The last decade has seen a big shift in the leveraging of offshore software development organizations that support US based companies. Europe, India, and Latin America (among other places) have been quickly growing their technical talent, providing technical resources at attractive costs. While this trend is very prevalent in the software development space, Clearlaw has seen an increase usage of the offshore model for deal desks teams that support the contract process.
The deal desk is the first line of defense in many organizations in the contract negotiation process. These teams are trained on the ins and outs of an organization's pricing, SKUs, sales orders, and can respond commonly asked questions about during the sales process. The goal is to provide the organization with contract consistency, provide sales with faster response times, handle compliance issues, and minimize the costs of high paid legal resources handling commonly asked contractual questions.
As we noted, Clearlaw has seen a significant increase in both professional services companies and SAAS based software companies moving parts of these teams offshore. While there are costs savings, we are also seeing organizations take advantage of time zone differences where something can be delivered at the end of the US workday and a full response will be available the next morning.
While that time zone difference can be used to a company’s benefit, it also presents a management challenge. Not having the offshore deal desk available at the same time as the onshore team limits communication, resulting in unanswered follow up questions and difficulty in coordination. This churn can result in the review time taking days or weeks longer than expected.
This is an area where Clearlaw can help. Clearlaw’s Smart Playbook stores your contractual Intellectual Property, an organization’s contractual gives and gets. As new contract types and issues arise, an organization can evolve their Smart Playbook, taking lessons learned from each new contract and sharing that information across the company. Furthermore, this is powered by Clearlaw’s powerful AI engine within Microsoft Word, taking the user right to the contract section in question and detailing out the necessary changes, independent of template. This provides a central location for onshore leadership or corporate legal to guide and empower an offshore deal desk team, improving work product quality, ensuring consistency in the contract negotiation process, improving turnaround times, and raising the bar for full legal review.