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Contract management with Microsoft 365 - efficiency and scalability for legal departments


Microsoft 365 as a collaboration and enterprise platform

Microsoft 365 is one of the hottest topics in the current legal tech scene and almost every company has been working with Microsoft for years, making it an integral part of almost every IT platform strategy. In the future, this will be extended with the Microsoft 365 Cloud, making the entire company digital.

With Azure, Microsoft 365 and a range of cloud solutions, the possibilities in use have changed completely – there are many new application options, but also new challenges for companies and users. Anyone who wants to hold their own in the new digital world of work knows that the ability to adapt to new trends is not only important, but essential for survival and offers many new possibilities, opportunities and improvements.

Microsoft 365 is therefore part of companies’ global IT strategy because it provides a highly available, secure and scalable cloud platform with a range of productivity and collaboration applications and cloud services.

Tools such as Word, Excel, Teams and Outlook tools and their features help companies and legal departments to improve collaboration, communication and productivity and provide a secure platform for storing and accessing company data. The platform is cloud-based, which means that employees can access it from anywhere and on any device.

Microsoft and the Office 365 products are used in most companies and users have been working with the tools for years. This means that structures, processes and even entire teams and departments have evolved from using the products and there are established and proven procedures for maintenance & administration and governance, compliance and IT security.

In this white paper, we not only want to show how Microsoft 365 Standard Services can be used for contract collaboration, but also explain why we have chosen Microsoft 365 as the optimal platform to create a contract lifecycle management platform with LEDOX365 that digitally maps all processes and dimensions of the contract lifecycle in a highly available, scalable and highly secure private cloud application.

A Private Cloud Application (PCA) is a software application that is hosted in a private cloud environment, such as a Microsoft 365 tenant, and is reserved for a specific organization only. It offers more control and security than public cloud services, such as SaaS platforms. With PCA, no data is processed and stored outside of your environment, reducing risk and increasing security for your organization’s data.

Microsoft 365 as the optimal platform for contract management

As the demands on legal departments increase, so do the expectations:

Legal departments are being treated more and more like other departments and KPIs such as effectiveness, efficiency, costs and productivity are increasingly setting the agendas. Technology and digitalisation in general are key drivers. Individual solutions for individual problems are not sustainable. Isolated solutions increase complexity and costs, while user acceptance decreases. Similar to other industries and application areas, there is a trend towards platforms that are already accepted and established in companies, such as Microsoft 365.

Standard Office services such as MS Word, Excel, Outlook and Teams/SharePoint have already become the standard tools of the trade for lawyers and already cover a large part of their daily digital tools. These are seamlessly integrated into Microsoft 365 and enable digital collaboration with colleagues and external parties in real time.

Real-time collaboration and a secure digital working environment are surrounded by innovative services such as Teams, Viva, Purview and the Co-Pilots in the cloud and are globally defining a new way of working, including for lawyers and legal departments. Who would have thought digital negotiations possible years ago?

Furthermore, the Power Platform, for example, provides the possibility for no-/low-code applications and enables the easy creation of enterprise applications and automation for legal processes in departments and companies together with IT.

In addition, automated bi reports provide real-time data on KPIs and can be used to actively manage companies, legal departments and processes.

This is based on a comprehensive data security, governance and compliance concept for the entire M365 platform and is executed by Microsoft 365 services, such as Purview, and the Azure platform. Service teams, administrators and architects manage and administer users, applications and the entire internal digital ecosystem together with legal compliance and governance. Much of this goes unnoticed by the business user.

All of these benefits and functions are most likely already implemented, established and used on a daily basis in your organisation or are in the pipeline for the coming years. But these services lack a standardised standard process and a sorted user interface that combines all these functions in one contract management platform. That’s why we designed and developed LEDOX365.

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