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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Why Icertis is valued at $1 billion, and is used by top global firms – Latest News

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Last year, Samir Bodas and Monish Darda’s Icertis, which provides cloud-based software that allows companies to manage all their contracts, was valued at over $1 billion when it raised $115 million in funding from PremjiInvest and others. The Pune-based company’s customers include some of the world’s most storied names – Apple, Airbus, Best Buy, Daimler, Microsoft.

One reason they all use Icertis is that, being on cloud, it is easy to deploy. It can be up and running in weeks, unlike traditional systems that take months. And it’s today natively architected on Microsoft Azure, so it’s secure, scalable and interoperable with all major systems.

Darda, who is also the CTO, says when they started the company in 2009, cloud as a concept was just taking shape. “There were doubts. Executives wondered whether they would lose control over security, whether it would help lower cost. But we decided that if we have to ride a wave, it has to be on cloud,” he says.

Traditionally, contract storage and management was also done inefficiently. Large enterprises have to manage humongous numbers of contracts. These contracts tended to be dispersed across different departments, making it difficult to achieve consistency. This lack of visibility led to increased risks and lower levels of compliance with corporate standards. It was difficult to discover patterns and relationships across large volumes of contracts without painstaking manual review.

Icertis’s platform helps overcome these problems. “We manage the entire RFP (request for proposal) for the clients to ensure they meet the compliance and sourcing norms of every country – whether they are using slave labour, meeting environment friendly production rules, legal recourse,” says Darda.

Contracts across departments are in a centralised repository and there’s great visibility across every contract. AI is used, among other things, to analyse past negotiation history to gain insights for improvement, and to better understand contract relationships and their performance.

Ulrich Ochmann, an executive in Daimler’s procurement division, says of Icertis: “From sourcing to contracting we have gained speed, and it has made us safer. We have our risks transparent, we have our process transparent, and our buyers like the software.”

Today, Icertis is in Gartner’s Leader Quadrant, based on its completeness of vision and ability to execute. The company manages 7.5 million contracts in more than 40 languages across 90 countries. The software has played a key supporting role in the acceleration of Covid treatments and vaccine development as they enable pharma companies to onboard vendors, partners, and trial participants quickly and with confidence that their contracts are properly managing risk.

“Every client has a big team managing certification from suppliers. We use blockchain to ensure that as soon as the client receives a certification, it is put in the blockchain using a tool and then the whole certification process for the supplier can be managed by the manufacturer in one place,” says Darda.

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