Interview: Agiloft appoints Prashant Dubey as chief strategy officer 

Legal IT Insider’s editor Caroline Hill speaks to Prashant Dubey about his strategy going forward and how he sees the evolution of the contract lifecycle management market 

Contract lifecycle management leader Agiloft has appointed technology founder, investor and adviser Prashant Dubey as its new chief strategy officer and research chair for its market research team, Agiloft Insights. 

Dubey founded contract migration and CLM managed services provider Sumati, which was acquired by legal software and services provider Elevate in December 2018. Since then, Dubey has been a VP of contract services and more recently contract solutions at Elevate, as well as VP of disability inclusion, working with general counsel and law firms to advocate for more inclusion of people with disabilities in their organisations. Dubey is also the author of “The Generalist Counsel: How Leading General Counsel Are Shaping Tomorrow’s Companies.” 

Dubey started out his legal tech career at eDiscovery software and services company Fios, but says that he consciously moved to the more willing contract management market, commenting: “After six years, I realised that eDiscovery is an unwilling customer in an unwell market – no-one wants to get sued, so buyers are trying not to transact with you because they are trying to settle, so after that I wanted to do something that is the polar opposite.” 

Contract management came up as an area where GCs continually lamented that they could do more, and Dubey says: “Everyone contracts and wants to contract and generate revenue and buy things. I did my research and set up my company in 2008. Nike was my first customer – I’m in Oregon and they are up the road. And then we got Disney and Google.”  

He adds: “Contract lifecycle allows GCs to get deals done faster and, especially after the market crash in 2008, with regulators focusing on corporate behaviour and a tremendous need to demonstrate compliance, the CLM could show you were doing things properly.” Scroll forward to the current day, and Dubey says that it is exciting that he can be a market maker at Agiloft and help them achieve their “rightful leadership” of the sector.  

While CLM companies are clamouring to gain market share, Gartner’s latest CLM magic quadrant showed that in many cases there are implementation challenges surrounding their software. Dubey says: “That’s partly because a lot of software companies don’t understand the business process of CLM but also because they chase their tail: if a customer asks for something, they build it, and they have a hard time implementing that complex software package without a clear framework. There is a tremendous number of failed implementations and customers often have more than one CLM system.” 

It is also a highly capitalised sector and Dubey told Legal IT Insider: “There are software companies that have raised a lot of money and are under pressure to grow revenue, and sometimes that can come at the expense of the customer.” 

“Agiloft is very capital efficient,” he said. “It is growing fast but it retains 95% of its customers year on year. It took me a year to decide, and it was a very measured decision. At this stage in my career, I wanted to go to a company that adds real value and a company that lasts.” 

Going forward, Dubey says the company will be focusing on giving its customers a platform where they can build what they want within a semi-structured environment. “CLM is like painting by numbers,” he said. “I can give you a beautiful picture of a bird and a colour palette, and you can colour it however you like, but it’s still a bird. Or I can give you a bird and a fox and a horse and you can put it together as you like. Or I give you a blank piece of paper and you do what you want. The first is too structured, the last not structured enough. Agiloft is no-code and you can build what you want, but companies want something in the middle.”

He adds: “We’re at a point now where we have observed the behaviour of customers and my role is to understand and aggregate that knowledge.” 

Dubey says that Agiloft is very focused on helping the procurement function to control costs by providing a single source of truth for contracts. “Not just for search and retrieval,” he observes, “but for business analytics. Contract are full of rich data and you need real-time bidirectional integration with your core systems. We’re focusing on the digitisation and integration of a host of systems, so people can take advantage of this contract data.” 

To learn more about Dubey, click here. For a demo of Agiloft’s CLM solution, click here