Brightleaf: a pioneer in the domain of Contract Lifecycle Management Industry
Brightleaf: a pioneer in the domain of Contract Lifecycle Management Industry
It is quite very seldom that companies wake up to the stark realization of the need for a sound contract management system until there is a setback like loss of revenue or missed opportunities. The traditional methods of managing contracts (spreadsheets, file folder, SharePoint style document repositories) are inadequate and incapable of redressing these issues, paving way for the adoption of advanced Contract Lifecycle Management Systems (CLMs). Samir Bhatia, the CEO of Brightleaf Solutions, a key player in the contract space providing data extraction service, believes that maintaining quality, ease of business and transparency in pricing are the key features for sustenance. The initial incarnation of Brightleaf came into existence in 2007 as an organization that developed software to assemble contracts using a library of clauses. Corporates were more eager to avail information from their negotiated contracts to know what is in their contracts. Samir bought the ‘Extraction/Abstraction of data points from contracts,’ business and developed the software from infancy employing the latest AI, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques. In order to deliver highly accurate extracted results, a team of lawyers was trained on the software and the people, as well as the software, was encompassed by a stringent Six Sigma process. Brightleaf provides solutions to meet clients legacy contract migration needs which include classification of contracts, extraction of key data elements, a matchup of masters and addendums and provides an easy-to-load data output in spreadsheet or CSV file format into a CLM system. The data, once ingested into a CLM provides the client with easy management of the contracts including, reporting, triggers, and dashboards on the extracted data from within the contracts
Brightleaf’s NLP/AI technology powered service for extracting data elements from contracts and other documents gives an end-to-end solution to clients. According to Samir, they are highly focused on data extraction and their lawyers are trained on extraction only. As he commonly humors with his prospects, “That the definition of an expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less till they know everything about nothing. We are very close to that. The client realizes that, and come to us for all their work.”
Brightleaf strives hard to redefine the word ‘trust’ perfectly. Contract Lifecycle Management System (CLM) vendors such as Apttus, Conga, Determine, Malbek, The Corridor Company, Symfact, etc. come to Brightleaf for extracting data from their clients’ legacy contracts. The firm’s track record of remarkable accuracy attracts clients like petals attract honey-bee. The meticulous work brings a shower of praises from the clients claiming that their work would have remained incomplete without Brightleaf – that it also made them aware of their data, how to look at it, how to consistently extract it and concluded that Brightleaf made them get extensive use out of their investment in the CLM systems. An analogy given is, “What good is a kitchen without any appliances”? Here the kitchen refers to the CLM system, and the appliances refer to the data and documents of the legacy contracts. The firm’s association with their first clients- British Telecom and a Class 1 US Railroad company in the US helped Brightleaf to establish themselves as brands. The firm is popularly known as “THE go-to company for extraction purposes in the contract world and renders legal services that revolve around Contract data extraction only.
Our editorial team spoke to Samir, Founder of Brightleaf to know more about the organization and him. Here are the edited excerpts from the conversation.
In an age of mistrust, are you seeing an evolution in how consumers trust brands, or are they still for the most part doubtful?
We tend to provide services holistically. Some clients point questions like how can software do everything? What if, for example, the Force Majeure clause is stated as Acts of God. We do a Proof of Concept for such clients, show them that our technology can be trained in these different ways which refer to the same thing. Once they see the PoC, they are convinced. Sometimes, we get clients who are naive enough to believe that throwing technology at this problem will take care of everything. To satiate such clients, we demonstrate that good technology is necessary, but not a sufficient condition. A good software solution is only the one-third solution to the problem. We believe having Lawyers, not interns or paralegals, is necessary to fix any errors which are mainly due to the original documents having bad scans and contraindicatory information in the contracts itself
What is a customer for you and how do they perceive your brand?
For us, the corporations of any vertical who want to put unstructured data from multiple documents into a structured database for query and reporting are our customers. The customers who install a CLM system and those generating a lot of contracts every week/month would require us to do the extraction. Consumers see us as ‘Migration experts.’ We are well-known in the legal industry to be the extraction experts solving the most cumbersome process of extraction of data points during the Legacy Migration process.
Kindly elaborate on the clientele
Our long-term clients are the CLM vendors. The large corporations who are installing these systems are the CLM firm’s end clients, both of them provide repeat business, as they roll out the system into different departments within their organizations.
What are the big achievements?
Building a trustworthy brand which is top of mind for Legacy Contract Migration is a major achievement. There were times when clients approached other companies for the know-how of this, now Brightleaf is “the place to go” as they say.
A piece of advice for young entrepreneurs
Pick a niche’. Go for it. It’s not an easy proposition, but hard work, dedication, perseverance and above all, picking a great team, will do you wonders.
The Road Ahead
We plan to expand outside of the legal space. We are competent enough to extract information from any set of documents. We are extending the brand to other uses that could potentially be some amount of work while maintaining the quality aspects. Our highly sensitive artificial intelligence, optical character recognition and natural language processing technology overcome the challenges posed to the organizations having no or an obsolete system of managing and organizing existing and legacy contracts. The plans are underway for expansion to all CLM vendors, and into different verticals.
Samir Bhatia, a postgraduate in computer science and physics from Northeastern University. He is an industry veteran with over 25 years of experience building successful technology companies. He has launched many software and electronic products from concept to successful market penetration. Recently he was the CFO at Cambridge Technology Enterprises (smartShift), a multi-national software transformation company and was instrumental in the turnaround of the company. Prior to that Samir held the job of CIO at Boston Analytics, and Founder of Tribiosys, a technology and process consulting firm for bio-techs and pharmaceuticals. Samir believes that transparency, communication, and creating a constant learning atmosphere glue everyone together and motivates the staff. He firmly believes in constant learning, experimenting, applying, and keeping with the industry. His motto of life– find solutions, not excuses.
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