Many organizations need automation to streamline the contract management process. You may already own many of the products you need to help your legal department respond more quickly to requests.
Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics 365 offer a set of tools which offer:
- Employee self-service to request legal documents
- Document and approval tracking
- Contract authoring
- Compliance monitoring
The contract management process typically involves several steps such as:
Next, the contract is assigned based on the type of contract and availability of staff. Dynamics 365 includes the queues feature which meets this requirement.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 includes a workflow engine which allows you to set up routing, approvals, and notifications to match your business requirements.
The Fast Track allows some routine contracts to shortcut lengthy authoring and approval where less legal work is required.
Authoring takes advantage of Office 365 and SharePoint. These offer version control, collaborative authoring, and the ability to share files with external parties to the contract using SharePoint and OneDrive.
Approval brings us back to the workflow capabilities of Office 365 and Dynamics 365.
Finally, for executing the document, you can use a third party e-signature product such as Adobe Sign or DocuSign, both of which offer integrations with Microsoft products. Adobe Sign is integrated with SharePoint and DocuSign with Dynamics 365.
The following table shows how Office 365 and Dynamics 365 fulfill contract management business requirements:
Microsoft’s Corporate, External, & Legal Affairs (CELA) group developed Matter Center for Office 365, a SharePoint-based document management and collaboration solution. It offers many additional benefits through the Add-ins in Outlook and Word. You can download Matter Center from Github.
By choosing the contract management elements you would like to automate, you can tailor the solution to your business processes rather than change your processes to match a product designed for law firms or others who may have features you don't need.