For many organisations, this is too costly and too complex to consider).

Dolphin AutoCapture – the world’s first discovery engine for legacy contracts
Dolphin AutoCapture is a solution that has been designed specifically to address the issue of locating lost or hard to find legacy contracts hidden in Windows file shares and user desktops.

For many organisations, legal, procurement and commercial teams spend significant energy and resources negotiating and fine-tuning the terms and conditions of contracts, only to disguard the contract document once it has been signed and executed.  An average procurement or commercial contract will contain a mixture of critical dates that need to be tracked, as well as obligations or commitments that need to be managed effectively in order to maximise the value from the business relationship.

Dolphin AutoCapture is the first solution that will:

  • Discover and identify list or hidden contracts in Windows file shares and computer desktops
  • Automatically extract key contract milestone data from contract documents
  • Provide a management dashboard with instant visibility into contract milestones and key terms

If you are planning for your next financial year at the moment and you are formulating plans on your understanding of what you have committed to in procurement and commercial contracts, but you feel that you do not have complete control or visibility of your contracts, consider deploying Dolphin AutoCapture to provide instant visibility and control over your contracts and commitments.

For more information, visit: http://www.dolphin-software.com/autocapture.htm