A GC Chat: A Conversation with Alex Jorgensen, General Counsel at MIM Software

The MIM Software legal team, led by GC Alex Jorgensen began its quest for a contract modernization around 2020, and at first Google Drive seemed like a good way to go. After two years of muddling through this method, Alex was once again looking for a better solution to MIM’s contract management challenges. That’s when Alex heard about Pramata.

A 20-plus-year-old software company isn’t exactly in “startup” mode anymore. But for many digital innovators born in the tech explosion of the early naughts, the scrappy, “get it done” mentality that made them successful in their early days still persists. This can mean managing everyday business operations with homegrown solutions, patched together workarounds, or simply whatever was available and affordable when the company started. 

MIM Software., Inc. was founded in 2003 and has since grown to serve over 3,000 customers with its 40+ software solutions, while employing more than 350 people across four global offices. Even with all that growth, MIM was still managing contracts in a less-than-ideal way, in a contract management system that was being sunset, leaving MIM’s users with no updates or support.  

The legal team, led by GC Alex Jorgensen and her AGC, Anna Choi, began its quest for contract modernization around 2020, and at first Google Drive seemed like a good way to go. In fact, it worked well in a number of ways, though it ultimately created new issues surrounding organization, file naming, access, and security. After two years of muddling through the Google Drive method, Alex was once again looking for a better solution to MIM’s contract management challenges. 

That’s when Alex heard about Pramata. After evaluating her options, Alex was on board and got MIM to invest in Pramata’s  radically simple contract management solution. We caught up with Alex a couple of months post-go-live to learn more about why she chose Pramata, and tips for others in the process of modernizing their own contract management.

Tell us about the history of contract management at MIM Software, Inc.

Alex: We started using Google Drive about three years ago. Before that, we had a source of truth for finished, executed documents but it was no longer serviced. Because that system was so hard to use, and had a limited number of users, team members would save contracts in multiple places. Multiple storage locations were used to ensure nothing got lost, but it was a big pain. 

We had to search several different places after a simple request from a team member for a contract. It was a huge time suck on both sides: having to save documents in multiple places and having to look in different locations, every time, to find what we needed.

What did you do in an attempt to solve your contract management problem?

Alex: We decided to start organizing our contracts in a Google Drive, and it worked well at first. Compared to what we had before, Google Drive seemed great. 

In the Google Drive:

  • I knew that at least everything was there and I didn’t have to look other places
  • We could create our own folder structure and file things appropriately
  • We could name folders and files the way we wanted
  • We could search by a customer number

So, moving to Google Drive was kind of like a reset button for us, a fresh start. Everything moving forward was pretty good because we had a more structured way to organize each contract as it was completed.

But…What about your legacy contracts?

Alex: That was part of the challenge. While Google Drive was working fairly well for new contracts moving forward, it wasn’t so great for organizing our older stuff. It was a really big undertaking to import all of our older contracts into the right place, to make sure everything was uploaded to the correct folder in the drive. 

On top of that, we found Google Drive didn’t meet our needs in a few other areas. Because we’re dealing with sensitive information in our contracts, we only gave Google Drive access to a few people who really needed it. That meant those people had to field requests from everyone else in the company and go on a wild goose chase to find the right document that someone was looking for. 

The biggest challenges we faced after moving to a Google Drive-based contract organization system were: 

  • Not knowing if a contract was the most current version
  • Having to read through every contract version to see if there had been any amendments
  • Confusion because multiple clients have the same names but are entirely separate
  • No ability to search what’s inside all contracts
  • No ability to quickly and easily access the information, like renewal dates and other terms, that’s living the contract, without opening every file

This last point became particularly painful when non-lawyers needed to get information from contracts. People who aren’t lawyers don’t know exactly what they’re looking for and there wasn’t a way we could extract things like renewal dates from the contracts so they could see it at a glance.

What were you looking for in your post-Google Drive contract management world?

Alex: I was looking for a solution that would save time for my team. Frankly, we pay attorneys too much to have them be searching through contracts for answers – for themselves or for other people. And we used to have a full-time paralegal but we lost that position and now split administrative duties part-time with another department. So, something that would save time and allow us to do more with less: that’s what I was looking for. 

On top of that, I was looking for something that didn’t have a heavy front end, which many of the options did, and it made them very expensive. We already have a working system for people to submit requests and for Legal to track them, so I knew I wouldn’t get 250 or 300 people giving up their current way of doing things to use a new system in that way. 

What I needed was a single location for all of our current and historic contracts to live, that allowed them to be organized and easily searchable by everyone in the company. Also, from going through the process of moving everything to Google Drive previously, I knew that we didn’t have time to do the heavy lifting to import the contracts and extract the information as part of the process.

How did Pramata come into play? 

Alex: I first heard of Pramata at the last ACC conference in Las Vegas in 2022. I came across the booth and we started talking, what struck me the most was that Pramata didn’t have the heavy front end that most systems do. I was also impressed by Pramata’s promise to “do it for you.” The idea that we could just give someone everything and they’d handle sorting through it and organizing it was really appealing. 

And was getting up and running really that simple? 

Alex: Don’t get me wrong, we had to spend a good bit of time building our rules out at the beginning. This is because we were coming from a system with no real system. Across our contracts, some had one signature and some had multiple, there wasn’t standardized contract language, things like that. We had to  figure this stuff out and get it right from the start, but the work we did was absolutely much less than we would have done with a different vendor. 

In fact, it was all this upfront collaboration and seeing the type of expertise Pramata has on the team, that really assured me I’d made the right choice. We looked at each possible solution in terms of “total cost of ownership” and it became clear that only Pramata had the technical and legal expertise working behind the scenes to make us successful. 

The Pramata team took the time to understand what we needed and would come back with a solution. I can say there wasn’t much time wasted on either side, and we appreciated that.

Were there any other factors that helped you choose Pramata?

Alex: One of the biggest things I noticed when we were evaluating our options was that Pramata had a lot of updates and new product releases coming out. That was important to us after being on a system for years that had lost all support. We also felt like Pramata’s culture was similar to our own. It’s important for any software company to be able to take customer feedback and implement it. 

So, seeing that we had lots of ways to get in touch with someone at Pramata and that they really had the power to take action on customer input was very encouraging. Not that we’ve really needed to get ahold of anyone, because using Pramata really is that simple. But we know we can if we need to.

Aside from your legal team, who else appreciates what you’re doing with Pramata? 

Alex: Sometimes the broader business likes to think of a contract as something you sign once, put on a shelf, and never touch again. This isn’t true at all.  

Here at a MIM, we have a business development department whose contracts tend to be the most complicated and the ones we revisit the most. There are lots of statements of work and a lot of work done post-contract. They have reached out to tell me how happy they are to be able to get what they need from their contracts, without having to bug legal. Market directors have also reached out to me about the usefulness of being able to run certain reports in certain departments. 

The bottom line is, MIM is small enough that improving the contract storage and management functionality has impacted every function. Managing our contracts isn’t just for the sake of the legal team and my sanity. Having this kind of consistency, and the ability to search through the details of every contract we’ve ever done, benefits everyone. Helping key metrics like sales velocity and customer retention. 

Now that you’ve been in Pramata for a few months, what kind of use-cases can you see it providing for MIM, or for anyone really? 

Alex: There’s so much potential! We could expand to using it for vendor contracts and procurement, which would help us find cost-savings and efficiencies in our current vendor spend. 

For any organization in the market for a CLM. I’d say the number of ways you can use the Pramata platform and the benefits you’ll get are robust. 

When things happen in the world, they happen fast. And companies want to be able to respond immediately. Being able to search all your contracts and locate any that include certain terms, geographic locations, things like that, can help you quickly assess your potential liability, especially during a crisis.  

One of the biggest benefits is just that I can sleep better at night—knowing I’ve got a firm grasp on our contracts. That I can easily locate what I need when I need it, find historic trends, and ultimately reduce our risk as a company on several levels. 

To see Pramata’s radically simple contract management solution, sign up for a quick demo today. And learn more about how we take care of the heavy lifting, to help solo GC’s and lean legal departments do more with less.

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