Below is our recent interview with Scott Miller, Marketing Director at doeLEGAL, Inc.:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your Enterprise Legal Management solution, ASCENT®?
A: ASCENT® is a single, integrated, and comprehensive legal technology focused on optimizing Legal Operations. The advanced ELM suite provides the tools necessary to serve the entire legal ecosystem and delivers information to all business stakeholders. ASCENT® offers a unique, holistic service delivery model that focuses on the highest client service quality and system performance levels. By providing near-real-time insights on an analytic dashboard, all integrated business data is available to report on any aspect of a matter. This process gives Legal teams the most impactful information to make truly data-driven decisions that drive a business forward. We call this “smart data, intelligently delivered.” Visualize this concept as having a single, go-to source of accurate information delivered to stakeholders when and where they need it.
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Q: How would you describe the target audience, and what makes a good fit for ASCENT®?
A: The typical users we encounter are Chief Legal Officers (CLO), Chief Legal Operations Officers (CLOO), General Counsel (GC), Deputy/Associate General Counsel (DGC/AGC), and other key department stakeholders. doeLEGAL’s ASCENT® ELM solution is suited for large organizations with complex legal needs. Our target market defines this complexity in two ways:
1. Complex organizational dynamics include companies with more than one operating entity, co-location in more than one country, use outside legal providers for >60% of work, Legal Ops controlling legal spend >$10M, and the need to consolidate multi-functional operations.
2. Complex functional needs involve handling multiple needs with a single system, interfacing with other business systems, and requiring configurable capabilities to fit their unique processes without costly software customization.
Legal departments face growing challenges as they take on more responsibilities, often without more resources. This “doing more with less” is becoming the new norm. To overcome these growing needs, Legal and business leaders require a cost-effective, single-source view on all matters. Business data transparency is the result. ASCENT® was built to and elevate your perspective by integrating data sources and providing actionable insights that meet this executive need.
Q: Can you give us some insights into how your solution helps legal departments?
A: ASCENT® has proven to provide added value and significant benefits to legal departments around the globe. We have case studies that explore these benefits on our website from various market leaders such as Insurance, Healthcare, Auto Manufacturing, Chemical Manufacturing, and Financial Services.
These client success stories demonstrate the challenges faced, what was thought to be needed, why they chose doeLEGAL to deliver their ELM solution, and the benefits they are experiencing today.
Clients have been able to transform their legal operations by automating manual processes, integrating with all other business units to increase transparency, removing bottlenecks during invoice approvals, consolidating global legal activities, working more effectively with outside counsel, reducing legal expenses, and boosting legal team efficiency by up to 65%. The common threads are typically increased efficiency and reduced legal spend.
ASCENT® provides these significant proven benefits:
• Near-Real-time data – ensures decisions are made with up-to-date information
• Advanced analytics – processes numerous data sources into one collaborative position
• Benchmarking of outside counsel – tracks which law firm provides the best work by rates
• Accurate spend budgeting & forecasting – uses historical data to give deeper knowledge
• 100% transparency of legal operation – removes data silos
• Reduced legal spend by up to 20% – using AFAs, early payment discounts, reduction in errors
• Increased Legal team performance by up to 65% – repurpose legal staff on higher-value tasks, automation of manual processes, and tracks the best internal resource for each task
• Lower compliance risk – ensures compliance with current policies, procedures, and guidelines
• Board confidence in Legal’s decisions – data-based decisions provide added value to senior executives and other critical stakeholders
Q: What makes your legal technology different from similar solutions?
A: We focus on giving clients control over their entire process with a single solution. We also get to know their business first before installing the system. By first knowing their processes, business needs, and challenges, we can truly support their overall business efforts, not just Legal’s. ASCENT® helps the Legal team apply advanced analytics and automation to control cases and costs at anytime, from anywhere to drive more successful outcomes. ASCENT® is also fully-configurable by users to ensure it fits into a client’s work process rather than have them change how they work to use it. By focusing on a client’s end-goals, our expert team can help guide them through the industry’s best practices. We can configure their solution together to drive activities that meet goals today and as they evolve into the future.
We are different because we design and support the ELM solution ourselves. There are no off-shore development or support teams. Our experts have intimate knowledge of the clients’ accounts because they are the same team that onboarded them. No time is lost on re-educating a support rep on a client’s system, which eliminates a lot of frustration and provides confidence in a positive result. We focus on building client trust through ongoing meetings to take feedback on desired updates and support tickets.
Another clear differentiating aspect of ASCENT® comes from our upfront, predictable monthly fee, with nearly every aspect of the relationship included at no additional charge. These include client support, custom reports, outside counsel onboarding, in-house & law firm training, and no charge for upgrades, ongoing training, or software configuration. Another difference is that we do not charge vendors to submit invoices through the system. We remove the chance those charges could be directed back to clients in the next invoice.
Q: What transformational changes can clients expect within the 1st year using ASCENT®?
A: Our clients have experienced the benefits mentioned above, which have helped to transform their Legal departments into world-class business teams. Many accomplished this within their first year with ASCENT®, which is not always typical. Our clients that left an incumbent ELM provider to change to doeLEGAL’s ASCENT are often pleased to have a positive ROI in year one while contributing more to the business bottom line. A few notable quotes from ASCENT® clients clearly demonstrate the value doeLEGAL’s ASCENT ELM Solution delivers:
“The whole ASCENT® project came in on time and on budget, which is unusual around here, so that was a big win. I’m a huge fan of individualized customer service. It’s the number one most important thing after performance and I think doeLEGAL does a really good job with a high level of personal service,” said the Director of Legal Ops, Insurance leader.
“When we adjusted invoices, we had a process for how vendors submit appeals, but now ASCENT® has a more automated way of doing that, so we worked with doeLEGAL to configure it and the resulting process is decidedly better than what we had before. On a scale of 1-5, where 5 is amazing and 1 is terrible, I’d say my experience with doeLEGAL is a 5,” commented the Director of Legal Ops, Global Healthcare leader.
“The great thing with ASCENT® is that there’s no lag and the matter and legal hold are seamlessly integrated. You open a matter and you can immediately do the legal hold with no waiting. One of the great benefits of having ASCENT® in place is that nothing gets paid outside of that system, which improves our control of the invoicing process,” said the Deputy General Counsel, Chemical Manufacturing leader.
Q: What’s the best thing about ASCENT that people might not know about?
A: They might not know that doeLEGAL’s ASCENT® was initially developed to meet the growing needs of a global Fortune 100 company. The legal department sought to gain greater control of where they were spending the Legal budget, which outside vendors were doing a great job for them, how they could automate their processes, and begin to capture everything for later data analysis. The GC initially wanted to analyze historical data, process invoices more effectively, and report to the Board to the positive changes for efficiency and savings. ASCENT was the perfect vehicle to meet all those goals.
The client knew this would significantly impact Legal departments in businesses worldwide and quickly agreed that this could and should be offered to every legal team. As the years progressed, the client’s Legal team has advanced through every update and upgrade. They have been an integral part of the software evolution as a valued source of inspiration; their feedback and suggestions help ASCENT® evolve to meet Legal departments’ rising challenges everywhere.
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Q: What is on your roadmap for ASCENT® this year?
A: The ASCENT® Roadmap for 2021 comes from the collaboration between our team of in-house experts, our support reps, and ASCENT® clients. The priority is determined by how it will help Legal departments provide more value. With Questel acquiring doeLEGAL in December of 2020, the roadmap now includes their established offerings to corporate legal departments and law firms on a broader, global basis. Questel’s leadership in Intellectual Property innovative software and services also adds a wealth of value and experience to doeLEGAL’s existing client base. The breadth of service now available to doeLEGAL prospects will lead to deeper value proposition discussions in future opportunities.
A few notable roadmap items are:
• A new Global Search Tool will increase transparency on all matter data to reduce confusion and decision delays.
• The Diversity Module will address the emerging requirements for legal departments to work with more diverse outside counsel. The module tracks and reports on law firms’ makeup to meet evolving corporate and regulatory obligations.
• Artificial Intelligence (AI) will improve system efficiency using machine learning to expand analytics that provide deeper insights when and where they are needed
• Contract Management to manage the full lifecyle of contracts and NDAs, from creation to execution and renewal.
• A Vendor Portal Dashboard will Single vendor dashboard to view all vendor-associated activities, cases, and submissions (invoices, timekeepers, rates, etc.)
• A System-Wide Report Console will create a centralized view of all system reports for ease of use and navigation
• Questel IP Integration – with the recent acquisition by Questel (leader in IP software and services), we have the opportunity to expand new offerings within IP and integration with ASCENT and doeLEGAL services.
• New Integrations with Google Docs, Gmail and Adobe will improve efficiency by integrating with popular productivity tools beyond MS Office programs