How ServiceNow Built an Application that Increases Approval Speed of Legal Agreements by 10X

As ServiceNow continues our journey of digital transformation, IT is collaborating with business operations to build new applications that automate manual processes and modernize user experiences. In some cases, the apps target very complex business processes, but we also pursue quick wins by automating common administrative tasks.

With quick wins, the gains may be less on a per-person basis, but when you multiply them across many departments with hundreds of employees, the savings become substantial. One example is our Click-Through Agreement (CTA) application, which was developed on the Now PlatformTM.

Like other companies, ServiceNow relies on corporate counsel to manage legal agreements covering customer evaluations, technical programs, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), partner and vendor agreements, to name a few. In the past, these agreements were processed manually. For example, with partner NDAs and master agreements, partner operations would contact legal, complete a form with partner information, send a PDF agreement copy to the partner, and wait for a response. Often there were several iterations of red-lining, which required the help of corporate counsel to modify the agreement, route it via DocuSign and secure approval.

Legal knew there had to be a better way, so they collaborated with IT to develop the CTA application. Leveraging key capabilities of the Now Platform such as contextual workflows and a single data model, it only took one developer five weeks to build and implement, and we’re seeing major productivity savings across ServiceNow.

Now, partner agreements are available online, eliminating the need for partner operations and legal to manually manage terms and conditions, and reducing processing from weeks to minutes. NDAs and partner master agreements are presented on the Partner Portal as click-through agreements. The partner simply click-accepts, and the agreements are stored as a system of record in our contract repository.

The benefits of using the ServiceNow CTA application have been significant:

  • 4,800 hours saved annually by avoiding redlining of legal agreements
  • 10X faster approval of NDAs
  • 3-week reduction in the time to process agreements needed to onboard new partners
  • $390,000 saved per year in legal operating expense

According to Aaron Margolis, Director, Senior Corporate Counsel, “The Click-Through Agreement app significantly reduces our administrative burden so we can focus our time and resources on higher-value strategic negotiations.”

We have also realized gains in three strategic areas:

  • Increased Velocity – Automating the legal agreement process helps accelerate our business by speeding partner onboarding, vendor programs and customer engagement. In addition, the app is easy to modify, so legal can add other use cases in just a few days without going through IT.
  • Actionable Insight – The legal team can easily monitor the status of their agreements in real-time. The General Counsel dashboard (see screen shot) captures all the metrics for the Click-Through Agreement app, giving legal visibility into the types of agreements that require negotiation and those that do not. This enables us to move further down the path of standardization, which is key to our SaaS business model.
  • User Experience – What was once a tedious and time-consuming process is now a much better experience for everyone involved. Partners are contracted more quickly, setting a positive tone for their ongoing relationship with ServiceNow. Vendors find it easier to engage and collaborate with us. Customers can gain faster access to evaluation instances to test drive our solutions.

The Now Platform enables anyone from business users to developers to easily build intuitive applications that automate processes both complex and mundane, and deliver measurable benefits in every corner of the enterprise.

At ServiceNow we’re leveraging the Now PlatformTM to automate and accelerate every corner of the enterprise. That’s what Now on Now is all about.

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Chris Bedi
Chris Bedi joined ServiceNow in September 2015 and currently serves as ServiceNow’s Chief Information Officer. Prior to joining ServiceNow, Bedi served as CIO of JDSU from August 2011 to March 2015 where he was responsible for IT, Facilities, and Indirect Procurement. Prior to JDSU, Bedi held various positions at VeriSign from April 2002 until August 2011, including CIO, VP Corporate Development, and VP HR Operations. Bedi began his career at KPMG Consulting from June 1996 to April 2002. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan.

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