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New Solution Focuses on Single Largest Pain Point for Contract Negotiation–Complexities of Third-Party Paper; Brings Enterprise AI to the Microsoft Word® Experience
Seal® Software, the global leader in enterprise contract analytics, today introduced Seal Now™, a new contract analytics product specifically designed to address the review and negotiation of third-party paper (draft contracts prepared on another party’s templates), the most complex, risky and time-consuming aspect of the contracting process. Seal Now leverages the full AI capabilities of the Seal enterprise contract analytics platform and provides the results to the end-user via a simple scorecard delivered directly in Microsoft Word®, the environment most used and preferred by contracting professionals globally .
Determining the extent to which a third-party draft contract complies or conflicts with internal policies is the most time-consuming and risk-prone aspect of contract negotiation. To simplify the process, Seal Now delivers real-time scorecards providing AI insights into the extent to which draft contracts conform to or diverge from a company’s legal standards.
Seal Now delivers these simple risk and compliance scorecards directly in the Microsoft Word environment, leveraging a user-friendly “traffic signal” interface (red light/yellow light/green light). Seal Now also delivers the same scorecards via email in a format that can be easily shared internally to create a greater degree of transparency into the negotiation process, to help set expectations around negotiation timelines, and to highlight the risks and opportunities contained in the most recent draft agreement.
Seal Now consists of a number of key pieces of technology to provide the full end-user experience: integration with Microsoft Word, the tool that is used by most lawyers and contract negotiators; AI insights powered by Seal’s enterprise-class contract analytics; a logic engine to confirm compliance with a client’s playbook; a clause library to allow preferred or approved language to be substituted for drafting purposes; and scorecards and dashboards to surface key information and guide the negotiator to critical areas of the draft contract.
A recent study sponsored by DocuSign®, the Agreement Cloud company, identified a general dissatisfaction with current negotiation and drafting processes in both mid-sized and large-scale enterprises alike . Eight-hundred-fifty (850) professionals involved in the contracting process were asked approximately 30 questions about their experiences and perceptions around contract management at their organizations. The responses show that professionals frequently spend in excess of 30 hours per agreement executing the negotiation process—time that could otherwise be used to contribute strategic value.
“With Seal Now, we are addressing the single most painful aspect of the contracting process—negotiating third-party paper—and we are simplifying and ‘democratizing’ the experience by bringing our enterprise AI directly to Microsoft Word, the place where contract professionals want to work,” said Jim Wagner, president of Seal Software. “For nearly a decade, our enterprise customers have been using Seal to gain AI insights into their portfolios of signed agreements, and we are delighted through the introduction of Seal Now to be able to bring these same insights and the power of our platform to the negotiation process.”
According to Gartner’s Legal and Compliance Automation Study (Feb. 2019), executive management’s highest priority for their organization’s legal department by YE23 and corporate clients’ highest priority for legal services from your organization by YE23 are: increase speed of legal work, improve contribution to corporate strategy setting and business decision making, improve risk management, and reduce the cost of legal services . Seal Now, and its AI-powered scorecards, is specifically designed to address these pain points prioritized by executive management. Early adopters of Seal negotiation capabilities have reported efficiency gains of up to 80 percent in terms of timeline for negotiation, all while experiencing an improvement in overall contract review accuracy and compliance.
Seal has been working with a number of beta clients to validate the Seal Now solution and several have been instrumental both as a user and a partner. UnitedLex, the pioneer of the enterprise legal services model, announced in May 2019 a master collaboration agreement with Seal to deliver a contract negotiation solution and Seal Now will be a key component in that offering. UnitedLex have previously forecast that their clients will achieve more than $250 million in accelerated revenue due to more-rapid contracting cycle times.
“Every legal department wants to reduce deal negotiation times, improve quality of the contract negotiation, and, of course, identify any issues as early as possible in the drafting phase. This is especially important when dealing with third-party contracts,” said Dan Reed, founder and CEO, UnitedLex. “We have been working with Seal on the development of Seal Now and believe it addresses these pain points admirably.”
The Seal enterprise contract analytics platform is used by more than 100 Global 2000 enterprises to manage portfolios of executed contracts for key functions such as procurement, sales, M&A and complex commercial financing. Through its innovative Seal Marketplace, Seal clients can select and download pre-configured AI models built to address specific subjects such as payment terms, renewal options, and termination rights, as well ‘accelerators’, which are Seal’s pre-defined collections of models to address industry-wide subjects, such as GDPR, Brexit, LIBOR and regulatory compliance. With the introduction of Seal Now, Seal becomes the first and only enterprise contract analytics platform capable of delivering valuable AI insights in both the pre-execution and post-execution phases of the contract lifecycle. Seal Now is available in 2019 under controlled release with planned general availability in Q1 2020.