Integrating AI with Contract Management Software

Many companies are embracing artificial intelligence—tools like machine learning, natural language processing, and others—to assist in creating and analyzing lengthy and complicated contracts.

Meeting this need, Docusign CLM+ is the next phase in our continuum of products enhancing contract management. CLM+ combines the core capabilities of contract lifecycle management with advanced AI and analytics so that companies can do business faster with greater transparency and less risk.

Celine Beck,Senior Director in Product Management at Docusign; Jim Klak, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Operations at Wells Fargo; Charles Post, EVP, Contract Analytics & Lifecycle Management at Cimplifi; and Julian Tsisin, Director of Legal Technology at Meta Platforms sat down for a panel at Docusign’s Momentum ‘22 to discuss their journey into using AI for more effective contract management.

Incorporating AI into the contract lifecycle

Both Tsisin of Meta and Klak of Wells Fargo use Docusign CLM+ for simplifying workflow and reducing the manual tasks involved in contract management. However, both acknowledged that the transformation was not an overnight affair. Tsisin discussed the challenges of getting leadership and clients to accept AI solutions. The key, he said, was being able to demonstrate results.

“In my experience, it was easier to get buy-in when you can show those quick wins,” Tsisin said. “There’s a lot of up-front investment that needs to go in when you want to develop those models correctly.”

Wells Fargo’s transition to digital contract management began in response to several difficulties, most notably increased regulatory oversight. As a large firm with millions of documents in its archives, and millions more received each year, Wells Fargo faced significant and expensive challenges in extracting data from contracts by manual review.

“On a moderate-sized use case, extractions–30 or 40 terms–add up quickly,” Klak noted. “It can be hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.”

Both enterprise operations professionals looked for ways to automate processes within their company’s contract lifecycle, which led them to Docusign. And each saw the same outcome: following a successful pilot program, AI-assisted contract management spread to every major line of business.

“We’ve quickly become the partner of choice across the firm for pulling intelligence data from legacy documents,” Klak said. “We’ve reviewed millions of documents and agreements and probably extracted 30-40 million data points and terms. Seems like a lot, but honestly we’ve barely touched the tip of the iceberg.”

“From a value creation point of view, we see significant benefits up and down the value chain,” said Jim Klak.

With millions of dollars saved, Klak’s team has proven results to support using the power of AI to the fullest extent.

“I have lots of examples of situations where either historically the bank had to go outside and pay a big four firm to do the work, or they were on the verge of doing that, and found out about our solution and saved that money,” said Klak.

“The benefit of leveraging the AI to get better intelligence and then figuring out how you can leverage that in your workflows is critically important,” said Klak.

Added Charles Post of Cimplifi: "As a Platinum Docusign Partner, it is rewarding for us to see the tremendous ROI that is driven by successful implementations, and building centers of excellence around the Docusign Agreement Cloud."

Moving forward and leveraging AI for contracts

Klak also emphasized the potential to move beyond using AI to extract terms in favor of making digitization easier at the document generation stage.

“When you start, it’s easier to start looking at legacy stuff, because it’s sitting there,” Klak said. “But when you think about the time, effort, and expense on the back end, it’s better to use your dry powder, so to speak, by going up to the front of the process and digitizing from the very beginning: codifying those documents and curating that data so it’s exactly what you need.”

Klak suggested, and Tsisin concurred, that enterprises leverage the capabilities of AI from the start of document origination for even faster time to value. Once automated reviews reveal the key aspects of legacy documents, future document generation can emulate those models.

“A lot of the use cases where we are using AI now could have been addressed if we had a proper process during contract creation and drafting,” Tsisin said.

Tsisin adds, “We will always have new challenges and use cases.  I work for a company that’s a target of a lot of regulation around the world. New privacy laws are always coming out.”

“There is no magic bullet,” Tsisin went on to say. “It’s hard work. You can’t just bring in AI and press that button and everything will be fixed. You have to get your house in order first.”

As part of the Docusign Agreement Cloud, CLM+ offers a fluid, transparent, and effective AI-assisted user experience to all customers, wherever they are in their digital transformation. Docusign’s CLM+ provides companies with a platform that goes beyond easing contract management – helping companies do business faster, save money, and reduce risk.

To watch the video of the full session, Realize the Benefits of Contract Intelligence with Docusign CLM+ login or register. To learn more about Docusign CLM+, visit our website and read about how CLM+ delivers returns on investment.

Austin Miller
CLM Expert