Axiom Case Study

Contracts-as-a-Service

Dell
Contracts Data Analytics
Dell Partners with Axiom to glean business intelligence from global sell-side contracts without purchasing a contract management system (CMS)

Fast Facts

Axiom and Dell’s partnership:
  • Provides Dell with a superior customer experience by closing deals more quickly
  • Catalyzes Dell revenues by cross-selling related services to corporate clients
  • Improves Dell’s deal-making capabilities by streamlining contracting processes and accelerating payback on acquisitions
  • Strengthens Dell’s margins and risk management by proactively managing contractual rights and obligations
  • Offers Dell visibility into contract positions, with reporting on current data and historical data up to 20 years old
  • Improves compliance, with enhanced reporting capabilities and better data quality
  • Reduces costs by retiring aging IT systems and eliminating the need for contract management staff
Key metrics:
  • The contracts-as-a-service solution was rolled out initially to 500 superusers but has expanded to a larger global population
  • IRIS provides a global database with free text search on 285 metadata fields for more than 35,000 sell-side agreements globally
  • Dell leaders have queried the system more than 2,000 times since its go-live date

Overview

Dell deploys Contracts Data Analytics-as-a-Service to transform its sell-side contract management function without any incremental budget increase or capital expenditure. Dell has partnered with Axiom to gain access to a fully staffed and technology-enabled managed contract negotiation and administration service that provides Dell with fast access to current and historical global sell-side contract data. As a result, Dell is able to close deals faster, generate more revenue and retire aging IT systems.

The Ask

Harnessing sales contract data for business intelligence

One of the world’s preeminent technology companies, Dell manages millions of commercial sales contracts. For Scott Bialek, Director of Global Contracts, transforming sell-side contract management was an imperative. The company was using a home-grown 20-year-old database that provided rudimentary reporting for only U.S. contracts, and Bialek was unable to get funding for a new platform. As a consequence, it was extremely difficult for the team to satisfy senior management requests for enterprise contract data required for decision making.

Bialek and his team sought a turnkey industrial contract management service that would provide enterprise visibility and reporting, scale with business growth and streamline operations. In addition, the solution had to be cost-neutral. Dell would self-fund by transitioning all the work performed by its in-house 15-person contract management team to its strategic partner. Fortunately, the legal team at Dell was on board.

Unlocking insights in contract data

“We view contractual information as an enterprise-wide asset that can support decision making across the business to drive revenue and better controls,” says Richard Rothberg, General Counsel, Dell. “We have made progress in recent years and wanted to find a more scalable global platform and supporting analytics capabilities to ensure that we continue to make progress. We found that in Axiom.” 

Axiom and Dell agreed to enter into a strategic five-year partnership. Axiom would deliver legal and commercial data capture, contract negotiation and management, and reporting and analytics for all of Dell’s commercial sales contracts globally. Axiom would use its industrial approach, applying skilled talent with domain expertise; proven, repeatable process; and customized technology to streamline contract processes, increasing speed and accuracy. Axiom would also provide ongoing service, leveraging a 20-person dedicated team located off-site to distribute standard contracts, generate reports and answer frontline contract questions. 

Two years into the program, Dell has fully implemented the contracts-as-a-service solution in EMEA, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific, gaining visibility into both current data and more than 20 years of historical data.

Axiom Approach

Axiom’s approach satisfies Dell’s hunger for better data, faster

“Over the years we have had a number of software vendors try to sell us software-only contract management systems, but we needed a provider who could offer us a full contract management solution — tools and people,” says Bialek. “Axiom provided those capabilities in an integrated as-a-service commercial construct.”

Axiom’s contracts data analytics services is powered by IRIS, a proprietary, cloud-based technology platform, and involves the capture and translation of clause-level text contained in contracts to structured data elements that drive reporting and analytics in a flexible and powerful way. Axiom uses IRIS to provide contract data on 285 metadata fields for Dell. Dell staff can use a self-service portal to search for contract data and generate detailed reports, drilling down to individual contract terms or building up to an enterprise look at its total contract positions. A back-end platform provides workflow, data models and analytics tools. 

“By structuring information and linking it together both between and within agreements, Axiom helps Dell create new sources of business value,” says Paul Carr, President, Axiom. “We can then run analyses across the entire population of agreements to accomplish goals such as triggering upcoming renewal dates, identifying cross-selling opportunities, managing client obligations such as payments and discounts and quickly identifying where non-standard legal terms are hiding.”

Axiom and Dell’s joint partnership to transform Dell Legal’s sales contracting function was honored with a 2015 IACCM Innovation Award for Outstanding Service Provider. 

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