Contracts Software Update

diCarta touts upgrade's greater ease of use, better integration

San Francisco, CA  October 30, 2001  diCarta today launched version 2.0 of its contracts management software, which the solution provider says is easier to use and better integrated with other enterprise applications.

Contracts Release 2.0 includes new features designed to enhance ease-of-use, including what diCarta says is a more intuitive user interface, as well as eXtensible Markup Language (XML)-based integration with downstream contracting processes. Contract management business processes are now supported down to the individual contract line item level.

The application is built around a central contract repository, called Contract Manager, which allows for centralized contract management across an enterprise. The new release includes such features as contract import and terms sheet management.

diCarta has incorporated collaborative contract authoring, content searches across attachments and expanded business term maintenance capabilities into the Contract Negotiator component, while the Revenue Manager component now supports residual method recognition, along with enhanced integration with general ledger and accounts receivable systems.

The Renewal Manager component can generate automatic renewal generation and provides for contract co-termination and rules-based quote routing and notifications.

Bud Bivin, an analyst with technology consultancy Gartner, said that the rise of e-commerce has changed the nature of business relationships, and using manual processes to generate, manage and execute the contracts that define those relationships can be difficult. "Enterprises with growing contracts portfolios will find that applications like diCarta Contracts are a necessary addition to enterprise business strategy," Bivin said.

For example, the National Association of Purchasing Management (NAPM) has reported that the average Fortune 1000 company has between 20,000 and 40,000 suppliers. Meanwhile, estimates are that about 80 percent of B2B purchases involve some sort of contract, which means that all those supplier relationships are generating a tremendous amount of paper for companies to manage.

All that paper, in turn, makes for a significant market for contract-management solutions. Goldman Sachs has estimated that the market for contract management software could reach $3.1 billion by 2005, while Credit Suisse First Boston's technology group has pegged the market at $3 billion to $5 billion by 2006.

In an interview earlier this year, Scott Martin, president and CEO of diCarta, pointed to three areas where contract-management software could provide a return on investment: efficiency gain or hard-dollar cost-savings through improvements in the business process of managing contracts; soft-dollar cost savings from business improvements, where the use of these solutions allows fewer staff to handle more contracts; and risk management, with the software allowing companies to measure how much financial and legal risk they are taking on in an individual contract (for example, from warrantees and indemnification) and what their total exposure is across all their contracts.

diCarta expects general availability of diCarta Contracts 2.0 on November 30 for both the hosted and installed operating environments.