Lessons learned by a veteran about contract management software

Kevin Potts, VP of Product Management and Marketing at Emptoris, a leading provider of contract management software, left a hefty comment on one of my recent posts. His lessons learned deserve wider play and I couldn’t resist some editorial remarks. Note also that Kevin hosts a blog.

“Not being a lawyer, I have struggled to find the right words to describe how automation plays a role in contract management best practices. Here is what I have learned:

  1. Don’t emphasize live negotiation management – no lawyer sees herself negotiating online with a customer on a sales agreement inside some software application. [That would be as off-putting as online auctions based on an RFP.]

  2. It is not about improved productivity through contract template management. Making lawyers more efficient is not high value. [Kevin’s point eludes me. If a lawyer can find a precedential document more quickly, that improves productivity and has value.]

  3. Few lawyers see value in contract lifecycle management software as a way to close contracts faster. [Clients care about speed; lawyers care about risks anticipated and dealt with.]

  4. The real value of the software which provides contract template management comes from the ability to control the contractual language and thereby understand and influence the business ramification of those contracts.” [I defer to Kevin’s experience, but his point makes sense.]

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