Contracts are a foundational element of commerce, and they touch nearly every aspect of business from sales to procurement to human resources. Until recently, most contracts were either in the form of paper documents or scanned and saved as PDFs. They were static and dispersed, making them hard to keep track of, manage, and evaluate for opportunities and risks.
Now, however, contracts are becoming digitized, making it possible to use them in new, strategic ways. Companies like Icertis offer advanced contract management platforms that enable businesses to turn their contracts into valuable assets. We integrate artificial intelligence into our platform, enabling contract intelligence — the ability to manage your contracts in a smarter, AI-powered way.
Why Do Businesses Need Contract Intelligence?
Without contract intelligence, contracts are difficult to manage and are often filed away and forgotten until a problem occurs. This is because manually managing contracts, including creating new agreements and keeping track of when contracts expire, is very time-intensive and people-dependent. Legacy contracts can also carry risks that are difficult to uncover with manual methods. Manually managing even digitized contracts can be time-intensive, but with contract intelligence, AI-powered tools can do much of the heavy lifting for you — freeing up more time for your team and improving your contract management.
With contract intelligence through the Icertis Contract Management (ICM) platform, you can transform your contract processes and overcome contract related-challenges. Contract intelligence can help give you more control over your contracts by making them searchable and making the information within your contracts easier to find and access.
It also gives you better insights into your contracts. Contracts consist of unstructured data, but artificial intelligence can take the information within contracts and turn it into data you can use, turning your contracts into live, strategic assets. AI-powered tools can understand what different clauses mean and reveal contract language that may expose a business to risk. It can also help uncover opportunities to improve contracts and improve data input and visualization. AI tools can also bring to light historical contract data for use in negotiations.
Artificial intelligence contract review enables you to look at all of your new, old and in-progress contracts to reveal opportunities to save money, make money, reduce risk and learn from past mistakes. With digitization and contract intelligence, contracts are no longer just a repository for information. They’re part of a live contract management system that helps you to grow your business, reduce your risk and create better outcomes for your stakeholders.
How Contract Intelligence Works
Contracts have been a foundational part of business for many years, and now for the first time, they are becoming digitized. This provides a new source of potentially valuable data. Artificial intelligence helps to uncover the value in this data by enabling data-driven insights and turning previously static contracts into live documents that can interact with the surrounding system, people and other contracts.
Contract intelligence exists within a contract management platform, a tool that helps businesses to organize and manage their contracts. Contract management spans the entire lifecycle of every agreement — from discovery, uploading and data extraction to authoring, negotiation, approval, execution, monitoring and reporting, amendment, renewal and, eventually, archiving.
Applying AI to contract management enables businesses to solve problems that were previously too time-intensive or resource-intensive to solve. By analyzing the data in existing contracts, contract intelligence machine learning tools can detect patterns in contracts that enable them to understand the meaning behind clauses. This helps you to uncover insights that help you improve your agreements.
The ICM platform uses an unmatched quantity, quality and variety of data to reveal better insights into your contracts. Our platform uses data from 6.5 million contracts and related artifacts in more than 40 languages from more than 90 countries in more than 25 industry verticals. These contracts and artifacts include thousands of contract types and templates and represent a unique taxonomy created from hundreds of thousands of clauses.
Using our DigitizeAI application, you can turn legacy contracts into digital assets. You can bulk import contracts into the ICM platform, whether they’re in Microsoft Word, PDF or scanned image file formats, enabling you to digitize your contracts quickly. These contracts then become immediately searchable, accessible and reportable, improving your control over your records and paving the way to insights that can help you to improve your agreements. The DigitizeAI app can speed up legacy contract digitization by as much as 80%.
AI enables you to extract key attributes from your contracts in a matter of minutes — a task that would otherwise be extremely time-consuming. Once attributes are extracted, they’re organized in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and color-coded so that you can quickly validate their accuracy.
Once your contracts are in the ICM, you can manage renewals, obligations, risks and other aspects of your arrangements and perform bulk actions for amendments and regulatory changes. You can search and access all contracts immediately using workflow processes.
You can also use the ICM and its AI tools to analyze and review your contracts. The high quantity, quality and variety of data we use enable our tools to recognize contract language and attributes, as do our algorithms — which automatically choose the right approach based on the content of the contracts. These tools enable you to report and analyze across all legacy and new contracts to uncover risks and potential opportunities.
Artificial Intelligence and Contract Management
According to a report from Gartner, AI will increase the efficiency of contract negotiation and document completion 30% by 2023 for organizations using contract management systems.
The digitization of contracts and the use of AI to manage and analyze them create new possibilities for businesses. The Icertis AI applications provide a range of capabilities including clause identification, attribute extraction and a data validation interface, all of which are mapped to semantic definitions in the ICM platform. Some specific uses of AI in contract management include the following:
1. ICM DiscoverAI App
Our ICM DiscoverAI app enables you to quickly assess and manage third-party contracts. The contracts you create in-house use standard templates and clauses, but third-party contracts may include unfamiliar elements, making them more challenging to work with.
DiscoverAI can identify attributes and clauses within third-party contracts and match them to the clauses, contract types and attributes within your contract library, enabling you to quickly understand and manage them. The app will guide you through the process of importing your third-party contracts, managing clause deviations and confirming attributes. With DiscoverAI, you can work with third-party contracts just as easily as you can your own.
2. ICM NegotiateAI App
Modern organizations need to be able to quickly and accurately create and assess significant volumes of contracts. Contract negotiation can be a time-intensive and labor-intensive part of this process. Digitization and AI can help increase the efficiency of contract negotiation as well as improve the outcomes.
Our ICM NegotiateAI app gives your business access to the insights it needs to optimize its negotiations. The app can help you to analyze large amounts of contracts, understand all the terms and clauses and discover similar elements in your company contract library. This enables you to uncover best practices from previous contracts, including those negotiated with the same party. NegotiateAI works with Microsoft Word to provide these insights in the familiar Word format.
Using these insights, you can consistently negotiate optimal terms and avoid repeating mistakes made in previous contracts. It also helps to reduce the time spent manually authoring and reviewing contracts, along with the costs of doing so.
3. ICM VisualizeAI App
Our VisualizeAI app helps you to assess your contract data and uncover valuable insights. With Visualize AI, you can navigate the complex relationships between contracts and discover patterns that can help you to create better contracts in the future. Using the app, you can group documents based on factors such as their status or risk level and take action across your whole contract portfolio.
The app uses AI technology to uncover insights into contract data by recognizing patterns within data and the relationships that exist between contracts and then linking the data to outside sources. This helps you to organize and visualize your contract library and quickly make changes and improvements as needed.
4. Intelligent Search
AI also enables you to search your contracts and get intuitive results, helping you to find the information you need more quickly. Icertis delivers intelligent search capabilities by developing innovative applications for Cognitive Search, an AI-powered feature created by Microsoft on Azure used to extract text from unstructured data. By building on top of the Cognitive Search feature, we’ve introduced custom skill sets and, using our domain knowledge, enabled it to comprehend the legal context of contracts.
Our Azure Cognitive Search skills enable you to ask complex questions about your contracts and get intelligent results. If you’re in the healthcare sector, for example, you might search for anything that’s related to the HIPAA Privacy Rule. Because of the data and cognitive capabilities it has, ICM knows that the rule is related to protecting patient information. It can then bring up any clauses related to privacy.
These results are superior to standard search features that just look for keywords. Intelligent search understands the context of the search and the meaning of the results it brings up, so it can produce more relevant results. This enables you to uncover value and risks in your contracts more efficiently.
5. Contract Performance Management
Using ICM and its AI capabilities, you can analyze your existing contracts to gain insight into how they’re performing and then make adjustments as necessary to maximize value and minimize risk. ICM can combine information from the full lifecycle of your contracts along with data from integrations with your enterprise systems. This creates a single source of information that gets layered with analytics tools to provide you with performance metrics that help you track compliance, cycle times, renewals, expiry, savings, risks, deviations, spend, procurement, sales and more.
Having this information easily accessible helps you to identify problems such as barriers to contract approvals, inconsistent terms and underperforming suppliers and helps ensure you fulfill all contractual terms.
Contract Intelligence from Icertis
At Icertis, we develop software that helps companies revolutionize their contract processes to overcome the challenges associated with traditional contract management. Our tools provide contract intelligence that allows you to gain better insights into — and more control over — your contracts. Our AI-powered tools enable you to evaluate all of your past and present contracts to find ways to reduce risk and maximize benefits for your stakeholders. ICM and our contract intelligence tools can help you with nearly every phase of the contract management process.
Thanks to digitization and AI technology, contracts no longer have to be static documents. Contract management software transforms them into live documents and turns their unstructured data into structured information you can use AI-powered tools to derive value from.
Our contract intelligence technology is some of the most powerful in existence. With 6.5 million contracts and artifacts representing thousands of contract types and templates, the data in our ICM features unmatched quantity, quality and variety. When you use ICM, all this data is mapped to your distinctive semantic structures, providing you with insights relevant to your organization.
AI is enabling businesses to overcome contract challenges more quickly and easily than ever through digitizing legacy contracts, importing third-party contracts, assessing past negotiation history, visualizing data and providing valuable insights. Through our AI applications, you gain access to clause identification, attribute extraction and data validation capabilities that provide numerous benefits.
Automating parts of the contract review process helps you to reduce cycle time and eliminate errors, and the ability to quickly process and understand third-party contracts helps you to reduce risk, improve contract performance and ensure compliance with all terms. Better insight into your contract history also helps you to negotiate optimal terms for your contracts and derive better outcomes.
Want to Learn More?
Managing contracts, especially large volumes of contracts, can prove challenging when dealing with them in the traditional way. Traditionally, contracts are static documents filled with unstructured data and are often dispersed. That’s changing with the introduction of the digitization of contracts, contract management solutions and contract intelligence. The Icertis Contract Management (ICM) platform and our contract intelligence tools help you to take your static contracts and transform them into live documents and strategic business assets. This enables you to gain better visibility into your contracts, gain valuable insights, reduce risks and maximize opportunities.
With clients that include 3M, Airbus, Cognizant, Daimler, Microsoft and Sanofi, Icertis is the leading provider of contract lifecycle management in the cloud. Our platform is intuitive, highly configurable and includes powerful contract intelligence tools. It enables you to manage all your contracts on a single platform, providing visibility across your organization and helping you to reduce risk and drive value.