Brightleaf Helps BT Automate Contract Abstraction and Obligation

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BT is a world leader in communications services and solutions, serving multi-national companies in more than 170 countries. Managing contract obligations is critical to BT’s business model and, as Paul Branch, Head of Major Contract Management for BT Global Services explains, they had several hurdles.

“ If you can manage and mitigate risks in your contracts, that’s the most important thing you can do to drive predictability into the P&L.”

– Paul Branch, Head of Major Contract Management

Problem Faced by Client

“Having a mechanism that enables us to manage our obligations efficiently is a vital part of our business model,” according to Branch.

“We were working with a legal process outsource (LPO) firm for obligation abstraction and they assembled a team of people to conduct the abstractions. As a result, there were a significant number of inconsistencies and errors in the data, as well as integration issues with the abstraction. This took a lot of time for our legal people to review, correct, and manage.” “We needed to solve our abstraction problem, and that’s when we turned to Brightleaf,” explains Branch.

BT’s management of major contracts is focused on three components that enable P&L predictability, according to Branch. “First, driving incremental and profitable revenue into existing contracts; next, reducing costs and serving the customer more efficiently; and last, but not least important, is the identification, management and mitigation of risk. And this is where we count on Brightleaf Solutions as the first step in that process.”

Solution Provided by Brightleaf

Brightleaf’s abstraction software automates the entire process of extracting important information from BT’s contracts. Brightleaf’s semantic intelligence engine uses computer-based natural language analysis technology to ‘crawl’ through BT’s contracts and create an index of all the key terms, provisions, and obligations. The result is a structured database with all the contract metadata, which is then fed into BT’s contract management system to track obligations and manage risk.

“Brightleaf gives us much more consistency and greater repeatability in our extraction process,” says Branch. “Before Brightleaf, our LPO required a time-consuming, semi-manual effort to perform an abstraction. Because the abstractions are now more automated, they’re not only fast and accurate, but they require a much lower skill set on our end. With Brightleaf, we don’t have to use as many legal resources for error checking and data manipulation than we did previously.”

“The Brightleaf service eliminates the need to deploy teams of lawyers to get the information we need for obligation and risk management.”

– Paul Branch, Head of Major Contract Management 

BT’s global client contracts include a large number of commitments that the customer made to BT, and that BT made to the customer. It is mission-critical to the company to keep a very close eye on all these obligations. “BT is focused on meeting customer commitments,” explains Branch, “and we do that through a laser-like focus on obligations that we’ve mutually agreed upon within our contracts. Tracking, assigning, and overseeing those obligations are at the very heart of what we do.”

“The benefits of working with Brightleaf are significant,” says Branch. “We are definitely seeing a cost savings, and they helped us drive accuracy into our abstraction process. Their ability to meet our changing requirements has been handled exceptionally well and we are very satisfied. We are looking at additional opportunities to apply Natural Language Processing solutions in our business”

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