Archive: August, 2015

Contract Certainty: It’s What We Do

Ask most 7-year-olds what they want to be when they grow up and you’ll get the usual mix of astronauts, firemen, doctors, policemen and nurses. You won’t get too many that proclaim a desire to work with contracts, let alone in the Contract Lifecycle Management space.
At Exari we’re obsessed with contract certainty. While that often means our initial spiel in response to the dinner party classic, “What do you do?” may not be the most exciting,* it does mean that we live, breath and think about contracts. We know what the traps and risks are, we understand the quirks, exceptions and opportunities for improvement. Sound exciting? Maybe not, but we love solving large, ugly contract problems.
The sorts of problems we often see and tackle are:
  • Deep conditionality and complex business flows. Many of our clients think their contracts are in good shape and straightforward until they dig deeper and get better insight into how their documents are actually drafted, negotiated and approved.
  • General document quirks. When automating documents everything becomes a lot more dynamic. What was a simple list, cross-reference or numbering scheme now needs to handle a variety of different conditional possibilities.
  • Handling counter party paper. Even when you have your creation and management processes under control, eventually you’ll hit agreements that were not drafted your way or using your terms.

With the right tools these very tough problems disappear. And when they disappear, contracting and business processes improve and require less money and time making lawyers, business-people and clients alike very happy. Exari Hub gets you organised and on the road to understanding your contracts and negotiating processes. Exari Contracts takes the next step and allows you to control everything from creation right through to signature and archive. Come learn what we mean by contract certainty and why we’re pretty happy with what we became when we grew up.

*Editor’s note: This statement has some notable exceptions; automating contracts ultimately lowers the costs of legal work for clients making it more accessible. In a world where the average consumer or small business may struggle to afford necessary legal work, we believe that any measure that reduces the cost of access to the law is a noble pursuit. How’s that for a dinner party spiel?

I’d love to hear from you at @liptonj or leave a note in the comments.

Justin Lipton is CTO and Co-Founder at Exari.

How to Become an Automation Superhero

So many business processes have been streamlined through automation.

We’re all aware of the benefits of automation, we do so much of it! Our network monitoring, backups, integrity and heath checks, spam filtering, intrusion detection, software builds and unit tests are all largely already automated. But pne area that often seems to be left out in the cold is the automation of documents and documentation.

The document assembly/automation space has come a long way in the last decade, particularly with systems that are founded on XML and are designed so that they can integrate with necessary upstream and downstream systems.

Clearly I’m biased; it’s what we at Exari have committed ourselves to doing for over 15 years. But I’d like you to take a moment and imagine what a superhero you could become in your company if you were able to achieve the following:

Sales – A sales inquiry come in from your website. The lead wants more information. By filling in a simple, relevant online interview the prospect can receive a customized business case or quote for your offering. It would be correctly branded, relevant to the prospect, and up-to-date with the latest product information, pricing and discounts. An ROI analysis could be included based on the gathered information, giving the prospect even more compelling reasons to buy. Sample usage and support terms could also be delivered. Tell me that’s not going to excite your sales staff.

Software configuration and documentation – Your lead has been converted and you’ve made the sale. (Congrats!) They’ve paid for your software and are ready to have it installed and configured. Your product has a myriad of modules, configuration and installation options. With document automation, an online interview combined with the previous sales information can gather information about the specific environments, required options and configuration parameters. From this you can deliver customized installation, configuration files and operation guides – and potentially even the configured software itself! I mean…

Legal – Do your product and service contracts still need to be approved by legal? Sure, for unique or ad hoc transactions, legal needs to be deeply involved. But what about for standard deals – deals that are predictable and have a finite number of controlled variations? We all recognize that there are repeatable patterns in all common transactions. The business rules around these types of documents should be built into the process for generating them. There should be a single source for such documents with up-to-date terms, pricing and conditions. Your business users should be able to generate these straightforward documents without legal intervention. With automation, it’s entirely possible!

So next time you start thinking about how you’re going to make an impact by improving business processes, don’t forget about automating your documents. You may just end up a superhero.

I’d love to hear from you at @liptonj or leave a note in the comments.

Justin Lipton is CFO and Co-Founder at Exari.

Webinar: How To Convince Your CEO You Need CLM

You know you need contract management software. As Gartner reported recently, “CLM Is Moving From ‘Nice to Have’ to ‘Need to Have.’” But how to convince your boss?

Many good contract management initiatives never get off the ground because the CEO isn’t on board. To convince them, you need to pitch your business case in terms of solving an urgent problem and delivering measurable results. Easier said than done, right? 

We’ve been doing this a long time. Before you set about planning an internal project to determine ROI, you have to know how to convert your CEO. We’re teaming up with the ultimate contract experts at IACCM to offer a free webinar to explain the best way to argue your case for contract management ROI. Because you don’t want your CEO to simply be on board – you want an internal champion to see your contract management solutions through to completion.

To listen to the discussion, join us for the webinar on September 9th, 2015. Click here to register, to sign up to receive the recording, or to learn more.


Responsive Web Design. Who cares? We do.

We’ve listened. We’ve taken your feedback – and the changing landscape – into account.  This fall, we’ll release a new responsive interface in our 7.0 release of Exari DocGen™.

Many of you reading this will be on a smartphone or tablet, or have one within reach. In fact, nearly 20% of visitors to our (responsive design) website come to us on a mobile device.

What’s responsive web design and why should I care, you ask? More and more business users are accessing web sites and web applications via small-screen devices. According to a recent study, mobile devices account for over half of all internet usage, as opposed to 42% on a desktop or laptop computer.

A responsive web application means that the interface you interact with changes dynamically based on the device you are using in order to provide a better user experience. We have redesigned the Exari interview with a “mobile first” approach. The result? Dramatically improved interface and usability for users on smart touchscreen devices.

As a responsive design application, Exari DocGen 7.0 allows you to be more responsive to your clients. It means you can fill in data directly in client meetings or on the road and send through a completed contract before you get to the office.

Drafting, completing and managing contracts with ease, insight and certainty. That’s what we’re all about.

Peter Wilson is Exari’s UI/UX Developer. Peter has been developing websites for almost two decades; he has provided coding and web management services for some of Australia’s largest companies. Peter regularly speaks at meetups and conferences. You can reach Peter @pwcc,, in the comments below or on his personal website


Eat Your Dog Food

Wikipedia defines eating your own dog food or dogfooding as a way for a company to demonstrate confidence in its own products.


The idea is that if the company expects customers to buy its products, it should also be willing to use those products itself. Hence, dogfooding can act as a kind of testimonial advertising. The marketing folk tend to refer to the same concept as the slightly more urbane “drinking your own champagne.”


There are many advantages of dogfooding and getting all of your staff using your product suite similar to the way your clients do. Familiarity and confidence with your offerings is vital for any product company, and figuring out UI glitches early and often is an added bonus.


So does Exari eat our own dog food?


Of course we do. And it’s delicious.


Here are a few ways we chow down on our own products:


Sales – Our sales team generates NDAs, proposals and contracts via our document assembly tool, DocGen™. We even use an ROI template created by our system to help prospects see and understand the value our technology offers.


Delivery – We use our software to determine client needs. As our software suite can be installed in many different enterprise environments, we have automated an installation guide that walks the client through an interview specific to their needs. The client ends up with a guide that is highly customized and does not include any irrelevant options.


Finance – We plug all of our contracts including our statements of work into Exari’s contract lifecycle management system, Contracts™, where they are tracked and measured so we never miss key events, such as renewals. With all of our contracts in our own system, not only do we practice what we preach, we truly reap the rewards: we can easily locate any contract or clause to understand our responsibilities and obligations whenever we want. At Exari we don’t just eat our own dog food – we feast on it.


How do you eat your own dog food?


I’d love to hear from you at @liptonj or leave a note in the comments.


Justin Lipton is CFO and Co-Founder at Exari