After being named a Value Champion in 2015, VMware did not rest on its laurels. Rather, the Legal department used that momentum to begin the second phase of its transformation journey. Working with longtime partner QuisLex, the team sought to operate at scale and speed by investing in their people, expanding outsourcing and insourcing capabilities to focus on high-value strategic work, and taking technology and data strategy to the next level. With these efforts, the co-Champions increased their impact and delivered impressive results to their clients.
“We needed to scale how we operate to keep up with our rapidly growing company and take the team to the next level,” says General Counsel Amy Fliegelman Olli. “This wasn’t about taking small steps forward. This was about redefining the way we work and elevating our value.”
VMware Legal is a multi-disciplinary team comprised of 213 professionals, of whom 61 percent are lawyers. Spread across 26 countries globally, they support a dynamic $10B+ business.
They knew they needed to prepare their lawyers for a different future. “Businesses don’t have legal problems; they have business challenges with legal dimensions that require creative solutions,” says Aine Lyons, VP, Global Legal Operations. “This means evolving our mindset and building new competencies that will increase our ability to influence business transformation.” To accomplish this, the team developed a customized NextGen Leadership Program that focused on skills development in influencing, collaboration, innovation, smart risk, and judgment. They rolled out technical, business acumen, and mentorship programs to increase team members’ education, exposure, and experience, and created individualized development plans for team members.
VMware Legal also recognized the need to be more agile and innovative to have a positive impact on the business they serve. “In an industry that is in a rapid state of transition, harnessing our collective ingenuity and diverse skills is imperative,” says Olli. Through targeted diversity and inclusion efforts, including measurable action plans, Legal has become the most diverse team at VMware, with equal numbers of men and women and the highest number of underrepresented minorities.
To focus the team on high-value strategic work, the team partnered with QuisLex to conduct a three-month workstream analysis to understand the complexity, strategic importance, and skill level for over 100 transactional work types. These advanced analytics identified work that could be automated, self-serviced to the business, outsourced to QuisLex, or transferred to a newly created internal transactional team. “Our analysis enabled Legal to assess where a workstream should reside to increase value and results,” says Sailaja Meesaraganda, Associate VP of Client Solutions at QuisLex. Legal expanded its outsourcing strategy, and QuisLex now supports 15 workstreams, including commercial, compliance, acquisitions, and legal operations.
VMware outsourced legal ops capabilities to QuisLex, which now supports a broad portfolio of work. The nature of the partnership is crucial to its success, says Ram Vasudevan, CEO of QuisLex. “It’s a strategic relationship, where what we are doing reduces risk and cost as a part of VMware’s long-term scaling plan. We are truly integrated into their overall legal ecosystem.”
Utilizing the data from the workstream analysis, Legal built a business justification that influenced the strategic decision to create a new internal transactional team of contract managers, known as Global Legal Services (GLS). GLS is a state-of-the-art global team that will transform and scale its contracting practices to expand Legal’s reach and support VMware’s growth. “This team serves as the transactional engine for Legal, providing best-in-class contracting support, while driving innovative and scalable process, infrastructure, and tools strategies,” says Jackie Davis, VP, Commercial Legal Group.
VMware took its technology and data analytics strategy to the next level by building several enterprise-wide, self-service portals that target high-volume workstreams and compliance areas, including NDAs, partner transactional support, and business courtesies requests. Annually, approximately 3,000 requests are submitted via the NDA Portal, with Legal now touching only 9 percent of NDAs, and over 1,500 requests are routed for approval through the Business Courtesies Portal. In all, Legal offers 13 self-service portals that are accessible by employees 24/7 from any device.
“As the pace of global regulation continues to rise, we have to be more innovative in the way we think about legal and compliance services,” says Ana Iacovetta, VP, Ethics & Compliance. “Our portals revolutionize the way we empower and engage employees to own their share of the global compliance effort. They are part of our strategy to transform and operationalize embedded controls upfront in our business processes.”