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Category: Document Generation

AI: The Future of Contract Management

Whether you like it or not, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here – and it’s not only here to stay, it’s here to thrive. In a recent Hubspot-led survey of more than 1,400 global consumers, it was found that 63% of people who use AI technology don't even realize they are using it. AI is that ingrained into our daily lives, both at home and in the office. Now, imagine the doors you could open (quite literally, in fact) through the conscious and purpose-driven use of AI. 

Uncleared Margin Regulations: Strategize for Upcoming Complexities

We recently discussed the new uncleared margin regulations (UMR) and best practices for successfully re-papering your Credit Support Annexes (CSA’s.) Now that you’re up to speed on what it means for your organization and the steps for re-papering, there is a bit more you should consider when evaluating each agreement. To get you the best advice we teamed-up with experts in this subject in order to bring you all the information you will need to successfully comply.

3 Steps to Help you Begin your Contract Management Journey

The concept of contract management can get quite complex. There are many different contract-related challenges facing the modern enterprise, and they don’t affect all people the same way. The best way to get started is simple, yet highly effective - we call it the three O’s of contract management: Organize, Operationalize, and Optimize.

From Body Parts to Nuclear Reactors - How Document Generation is Helping Lloyd's Reshape Risk Management

For over 300 years the Lloyd’s market has been one of the most innovative sources for risk management solutions. From body parts to nuclear reactors, Lloyd’s is a one stop shop for the world’s specialty insurance and reinsurance needs. It’s an ecosystem where close personal relationships, proximity of brokers and underwriters and actual paper policies still matter - and for those willing to work within the square mile of the City of London, it’s incredibly efficient.

Risk Management Without Contract Certainty is Dangerous

According to The National Contract Management Association, 81% of members reported that finding their contracts was a major concern. Think about your own experience - have you ever needed to look into the details of a contract and couldn’t find the right agreement?  For a small number of contracts this could be considered sloppy, but for more it’s dangerous and frankly puts your firm at risk of being blindsided at the worst possible moment.

Why Your Contract Data is Putting Your Company at Risk

I spent this week with our talented team in London and talking with leaders in both financial services and insurance. We've recently delivered a new Contract Model that enables companies to more effectively manage risk. Most of the leaders I spoke with expressed deep concerns about the risk embedded in their contracts- one top ten bank said "we have all the data, we just don't know if it's the right data".

Out With The Old

Are you still drafting thousands of contracts manually? In Word? Or storing multiple versions of paper contracts in a filing cabinet? Well, you’re not alone.

DocGen 7.0 So much more than better documents

Today we announced DocGen 7.0, a major release in the history of this market-leading product. For those of you who are new to Exari, we were the first XML-based document assembly product on the market nearly 15 years ago. Today, our DocGen engine powers thousands of documents and contracts for hundreds of thousands of users worldwide.

How to Become an Automation Superhero

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 one area that often seems to be left out in the cold is the automation of documents and documentation.

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™.

Business Process Automation and Fast Food

Don't get me wrong - I love a good home cooked meal. Fresh ingredients and loosely followed recipes mean that no two meals are ever identical. Flavors, textures and intensities always vary. Fast food is exactly the opposite - order a Big Mac anywhere in the world and you know exactly what to expect. Hilton (Conrad, not his great-granddaughter Paris) applied the same principal to his chain of hotels, with notable success.

Still Drafting Your Contracts in Word?

I recently heard a story of a services firm that generated contracts from “passed around” Word templates. At some point, somebody actually read through the contract and realized the entire liabilities and indemnification section had been deleted. This contract form had been used for 2 years.

7 Reasons To Automate Your Contracts

Contracts are the backbone of every organization. They define and contain every aspect of all corporate relationships; with employees, customers, vendors, partners and stakeholders. Managing your contracts efficiently amounts to managing your business efficiently. And the same holds true whether your contracts are sales contracts, insurance policies, or financial documentation such as ISDA Master Agreements.

What You Need To Know Before Implementing a CLM Software Solution

You’ve realized you need a Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution. You’ve also made the decision whether to build your own solution or buy from a CLM vendor. The benefits you’ll see are clear: complete and meaningful insight into contract data, increased ability to collaborate, time and cost savings, and better decision making through reduced risk. However, the path to reach these benefits can be less clear. The “best” way forward differs by company, of course, but a lot can be learned from those who have faced similar challenges.

How Document Assembly Makes Lawyers Smarter

Neuroplasticity is a relatively new term that describes the way our brains are capable of continually adapting and changing in ways that are both surprising and amazing. It turns out that we form new neural connections throughout our lives in response to new situations or changes in our environment.

Exari to Present at Lloyd’s Technology Thought Leadership Session

On 7 January 2014, Exari, along with its partner Tier 2, will present an overview of the SmartForms project at the first Lloyd’s Technology Thought Leadership Session of 2014. During this event, Martin Kett, VP, Insurance Client Development at Exari, will show how complex MRCs can be created efficiently and accurately using Exari’s web-based questionnaire, capturing risk data as a by-product of the process without any additional effort. The 25-30 minute presentation will be followed by a 10-15 minute Q&A session and will take place at the Old Library at Lloyd’s in London.

Many a Slip

Brokers in the London insurance market still, largely, rely on a document called a “slip” or, more officially, a “Market Reform Contract” (MRC) to negotiate commercial insurance risks with underwriters. The process varies between the 197 Lloyd’s brokers, but generally, begins with the preparation of an MRC in MS Word. Little or no data is captured during the process, and any information needed to track the deal is rekeyed (often multiple times).

Boston Legal Innovation Meetup

The Boston area legal community gathered on July 18th at Suffolk Law School for the second installment of the Boston Legal Innovation Meetup. Thanks to Andy Perlman – a professor at Suffolk University Law School and the Director of its Institute on Law Practice Technology and Innovation – and Adam Ziegler – co-founder of Mootus, a startup building a platform for open, online legal argument – the Greater Boston area finally has a venue to come together and discuss legal innovation and technology.

Is your department over-lawyered, under-lawyered, or just right?

For the second consecutive year, in conjunction with General Counsel Metrics, LLC , we are pleased to invite you to take part in the fourth General Counsel Metrics Law Department Benchmark Survey. It had more than 1,000 total participants last year, each of whom enjoyed access to valuable benchmarking data coming out of the survey.

The Latest and Greatest Document Assembly

Apologies for the headline, but we're excited about the release of Exari Document Assembly Software Version 6.1. It's available now and has more than 200 new features that enhance the system’s capabilities from document creation through negotiation, storage and obligation management.

Big Data and Document Automation

"Big Data" is a hot topic these days, especially amongst those charged with business and regulatory compliance.  Wikipedia defines Big Data as "a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools."

Enterprise Document Automation

When choosing an enterprise document or contract automation solution, it's important to consider the full spectrum of documents across the company; from complex contracts for legal, to employment agreements for HR, to finance documents for the CFO, to customer communications for marketing.

Exari Will Exhibit at ISDA’s Mid-Year Conference

We are attending and exhibiting our document automation software at the ISDA Mid-Year Conference in London on September 20.  ISDA, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc., is the global trade association for OTC derivatives and maintainers of the industry-standard ISDA documentation.

Exari Launches Document Assembly User Group

This week marks the launch of our online document assembly user group. It takes the form of a Linkedin subgroup of the Exari Community called the Exari Power Authors User Group. As the name implies, it will bring together professionals who are authoring templates for their organizations.

Exari Document Assembly – Authoring Tools

In this video, Exari Co-Founder and CTO Justin Lipton, explains the basics of authoring in Exari. Exari provides two different authoring tools – Instant Author and Power Author.

Ending the HR Document Pile-up [Recorded Webinar]

Human Resources is a document intensive field. HR professionals in companies with large workforces, high employee turnover and/or global offices, end up devoting a significant amount of time to necessary but low-value paperwork.

Real Estate Document Creation

Hopefully it’s a sign of an improving economy, but we have definitely noticed an uptick in inquiries from several sectors of the commercial real estate business. Makes sense, since real estate can be very document intensive. And when business is good, you don’t want your document creation process to slow your growth.

Technical Briefing: Exari Architecture Explained

In this video, Justin Lipton, Exari Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO), explains the power of Exari’s architecture:

With Exari’s Document Assembly Solution, users create documents using an intuitive interface and a standard web browser, without the hassle of downloading software, add-ons or plug-ins.

HR Document Automation Webinar

Human Resources is a document intensive profession, but you can end the HR document pile up by automating your documents. Join us for an informative web-seminar on Thursday, June 21 and learn how document automation can alleviate the burden of creating important HR documentation. The webinar will be recorded and shared with all registrants for you to watch at your convenience.

How to Comply with Dodd Frank Challenges

With July and October deadlines approaching, investment banking professionals are thinking about what you'll have to do in order to comply with Dodd Frank regulations. Legal, documentation, risk management, credit and collateral professionals all face challenges managing risk and streamlining processes. You need to respond quickly to market events and have in place consistent risk management procedures.

Document Assembly Step One – Understanding Your Documents

The first step in choosing a document assembly system is to understand the various types of documents that you need to automate. Once you understand your documents, you can match the system to your needs. Essentially there are 3 categories of documents.

Document Assembly and Contract Management Resources

We have expanded our resource library to provide additional tools and information on document assembly and contract management topics. The latest addition is a set of on-demand webinars. The library also contains whitepapers, case studies, demo videos, and several other free contract automation resources. It’s a place to learn best practices and keep up to date with the latest industry trends.

Exari to Exhibit at the ACC Annual Meeting

If you're heading to the Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, October 23 – 26, please visit us in booth #712. We will be providing “first look” demonstrations of our new Contract Management Solution and the latest release (6.0) of Exari Document Assembly Software.

Document Assembly Can Improve Law Firm Profits

In this week’s Wall Street Journal, Vanessa O’Connell writes that, “More than half of the country’s top 50 law firms may have overstated a key measure of profitability in a closely watched ranking.” The ranking of “profits per partner,” published annually by the American Lawyer magazine in May, is the most commonly used gauge of health in the $100 billion global corporate-law-firm industry.

The ROI of Document Assembly

Depending on your accounting method, you may be trying to determine your ROI (Return on Investment), TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), or simply the payback on your investment in a document assembly or document automation solution.

Derivatives Documentation – Questions Answered

During our recent webinar, “Managing OTC Derivatives Documentation in a Central Clearing Environment,” we had several questions from the audience that we couldn’t cover in the time allotted. Paul Nelmes of Exari offers the following response to one of the questions posed from the audience during the Web-event.

Managing OTC Derivatives Documentation - Complimentary Webinar

Compared to the typical environment for bilaterally traded OTC derivatives, central clearing adds complexity through the inclusion of multiple parties and the need to manage different sets of legal contracts. In this new market environment, if documentation management is not streamlined, financial institutions will face increased legal costs and operational risks.

Dickinson Dees Extends Use of Exari Document Generation

We have great clients. And nothing pleases us more than when we can contribute to their success. Take, for example, leading UK law firm Dickinson Dees. The firm originally implemented Exari two years ago to automate information technology and outsourcing agreements. 

How to Win More Sales: Empower Your Sales Team

We've been talking a lot lately about ways that sales teams can win more deals. And, we've noticed that others across the blogosphere are too. Tim Cummins has two recent posts on Commitment Matters that speak to this very issue.

Document Assembly in the Clouds

For the first time (that we are aware of anyway) Document Assembly will be in the clouds. And by clouds, we mean the white, fluffy kind, not the SaaS kind.

CIOs Doing More With Less

In a recent CIO Update, Jeff Vance wrote a post entitled, 7 Ways to Cut Costs without Firing Your Employees where he talked about cost-cutting solutions that wouldn’t make employees grit their teeth and would actually be smart moves in any economy. It challenged CIOs to consider not only cost cutting ideas, but also those that improved productivity.

Exari Ships New Document Assembly/ Contract Management Software

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog post for the following commercial message (apologizes, but we’re really excited)… “We are pleased to announce that we’ve just shipped Version 5.5 of our document assembly and contract management software, marking 10 years of product development.”

Everything Old is New Again

Funny how trends come and go. Lately the legal technology pundits have been buzzing about online document assembly and the benefits of offering self-service documents and templates via the web. This, fully ten years after Richard Susskind talked about lawyers offering online documents in Transforming the Law – Essays on Technology, Justice and the Legal Marketplace and later referred to document assembly as one of the 10 disruptive technologies that would change the legal practice forever.

Best of The Exari Blog, Part 5

About this series: The Exari team has worked for nearly five years to make this blog a complete resource for information about contracts and document assembly. With more than 180 published articles, we thought we would introduce our newer readers to the most popular articles from the archive.

Best of The Exari Blog, Part 3

About this series: The Exari team has worked for nearly five years to make this blog a complete resource for information about contracts and document assembly. With more than 180 published articles, we thought we would introduce our newer readers to the most popular articles from the archive.

Best of The Exari Blog, Part 2

About this series: The Exari team has worked for nearly five years to make this blog a complete resource for information about contracts and document assembly. With more than 180 published articles, we thought we would introduce our newer readers to the most popular articles from the archive.

Best of The Exari Blog, Part 1

About this series: The Exari team has worked for nearly five years to make this blog a complete resource for information about contracts and document assembly. With more than 180 published articles, we thought we would introduce our newer readers to the most popular articles from the archive.

Oh The Pain - of Insurance Renewals

At the Risk & Insurance Management Society Conference (RIMS2010 Boston) last month, Exari conducted a survey of Risk Managers to assess the "State of the Renewals Process."

We surveyed Risk Managers from across the United States and Europe, representing a wide range of industries, to learn what they have to do each year when the time comes to renew their corporate insurance coverages.

Quantifying The Value of Document Assembly

In his recent post The fictional nature of money, Christoper Penn said,

"Think about how to create the perception of value. Think about how to inspire in someone else the desire to give you anything you want in exchange for that perceived value. What do people value about you, about your products or services? How can you provide more of that value perception? How can you boost the perception of the value that’s already there?"

The Green Lawyer

Unless you've been living in a cave for the past few years, you'll be aware that corporates, governments and consumers alike are taking environmental concerns very seriously. So given that you're already recycling everything, walking to work and growing all of your own food, what can you do as a lawyer to help save the planet? The following tips should help:

Ye Olde Insurance Policy

All buyers of insurance require evidence of their purchase whether they are a Fortune 500 company or an individual looking for personal lines cover.

Large clients have the resources to develop bespoke wordings tailored to their requirements. These have often been developed with their broker over many years and will include coverages designed to protect the company’s unique global operations.

The Not-Quite-Right Tool For the Job

Latham & Watkins is a large law firm with a significant outsourcing practice. They realized that, like most firms, they hadn't been preparing deal documents as efficiently as they could. In last month's issue of Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, partner, Alexander Hamilton, described the situation..

Anatomy of a Document Assembly Blog

A colleague recently shared this wordle of The Exari Blog and it got me thinking. As the de facto editor of the blog, it contained information that I found very interesting. For one thing, it reaffirmed to me that we are sticking to the issues we think most interest our readers – please correct me if I’m wrong.

Numbers Don't Lie

The 2009 results of the AM LAW 100 describes a scenario of double digit revenue decreases for the majority of firms. The good news is that revenue per partner and profit per partner did not fall at the same precipitous rate. The bad news is that these measures were largely managed primarily through headcount reduction, compensation cuts, and fewer lawyers achieving partnership status. Adding to this bad news is the emergence of the alternative fee revenue model, the pressure on law departments to cut their external legal spend, and a general downturn in the economy.

Legal Departments Must Modernize

In today’s economy, companies are continually challenged by three major issues: Complexity, Dynamics and Speed. It is important to manage these challenges successfully in order to remain a top-performing company. Part of meeting the challenge includes the focus on long term success versus short term gains. It requires a way of thinking outside the box (executing against the trend) and a review of old habits-- how things have been done versus how things could be done.

Document Assembly is ... SEXY?

And the Academy Award for the best Document Automation Technology (for the fifth year in a row) goes to …Exari

Thank you Gwyneth, thank you Brad - wow this is great. You dream of these moments but never really think its going to happen, but here we are and, well, I’m lost for words. I just want to thank some of the unsung heroes behind the scenes that have made this all possible……

Continuous Improvement and Solvency II in the London Market

The London Reform Group just released their review of 2009 and plans for 2010. The key theme of the letter to CEOs from Chairman Barnabus Hurst-Bannister, is that progress has been made on key reform matters, but that “We are now engaged in the sort of continuous improvement exercise that all markets must pursue or risk being left behind by their competitors.”

Wanted: Guest Authors on Document Assembly and more

In the coming months, you're going to see posts on this blog from some "new" authors and hopefully, welcome back some old ones. We took a look around the company and realized that we have a lot of experts with varied areas of specialty within Exari.

How to gain competitive advantage from your sales contracting process

Sales contracting is an example of a cross-functional business process; one that involves multiple departments, often in different business units with conflicting agendas (and separate budgets). Sales will do whatever it takes to close the deal by the end of the quarter. Pricing's sole focus is on profit margin. And Legal needs to avoid risk. Meanwhile, no one's responsible for the end-to-end process.

Three reasons to have a post [Software] implementation project

I recently read a post on TechRepublic by Jay Rollins which said that within six months to one year after an initial software implementation project is complete, there is always a need for a second project to address opportunities that arise from the original implementation.

I agree with Jay that a post implementation project is an excellent process by which to find additional opportunities not covered in the original implementation. For our document assembly clients, we find that they benefit from added value uncovered during this process.

Document Assembly Solution: How to Decide Build Vs. Buy?

OK, everyone now agrees; your current way of creating documents is broken (too slow; full of errors; impossible to maintain). So, how do you fix the problem? Do you build your own system, or do you buy something off-the-shelf? There are pros and cons of both approaches. But first things first; before you can make a Build-vs-Buy decision, you need to work out your requirements.

The insidious nature of the billable hour

From the You Cannot Be Serious! file:

"LAWYERS face a national crackdown on over-charging that could end the practice of billing clients for sending them Christmas cards and reading thank you notes."

This is the opening sentence in Over-charging by lawyers under scrutiny, an article in The Australian newspaper. Do some lawyers truly charge for these activities? Do they disclose this to their clients?

Why Complexity Matters

Einstein once said that everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. And so it is with document automation. Everyone wants to make it as simple as possible. But anyone who tells you that it is simple (presumably by consuming whatever snake oil they are selling) is lying. Some document composition tasks are, by their very nature, highly complex, and some will make your head hurt. The challenge is to find the simplest and most effective way of dealing with them, so that you can fully reap the rewards of automation. Which begs two obvious question: what do we mean by complexity and does it affect your documents?

A law firm that makes life simple for clients

As a lawyer, have you ever wondered how your clients would describe you? Would they say you're client-focused? Commercial? Concise? Cost-effective?

If not, you might be interested in Australian Business Lawyers. Lawyers Weekly has an article on how the Sydney-based firm has built a successful workplace law practice over the past 10 years by making life simple for its clients. So, how has ABL done it?

Breaking the "Groundhog Day" Curse

In this month’s Global Broker and Underwriter Magazine, Lloyd’s CEO Richard Ward, talks about the market’s need to “get it’s act together” to provide better service to its clients, or risk them going elsewhere. He emphasises the need for the market to embrace the Lloyd’s Exchange initiative and says that, “To some respects the market is like a Groundhog Day as nothing has materially changed.”

Document Assembly Software Explained & Reviewed

Noted document assembly expert, Seth Rowland, has written a beginner's guide to Document Assembly that does a good job of explaining how document assembly software works.

Document Assembly goes by many different names, depending on the related job function and industry. It can be called document automation, document generation, contract automation, policy configuration, loan documentation, document creation and many more. For simplicity, we'll stick with document assembly here.

Insurers improve productivity with KM

It’s one thing for us to say that we can help you improve your business. It’s entirely different for you to hear it from someone who has already succeeded in making their own business more profitable.

Les Doel, a manager at London-based Lloyd’s broker, Croton Stokes Wilson Ltd., recently spoke with KM World Magazine about his experience with document automation.

Document Assembly for Insurance Policy Generation

Although document assembly has its origins in the world of law firms and legal contracts, it has more recently been pressed into service as a document automation platform in the document-intensive insurance world. After all, an insurance or reinsurance policy is indeed a contract.

The Assault on the Billable Hour Back in the News

The Billable Hour is still under attack in the nation’s press and real change seems to be taking hold. According to several recent blog posts and the Wall Street Journal, corporations are using the recession to structurally change the way they acquire legal services.

What’s your greatest weakness in contract drafting?

Sinning, we know, is human. And we all know what Capital Vices are. But no one before has applied the 7 Deadly Sins to contract drafting, and explained how common errors in writing legal agreements can lead to “eternal contractual damnation”.

3 signs you should automate your contracts

If you manage a corporate legal department, there are three telltale signs that you might get significant value from automating the creation of your day-to-day business contracts.

Drafting contracts to be understood

Everyone who deals with legal documents can point to unintelligible agreements. Many would argue that this is the aim of the drafter.That may sometimes be the case. But, more often, the drafter(s) in question simply know no better. Most lawyers are NEVER taught how (or why) to draft in Plain English.

How to Cure the Numbering Headache in Word Documents

If you work with legal documents, you've probably had to contend with MS Word's outline numbering. In which case you may have also suffered the pain of your numbering spontaneously going haywire. Sound familiar? Then read on.