Call for change

Accenture’s cloud-first, platform-powered strategy is driving innovation across the enterprise, including in our own global IT and Legal functions. The teams are partnering to digitize contracts and unlock the value of contract data that can ultimately help reduce risk and improve profitability.

As a global professional services business, Accenture has a Legal team of more than 2,800 professionals in 46 countries who negotiate and execute thousands of highly customized, multi-lingual legal documents every month. Until recently, the process for managing contracts from sale origination to final signatures and execution had been largely manual and localized in SharePoint sites, creating significant challenges for all involved: version control, ambiguity about contract status, low visibility on related client agreements, reduced collaboration and efficiency.

Earlier systems fell short in meeting Accenture’s needs, leading Accenture to look for a modern contracting platform—centralized, industrialized, enabled—to drive Legal’s transformation from a transactional function to a data-driven partner providing valued guidance and better service. At the heart of this transformation is experience—how the Legal team works with each other and client account teams and whether contract requests are efficient and seamless.

So, we set out to combine the ingenuity of our people with the potential of technology to transform the entire contracting experience with new capabilities, data analytics and integration with key systems, among other possibilities. Ultimately, we wanted to empower Accenture Legal and sales teams to work more effectively and reach shared deal goals: winning more, closing faster and achieving greater profitability.

When tech meets human ingenuity

Accenture selected the Icertis Contract Management platform, a software-as-a-service contract management solution in the cloud. The Icertis platform addressed Accenture’s requirements for a contracting tool and the potential to operate at enterprise scale. Accenture Legal worked with our global IT organization and Icertis to configure the platform for an initial release. Beyond basics like automated routing, search and reporting, the tool’s release also delivered other critical features, such as an automated electronic signature, a clause library and guided contracting AI, the ability to create contract families, and integration with other key sales and contract systems. The new solution was named Manage myDeal—where all contract management, digitization and approvals live online.

Stakeholders from Legal, client account teams, IT and Icertis participated in extensive workshops to define initial functionality and scope, which was ambitious and complex. The project team defined requirements for the end-to-end contracting process—from contracting request, drafts and reviews to final signature, execution and even applied intelligence across the portfolio. These requirements were then expanded to address 15 contract types, which also required defining a data model for the digitized contracts in 15 variations. (Future releases of the tool are just as ambitious and will cover buy-side [procurement contracts] and the management of additional legal matters, such as ventures and acquisitions, anti-money laundering due diligence and more.)

With the help of global IT and Icertis, now all of Accenture’s contracts are being digitized and moved to a central platform that optimizes workflow and promotes transparency. For example, users can enter data, including contract deliverables, and share information widely. (While Manage myDeal has been designed to support accounts of all sizes across our global business, it’s especially capable of handling Accenture’s largest, most complex client relationships, spanning geographies, jurisdictions and teams.) A contract and its underlying data are routed automatically through reviews, changes and approvals, allowing client account, Legal teams and other stakeholders to work seamlessly and see clearly where each contract stands in the sales process, who is working on it and when it is finalized.

Perhaps most importantly, Manage myDeal is not a stand-alone solution—it’s the legal front door to a larger ecosystem created by IT that connects other key platforms, including Accenture customer relationship management tool Manage mySales and legal contract delivery solution Manage myContract. Manage myDeal’s integration with Manage mySales provides a clear path for legal support (accessible by all client teams, regardless of account size or importance) as contracts are created. Beyond sales, the ecosystem extends to tools like the award-winning Accenture Legal Intelligent Contract Exploration (ALICE), which uses natural language processing and machine learning to generate critical search capability across more than a million contracts in 12 languages.

A valuable difference

At a minimum, Manage myDeal enhances the efficiency of the Legal team as a workflow tool delivering immediate, tangible value all users. For sales teams, the solution provides a single view of information across clients and contracts, in addition to creating clear hand-offs and status updates between sales and Legal teams. Sales leaders can easily create a dashboard of projects by geographies or countries and easily capture such contract vitals as expiring contracts. Plus, they can view entire contract families, including master service agreements, statements of work, change orders and more. There are many advantages for Legal teams, too. To name just a few: lawyers can insert the latest precedent language into a contract with one click or easily create client-specific templates and accelerate high-volume contracts.

Yet, way beyond this core functionality, Manage myDeal is a transformational solution that yields powerful insights with more users and transactions. Dashboards can reveal how long it takes to close deals by market, which can help teams troubleshoot or identify issues, or how many contracts have exclusivity language that can affect business competition. As more functionality comes online and data proliferates, the tool will eventually provide predictive data and capabilities, such as flagging regulatory issues before a contract is signed, identifying contract trends that lead to low profitability or ways to improve contract revisions that make Accenture more competitive at winning deals.

Manage myDeal has enjoyed early success in its initial rollout and continues to generate excitement as more teams across Accenture engage with this revolutionary tool—it is indeed a prominent and promising start of a journey to deliver on the value of technology and human ingenuity.

"This depth of insight is game-changing—for the first time, Accenture has a 360-degree view of a client relationship that delivers value to Accenture and its clients."

— ANAND PANDYA, Lead Legal Counsel – Technology and Innovation, Accenture

Scalability

Supports hundreds of thousands of contracts in a centralized system

Initial onboarding

More than 24,000 contracts and 600+ templates have been onboarded in the system within the first three months of rollout

Efficient data capture

Data is captured once and shared across more than four different legal and sales systems

Enhanced insights

Ability to apply analytics to the data captured and unlock value in legal data

Improved capacity

Simplification and standardization reduces workload, freeing Legal teams to spend time on more advisory vs. administrative work

Risk management

Helps to anticipate and reduce risk and address contractual protection, improve contract delivery and support predictive compliance

Improved customer experience

Reduces time to deal-close and improves team collaboration and contracting transparency

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