I was recently at a conference which included discussions about M&A activity in London in a post-Brexit world. What struck me was one of the panelists opined that whilst Brexit brought new challenges to the M&A community – essentially the added risk premium demanded by political and economic uncertainty –nothing had changed. In his view, companies are still looking to merge, restructure, and divest to manage their portfolios and work to achieve their strategic goals with the best corporate structure.
So whilst there is change, there is always change so nothing changes; and the imperative therefore is to ensure agility and flexibility in your operations.
If I look at the Contract Discovery and Analytics field, a couple of years ago there were two primary use cases – M&A and contract migration. Of course, people were doing other things with the technology, but because of the state of the market and the understanding and capabilities of the technology, this is what most people talked about.
We then started to hear more about use cases involving new regulations, as contract data is a foundational component and often the first step in many compliance inititiaves. At first it was IFRS 15 and IFRS 16, but then the banking regulators swung into action with Ringfencing, QFC’s, Vendor Compliance, BRRD (article 55), etc. Europe woke up on June 24th of last year to Brexit, perhaps to be mirrored by future changes to NAFTA, and in the last 2 months, the impact of GDPR has been causing ripples.
But, it won’t stop there. Remember, the only certainty is change, so once we’ve got those bedded in it’ll be time to start thinking about new regulations such as updating our (contractual) protection around cybersecurity, or thinking about complying with the Prompt Payment Code or, well, the list goes on.
What must be a priority when selecting a supplier for the particular project you are working on is to ensure that rather than a point solution, you are selecting a platform. What is needed is a multi-use environment that can not only solve your current problem, but provide the agility and flexibility to allow you to develop it and re-use it for all the other use cases that your business is already fighting, or should be fighting, or will be fighting in the next few months or quarters.
At Seal we take this very seriously. We’ve built the platform to ensure that not only can you do a huge amount out-of-the-box, but have the agility to develop and extend it in any direction you want.
Here are a few examples:
- We’ve released our MS Word interface called “Analyze This Now,” to dramatically reduce the cost of training and roll out.
- The system allows you to create your own extraction policies and “Extraction Packs” – to extend the data model yourself (or get partners to do it), so you can uncover more information as you turn to Brexit, tackle GDPR, or ensure your Revenue Recovery project is successful.
- The upcoming Seal Marketplace will allow our customers and partners to share their extraction policies, reducing the time-to-value for their projects, and tapping into a wealth of knowledge and experience.
- We continue to expand our Partner Channel, making sure that the essential experience and knowhow to meet regulatory and reporting challenges is widely available.
Sometimes change means extra work and sometimes it brings opportunity, but it will always come. Don’t fight individual battles, but embrace and invest in agility, as that’s what’s needed to deal with change. You’ll never be finished making your business better, but when using a platform like Seal, you will increase your agility with contract data, and therefore, make is much easier to deal with whatever change may be on the horizon.