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The "Un-Contract" & SharePoint's Unfair Competitive Advantage

Russ Edelman Blog Posts, contract management, SharePoint

Most of today’s contract management system suppliers worth their salt have a collection of common features that allow them to qualify as legitimate contract management systems. This may include automated contract generation, contract approval, contract reporting, etc. The purpose of this blog is not to explore every aspect of a today’s contract management systems. Rather, this blog is all about the “un-contract" and why SharePoint is uniquely positioned to offer a unique value proposition that other CM platforms cannot. Coupled with Corridor’s Contract Management Business App for SharePoint -- CM[.app] -- an entirely new world opens up for applications which are adjacent or complementary to a contract process. We call these the “Un-Contracts."

What Is the Un-Contract?

Let us first start with the definition of the Un-Contract. For our purposes, it is some type of functioning system that is typically a complement to a contract, but rarely something that is included in a contract management system. A few tangible examples include Survey Compliance Management, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Management, and Corporate Entity Management. In the case of surveys, there is often a need by organizations to perform surveys for employees and sub-contractors which demonstrate contract compliance. With FCPA Management, there is an on-going need to validate the background of contributors through international corruption tracking services. And with Corporate Entity Management (an idea initially introduced to me by Rene Gonzales, Esq., of Gonzales Consulting), there is frequently a need for global organizations to have a centralized facility for managing all corporate entities and their respective corporate filings in each respective jurisdiction. Please keep in mind that these are just a few examples, and with some creative thinking, many other such systems can be identified (e.g., Real Estate Management, basic Document Management, Policy Management, etc.).

The Advantage of SharePoint and CM[.app]

Second, let’s talk SharePoint. SharePoint is incredibly well-designed to support such Un-Contract applications. Why? Because it allows repositories of information to be easily created, secured, processed and, to a lesser degree, reported upon. They can be tied into the primary contract data structures to provide one cohesive system. For example, surveys can be linked to contract records, FCPA requests can be initiated during a contract review process, and corporate entities can be employed for validation purposes when entering and maintaining contracts.

Third, CM[.app] allows for Un-Contract applications to be taken to an entirely different level. For example, automated alerts and escalations can be employed to ensure surveys are being processed on a timely basis. Workflow automation services may allow for simplified integration with third-party validation providers. And CM[.app] can easily be configured to support distributed notifications and reporting for corporate entity reporting.

Why does this matter? Because many companies typically purchase numerous systems which are then silo-ed and few of these provide functionality that is materially more substantive than applications that can be configured using a combination of SharePoint and CM[.app]. It should also be noted that we will be the first to identify when systems are not well-suited for such efforts.

And with this, we say…welcome into the world of the Un-Contract.