Automation experts tackle vendor contracts compliance for regulated businesses and their outsourcing partners
New York, New York – November 11, 2015 – Apogee Legal today announced the release of the legal and sourcing industry’s first automated vendor contracts compliance solution.
“We could not be more excited to announce the release of our automated vendor contracts compliance (VCC) solution,” said Jim Wagner, Managing Director of Apogee. “Whether in response to specific financial services regulations, or to the broader requirements of public companies and Sarbanes-Oxley, our enterprise clients have a pressing need to understand and address the contents of their vendor contracts. Up until now, the only viable solution for analyzing these vendor contracts has been to “slog” through them one contract and one clause at time. With VCC, we will be able to deliver to our clients the fastest, most comprehensive and most consistent vendor contracts analysis possible.”
Over the past decade, large businesses have become increasingly reliant on third-party outsourcing to manage costs and remain competitive. In connection with the expansion of this outsourcing trend, regulators have increasingly focused on the possibility for “unmanaged risk” in third-party relationships. Recent regulations, such as OCC Bulletin 2013-29, require that a corporation’s vendor contracts incorporate specific provisions and protections on a substantial number of topics, ranging from liability limits and indemnifications, to cyber security and incident notifications. Additional examples of regulations and regulatory bodies that have recently increased focus on vendor compliance include Sarbanes-Oxley, FCPA, FINRA, HIPPA, and Gramm-Leach-Bliley.
Because the regulations frequently require that vendor contracts address more than 50 topics of interest, the manual review of any single master sourcing agreement for compliance purposes can take from 2-5 review hours. Through its deep expertise in both regulatory matters and commercial contracts, and through the investment of thousands of hours of intensive research and development, Apogee has released the VCC analytics package, which can reduce the amount of time to review a single sourcing agreement by 75% or more. The VCC analytics package contains four key elements: 1) general identification of content related to the topics of interest, 2) detailed analytics designed to identify subtle content to determine whether a topic of interest is addressed in a fashion that actually complies with regulatory requirements, 3) logical workflow to assist both document reviewers and supervising counsel, and 4) detailed reporting to facilitate both board-level risk analysis and remediation planning.
“We negotiate and manage sourcing agreements for large financial services institutions every day,” said Larry Bortstein, founding partner of Bortstein Legal Group (BLG) and a co-founder of Apogee. “Ensuring that these organizations’ contracts are in compliance with OCC 2013-29, FINRA and other relevant regulations is no small task. The VCC solution solves many of these challenges by incorporating and automating the best of what we know about analyzing commercial contracts for compliance purposes in regulated environments.”
“Having been responsible for the legal operations of two of the world’s largest financial institutions, I know first hand the difficulty of assessing and managing contracts compliance at an enterprise level,” said Beth Anisman, a principal at BLG and also a co-founder of Apogee. “VCC will deliver our regulated clients an unprecedented level of transparency into their contracts compliance, and a tremendous time and cost savings tool through this ground-breaking level of automation.”
Apogee chose enterprise contracts discovery and analytics leader, Seal Software 4.0, as the platform for the release of the VCC analytics package. Apogee selected Seal Software for the rollout of VCC because of Seal’s exclusive focus on the enterprise community, Seal’s built-in “out of the box” contracts analytics, and Seal’s proprietary “ScA” analytics package that allows end users tremendous flexibility to create and constantly improve custom analytics—ideal for the evolving regulatory environment. For Apogee’s customers that require assistance in identifying their vendor contracts, Seal also has the unique ability to crawl networks and find “rogue contracts.”
“Seal is very pleased to be selected by Apogee Legal to be the technology foundation for the new VCC analytics package,” said Ulf Zetterberg, CEO of Seal Software. “This offering marries the strong domain expertise of Apogee Legal with the flexible and proven platform from Seal to power efficient and accurate contract reviews. It is the perfect partnership to provide significant value to our joint customers.”
The VCC analytics package is immediately available to Apogee customers as part of Apogee’s technology-enabled professional services offerings.
About Apogee Legal
Apogee Legal is a technology-enabled professional services organization delivering automation, process standardization and analytics to the legal, regulatory and compliance communities. Apogee Legal was formed by Steve Harber, Jim Wagner, Matt Miller and the principals of Bortstein Legal Group, Larry Bortstein and Beth Anisman. Apogee Legal is committed to eliminating waste in the business of law.
Steven R. Harber