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A New Approach To Contracts

Gartner unveiled its April 2018 Cool Vendors report entitled “Cool Vendors in Content Services” by Gavin Tay, Monica Basso, Joe Mariano, Michael Woodbridge, Stephen Emmott & Hanns Koehler-Kruener at Gartner, Inc. The report evaluates interesting, new, and innovative vendors in the content services market that enable application leaders to “extend their content services platforms to improve insight and workforce engagement.” Seal Software was identified as one of four “Cool Vendors” in the content services market.

So, what is a content services platform (CSP)?

Let’s start with the definition of a CSP from Gartner:

“A content services platform is a set of services and microservices, embodied either as an integrated product suite or as separate applications that share common APIs and repositories, to exploit diverse content types and to serve multiple constituencies and numerous use cases across an organization.” Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platforms, Oct 5, 2017, Report Id: G00319504

A quick history lesson. The ECM market was created back in the late 1990s when the idea of a centralized repository for all forms of unstructured content took shape. It was a way of corralling textual documents, video, records, images and so on; putting them under control of a single management system. This centralization was termed “enterprise” as it was intended to be cross-departmental and not specific to a single use case. An ECM provided library services, workflow, and publishing amongst other capabilities. In the last decade, however, it has become clear that a monolithic approach to managing content is no longer agile or scalable enough, and it introduced proprietary barriers.

Content Service replaces ECM as the new and more practical way to deliver on the benefits of the original and expanding vision for leveraging unstructured content.

This year, the Cool Vendors in Content Services report recognizes four vendors Gartner believes are delivering new and interesting content services plays. Seal provides the capability to discover, index, and extract metadata from contracts; enabling role-specific analysis. Using machine learning, Seal can extract key data from a contract corpus and surface insight from the documents which allow businesses to know what is in them and take any necessary actions, whether for regulatory purposes, additional revenue potential or to see how costs can be reduced.

We feel the Gartner analyst’s thinking is in line with our thinking and vision. We have written before on the rise of content analytics and we believe this identification as a Gartner Cool Vendor in this space is both a validation and timely. Our focus on applying ML models to contract data has proven very successful. The large number of Global 2000 companies using the Seal platform is a testament to that success. And now we are seeing a number of our clients expand their use cases beyond contracts, utilizing the technology Seal has developed to derive insight from other core and significant text documents like protocols, certificates of insurance and marketing collateral, to name just a few.

It is always nice to be referred to as “cool,” I think most of us would want that in our personal and professional lives. But there also needs to a substance behind the style. We believe the Seal customer base and the value we have been bringing our clients over the years.

To learn more about how Seal is helping legal and procurement teams please visit:

Digital Transformations: Contract Analytics and Beyond, roadshow series (New York City) with Clark Golestani, former President, Emerging Businesses and Global Chief Information Officer for Merck who will highlight opportunities to extract value from unstructured data using content analysis technology.

Procurement’s Path: From Backroom to Boardroom, On-Demand webinar series

Gartner Disclaimer

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.