What’s in store for contract management in 2020? AI, CCLM, RPA, and more

Happy New Year to our Agiloft community! As we jump headfirst into the new year, we rounded up our best predictions about what 2020 will bring to contract management. From CCLM to machine learning and no-code software in the enterprise, the following quotes from Agiloft leadership provide great insight on where the industry is headed.

Contract and Commerce Lifecycle Management (CCLM)

Agiloft CEO Colin Earl recently said this about CCLM in an interview with ERP News:

“CCLM is an emerging contract-centric methodology that extends well beyond traditional contract lifecycle management. Using contracts as its core system of record, CCLM integrates the full scope of internal and external commercial systems to enhance security and compliance while driving enterprise-wide value creation. By bringing contract-adjacent processes (vendor management, buy/sell-side operations, CRM, ERP, and even IT service management) into the orbit of CCLM, organizations can not only monitor contract obligations and performance across departments, they are also empowered with enterprise-wide commercial data that informs future decisions regarding costs, suppliers, customers, and internal processes.”

Colin Earl reiterated the role of CCLM in ensuring compliance and security in a recent interview in Digital Journal:

"The number one driver for implementing a CCLM system will not be operational efficiency or maximizing profitability, it’ll be managing risks associated with compliance. Contracts contain all kinds of sensitive information. Whether it’s valuable IP, pricing information or confidential customer and employee data, not keeping contracts in a secure access-controlled system is a recipe for disaster. More companies will realize the real value of a well-integrated CCLM system is in mitigating security and compliance risks."

Read more about CCLM and why it is the future of contract management in the blog post “What is CCLM? Defining Contract and Commerce Lifecycle Management.”

AI and Machine Learning

While artificial intelligence (AI) is a broad and often over-hyped topic, 2020 will see real AI tools used for contract management in the enterprise. In a recent video interview with Agiloft partner Red de Firmas, Christian Thun, Agiloft VP of Engineering, recently described the AI and machine learning coming to the Agiloft platform via the Agiloft AI Core:

“We want to use AI to automate contracts and do metadata extraction, meaning you feed a contract document to the AI and it tells you what data is in there and then extracts it. You can do clause extraction, risk scoring, and you can classify a document. But this is only the first step, because the platform can really do so much more. Just like with Agiloft, you can implement a CLM but then implement all the other systems for CCLM, the Agiloft AI Core gives you access to many machine learning models, modern ones on the big platforms (Amazon, Google, and Microsoft) and you can integrate them with the data in your Agiloft platform. With a few mouse clicks you can train a new algorithm and use it to make predictions and then use the results from these predictions to automate your workflows.”

Alexa

At last year’s Agiloft Summit 2019, Bridget Conrad, Agiloft VP of Professional Services, presented on the configurability of Alexa and how it will empower contract management in the enterprise. Here is a quote from her presentation:

“Alexa for Business now has a large ecosystem of business applications, including a host of phone and conference systems as well as Microsoft Office applications. Our integration with Alexa uses voice commands to reduce mouse clicks and keyboard strokes when you’re in the office, and to allow hands-free connectivity when out of the office. We’ve added several Alexa skills in the upcoming release, but in true Agiloft fashion, we’ve also made it possible for customers to upload their own skills and to create whatever skills they need to make their system more efficient.”

Watch the full presentation, as well as a demonstration of Agiloft’s Alexa integration below:


What about smart contracts?

In his interview with Digital Journal, Colin Earl said this of smart contracts:

“While the promise of smart contracts were thoroughly hyped in 2019, their potential still won't be fully realized in 2020. Eventually, smart contracts will become a core component of contract management solutions over time but that transition will not happen in the next year. Artificial intelligence (AI), however, will make a measurable impact on contract management in 2020 as a critical driver for autonomous contracting. For example, by analyzing the metadata in counterparty contracts received, AI can pull out the clauses and highlight new changes and how they relate back to the clauses that the organization likes to use. AI will empower companies to easily make comparisons and drive negotiations, expediting the process and removing a manual layer."

No-code platforms

“In 2020, low-code/no-code technology will gain traction at the enterprise level, as large organizations begin building apps using low- and no-code platforms to create more value in end-to-end processes and ultimately extending that value to customers, partners, and suppliers. As business climates evolve and CIOs look to replace legacy technology, they'll rely on low-code/no-code platforms to configure agile applications faster, with significantly reduced risk, resource, and time requirements," said Christian Thun, Agiloft VP of Engineering, in a recent predictions article by DevOps Digest. Read the predictions article here.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

In his recent Digital Journal interview, Agiloft CEO Colin Earl had this to say about RPA for contract management:

“Automation will continue to reduce human intervention in traditional contracting activities in 2020. In the age of automation, robotic process automation (RPA) will take center stage as a powerful tool to automate mundane tasks while enabling integration and digitization of contracts. Just like there are hundreds of thousands of skills being built using the Alexa platform, in 2020, companies will start to build bots and deploy them through a digital interface to execute tasks that are repetitive such as reminders, escalations, and approval assignment. This ensures approval task communication is always timely and staff members are freed from busy work to focus on productive activities.”



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