The Sirion Blog
NEWS, IDEAS, AND INSIGHTS FROM THE SIRION TEAM
Building Certainty in Uncertain Times
Our core focus at SirionLabs has been on using AI to help businesses keep their promises since we began developing a contract lifecycle management platform in 2012.
Living in these uncertain times makes it essential to build digital trust and certainty into contractual partnerships by ensuring that all the parties are looking at the same data. This is why it’s more important than ever to use technology to drive collaboration even after the contract is signed and see both sides get closer to the promised bargain.
As a lawyer, I can tell you that business contracts aren’t inherently optimistic by design: 90 percent of their content addresses unlikely tail-risk scenarios where things go badly wrong. The descriptions of the everyday scope and business transactions which drive the intended economic value are relegated into the remaining 10 percent – the schedules, annexures and exhibits – which collect dust in file cabinets instead of being centre-stage.
Seven years ago, while reflecting on this issue, we decided it was time to build a CLM technology which shone a light on the business end of contracts: that 10% that drives 90% of the expected economic value. It is where the parties keep the promises they’ve made, or don’t. It’s where business relationships are solidified, or broken, and it’s also where the value exchanges hands or ends up getting leaked.
Why real-time contract enforcement is a game-changer
Instead of using contracts as a ready reckoner to check on promises delivered, big companies sign massive multi-million dollar deals stacked with deliverables and milestone-based incentives and consign them to an electronic drawer (read analog CLM). The next time someone dusts them off is when the end of a deal is drawing near or a dispute is at hand.
In fact, only 15% of Fortune 500s even bother to measure the performance of their vendors against the contract, and when they do, it requires a lengthy audit spread across multiple teams. For the remaining 85% – let’s call them the blissfully unaware – 15-20% value leakage is more the norm than the exception in mega-services deals. This loss translates into a whopping $2-3T lost every year in the form of invoicing errors due to improper management of consumption data, incorrect rates, computational errors and missed milestones.
Once we realized this, we saw a huge opportunity for SirionLabs to improve business relationships between customers and suppliers by ensuring that both sides kept their promises to each other. Over time we discovered that this achieved what at first had looked like contradictory outcomes – revenue acceleration for the supplier and increased savings for the customer. Our vision was to build a company that would serve as a single source of truth for both parties, enabling buyer and suppliers alike to get aligned instead of spending 80% of their time bickering about “my data versus your data”.
That is why for the past 7 years, we have been working hard to “bring contracts to life” from the electronic graveyards where they lie buried. This is why we have been arguing that the “contract lifecycle” doesn’t come to an abrupt end just because a contract gets signed. Rather, the lifecycle persists through its “in-life” phase till its eventual renewal or termination. This is why we are rooting for the 10% little guy: the business end of the contract – those humble deliverables, milestones, obligations, price-books, rate-cards, price adjustment mechanisms – which carry 90% of the expected business value on their shoulders.
The result is a CLM platform that acts as a ‘central nervous system’ – using AI to look at contracts, extract the promises agreed to, and then connect the dots with business transaction systems (ITSM, ERP) to ensure that tasks get completed. It gives enterprises a new way to better manage revenue and spend, and radically reduce friction in relationships.
With Sirion, more than 200 of the world’s largest companies, including Vodafone, Unilever, Credit Suisse and SC Johnson, have been able to identify, report and manage the performance of contracts in real-time to ensure business outcomes embedded in contracts are fully realized. We have grown to manage more than 3.5M+ contracts in more than 100 countries and I’m incredibly proud to say that our efforts have helped our clients save $2.2B to date.
Yet, I believe there is a lot more for us to accomplish.
That’s why today, I’m excited to announce that SirionLabs has raised a $44M Series C Round, led by our champions at Tiger Global and Avatar Growth Capital. The new funding will help us with hiring leading talent, adding new partners to our ecosystem, and building cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence solutions at our newly established Technology Center in Seattle.
I’m also excited to announce the expansion of our leadership team with Amol Joshi joining us as CRO from Ivalua, Anu Engineer joining as CTO from Cloudera, Mahesh Unnikrishnan joining us as Chief Product Officer from Google and Vijay Khera joining as CCO from Markets & Markets. With these new leaders in place, we will accelerate bringing our product to the wider market as well as propel the technological innovation in the CLM space.
A CLM platform for the future
The problems we are solving today are higher order iteration of the problem statements that kicked off our journey. In today’s business climate, we are starting to find an increased focus on unlocking the value promised in contracts along with digitizing the authoring process. SirionLabs’ products have saved billions of dollars in hard invoice savings that have gone straight to our customers’ bottom-lines. In fact, we’ve seen an increased interest in our product to keep supply chains up and running by efficient execution of contracts and agreements.
We are living through a unique moment in history. While making this announcement, I was reminded of one of my favorite paintings, Angelus Novus, by the Swiss artist Paul Klee. Painted a hundred years ago at the bleak end of the first world war, the painting depicts the angel of time facing the past while a storm blows it into the future. Lawyers and contract managers today face a similar challenge. As the storm of artificial intelligence propels them into an uncertain future, their eyes remain fixed on the past – their precedents, templates and playbooks – unable to see the opportunities in front of them.
If Sirion’s AI continues to connect contracts with outcomes in this manner, we will fulfil our promise to customers and partners. This is what excites me most about the journey ahead.