the company now has a cost-effective and
consistent global data entry process for accurate
and reliable reporting.
Next, the VMware Legal team engaged QuisLex
to offload non-strategic contract review and
template maintenance services. This freed
up bandwidth to focus on improving current
processes and contract templates. The team
successfully reduced 60 professional service
templates to just one and established a more
efficient modular contract setup for long-term
customer relationships, reducing the length of
MSLA and ELA templates by 50 percent.
VMware next implemented Apttus, a cloud-based contract lifecycle management solution
built on Salesforce, to automate the contract
creation process for their core revenue
contracts. This reduced document generation to
a few mouse clicks. The solution also improved
cycle times via automated approval routing and
faster contract execution through electronic
Lyons estimates that this entire initiative
has resulted in more than $3 million in cost
avoidance in 2014 alone, and using QuisLex
helped her organization scale to meet increased
contract volumes. But the biggest value has
been on the client support side. “VMware’s
in-house legal team is able to spend more
time on high-value legal work and strategic
issues and has greatly improved its relationship
with internal business clients, as the Legal
Department is seen as a trusted advisor to the
business,” Lyons says.
Another area needing a technology and
operational fix was VMware’s manual invoice
review process, to manage and provide more
visibility into spend, particularly in the litigation
space. Lyons first deployed an e-billing system,
CounselLink, to automate a rigorous invoice
review process in line with best practice billing
guidelines to capture spend by key matter
details and to encourage budget monitoring.
The technology also gave VMware visibility into
the department’s spending to explore other
outside counsel management strategies and track
spend to budgets via consolidated dashboards.
The team aggressively rebuilt a preferred provider
panel by negotiating billing rates, adding matter-specific discounts, and establishing alternative
fee arrangements. VMware also rolled out more
stringent billing guidelines with their outside
counsel worldwide in line with best practice
vendor management. They implemented billing
controls, including automated bill review, and
mandated no fee increases for a minimum of two
years on any matters.
The effort was not without some casualties.
Lyons says, “We did remove nearly half our
panel firms for a variety of reasons, which was
challenging. But the remaining firms provided
the best and most cost-effective service for
our needs, and those firms were rewarded with
increased business.” This effort resulted in $2.8
million hard and soft savings in 2014.
VMware’s investments in technology and
operations helped the Legal Department
focus its time back on the company’s core
priorities and on investing in their employees’
development and growth.
The VMware management team rolled out several
initiatives to promote employee development,
including assignment rotations, mentoring, and a
robust training program to upskill the team.
From a cost perspective, VMware saw its legal
spend as a percentage of revenue decrease by
25 percent over the past four years, and in 2014,
it was under the industry benchmark. Post-transformation, Lyons has some words of advice.
“The whole process is really about people.
Change management needs to start well before
you begin to change, and it lasts long after you
complete the change,” she says. “It is important
to get buy-in early and communicate frequently
with leadership and your whole department,
including your vendors and firms. And get
everyone involved. Make people part of the
change rather than forcing it upon them.”