DXC Technology is on a transformation journey, focused on its customers and its colleagues. Named ACC Value Champions in 2018 for their Legal 2.0 operating model, which took managed services to a new level, DXC Legal and co-Champ UnitedLex have integrated transformation into the fabric of the department. The progress in the past year—2020—was “remarkable,” according to Bill Deckelman, Executive Vice President and General Counsel. Advances were made far ahead of expectations, spurred by the urgency of the COVID-19 crisis, and the team also had a chance to show tangible customer benefits.
“We have operated in a constant stream of planning and execution, progressing toward the next level of maturity, for the past four years. But the demands of the crisis enabled us to show our real capability,” says Deckelman. DXC staff and corporate customers around the world were concerned to protect themselves from the potential effects of the pandemic on their businesses. Armed with contracts already digitized and ready, the Legal Department provided 48-hour turnaround, delivering vital data globally to inform the business on force majeure and business continuity provisions for hundreds of customer relationships.
“We see the qualitative value of the legal team in the daily positive results we are experiencing in the business as we execute on our transformation journey,” says Mike Salvino, president and CEO, DXC Technology. “The quantitative metrics we track confirm high value and continuous improvement in critical areas such as proactive portfolio risk assessment.”
Data is essential to business value, collaboration, and team performance within the DXC Legal Department. In addition to the proactive pandemic response, the team undertook several initiatives in 2020 to make leaps in moving up the value chain.
First, they improved performance by rolling out BriefBox globally to produce next-generation data used to drive business decisions. Essentially a smart triage system, BriefBox’s capacity management function enables workload transparency for the Legal Department as well as strategic assignment of higher-value work. An integrated platform, BriefBox houses:
- matter management, business portal, and workflow;
- contract risk assessments, online approvals, and staff capacity indicators;
- dashboards, announcements, and chat; and
- internal and external collaboration tools.
The adoption of BriefBox provided the team with an opportunity to co-design the third-party product. “A single customizable platform for integration of critical legal applications is coming but it’s embryonic, with no common API,” says Paul Lanzone, Senior Vice President at UnitedLex and DXC Legal Global Delivery and Technology Lead. “General Counsels can direct development at this stage and Brief Box is a great example of this.”
Because members of the department had expressed concerns about encountering a lot of new technology in a very short time, Deckelman, Lanzone and the leadership team concentrated on carefully paced change management, with a volunteer group of “Digital Launch Co-Pilots” to give local support. They created cross-training assignments and a group of peer trainers known as BriefBoxers, who act as champions for the system. They also monitored Front Seat, an open BriefBox forum for user groups, for issues and ideas.
With the aim of better allocating resources according to the type and level of contractual risk, DXC Legal made simultaneous data advances, streamlining data collection on transactions and accounts and monitoring data aging with a weekly hygiene report. Deal wins and losses are sent automatically to bid teams and legal managers; and pre-litigation disputes are tracked with data including financial and cause assessments.
The BriefBox platform and higher-quality data also made it possible for DXC to develop an online, digital contract risk assessment (CRA) tool that allows members of the team to track contract risk data in real time. Previously, this work was performed manually by tracking clause positions in Excel. Now, all legal professionals involved in contracts track and manage overall contract risk in the Digital CRA by pre-defined risk category. Users get specific guidance, examples, and can set Favorites in the tool while updating contract risk. “Generating data informative on risk in real time is elusive. It took time to develop processes and training,” says Deckelman. Some advance evaluation was valuable too, says Lanzone. “We thought through what we should care about, and what we shouldn’t.” The use of Digital CRA enables the same work to be done in 40 percent less time, DXC and UnitedLex estimate.
Results of these initiatives include estimated annual cost savings of 41 percent in 2020 on the Legal operating budget, zero percent operation budget forecast variance, and data quality improvement of 70 percent.
For General Counsels considering similar initiatives, Deckelman has this advice: “You must decide if you are serious about transformation and delivering greater value to the business. You must start with a vision to get the necessary investment. As a result of these projects, our costs have declined every year, but our value has skyrocketed.”