How Watson Discovery helps ContractPodAi provide legal excellence

By | 4 minute read | May 25, 2021


IBM business partner ContractPodAi offers an end-to-end contract management solution designed by lawyers for lawyers. The solution aims to dissolve traditional complexity around contract management by providing a single platform designed to augment a legal department’s ability to assemble, approve, sign and manage their inventory of contracts. Using IBM Watson technologies, ContractPodAi helps counsel easily and cost-effectively manage any contract throughout its lifecycle.

Legal operations are an incredibly complex, expensive, heavily governed, and mission-critical unit within any enterprise business — in fact, the top Fortune 500 companies on average spend 0.6% of their total revenue on legal operations. To ensure a contract is “risk-contained” end-to-end, legal operations must be able to find efficiencies with confidence while attempting to avoid errors and omissions.

Enterprise businesses often have a serious volume of contracts, sometimes millions, stored within multiple repositories from multiple years. In some industries, contracts must be preserved indefinitely. ContractPodAi’s platform gives counsel a core repository for contracts and enables a streamlined approach to creating new agreements and managing existing ones. It can also analyze a business’s historical inventory of contracts to provide insight into patterns and uncover best practices. And in an e-discovery event, contract management systems are indispensable for cost, risk mitigation and legal defense.

Today, many companies are looking to strengthen green initiatives or diversity programs, and an important way to institutionalize these initiatives is through a company’s book of business. A robust contract lifecycle management system helps legal operations and other parts of the organization such as procurement and sales to manage vendors and supply chains better. This allows companies to amend and control all contracts more uniformly and institutionalize change across different jurisdictions and business units worldwide.

ContractPodAi uses Watson Discovery to ensure legal readiness is business readiness

Contracts began as a means to structure the rules and business terms between parties that could be adjudicated in a court of law in a predictable and fair way. Over the centuries, with efforts to better limit risk, contracts became more defensive, business-specific, and increasingly arcane. As such, they became too complicated to easily extract business insights from, and they often lost their original purpose — at least for non-lawyers.

ContractPodAi uses Watson Discovery to add insight beyond the ability of human legal specialists. This allows lawyers to create contracts more efficiently, while helping business partners and government regulators better understand the content, risks and obligations of the agreement.

With Watson Discovery’s AI search capabilities, users can quickly get a deeper understanding of contract specifics. AI search is primarily used by counsel to examine their existing inventory of contracts. Counsel finds specific clauses, to judge if they will fit the business requirements the organization is targeting. With thousands of data points to search through, AI search streamlines a typically time-consuming process. ContractPodAi also uses Watson Discovery to find specific key legal obligations and clauses in contracts and to compare the language in those contracts against a company’s “most preferred” position or language. ContractPodAi then determines alignment and scores the risk of the language against that preferred position. This further reduces costs of compliance and optimizes expensive legal talent.

Watson Assistant is also embedded within ContractPodAi, its conversational AI and chat-based interface helps counsel search through their vast inventory of contracts and find exactly what they need using simple natural language.

By using the Watson suite, ContractPodAi offers an ongoing trainable process and automatically builds a knowledge base of best practices, establishing a virtuous circle of production and efficiency while keeping customers 100% compliant.

Transformations achieved

When clients decide to transform their legal operations, experts at ContractPodAi use Watson to develop clear, measurable objectives.

For example, a business might want to use the solution to shrink the amount of time it takes to renew contracts. ContractPodAi clients have reported reductions in contract renewal time greater than 50%.

Another business may want to analyze their inventory of over 400,000 contracts, looking for indemnification clauses to see if they can expose important and ever-changing risks and reconsider the associated clauses when those contracts come up for renewal. This is a process that most companies would find impossible to take on without AI and automation.

Customers in heavily regulated industries use ContractPodAi to run what-if scenarios to enable their operations to get ahead of problems: for example, to predict potential repercussions of a court decision on a particular new regulation.

Non-compliance is seriously expensive. In 2020, exposure due to fraud, errors, and omissions resulted in over $10 billion in fines, according to a Fenergo report. By design, contracts are supposed to get in front of these potential risks and contain exposure throughout an enterprise and among customers, employees and suppliers.

By providing counsel with an easy-to-use contract lifecycle management system, ContractPodAi makes contracting an organized and proactive experience. A single central repository gives users a way to extract the maximum aggregate benefit from a contract’s entire lifecycle.

What’s next

ContractPodAi recently released ContractPodAi Cloud, an intuitive legal platform that gives teams complete visibility and control over all their legal records including claims, M&A and GDPR. The new platform expands ContractPodAi’s use of Watson services beyond contract management, providing new use cases such as IP management and GDPR compliance to help legal departments stay ready for anything.