In a recent blog post, my colleague Tim Norman spoke about how “agility eats perfection for breakfast.” What he meant was often the pursuit of a perfect outcome or result is done at the expense of being responsive and able to act quickly on the things that matter. So, it is with agility in mind that Seal has responded to the unique needs of our customers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, and cemented our local presence to ensure that they are supported and successful with Seal.
Germany is now arguably the leading economic powerhouse of Europe. We rely on the German automobile and pharmaceutical industries globally just to name two. In a market which is known for being conservative, disciplined and organised, enterprises are constantly under the threat of complex, rigorous, and highly demanding federal and local regulatory mandates.
A priority for legal professionals, both in-house and outside legal, is being on top of all new and changing legislation and how it affects the business, and DACH is no different. One example is with German data privacy rules, which are known for being the strictest in Europe. Data protection is a very hot topic, but not just compliance with GDPR (for more on GDPR, see our recent blog post here), but also compliance with the Bundesdatenschutzgesetz – the data protection law specific to Germany. The Bundesdatenschutzgesetz has a variety of requirements, not least is the appointment of a Data Protection Officer.
Brexit is another concern for German businesses, who need to know where they stand in terms of their contracts. There is still uncertainty as to how Brexit will be implemented, and preparing for everything and anything is a strain on legal teams. They continue to churn contract negotiations – restricted in their ability to give definite advice to the business, and in their ability to plan for the business impact.
With the changing regulatory landscape, many companies are dealing with compliance with short-sighted fixes where they deal with what impacts them now, with little to no planning on how risk management and compliance could be streamlined in the longer run. A General Counsel who wants to be a strategic contributor at the board-level is heavily reliant on team members who know and can react quickly to the regulatory landscape, and the dramatic changes of late, in particular those affecting the German market, make that incredibly difficult.
Risk or Opportunity? Compliance Cost or Revenue Generator?
Seal helps organizations manage regulatory compliance and risks, and do so with the benefits of copious amounts of relevant and important contract data. Our clients understand to achieve this requires the proprietary technology, tools, and process that Seal can provide. But, managing risk and compliance is merely keeping the ship afloat. It is achieving what must be done to stay out of trouble, or reduce the pain (or potential pain) in the case of a compliance audit. This is sort of like taking aspirin for a headache. Perhaps some Bayer aspirin?
For the DACH region to leverage and extend its strong economic position, it must look beyond just reducing the occurrence of negative business events, but leverage technology and process to fuel and grow their businesses. More like taking vitamins than aspirin. Contract data does this as well, providing a significant opportunity to generate more revenue and uncover savings with business insight that did not exist before within Sales and Procurement functions, to name two. A significant percentage of our customers consider and purchase Seal for a specific regulatory or risk “headache” (or in some cases disruptive nightmare), and end up using it to make better business decisions that increase the top line, and do it on a long term, continuous basis.
As we extend into the DACH region, we know it has stamina and discipline. Now Seal is there to help with the expertise and technology to help them remove painful things with aspirin, but provide the vitamins as well to not only maintain their strong economic position, but to extend it and become even stronger.
Our Customers Asked – and We Delivered! In German!
Here’s a little more detail on what we do in Germany:
- Seal speaks German! Our solution works with documents written in German, and 16 other languages.
- We have launched our German microsite www.seal-software.de, and serve our customers in German through our local sales team.
- At the end of September, we will be launching pre-built German extraction policies. These will be made available through our MarketPlace, a central online community to share and download various pre-built components across Seal users.
- We are recruiting German partners to join our community to help us develop solutions for the German market.
- We are out and about in the DACH region! Stay in touch with us for our next local event.