Finding the Right Fit: Migrating from an Existing CLM to Agiloft

Learn about the lessons learned and benefits Accor reaped when they migrated from their original CLM to Agiloft.

Sometimes a technology solution just isn’t the right fit.

That’s what happened for Paris-based hospitality and hotel company Accor when they tried to implement their first contract management system back in 2019.  

Luckily, there was an alternative on the market that met their needs: Agiloft CLM. 

The process of selecting and implementing a replacement Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution was the topic of discussion at a recent virtual wine and cheese tasting event hosted by Agiloft’s Jim Leason, Managing Director of EMEA, and Accor’s Richard Dudley, ITSM Project Manager. 

Read on for highlights from their conversation to learn about the lessons learned and benefits Accor reaped in the process of navigating a migration from their original CLM to Agiloft.

Assessing an existing contract management system

Jim started off the virtual event by posing the question to Richard: “What was wrong with [your existing contract management software]?” 

“Too many things to go through today,” Richard responded with a chuckle. “I’m sure they have satisfied customers, but they’re not the right fit for Accor.” 

When Accor first vetted and selected their original CLM years ago, Richard explained, the procurement process did not include a full range of key stakeholders from various departments of the company. Consequently, the CLM selected lacked basic capabilities that were critical to Accor’s operations, such as being a fully relational database or having a mass-edit feature.

Fully relational database

Accor attaches their contracts to their various hotel properties, which creates two different records and two different tables. They needed a solution that would allow them to click on the hotel record, see who’s the general manager of that property, and see its associated sales data. Because the CLM they selected was not a fully relational database, Accor was not able to do that, Richard said. 

Mass-edit feature

Another issue was the inability to mass-edit and update contracts.  

“Occasionally we need to make updates en masse to a field of all of these contracts. And [our existing CLM] doesn’t have the ability to allow us to import or mass edit contracts in their solution. So this was something I think a lawyer or the Legal team that selected [the vendor], they didn’t have that as part of their selection criteria,” Richard said. 

Flexible permissions

Accor also struggled with their existing CLM’s inflexibility for managing permissions, something that became especially cumbersome each time the company went through a reorganization.

“It was next to impossible to reallocate contracts or populations of contracts from one group of users to the new group of users. It’s almost hard coded, if you like,” Richard said. “I had to go to the [existing CLM’s] implementation team for topics or for subjects that I was not able to do. So it depends on how autonomous you’d like to be, but I had a greater need for autonomy than [the existing CLM] would allow me to do.”

Often asked by colleagues to accomplish things in the system that weren’t possible, the Accor team carefully documented all the capabilities and functionalities that their existing CLM could not do and began to draw up a list of requirements for its replacement. 

“We gradually built up an idea of everything that we were missing, and luckily [with] the Board and the Finance team, we were able to convince them that now was the right time to change solutions. So that’s why we started our RFI process and looking elsewhere,” Richard said. 

The search for the right solution

Last June, Richard and his team compiled a list of 100 requirements for their new system — (“we could have gone on,” he said) — and the list effectively became Accor’s wishlist for their replacement solution.

Then, the team began scouring solution review resources like G2 and Gartner, getting a sense of the current leaders and innovators within the CLM space. From there, Accor sent their RFI with 100 questions to 8 companies, which, initially, did not include Agiloft.  

However, when Accor’s top two vendor choices were unable to meet at least 70% of their Proof of Concept (PoC) requirements, the team went back to the drawing board. They began talking to companies they hadn’t interacted with initially, went through more than 15 additional demos, and sent out a second RFI to four companies, including Agiloft.

After the second RFI process, two clear top contenders emerged, one of whom was Agiloft. Accor then asked both vendors to be ready for a PoC by this January 2023.  

“I identified everything that we disliked the most with [our existing CLM] or that it was missing from [it] and we used that as the basis for finding the replacement,” Richard said of his PoC design process. 

The decision this April to move forward with Agiloft was threefold, Richard said. First, Agiloft’s demo won when it was put up for a vote with the existing CLM’s userbase. Second, the nine separate Legal teams at Accor were all consulted and they all preferred Agiloft, and lastly, Agiloft scored 15% higher on its PoC than its closest competitor. 

Preparing for the big move

In preparation for their go-live date of June 12, 2023, Accor worked tirelessly to clean up their data in order to make the migration as seamless as possible.  

One lesson learned during the CLM migration? Your existing CLM vendor may “drag their heels” when supplying you with the data needed.

“I requested that [our existing CLM] provide us with all of those 50,000 contract files in October last year, and they didn’t do it until March this year,” Richard said. 

Accor also underwent a UAT testing period of two weeks so Agiloft’s Implementation Team could catch and amend any possible issues with the imported data before the wider company began using the system. 

“I don’t think the data would be perfect on the start date of the UAT, and [the Agiloft Professional Services team] proved themselves on many other topics that they’re able to quickly fix things like that,” Richard said. “I haven’t encountered any issues with regards to importing data or linking hotels to contracts. And when I’ve given them the 50,000 PDFs or all of our contracts from my searches, I haven’t had any issues with them linking those files to the different contracts.” 

Ultimately, Richard said, the decision to go with Agiloft was an easy one, and Accor looks forward to a future powered by Agiloft’s flexible, no-code CLM. 

“The choice at the end was very easy to make, and we haven’t regretted it,” he said. “Everything’s working as expected.”

Fed up with a CLM that doesn’t meet your requirements? Learn more about migrating to Agiloft CLM. Contact us today to book a personalized demo, or listen to Accor further discuss their journey to Agiloft on the podcast “Contract Heroes.”

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