Summize in Conversation with Marie Widmer

Marie Widmer is the Founder and CEO of Amplifi Ops, a program management software, designed for Legal Operations leaders.

Table of Contents
Published: 

December 22, 2023

Updated: 

June 24, 2024

Implementation can be one of the biggest challenges of any legal tech adoption and is often why many people are put off buying a legal tech solution. Marie Widmer is an experienced Legal Ops professional Through her experience, she has developed a passion for implementation and ensuring this is done correctly and efficiently to maximise the benefits.

In this episode, we talk with Marie about her experience as a legal ops professional, how to ensure a successful implementation of any legal technology and get buy-in from the wider business when purchasing legal tech.

Jonny

Hello and welcome back to the Surmise Legal Disruptors podcast. I'm Johnny Jessop. I'm a Solutions Architect at Summize and today I am delighted to be joined by Marie Widmer. Marie is an experienced legal ops professional. She's worked at likes of Pinterest, LinkedIn and HubSpot and more recently excitingly started her own programme management software company called Amplify Ops. Today we're going to be talking about her experience as a legal ops professional and also how to ensure a successful implementation of any legal technology and work on getting buy in from the wider business when purchasing legal tech. All of those processes when purchasing CLM and legal tech especially. So Marie, welcome to the podcast. It's great to have you on. How are you today.

Marie

Thank you for having me, Johnny. I'm really excited to be on. Today is good. It's early over here, so the whole day is ahead of me. Excited to see where it goes.

Jonny

Thank you for joining me so early. I do appreciate it. Normally when we do these kinds of sessions, we start off with a little bit of getting to know you. So if you could start by just telling the audience a little bit about yourself, basically how did you get to where you are today?

Marie

Yeah, happy to. Like most people in legal ops, I kind of had an unconventional path to get here. I really like to call it a happy accident. I was in litigation, realised that that wasn't going to be my future and I ended up going to law school and needed to pay the rent in San Francisco. So, I started working as a contract manager. That very first job led me to doing a contract life cycle management implementation and I started hearing on LinkedIn about this cool thing called Legal Ops and started following and figuring out that this was a real job and I could I could pursue it. And that's kind of how I got to where I am today. I've done quite a few CLM implementations as both a contractor and a full time employee and have some good and bad stories under my belt. So I think that's kind of what drove me to where I am today to try to find a better way to implement technology.

Jonny

I see. I see. So I'm working as contracts manager. I imagine you enjoyed that initial CLM implementation or found enough interest in it to kind of pursue it. In terms of career

Marie

I did, it was it was interesting to be both the person negotiating contracts and implementing the software because I was experiencing the, you know, I was the user at the same time I was building the user experience. So it was great because I immediately got the benefits of my own work before anyone else. So, I think that that's what made me really take a shining to CLM and to legal tech.

Jonny

I see, I see what initially kind of inspired going into the legal profession then and then what was it? I mean, particularly about legal technology, Have you always been a kind of a technology person? Have you always been into software and processes and that kind of thing,

Marie

So legal, I think I like looking at the patterns of things. I like I'm, I like structure and order and even though legal, the more you get into it, the less structure you realise there is. I've always been attracted to the idea that that if you follow certain steps or if you build a process that that things will work out the way you expect it to. And I think a lot of lawyers want to believe that if you write a law this way or if you follow the rules, things will work out in a certain way. And I liked the the idea of being in a position where I could help people. I worked in a lot of volunteer roles and in service roles prior to entering the legal industry, everything from office management to pet food. So I loved the idea of being able to help people. I in terms of technology, no, I actually, I flunked out of engineering school in undergrads. So like, for me to sit here and say that I have anything to do with technology and then I'm building a tech product now, it's just like, laughable. I never thought that I would somehow accidentally go from law to software, but for some reason it clicked. So here I am.

Jonny

I see, I see. I mean, that's incredible. It's one hell of a career jump. It really is. But I mean, legal OPS is quite a new profession generally, I think it's fair to say so. I mean, said it's been about 4 1/2 years. So how has it changed from the very start when you were kind of first taking up that side of the role to what it looks like now, both in terms of kind of what the day-to-day jobs have been and the wider kind of knowledge of legal options and profession?

Marie

Yeah. So, in my opinion, the trajectory of the in-house legal department, you know, it really was intended to help, you know, internalise legal services for the business, have a dedicated team, save the company money. I think for a long time you saw patterns where the in-house legal team was still acting like a law firm and wasn't necessarily working with other units of the business, safeguarding knowledge. Little stuck in their ways in terms of, you know, getting on board with the rest of the company's enterprise technology. Now you've seen the last shift, you know, especially with legal ops, right? The legal department has to work with the rest of the business. They have to be tech savvy. If the rest of the business doesn't really feel that they're approachable or respect the way that they're doing things, then they get cut out of conversations, right? So, it's really important for a legal team to have access to early marketing meetings and product meetings and be able to know what's going on with the board and have kind of leadership positions in the company. And they can't really do that if they don't understand how to engage with the rest of the business, Legal ops specifically. I think there's still some struggle in some departments. You'll see them bring on a legal ops person with the title, but then it's a low paying administrative position, almost as if it's just a rebrand of a paralegal role. And then you've got other departments that have fully embraced the idea of legal operations, which is that it's an autonomous team within legal that does connect legal with the rest of the business and help the legal team run as its own business function. Legal ops to me I think has interests that sometimes even go against the interests of the legal team in the sense that we care about how the legal team and the business works as a whole. So even if Legal doesn't want to move faster, if they don't want to learn new technology or automate, it's the legal ops team's imperative to make sure that that happens and kind of bring them along with with them on the

Jonny

Yeah, no, I absolutely understand and agree with you. I think Legal is kind of the last department of tech adoption really within corporate businesses. And it's interesting you make the link to kind of legal acting almost in silo before and legal ops maybe being the link between them and the wider business. Have you seen a slightly more open approach to technology since working in legal ops as it started to grow? Because previously lawyers used a lot of word and that's just about it. But as technologies come on the market, are you starting to see attitudes change?

Marie

I think legal ops has had such an influx of funding over the last couple years that there's just been a lot of marketing driven towards GCs and CLOs and senior leadership on legal teams. So I am seeing more and more senior lawyers have at least a baseline knowledge of the technology that's out there. I've interviewed and met with lawyers who have at least handled one or two tools in their career and so are starting to understand that it's a necessity. Certainly that's, you know, I'd say 5050 for me in terms of people I've interacted with right now, but it is improving. There is more curiosity than fear in my opinion. I know we see a lot of articles saying lawyers are afraid of AI and lawyers are afraid of technology, but honestly, I think most lawyers are cautiously optimistic that it can improve their lives. I think they're more worried about the team's effectiveness in implementing the technology than they are in. Then they're than they are concerned about the technology not working.

Jonny

Of course, of course. Obviously, lawyers are always busy, so any extra task, you know, like a software implementation, takes a lot of bandwidth. And I can imagine there's a lot of fear around, you know, adopting technology just because of the change management process. What do you think could be done within your average corporate to integrate legal more? Is it a case of building out that legal operations role or are there other techniques you think that you've seen work in the past to involve Legal more in the business process?

Marie

So I think I think legal is staffed with a lot of subject matter experts that could be embedding themselves more in the business if they had the time. What I typically see when I come into in-house teams is you've got people who are incredibly talented in product or privacy or employment law. But because of the amount of manual or just day-to-day work that they have to get done, they don't have time to sit on another 20 hours of calls or be proactive and go hunt down the stakeholders in the business. And I've seen them have you know, routine syncs with the team. But it does take a little bit more to kind of get themselves embedded in those other pieces of the business and have time each week to that dedicated deep thought and think about how they can be proactive and helpful, but you can't do it when you're buried under work. So I think that's legal ops job, which I've seen. I've seen legal ops achieve it and I've seen legal ops fail to achieve it. Right is that you have to free up a big chunk of their work every week and get rid of that manual work so that not taking it on yourself but automating it so that they can go do what they do best.

Jonny

I see, I see. So it all comes down to time then automation and I suppose that's why legal operations is so important. I mean if we look at your experience implementing technology, looking at the technology itself and then the process of change management, obviously that can be incredibly painful. What has worked for you in the past? And you know, if you were to give your top five pieces of advice for any business implementing technology and legal, whether they have dedicated legal OPS or not, what would they be?

Marie

So my pieces of advice would be don't rush it. So I've been hired into roles where I was given two to three months to roll out a spend management programme or a CLM programme. And you're setting people like you have to buy a CLM in two to three months. So you have to get it done. And I understand that like I've been in startups, so I understand that those kind of timelines are just seem normal to the rest of the business. But enterprise technology is so risky. If you rush it, if you, if you roll it out wrong, if you waste people's time, the likelihood of getting them to try again and the cost associated with that failure is, is just too high. So, take your time, build a long, careful, thoughtful road map. Give yourself buffer for, you know, push back for, you know, delays for things to go wrong. So that’s another, that's a big one. The other one is the relationship development. You can't ever let, you can't ever take your hands off the wheel. I've definitely had implementations where I thought because I got by and in the beginning, that we would just coast the rest of the implementation and that the hard part would just be getting the technology done. But you can lose your stakeholders at any point. Even your biggest advocate at day one can become your biggest problem three months in. Whatever happens during the implementation process. If you're not checking in with them and giving them reassurances that it's going well and asking for their feedback and making sure that you're paying attention to them, you can completely lose them as an ally in the process. The other one I think is being a good customer to your vendor and understanding what that means. So don't always take everything your vendor tells you about the implementation at face value. You need to come with your own knowledge and experience and skills, and you can push back. If your vendor says, oh no, we can get this done really quickly and you know that you've seen it go wrong, It's OK to have those conversations with your vendor and kind of work that out between the two of you before kind of letting your team see that play out live on zoom calls and stuff like that. So, you do need to be a good advocate for your company and for what you know your needs are and managing that privately with your vendors so that you're only giving your customers the best experience kind of on the public, you know, demo call facing side or implementation facing side. The other one I think that I haven't really gotten to put into practise is just why I'm starting Amplifi is that this space needs more data. Like you need to track as much as you can every data point along the implementation you need to understand every conversation results in data points, every phase of the implementation results in data points. Every time you onboard a user, that's data that you could be collecting. And if you're missing out on that, then you really don't understand whether implementation was successful or not. And I think the fifth one is take care of your mental health. This is a service role. And no matter how good the technology is or no matter how good the implementation goes; you're always going to have someone who doesn't like what's happening. And you're always going to get negative feedback. And it's going to be stressful. You're going to feel emotionally attached to your project and your technology, and you're going to feel like you're letting people down at some point. So just make sure to get outside, get exercise, get therapy, whatever you need. Don't burn yourself out just because an implementation is happening. If you end up having to leave the company because you're stressed out or burned out, you know, then then you implementation has failed anyways. So

Jonny

Yeah, understood, understood. I think that's a really key point. It's very easy to get emotionally attached to a big project, especially when you've taken it from start to finish. It's really interesting stuff there. I think the data points we'll touch on with the Amplifi Ops things later. But one thing I'm really interested in as you mentioned the relationships with your different stakeholders, what we often find, I mean I work on a lot of CLM projects, obviously we work on a huge amount here at Summize. It's always very interesting where the idea for the project has come from and where the challenges are being seen to exist within a business, whether it is just legal or it's you know, within the commercial team, but also how those different departments get together throughout the scoping, the requirement process. We find it often very, very difficult, especially if you're involving legal and procurement and commercial because everybody really wants different things. What's been your experience kind of managing all these different departments and making sure that they feel like they're getting what they want from a solution?

Marie

It you know it's been interesting. I've been on, I've been in the position where legal is the only one driving for the product and so that's been a fairly, you know the focus there has been trying to bring people into the RFP, get them to participate, get them to care because it's not initially on their radar that the company needs ACLM. Then I've been on the converse where procurement or sales are the ones that are pressuring for CLM because of the needs that they have on their team. And then that kind of balances well. If we're going to get a CLM, it has to work for everybody. And then kind of figuring out how do we run the RFP without one team dominating or making sure that their needs are covered at the expense of other people's needs. So, I've been in both situations and it's hard. Sometimes you, sometimes you win, win, so to speak, and sometimes you don't. I've definitely had RFP's where I felt incredibly strongly that a certain tool was going to work for everybody and for my team. And that's not where the RFP panned out. So you do ultimately, even though you are the one that's technically, you know, demoing and selecting and recommending the technology. You do at the end of the day have to balance that relationship and you know, make sure that whatever decision you make, even if it's not 100% what you think is the right choice of the time, it has to be the right choice for all the teams. So that's kind of it's an interesting experience.

Jonny

Is it hard to kind of almost going well, you know Legal's requirements kind of sit here and then working out where the rest of the business's requirements sit in terms of priorities because I mean it would be great to have the perfect CLM, the perfect legal technology product, but there are going to be different solutions that fit different areas of the business more. Did you come up for any kind of way to prioritise requirements or how did you address that?

Marie

I think, you know in in my last role, I think it just came down to which team had, you know, where our KPIs were, and which team was technically gonna take precedence. It was, it is interesting. It also weighs into like and this is what I would caution legal ops that they continue to deal with is, is we don't necessarily have the same bind in the business as a sales team or procurement team. So even if you are the one that's tasked with spending the money on the technology, you're selecting it. Your voice may not be the loudest in the room, and I think that there's just something you have to accept about that and know how to work with that.

Jonny

I see. I see. And I mean, actually my next question is around getting by and we might as well kind of go there now as you've just mentioned it. So I mean, if we go through, let's say you've gone through your vendor selection process, you're happy with the finalised product. How would you advise the implementation process as you're rolling out to different areas of the business? Because there's a lot of change management. Especially if you look at CLM, particularly a huge amount of change management involved in implementing a CLM, how would you kind of recommend managing that process? Any tips?

Marie

Yeah. So, you know, long before you buy the technology, you'll have started having conversations with your different departments, your stakeholders and you'll start to get a sense of their Rd maps, their KPIs, their pressing issues and really understanding what CLM could solve for them. So it could be that the company has struggled with efficiency and sales and they're lacking the data to understand, you know, where they're losing time with the sales contracts, with upmarket, you know, are we are we too slow with negotiating our enterprise deals and we're actually losing customers, things like that. So that could be the urgency. And then if you're learning that in the requirements phase, then you already know that that's going to be the team you focus on first with your implementation or it could be that the company just onboarded a new procurement department. They're bleeding money. We don't have control over our vendors. We don't even know who our vendors are. There's panic around that, right. So then you know procurement's going to go 1st and that's kind of how you stage the implementation. And then you just make it clear that like we're gonna implement this technology, procurement goes first, sales goes second, recruiting goes 3rd, so on and so forth. You kind of give everyone a set time frame and then you start to, you know, give out instructions on what, what do we need from you to kick off this process? What are the different calls going to be like? What are the phases going to be?

Marie

You have to really keep it organised in a project charter. I've done it manually and I've used Asana, I've used different programmes. None of them work the way that I would like it to, but that's a you know, different conversation.

Jonny

I see, I see, I see. But at the end it's about communicating to everyone and putting together almost like you say, like a clear road map and schedule for who is going to go in which order. And then I presume which areas, which processes you're going to be looking at before you implement those. Do you have them already drawn out or is it a case of working with the software vendor and kind of detailing between you?

Marie

Usually by the time I start the RFP I already have a rough outline of the road map and the goals. Because I will say in my opinion it follows this the similar path. No matter what vendor you're going with, then you once you've decided to select your vendor, that's when you kind of start to fine tune things 'cause every vendor has their own idea of how long it's gonna take to do certain integrations right. You might have a vendor who has an out of box integration, or maybe it's gonna be a custom build, maybe it'll be web hooks. You know, there's just different factors that you can then adjust your timeline and set expectations on the teams as to what needs to happen.

Jonny

I see, I see. That's. I mean, that's really interesting, I think really useful. I think collaboration between different departments when implementing and buying a CLM is incredibly key and sometimes it can just be seen as a legal problem. Sometimes you know, other departments are needed to gather the budget. I mean it really does vary, but having control over that holistically is really important. From the business then when you had these initial conversations, something we're always interested in is obviously legal, have oversight of the contracting process, procurement normally as well. But what do kind of commercial people, your internal customers say to you that leads you to realise that CLM has to happen and you have to put in place that process. What are those kind of scenarios that you've seen what the horror stories that happened before this kind of process starts.

Marie

Yeah, I think. I think the reality is, is that legal. Whether they like it or not, they sit on all of the knowledge of the company. They know where all the all the bodies are buried. They know where all the corporate paperwork is. They know where you know all the signed contracts are. And if you don't have that organised and if you don't have some easy way to access it, what happens is as legal's continuously bombarded with requests from different pieces of the company. Right. So, Sales wants to know what the risk is for making, you know, a change to our enterprise sales contracts or or letting a customer have a certain exemption here, but not doing it with another customer. You're forcing legal every single time to do full on research as if it's like a case. You know, if they don't have it all at their fingertips and the data isn't already there and the documents are all stuffed away in random G Drive folders. Your legal is continuously in a reactive state and you're just, you're increasing the likelihood of a risk of like misinformation, or a mistake being made. And you're also just continuing to reinforce the idea that the other lines of the business don't think for themselves. They have to go to legal every time. And then whatever the answer is, that's a bespoke answer. And then they have to go back to legal again. So, there's no education, There's no continuity, and there's no history. That's all buried in emails. So, I think a lot of teams feel frustrated with legal because of it because you're not giving them any empowerment, you're just giving them an answer with very little context behind it. And of course, legal's frustrated on their end because what someone else sees is an e-mail from legal, maybe even a terse e-mail, is really has been like a whole panic of yelling at people sorting through documents. Where is it? So that's when I mean immediately, you know, if I go into a company or I interviewed a company and I ask like do you know where all your contracts are stored? And they go, Oh well I think we have a box folder here in a G drive, I'm like, OK, I know where we're at. You need a CLM and even if not a full blood CLM you need you need the basic version of it. You know you could CLM to me can be as simple as like a manual version until you're ready to buy a tool. And that's like organising your G drive, getting everyone in one DocuSign, having some sort of tracker, whether it's like a Zapier attachment to your e-mail, you know, it can be a build your own CLM until you're ready to buy one.

Jonny

Yeah, yeah, that makes absolute sense. I mean part of the problem we always find is like you say, you go in where are your contracts? And they're probably stored in a lot of businesses across several different places. You always have to have a bit of an amnesty at the start of people putting them all in the same place so they can be evaluated and that's always, always the first thing in order to get knowledge. I think it was what you said around the rest of the business being reliant on legal for those types of answers. I think we're seeing a theme of self-service particularly within legal tech being incredibly important, like you say, giving legal more time to remove some of those kind of high volume, low value tasks. But in the end of the day, it's really improving the rest of the business and allowing your internal customers to kind of grow and sharing that knowledge that has been within equals keeping. That's really, really interesting. I'd like to hear really your opinion on AI as well. AI is obviously being talked about over the last nine months. Everywhere. You've said from your experience lawyers are starting to get excited by the possibilities of it. How, albeit cautiously, how do you see that changing over the next couple of years? Do you see wide scale adoption or something a little bit more gradual?

Marie

Yeah, you know, I think AI is something that I think lawyers are going to adopt. But again, I think it ties into the pain points we're seeing with the current technology on the market, which is that like and this is technology is getting better, but the way we implement it isn't getting better. Change management is not improving and the data around change management is not improving. So I think like we can bring AI on the teams, but if they've already had poor, you know, poor experiences with the CLM implementation for example, or spend management implementation, they're going to be less likely to adopt the AI. Because they know that when the AI comes with the legal ops team that did a bad job of implementing the CLM in the 1st place. So, they're like, OK, more trainings, we have to take more time out of my week. So, we've got to continue to put as much effort and emphasis into improving how we deliver technology as like how we build it. Because you you can build the best tool on the market and you can give lawyers the best AI on the market. But if you don't do a good job onboarding them into it, if you don't make it less you said self-service and seamless and easy to jump in and start experimenting safely then they're then they're just gonna back out and we'll be back right back where we were before.

Jonny

I see. So in your view it all still comes down to that change management piece and the data behind it. I think it's a good time maybe to to bring in your new venture founding Amplifi Ops. So where personally I can imagine where it's come from, your implementations of software products and that change management process working in it. So tell us a little bit more about it. So what kind of challenges are you seeing? Where is the kind of direct solution for them and and how is it growing and what your plans?

Marie

Yeah, so, so my co-founder and I have done more than our fair share of implementations and and kind of like I pointed out, I just don't think that it's getting better. The failure rate for legal tech is really high in terms of implementations it's sitting at. You know, there was the contract work survey said about 70% and then I ran a survey and implementation survey earlier this year and I came, I think my number was 62%. My data also shows the teams are spending between like CSM hours and consultants, they're spending over 100 grand and that's on a small implementation. They're spending about 20 hours a month on manual work during the implementation. So that's like updating calendars, updating, you know, the project charter doc. So just like the amount of manual work it takes to keep the project moving. In terms of I'm sure you've experienced this yourself, right? You get into the project, and you've got procurement, you've got sales, you've got recruiting, you've got your own internal legal team and you have to continuously keep everyone on the same page. After every meeting, after every Slack message, every side thread has to get pulled back into the main thread. You've got other people starting their own documents, having their own side conversations. It just becomes it gets to the point where you start to really lose sight of the bigger picture because there's just so much going on in the day-to-day and you start to lose the ability to see patterns. So I've been in implementations where I did all the prep work, the tool was great, the team that I was working with was great. But it just there was so much noise that it got to the point where we started to really lose track of why we were doing it and what we were doing and lose the ability to kind of feel out which team members we were kind of losing buy in from. Because the amount of time we were having to spend just updating our project Charter and Asana board, it really just kind of ate away from our time to really spend continuing to get by and maintain those relationships. So, Amplifi is we're building AI into project management and the goal is to automate a lot of that. So, the AI will suggest your road map for you. It'll populate the tasks, you can bring in your CSMS and your consultants into the platform, it'll follow you along the project. We're gonna be partnering with some other companies to try to start to build data points around it to help identify when your project's going off track. So will integrate and you know you'll be able to schedule your calls. Not only that, but you'll start to see patterns, right? So, you'll see who's missing calls. You'll be able to say who's looking at the Google Doc and who's not, who's watched the training videos and who's not. A start to identify patterns and where you're losing people and the success of your onboarding.

Jonny

I see, I see. That's really interesting. It's also, I imagine, using that data then going back to the start of the project to then give people, give people, give stakeholders, both you know, senior and otherwise, a realistic perspective on what you know, what the implementation is going to look like, what is normal, you know how you can report against that. And it all starts like you say, with gathering the data and actually using the data sensibly. Oh, that sounds super exciting. Looking forward to hopefully seeing how it works on Summize projects going forward as well. You never know. That would be good, that would be good. So that's what's next for yourself, Marie. But the last question I'm gonna ask you, and it is a little bit, you know, projecting to see what might happen. But legal ops has come a long way in the last five years. So if we were to jump forward, let's say another five years, what do you expect the profession to be like? Do you think there'll be a legal ops department in every single kind of large corporate? Are there going to be kind of a particular new ideas now you see really bearing through the next couple of years would you reckon it's going to look like?

Marie

Yeah. So, I think I think legal ops will take the shape of more standard ops teams. You know you have sales ops and rev ops and procurement ops and I think that it will become more standard to have ops professionals with set roles embedded in each legal team. I think right now we're still in this phase where every legal ops department looks a little different. The titles are all over the place. In the next couple of years, I think we're going to start to see standardised education and maybe certifications for legal ops. Kind of similar to privacy, right? Privacy wasn't a field and then all of a sudden there was dedicated privacy council roles and privacy programme manager roles and it kind of exploded and became this huge opportunity for professionals to move into a, you know, a brand new, high paying, high paying role. But until they really rolled out IAPP and the CIPP exams, you didn't really know what you were looking for in terms of a of a valuable privacy candidate. So, I think we're going to see that with legal ops as well. We're going to see certifications and a standard job description and a standard. You know, you're going to be able to look at a resume and know whether someone can succeed in a legal ops role right now or not, which right now it's hit or miss. You've got people with two years of experience with a director role and you've got people with 10 years of experience and an analyst role and it's just kind of a crapshoot right now. So

Jonny

Yeah, I mean standardisation across the board then.

Marie

And with that I think will come more success and more stability for the legal tech vendors as well. I think with with more trust in legal ops and more standardisation in that area, you're going to see each team adopting a uniform set of technology. I think, I think we we're just still scratching the surface with teams in terms of adopting CLM especially like outside of the US there's a lot of markets even in the UKI think is still fairly new and EMEA still has a lot of information that they haven't gotten yet. In terms of rolling out CLM and kind of the standard package of legal tech

Jonny

Yeah, I completely agree. I think that definitely in the UK legal OPS is an even newer profession than it is in the US. And I think you're absolutely right hit the nail on the head by saying that with legal ops professionals becomes a much more standard process for buying and implementing legal tech in general and a standard kind of suite of products that every business will need to have and expect overtime. It's very, very exciting.

Marie

One plug I'll say for I'd love to give a positive thing to say for Summize is that I think one of the things you're going to see is one of the one of the things I've had issue with CLM is a lot of CLMs have rolled out and they built CLM the way that they envision it working. And it requires a lot of change management because you have to use their method of intake, their method of signature, their method of data storage, right. And it's not as modular. And I think that the future, the future of CLM and legal tech is not going to be built just for the benefit of the lawyers because that's not going to get us anywhere. It has to be built to work with the rest of the enterprise. So having a modular tool that you can plug in day one with Slack, with G Drive, with Teams, that is essential because you're not really building it for the legal department as much as we think we are. It's really so that the legal department can interact with the rest of the business. So if you can't work with the rest of the enterprise tooling quickly and easily, whether it's like web hooks or out of box integration, if you're not built to kind of plug and play from day one, then then it's it's going to be a difficult sell.

Jonny

Yeah, absolutely. That's what we've found since. I mean we integrated with Slack and Teams amongst others, probably about 18 months ago and it was at that point. And then as that gets adopted throughout the business, you realise what the problem was maybe in the 1st place and it was you know collaborating between your internal customers and your legal team and working out where everybody sits in that part of the process. And it makes so much more sense coming to meet people in a virtual office setting through an integration. And I mean I think everybody hates being given a new product with a new login that has to be part of their day-to-day. That's another check that they have to do first thing in the morning. And I mean we use Teams here externally internally rather for collaboration, communication, and that's where everything sits that I do on a day-to-day basis most of the time. So, adding a workflow into Teams or Slack or whatever you're using for communication internally just has huge benefits in terms of automation and project success and people actually using it, which is, you know what we're looking for at the end of the day, people to adopt technology and see the benefits.

Marie

And that's where AI is going to be most successful anyways, right? Like if you can add AI to your platform, but if people still have to log in and learn to be a professional in their platform to get to get access to it, that's where there's going to continue to be issues. It needs to be easily accessible and the tools they're already working in

Jonny

Absolutely, absolutely. Say part of our road map over the next year is working out where Open AI integration sit, where they can be best utilised. And I think you know it's important to do that cautiously and to work out where people are needing AI and automation. You know, the potential of automation to have the highest impact is rather than necessarily giving you a separate AI tool that kind of sits alongside everything else that you're not really sure when you know where you should be using. So, it's, it's very interesting and I say having legal ops professionals like yourself to organise this, to organise businesses that are implementing these types of technology, get everybody like you say on the same page is vitally, vitally important. So that's it for today. Thank you so much, Marie, for joining us.

Marie

Thank you.

Jonny

Super useful. We're going to come out with a whole list of tips, pieces of advice for all our audience to focus on when they're implementing  a CLM so thank you very much for your time for joining us today.

Marie

Thank you. It was great to chat.