Your Contract Management Questions From Recent Icertis Webinar

We recently participated in a webinar with Icertis, the contract life-cycle management (CLM) cloud solution provider.  It was titled  “Accelerating Time to Value with Icertis Contract Management”, but really it provided an overview of CLM thinking, the latest technology developments and the benefits that can be obtained through a structured approach to CLM.  If you missed it live, you can catch the webinar now on demand here.

There were a couple of questions that we didn’t have time to cover on the day, so here are my considered answers to 2 questions.

We don't have any real specialist procurement technology in place. What should we look at first - spend analytics? Sourcing? P2P? Contract management?

It really depends on your current situation of course – not just what exactly you have in place, but what your objectives are and what expectations top management has of this investment.

In general terms, I suggest that the first task is to understand reasonably well the current spend and contractual position in the organisation. So spend analysis of some sort is a fairly fundamental early step in most procurement development programmes. Equally, a contract management / contract lifecycle management system can start to achieve two benefits. If all new contracts are managed through the system, you start getting visibility and “grip” over those, and you can also start pulling together the necessary information about existing key contracts in the organisation, which can quickly identify some opportunities and risks.

So those seem good first steps; sourcing technology will no doubt follow, although if making some “quick wins” with visible savings is important, I might choose a handful of suitable spend areas and run some e-auctions - probably on a managed service basis in the interests of speed to (hopefully) generate some savings! Purchase to pay generally takes some time to implement and benefits flow over time, so that might not be my first priority.

 

Why do you think so many procurement-related tech projects fail? 

Sometimes we can blame the technology, or the provider of the technology, but the most common reason I hear and see is around the failure to treat the implementation as a change management programme rather than a technology exercise. If you just implement any system – purchase to pay, CLM, whatever, and expect people in your organisation to use it simply because it is there, it will fail. Any new system requires some changes in user behaviour, so that has to be managed – which is about stakeholder (people) and change management.

Why should people make the change? What are the benefits for them? How do you communicate, train and educate users? How do you find real sponsors who will encourage others? How do you plan a launch, switch-over or roll-out? These are all questions to consider, and failing to do so is I think the most common cause of failure in terms of procurement (or probably any) tech projects.

And one “techie” question answered by Icertis:

Q: Can Icertis confirm that when it performs application maintenance on customer’s SaaS production environment, Icertis staff have no access to the customer’s data, ie customer’s contracts?  (In other words, is there a clear separation enforced between the application layer and the data layer in the Icertis SaaS environment?)

Yes, Icertis enforces access control at each layer of the architecture.  Icertis does not have access to the data unless explicitly approved by the customer.

Thanks to those who tuned in - and remember you can listen to and watch the webinar now on demand here.

Discuss this:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.