Contract Intelligence: A Must-Have to Meet the Tech Industry's Need for Speed

By Digvijay Singh

Innovation is paramount in the technology sector, where solutions and services move and evolve at lightning speed. Therefore, technology organizations must continuously strive to be more agile and resilient to keep up with the pace of business and stay ahead of the competition. 

In one famous anecdote that sums up today's market reality, it took Ford Motor Company 70 years to reach a valuation of $70 billion. By contrast, it took Uber seven years to reach the same milestone.

At the same time, commercial models in the technology industry are highly complex. Indirect sales are often managed through channel partners and systems integrators, while hardware and software sales are tied to complex "as-a-service" subscription offerings.

Speed and complexity don't typically go together well—especially if a company's contract management processes are insufficient to handle the commercial agreements’ complexity. Why contracts? Because these models and everything that flows through them are governed by contracts, which is why any effort to address some of the biggest challenges facing today's technology companies must include reimagining how they manage and get value from their contracts.

Slow Pace of Business Impacts Closing Deals Faster and Meeting Sales Targets

As the world embraces the concept of digital transformation, customer demand for ever-more-advanced technology means that technology companies must step up and meet their fast-changing needs—be it through new partnerships or mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

At the same time, in the grow-or-die environment that defines tech today, sales teams face ever-present quarterly pressures to perform.

Manual contract processes hinder customer onboarding. This means teams may be slow to pivot to new opportunities, end-of-month goals get missed, and the lead-to-cash cycle slows to a crawl.

Faster Customer Onboarding to Stay Out in Front

To address these challenges, leading technology companies, including Microsoft, Pluralsight, and ServiceNow, are turning to advanced contract lifecycle management (CLM) technology. Advanced CLM digitizes contract data, structures it, and connects it to the systems contracts touch. This empowers technology companies to move faster–all while still delivering performance and driving compliance. At Icertis, we call this contract intelligence.

Contract intelligence has proven to be a must-have for these and other technology leaders due to contracts’ ubiquitous and foundational nature. By offering a 360° view of contracts and relationships, contract digitization overcomes the complexity of the technology partner ecosystem, providing holistic visibility into partner, reseller, and distributor relationships and their underlying agreements.

Every deal is defined by a contract, and by digitizing contracts, organizations can provide deep integrations between contracting and other enterprise applications—including customer relationship management (CRM) and configure, price, quote (CPQ) software—greatly accelerating time-to-contract so businesses can stay out ahead.

This is especially valuable on the sell-side of the business, where contracting can be woven into sales through digital integration so that with just the click of a button all the information from that hard-won sales negotiation flows into contracts.

Automated workflows speed up approvals and eliminate errors and error proofing, while editing and negotiations can be done in real-time. As a result, different functions involved in a deal can collaborate faster (especially critical for hardware deals) and subject-matter experts can be brought in as required. Throughout the process, fast access to standard contracting language help teams avoid unnecessary review cycles. Ultimately, deals get closed more quickly, and revenue is recognized sooner.

Icertis Contract Intelligence for the Technology Industry

At Icertis, we do more than just provide contract solutions, we see contracts as opportunities. The Icertis Contract Intelligence (ICI) platform is the only contract management system tailored specifically for technology companies with best practices drawing on this deep industry experience.

Icertis’ Technology solution specifically addresses the challenges and needs of the technology sector by delivering quicker deployment and time-to-value.

ICI for Technology is tailored to technology vendors, providing features such as: software-as-a-service (SaaS) subscription, distributor and reseller agreements and exhibits; integrations with CRM/CPQ and billing software; automated workflows for approvals and signatures tracking; measuring performance; and more.

Because associations, rules, and workflows are preconfigured into our ICI for Technology solution, your company can see real value in a compressed time period, experiencing early wins from better understanding contracts and their context within their business.

As your business grows, your contract intelligence grows. This leads to better insights, decision making and business performance.

Given the need for speed in the technology industry, CLM has emerged as a must-have. Technology companies need robust contract intelligence software that can help quickly meet the opportunities of today and tomorrow.

To learn more, access our eBook, Contract Intelligence for Technology, or visit our solution page.