Lauren Harriman, J.D., CIPP/US, is a technology law blogger for TechTalkTranslated.com, the blog she launched during her final year at the University of San Francisco School of Law. She initially launched the blog so that she could explain tech and news about tech privacy to readers who were not tech-savvy and make them laugh at the same time. Today, she writes about emerging technologies and associated legal issues.
Why ContractRoom is Waze for Contracting and why it is a technology that should be embraced
Seriously, step away from your text editor. I can already picture it now: my friends and colleagues, who still e-mail documents to themselves because they don’t trust Dropbox or other cloud systems to save their files, rolling their eyes at me while I preach about the saving grace of contract management software. I get it, you need a little convincing.
Here are my three favorite features for attorneys (for those working in both private practise and in-house) and an explanation for why ContractRoom is like Waze for contracting and you should give it a go!
1. Dynamic calendar reminders
No attorney wants to be spending any more time than necessary calendaring dates! Rather than having to take the time to calendar all of the dates from the contract as soon as the contract is finalized, all of the dates from the contract are automatically inputted into your calendar.
Even better, instead of calendaring “August 1, 2016”, ContractRoom lets you set a reminder for “the date the license agreement goes into effect”. That way, if the date unexpectedly gets changed, or if the date the license agreement goes into effect is dependent upon any other variable, you don’t have to manually keep track of what the date is: ContractRoom does it for you.
ContractRoom alerts you when it is time for the next contracting event in the same way that Waze alerts you when it is time to move on to your next destination.
2. Streamlined Collaboration
Color codes, drop down menus, and a dashboard that looks more like a Newsfeed than what you may imagine the interface of a powerful contract drafting technology to look like, all come together to create a system that provides an exceptional return on investment. This is because it simply saves so much time automating a lot of time wasted with tedious processes.
Assigning a term to another party for approval is as simple as using a drop down menu and entering the party’s email address. While your competitor is still drafting an email explaining the latest changes he or she made inside a Word Document, you can move onto more important tasks. ContractRoom will send your client or counterparty a message with a link directly to the color-coded, revised section. They can enter their changes and comments directly into the master version without having to create a new version of a document. ContractRoom saves all versions of documents automatically so your own draft will not be lost.
Environmentalists will also love that you never need to print the contract out: you can digitally sign the contract from right inside the software.
ContractRoom, with its intuitive interface, guides you onto the next step in the process in a similar fashion to how Waze guides you in directing you to your desired destination albeit not quite yet with audio instructions. Although I’m sure that’s not far off.
The benefits of ContractRoom are only just beginning at the closing of contract negotiations. Instead of filing away your freshly negotiated contract and only referencing it in the event of a dispute, ContractRoom enables you to use your contract drafting history to obtain detailed insight into your contract drafting process.
Instead of guessing how long you spent negotiating over the cost of the final product, ContractRoom can show you exactly how many days passed between the initial proposed cost and the final agreed upon term. Once your team has drafted a few contracts using ContractRoom, it can show you which of your team members most efficiently gets their clients or counterparties to agree on individual terms, such as royalty terms or liability terms.
ContractRoom gathers and uses data to direct you on how to reach agreement in the fastest way possible in a similar fashion to how Waze uses data to get you to your desired destination as quickly as possible .
You Have Data – Use It
Until you make the switch to drafting contracts inside a contract management tool, you are essentially drafting printed directions. Sure, your contract will do its job. Just like printed directions will give you a route to San Francisco. But wouldn’t you like to know that the last time you tried to take 101 at 5:00pm, you got stuck in the worst traffic you’ve ever seen in your life?
Your printed directions won’t tell you that, just like your text editor drafted contract won’t tell you that it took you 15 extra days to close the deal when you revised the offer to require a flat fee upfront to license your patent instead of a percent on each item sold.
By using ContractRoom, you are essentially using your very own private Waze App to keep track of all of the twists and turns you make while drafting your contract. During your contract drafting process ContractRoom gathers data. It then uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyze that data. Finally, ContractRoom can apply its analysis towards making real-time suggestions to help improve your contract negotiation process.
This data analytics capability means that you will arrive at agreements faster and you will be freed up to concentrate on other important work.
So there you have my arguments for why you should switch to using contract management software rather than continuing with outdated and archaic methods of contracting.
What are your thoughts? Why or why not would you use a tool like Waze for contracting? What features in such a tool would you find most useful?