5 Ways Mitratech + ThinkSmart Will Transform Legal Operations
At CLOC Institute 2018, the news was announced that Mitratech had acquired ThinkSmart. The earth didn’t literally move, and the chandeliers there at the Bellagio might not have swayed. But it’s a merger that still will have far-reaching impacts on the future of Legal Operations.
The integration of two leading legal technology solutions that are so uniquely complementary to each other will open up unprecedented opportunities for legal departments. How? By solving the challenges that have kept corporate legal departments from becoming the strategic partners and change agents their companies desperately need.
Here, then, are five ways the pairing of Mitratech’s TeamConnect with ThinkSmart’s TAP is going to kick off a new era for Legal Ops:
#1: It’s an industry first for end-to-end ELM
Enterprise Legal Management platforms have been a foundation of Legal Ops, enabling greater efficiency, lower legal spends, and implementation of best practices. But the role of the legal department has grown over the years, touching on a wider array of processes and responsibilities throughout an organization.
The problem with “traditional” ELM software was how they limited access to a comparatively narrow number of legal department personnel, necessitating that managers and others outside of Legal Ops wait on the legal department while executing processes and projects. This created a bottleneck that’s an unacceptable drag on agility and responsiveness for a modern enterprise.
The integration of TAP, an easy-to-deploy-and-use workflow automation solution, into TeamConnect, a “single source of truth” ELM platform, kicks this outmoded model right out the door. For the first time, ELM becomes an agile, ubiquitous end-to-end business process tool, as legal and compliance best practices can now be extended into every step of a workflow, anywhere in the enterprise. With ease, speed, low cost, and automated reliability.
#2: Managing risk turns proactive, not reactive
Risks are multiplying daily for enterprises. Getting out in front of them is increasingly vital, especially as they proliferate and take on new dimensions. Too many legal departments have been stuck in low gear, taking a reactive approach that often amounts to doing damage control. Yet the damage from not proactively enforcing compliance and risk controls can, as firms like Wells Fargo have found out, be absolutely massive.
Legal and compliance professionals are risk managers by their very nature. But to address today’s challenges, they need to be able to extend vetted processes and best practices throughout their companies, extending legal operations by connecting people and processes in agile, collaborative new ways. That puts them and their businesses in a position to mitigate risks before they occur.
By integrating TeamConnect and TAP, we’re making it far easier for legal departments and the stakeholders they work with to do exactly that. This extends compliance, transparency, and centralized governance to every corner of an enterprise. If the proverbial “ounce of prevention” is already designed into business processes, the pain and costs of that “pound of cure” can be avoided.
#3: Legal Ops will be a beacon of agility & efficiency
One of the hurdles confronting Legal Operations teams is how to deliver all the work their businesses demand – a workload that’s already spiraling upward as functions like HR and procurement, among others, are now falling under their purview. At the same time, they’re often expected to either (depending on what mood the CFO and stockholders are in) contain or even cut costs.
TAP is already a proven tool for accelerating legal workflows, getting more work accomplished in less time, and realizing huge cost savings, as Legal Ops users have testified already. Combining it with TeamConnect will not only make it possible to extend ELM into enterprise workflows, those workflows will also be streamlined, freed from human error, and completed in a fraction of the time of manual processes.
Executing an NDA process in 1/20th the time it took before workflow automation drives powerful ROI. Especially considering the sheer volume of legal processes that can be automated. Those can include workflows involving outside counsel; 76% of legal departments say controlling those costs is their highest priority.
Since Legal Ops with TeamConnect and TAP can A) become highly optimized and responsive, and B) can extend that performance into workflows throughout other departments and units, it becomes a bellwether of agility, responsiveness, and efficiency for the entire organization. That’s a definite improvement over being viewed as a process bottleneck and necessary evil.
#4: Legal becomes the center of enterprise innovation
It’s all very nice to become the corporate poster child for efficiency and responsiveness. But TeamConnect and TAP will make a Legal Operations department better equipped to take on an even more important role: as a strategic partner to the whole enterprise and a primary innovation driver.
The fact is, assuming this mantle isn’t really an option anymore, according to change management experts:
Strategic thinking for in-house lawyers is not optional. In the new business environment in-house lawyers are required to demonstrate strategic direction toward business goals (65% of in-house counsel now say they take part in strategic business decisions).
As Connie Brenton of CLOC and NetApp points out in the article, innovation is a priority for legal leaders, as it’s key to “driving healthy long-term change in the legal sector.”
Mitratech and ThinkSmart enable Legal Ops to propel innovation in two (at least!) important ways:
- Adopting end-to-end ELM with TeamConnect and TAP represents innovation in and of itself.
- The products foster a more flexible and open culture of collaboration, as people come together to share ideas and innovate solutions in a way that’s the lifeblood of competitive advantage.
#5: It opens up new frontiers in legal technology
The legal profession may have a reputation for being resistant to disruptive change, but 56% of legal departments now claim to have a Legal Operations function. In pursuing greater efficiency and more agile client service, they’re adopting more effective business processes and technology solutions as means to those ends.
Workflow automation, particularly when delivered in an SaaS solution like TAP, has already proven itself as a cornerstone technology for digital transformation.
Thanks to its fast ROI, lower costs, and ease of adoption, it’s opened minds (and budgets) to the potential within other tech tools.
TeamConnect is already the most widely used ELM platform in the world, relied upon by 1,200 companies and half a million users. With TAP integration, those legal departments will be able to leverage ELM in ways they’d never anticipated. The results they’ll see will justify their next step toward total digital transformation of Legal Ops, and the step after that. That’s creating something even the most conservative lawyer respects: precedent.
By combining two proven solutions, we’re opening up a “new frontier” of possibilities for Legal Ops. The only boundaries are our own limits of imagination and innovation. Based on our own experiences with customers who have committed to legal tech, those boundaries are pretty much limitless.