Conga adds Artificial Intelligence engine to digital contract management suite

The new capability comes from Conga’s acquisition a year ago of Counselytics, and gives Conga’s software new machine learning capabilities. Their primary channel play is through Salesforce and their partners.

Conga AI Analyze main screen

Colorado-based Conga has added a new offering to the Conga Suite with the release of Conga AI Analyze, a new machine learning capability that deepens the software’s ability to read and analyze digital contracts. The announcement was made this morning at Conga’s annual Conga Connect event in New York City.

Conga plays in the part of the business process automation space around contract management, which is largely – but not entirely – focused on analysis of legal documents. Clients can analyze their contracts to identify and act on key information while eliminating time-intensive manual tasks.

“We’ve all gotten really good at creating digital content, but the amount of it is increasing so quickly that it becomes really hard to keep track of,” said Jason Gabbard, Head of AI at Conga. “You need a good solution to keep track of what’s in those documents, or you are at a competitive disadvantage.”

Conga’s solution provides that granularity for customers who want to be able to quickly identify key data points in a contract.

“We touch the document lifecycle from the beginning to very end, Gabbard said. “Eight out of ten times. It is material related to legal agreements. We have a content creation tool that uses Robotic Process Automation. It shows you changes over time, what people look at, where they spend time. We have intelligent contract negotiations with a digital signature capability.

“Large organizations like Coca-Cola don’t care about clauses, but about key dates and key dollars,” Gabbard added. “For that, you need a deeper level of analysis, which goes beyond clauses to key data points. We are at the forefront of extracting key data points from contracts.”

The market for this is fairly broad – companies who have around 250 people up who sign longer term contracts.

“We do serve companies with 50 employees up, but in the 50-250 space we don’t see a lot of action,” Gabbard said. “It’s mainly 250 and above.”

Interestingly, legal firms are not a significant client base.

“They care about creating the documents, but they aren’t stuck with them once a deal closes,” Gabbard indicated.

The sector itself is worth several billion dollars a year, and is growing about 20 per cent year over year.

“It’s not the biggest enterprise software market, but it is significant and there are about five companies that are solid competitors,” Gabbard said. These include Icertis, which is built on Microsoft, Aftis and Spring.

“There is a lot of consolidation happening in the space,” Gabbard noted. “Most of the big ecosystem players like Microsoft have realized that they need a tool for contracts.” Conga has placed a big bet itself with Salesforce. They are a Salesforce Platinum ISV Partner, and have the highest volume downloaded paid app on the entire AppExchange.

Conga has around 160 direct sales people and the lion’s share of their business is direct, but they do have a channel and the AppExchange and Salesforce consultants and partners are a significant part of that.

The new capability being announced, Conga AI Analyze, comes through Conga’s acquisition last year of Counselytics, a company that Gabbard founded, and led as CEO. Its core strength is identifying and classifying structured data elements within the unstructured data within contracts to create a faster and more accurate contract review process.

“From the perspective of the customer, this will be a complete net-new capability,” Gabbard said. “The AI capability here is used for analyzing contracts and getting contracts and data points into contract management systems quickly. This is something that Conga had been looking at doing themselves internally, but they were not market ready, so they made the acquisition.”

Conga AI Analyze is, however, substantially changed and improved from the original product.

“We basically rebuilt everything,” Gabbard said. “It now has additional features like Blueprint Designer, which allows you to create heuristics and embed it in the blueprint.”

Conga AI Analyze is now sold separately within the Conga Suite, which also includes Conga Composer, Conga Collaborate, Conga Contracts, Conga Grid, Conga Sign, and Conga Orchestrate.