With an estimated 50% of legal work expected to be automated by 2024, now is the time to ensure your chosen IP management system is setting your business up for success.
With legal departments poised to automate 50% of legal work by 2024, it will be the choice of technology that will prove pivotal to realizing the potential efficiency gains, according to research by management consultant Gartner.
To achieve short and long-term business goals, Gartner recommends that legal departments invest in solutions that are capable of integration with other business-wide platforms, such as Office365, and can harness artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, process automation, blockchain, and other emerging technologies. The very real risk for companies that rely on tools from small specialist suppliers or that do not benefit from proactive development or investment is of being left far behind the curve.
Exploring the Future of IP Management Software
In our recent webinar ‘Finally, an IPMS that ushers IP departments into modernity!’, we discussed the implications of emerging technologies for IP departments and their IP management systems (IPMS).
Despite considerable technological advancements, many IP departments still rely on old-fashioned docketing and deadline management systems. Some of these were developed 15-20 years ago or are ‘homegrown’, meaning they are difficult to scale, fall short of modern security requirements, or miss out on even basic automation and efficiency tools, such as APIs, web access, or cloud storage.
Our webinar attendees shared, for example, that they lacked automation in their processes, including even the basic ability to send notifications of any changes made in the system. Reporting was another cited pain point, with many corporate IP leaders frustrated that their IP systems could not be integrated effectively with financial, contractual, or other data. Customization and collaboration were also raised as challenges, with many older systems not flexible enough to be customized or not secure enough (or online) to enable access for external users.
Despite these shortcomings, it can be challenging for IP departments to make the much-needed change to a new IPMS. Often, it’s not the migration itself that is off-putting, but rather the pressure to choose the right technology or supplier, so that this work only needs to be done once.
This challenge has been exacerbated in recent years by pressure from top management to consolidate corporate investment. Once companies buy large document management systems, such as SharePoint, for example, they expect everyone to use them. The same applies to the use of other collaborative and efficiency-gaining tools, including AI.
Move to the Cloud with a Salesforce IP Management Solution
Complex IP portfolios require complex IP management solutions, but those solutions don’t need to exist in isolation from the rest of your corporate technology stack.
Equinox Corporate+ is a Salesforce-powered solution that enables corporate IP departments to navigate IP complexity by enhancing automation, efficiency, and interoperability. It’s built on the cloud to be scalable, accessible, and secure. It’s launched through the Salesforce App Exchange, so you can seamlessly integrate it with third-party applications through open APIs. It’s founded on the world-leading Salesforce platform for the highest level of compliance and security standards, and access to new technologies as tested and validated by users at 150,000 + organizations worldwide. Note, however, that you do not need to have a Salesforce license to use the tool!
Examples of third-party integrations:
As importantly, we designed the system to cover the full lifecycle of IP rights, including filing, translation, renewals, document management, and collaboration with external counsel – and it can be customized to your company’s exact needs.
5 Benefits of Building Equinox Corporate+ on Salesforce
- 1. Automate: Waiting for stakeholder approval to action IP matters is a drain on time and resources. With Equinox Corporate+, you can automate the entire approval process. Pre-set workflows define (and remind) stakeholders, highlight deadlines, and provide access to the context needed to guide decision-making.
- 2. Validate: Manual data entry can result in a surprising number of errors. With Equinox Corporate+, you no longer need to check (and check again) that data or deadlines are correct. The system validates your IP data against the records held by national IP offices to identify inaccuracies or discrepancies for manual or automatic correction.
- 3. Integrate: If your company has made a large investment in a tool, such as Office365, then efficiency, collaboration, and information management are likely to be high on your list of priorities. Through open AIs, Equinox Corporate+ can directly integrate with those systems, so all your records are kept in the same place. You can create email handlers, for example, so any correspondence is automatically populated to the case in question, including the tasks that still need to be completed.
- 4. Collaborate: Managing suppliers can be a time-consuming process, especially if you have law firms or agents around the world. Naturally, you want to ensure there are no discrepancies between the records on their platforms and those on yours. You can instruct your outside counsel or agents to input data directly into Equinox Corporate+ through the external agent portal, including using the portal to send instructions or assign tasks. If your chosen law firm is a user of Equinox Law Firm, Equinox Law Firm+, or any eligible third-party application, you can bridge the gap to eliminate the need for duplicate records altogether.
- 5. Report: Older IPMS platforms have limited or overly complicated reporting capabilities. Lack of integration with financial and document management systems also means that you can only see part of the picture. Equinox Corporate+ provides a more complete picture by aggregating IP reporting with financial, contractual, and other corporate information.
For more information on Equinox Corporate+, contact us for a demo.
Unlocking the Power of Customization with Salesforce IP Management
Another benefit of building Equinox Corporate+ on Salesforce is the ease with which it can be customized. This is a platform that’s used by everyone from R&D to sales and marketing, so the options for customization go far beyond the ability to change the layout.
The right IPMS shouldn’t only make workflows more efficient; it should also provide IP departments with access to the data insights they need to make informed decisions. By choosing an integrated system, you can reduce the administrative workload of sharing documents or processing invoices, customize and automate workflows, improve collaboration with external counsel, and validate data and deadlines directly with global IP offices.
Prepare to succeed by switching to Salesforce-based IP management
We understand that every IP department has unique processes, needs, and preferences, so we follow a three-phase approach to implementation: focus, sprint, and go-live. This ensures that the system is tailored to meet the specific requirements of each organization, with a focus on increased operational efficiency, compliance, and seamless transition.
Our process in a nutshell:
- Focus: Identify the scope and goals of the project from the IP assets under management to workflows, dashboards, internal and external collaborators, and beyond.
- Sprint: Upload data into the system to test mapping, demo layouts, gain user acceptance, and create bespoke solutions to meet any unique needs.
- Go-live: To reach this phase, we must first meet our three project pillars: Have we maximized opportunities for operational efficiency? Is the solution scalable/capable of easy adaptation as your business evolves? Can we ensure a seamless transition to ensure zero impact on your business operations?
For more information on Equinox Corporate+, watch the recording of our webinar ‘Finally, an IPMS that ushers IP departments into modernity!’, download our ‘Six Tips for Modernizing Your Approach to IP Management’, or contact us for a demo.
Eric Moran is Global SME SaaS Director at Questel.