Here is the latest article in an eWEEK feature series called IT Science, in which we look at what actually happens at the intersection of new-gen IT and legacy systems.
Unless it’s brand new and right off various assembly lines, servers, storage and networking inside every IT system can be considered “legacy.” This is because the iteration of both hardware and software products is speeding up all the time. It’s not unusual for an app-maker, for example, to update and/or patch for security purposes an application a few times a month, or even a week. Some apps are updated daily! Hardware moves a little slower, but manufacturing cycles are also speeding up.
These articles describe new-gen industry solutions. The idea is to look at real-world examples of how new-gen IT products and services are making a difference in production each day. Most of them are success stories, but there will also be others about projects that blew up. We’ll have IT integrators, system consultants, analysts and other experts helping us with these as needed.
Today’s Topic: Using New-Gen IT to Upgrade Contract Management
Name the problem to be solved: TaylorMade, a respected designer and manufacturer of golf equipment, was sold to a private equity firm in October 2017. In addition to the substantial work associated with the change of ownership, the IT and legal teams faced the transition of more than 6,000 contracts, from nondisclosure agreements to multi-million-dollar contracts. Finding that the current contract management system was unable to handle this process, TaylorMade needed a new solution for managing contracts that was streamlined, powerful, flexible, and that could support multiple languages while still user-friendly for teams in other countries.
Describe the strategy that went into finding the solution: After determining the list of requirements needed for the new system, TaylorMade Senior Manager of Global IT Rossen Petkov requested demos from a wide selection of vendors. Next, he began a formal RFP process where stakeholders across the company ranked and scored each solution provider on a variety of factors including functionality, strict access controls, cloud availability, global reach, ability to support multiple languages and total cost of ownership. Agiloft, a provider of agile business software based in the Silicon Valley, was selected as the top choice.
List the key components in the solution: The custom contract management solution configured for TaylorMade included:
- Accelerated implementation. The team had only six weeks to configure and deploy new contract management system.
- Tailored configuration. TaylorMade needed customized contract tables with several unique fields to incorporate a massive legacy dataset and large volume of contract-related documents.
- Automated alerts/notifications for specific contract sets, including notice for contract expiration dates.
- Unique permissions matrix: The organization needed the ability to create custom filters to support the security and compliance needs of over 90 sub-departments around the globe, ensuring users see only what they need to see.
- Easy-to-use GUI: An accessible interface to drive quick adoption from new users.
Describe how the deployment went, perhaps how long it took, and if it came off as planned: The TaylorMade system deployment required an aggressive timeline, with only six weeks for implementation and roll out. TaylorMade’s system required custom contract tables, several unique fields and custom alerts which would normally require custom scripting, but Agiloft found a creative solution for all that was both time and cost-efficient. Agilent completed the implementation in six weeks, never letting deadlines slip and always maintaining the quality and integrity of the project. The project rolled out as scheduled and on budget with no compromises.
Describe the result, new efficiencies gained, and what was learned from the project: TaylorMade’s employees experienced an immediate positive difference between the new system and the legacy system. The migration of thousands of contracts as part of the ownership change was “executed flawlessly” according to Petkov. Compared to a previous system that was used as a “digital filing cabinet”, the Agiloft system is streamlined, flexible, and easy to use for TaylorMade employees, both nationally and internationally. Forms require minimal effort to access and compete, and TaylorMade’s system now has an improved user experience for contract management for their entire global enterprise.
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