Sales and marketing, Channel technologies, Channel markets, Channel technologies

Contract Management Software for MSPs: Big Need?

From my experience, many smaller MSPs get started by chance. I've seen the same story happen on several occasions. The owner starts out as a one-man show and supports a few clients, and then word gets out and the company starts to grow.

As a person with mainly technical skills, the owner can find it difficult to handle the day to day operations of running an MSP. It can be even more difficult when different clients get signed up for various pricing structures as the MSP adjusts to the growth. There can be some clients on an unlimited monthly per-user plan, and other clients on a break-fix plan, depending on when the client signed up for service.

While working on the help desk it can also be difficult for employees to know what kind of contract the person who is calling in for help is under, or even if their contract is current. Trying to find out whether or not the person calling in with a problem needs to pay for the particular service, or if it's included in their contract already can make for an awkward conversation, trust me, I've had it several times.

Cloud-based Contract Management Services

Many MSPs are looking for a better way to manage their contracts. Especially in the current environment of digital transformations, dealing with and managing paper contracts seems completely out of date. For this, and the above-mentioned reasons, contract lifecycle management (CLM) software has been seeing significant growth. According to a recent analysis by Gartner Research, it is one of the fastest growing of all enterprise software categories.

Icertis is one of those companies currently capitalizing on the CLM trend. Indeed, the company recently secured $50 million in Series D funding led by Meritech Capital Partners, with additional investments by PSP Growth and Cross Creek Advisors, who are some of the top technology investment companies in the world.  The company's current investors, B Capital, Ignition, Greycroft, and Eight Roads, also participated in the round bringing the total funding to $96 million.

Assuming they're designed with MSPs in mind, CLM platforms can help with the internal operations of an MSP, while assisting clients in their own digital transformations. By implementing the software for contract management at your clients, you can help increase compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. You can also lead your clients on the path to a paperless office that could potentially lead to more revenue streams for your company, like reselling document management or other cloud platforms.

The Icertis platform, for instance, claims to address these needs and opportunities:

  • Smart Contract Initiation - Accelerate speed to market with self-service contracts that have templating safeguards set by legal.
  • Intelligent Contract Authoring - Improve governance and enable more efficient self-service authoring with automatic templates and clauses.
  • Negotiations and Collaboration - Achieve more speed and effectiveness in negotiations with better collaboration processes and contract insights.
  • Contract Approval and Execution - Reduce cycle times, improve compliance and increase flexibility with highly configurable rules and dynamic workflows.
  • Contract Visibility and Search - Get proactive visibility into events, actions and exceptions, along with selective notifications and powerful search.
  • Usability and Productivity - Dashboards with full mobility support, deep MS Office integration and configurable personalization.
  • Risk and Compliance - Realize the maximum value of contracts by identifying and managing risk throughout the contract management lifecycle.
  • Contract Analytics - Leverage a single source of truth and powerful analytics for insights that improve visibility and business agility.
  • Proposal Management - Increase speed to market with templates and terms and conditions based on the specifics of each proposal.
  • Enterprise Integration - Ensure fast, effective implementations with native cloud deployment, a standards-based API and an architecture tuned for integration.

Through Icertis Experiences, users can only be given access to the parts of the contract that they need to see. The helpdesk, or even the person assigning tickets to be completed, doesn't need to see how much a company is paying for their service, but they do need to see if they currently have the ability to obtain service. Using a service like this can also help an MSP gain insight into how many different types of contracts their clients are under, and could help give them the ability to migrate older clients to newer levels of support.