Contracts 365 is powerful contract management software for businesses that use Microsoft 365. Our software leverages the Microsoft architecture and integrates with Microsoft 365 applications such as SharePoint. Because of this, we are frequently presented with the question, “Why leverage SharePoint as part of your contract management software?" Having used many different technologies throughout my career and numerous content management systems, my response is immediate. Contracts 365 uses SharePoint because it provides a world-class platform upon which we can build our product, and it is also one of the most flexible, user-focused, and prevalent products on the market. Here is more detail on the key benefits of using SharePoint as the basis for our contract management software.
1. SharePoint's Large User Base & High Demand
While you may not be well versed in the details of SharePoint, as a member of the business community, you’ve likely used it. SharePoint is present within 80% of Fortune 500 companies and has a user base in the hundreds of millions. It is the most popular Enterprise Content Management System in the world and is one of the fastest-growing Microsoft products in the company’s history. Yes – much to my son’s disbelief – SharePoint is as popular as Xbox!
If SharePoint is already present within your company, there are clear benefits. Training costs will likely be lower and easier to facilitate, and user adoption will likely be higher. Not only does your IT department already know how to support it, but they’ll also appreciate not having to support yet another application or silo of information.
2. SharePoint is a World-Class Platform
As a technologist, however, far more important to me than whether or not people are familiar with or like the technology is the value that the technology delivers. As a development platform, SharePoint possesses unmatched repository functionality, control definitions, language support, security, search, integration, and analytics. As the CTO of a company that develops business-critical applications such as our contract management software, this is vitally important. As we plan our technology roadmap, rather than focusing on infrastructure components that are critical to our software but don’t necessarily delight our buyer or end user, we can focus on solving the challenges of our contract management constituency. There are areas within SharePoint where we need to augment functionality, but our primary focus is on developing the best contract management software solution on the market.
With Microsoft’s R&D budget far eclipsing our own, we can leverage the development efforts as well as the innovation that Microsoft is continuously introducing not only into SharePoint and Microsoft 365 but into its entire product portfolio.
Contracts 365, as well as our customer base, can benefit not only from SharePoint’s out-of-the-box integration but also from the integration that the market provides in terms of “hooking into" SharePoint. Microsoft’s native Business Connectivity Services (BCS) allow external data to be connected to SharePoint with bi-directional updates. For our contract management users, this allows significant efficiencies to be introduced. Information need not be entered multiple times, contract data, including spending, can post directly into a Line of Business (LOB) system, and contracts can be accessed from wherever the user “lives." And, because of its popularity and market prevalence, virtually every major software vendor, including SAP, Oracle, and Salesforce, has worked with Microsoft to deliver varying forms of integration with SharePoint and Microsoft 365.
Finally, Contracts 365 has the added advantage of flexibility in our delivery platform. While functionality differs between versions and is licensed independently, because we leverage SharePoint, we have the ability to deliver our product on-premises, in the cloud or via Microsoft 365. For those organizations with distinct security requirements, we can also provide a hybrid solution for documents or data which need to remain on-premises.
3. SharePoint Offers Flexibility
As an enterprise, cloud-based software company, Contracts 365 strives for product and implementation consistency. This allows us to deliver the best product at the lowest cost with the least ongoing support requirements. While we’ve worked diligently to design the best contract management software in the market, our reality – and that of our client base – is that unique organizational requirements invariably present themselves. By leveraging SharePoint as the development and delivery platform for our product, we can accommodate many unique business needs without the need for custom code. SharePoint’s flexible nature allows us to do through configuration what many other products can only address through custom code.
4. SharePoint Puts Power in the Hands of the User
Traditional document management and contract management software systems are highly dependent on the IT department for day-to-day support and any necessary changes. Support queues, request clarifications, and red tape all contribute to slow and painful change management processes.
With SharePoint, business users and tech-savvy employees can make various changes directly. Support of the system becomes much more expedient and efficient, and the team involved in managing the system has a level of autonomy and ownership that integrates well with the IT-controlled elements of SharePoint.
These are just a few high-level reasons why we chose SharePoint as the basis of our contract management software. We, as well as our clients and prospects, can continuously benefit from the power and flexibility provided by SharePoint and Microsoft 365.
If you’d like more information about this integration, download our whitepaper SharePoint as a Platform for Contract Management.
Or, if you’d like to learn more about our Contract Management Software for businesses that run Microsoft 365, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us or, even better, request a demo, and we can show you how it works in real-time.
Aaron Cutlip provides vision and decades of experience leading Contracts 365's R&D team.