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Contract Life Cycle Management from an ECM Perspective

As I have researched the Contract Life Cycle Management (CLM) environment, I have been concerned about the lack of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) vendors paying attention to the space.  ECM solutions would be an obvious platform for these solutions.  While the majority of the ECM vendors ignore this, a couple of vendors have addressed this space directly, while partners have brought two others into the CLM space.

CLM Solutions from M-Files and OpenText

Both M-Files and OpenText offer contract solutions ready to go as part of their solutions.  Each offers a solid CLM platform addressing items like contract generation using clauses and templates, notifications on contract expiration, and workflows for negotiations and approvals.  They both offer the ability to track additional obligations with contracts but neither tracks dollar value like many CLM vendors do today.  Being built on an ECM platform, they both offer records retention capabilities with legal holds.

Their biggest difference is M-Files require one platform to support the contract process, while OpenText requires both the content and workflow platforms.  This can cause some challenges when sales teams only know workflow or repository.

CLM Matrix, ConvergePoint, Flatirons Solutions and Gimmal have developed solutions on ECM Platforms

Flatirons Solutions and Gimmal have each built contract solutions on top of EMC Documentum, while CLM Matrix and ConvergePoint have each developed solutions on Microsoft SharePoint. All four are solid contenders in the CLM space.  They offer contract drafting with templates and clauses, workflow for negotiation and both expiration, and complex obligation tracking.  Being built on ECM platforms, all offer records retention along with litigation holds.

Flatirons Solutions goes a little further by tracking contract compliance with rebates and volume pricing.  It’s the only vendor based solutions to do so.  From a platform, Documentum has been supporting upgrades in place.  This is something that Microsoft has promised for years and has yet to deliver upon.  This means for upgrades you’re moving over every contract in a SharePoint solution.  This can be tedious in large repositories.

(While Contract Assistant has developed its solution on Laserfiche, its solution offers only the basic features of CLM by supporting drafting from templates with some workflow expiration tracking, but does not support retention or litigation hold.)


A small portion of the ECM community is putting any focus CLM solutions.  These solutions address requirements like records management, which is a key concept of Information Governance.  This is something that is missing from most CLM solutions.  Unfortunately, none of these CLM solutions, developed with an ECM background, mention their strength of being able to use contracts across the organization, or other information from the organization, from a single repository.  This is a missed opportunity to those of us in the ECM community, but not as much for those in CLM.

It seems that some in the ECM community have both seen the opportunity and recognized the need for information governance.  Unfortunately, they are missing the opportunity to promote those concepts that are key to ECM.  I don’t expect this to be the case for long.

Did I miss an ECM partner that has developed a CLM solution?  Let me know.

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