Tele2 is a fast growing major telecommunications operator in the Nordic and Baltic countries, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. With about 300 employees and thousands of transactions a day, Estonian branch has two lawyers to provide legal support.
As a team of two in-house lawyers, Kristi Mets, a Lawyer & DPO and Taivo Kendla, General Counsel at Tele2, have 300+ employees in-house to serve with different kinds of enquiries for documents, advice, hiring and sales. Anyone who has been working as an in-house or seen that job closely, knows that it is really tough. This multifunctional workload, inability to react in an agile and effective way and struggle with time management urged the legal team to find a solution on how to be more structured and work smarter.
The goal was to optimize the process: build a safety net to the organisation, delegate the work to the business units as much as possible in a way that the non-legal teams could trust and succeed themselves. So that lawyers can focus on more critical business needs and proactively mitigate risks.
After the first month of piloting Avokaado, VAS unit (Value-Added Service) was fully independent and ready to close transactions without legal advice based on pre-lawyered automated templates from Avokaado library. The next step was an introduction of automated contracts to other departments: Kristi has gathered all the universal documents there such as NDAs and general terms so that other units could get pre-lawyered documents from the system. NDAs were automated in a way that it could take max 1 hour from drafting to signing. Finance and product teams are next in the roadmap who are going to be digitalised in the same way.
Lawyers at Tele2 succeeded to delegate the contract workflow to the business units by building a controlled safety net for trusting the structure. Having Avokaado in place Kristi got hours of free time per day to re-think the next aspects of her job.
Lawyers of Tele2 were challenged to allocate their time properly between main scopes of responsibilities: compliance, GDPR and corporate documents. Unpredictable business cases and the need to support all the business units with documentation didn’t allow them to follow their work plans and perform in an effective way.
Kristi comments: “We are a very big company: we have different kinds of products, departments and business partners. I had to build up the document from scratch all the time even though a similar document has been prepared for Tele2 earlier. The most annoying part was that I didn’t have proper document templates for that. Most of my time went for collecting comments, input from departments, sending documents onwards and backward for approval. So I think a few years ago, most of my time went just for making documents ready for executing.”
Avokaado advised how to address these issues and helped the team with planning how to start with the automation project. With Avokaado Tele2 legal started with focusing at four main pain points:
- Filling in the database with pre-automated model documents (and clauses) for faster kick-off;
- Automating most critical and heavily used documents first to create the feeling of success across the company and delegate the workflow to different business units to self-serve as soon as possible;
- Ensuring frictionless collaboration on contracts between the legal team and other business units at one platform;
- Giving control to lawyers over contract workflow and critical deadlines.
Tele 2 has an innovation policy that the new project should start showing results already within 2 months. The same went for Avokaado. Kristi Mets is commenting on the results: “With Avokaado you do not have to have huge automation and staff to kick-off as their team is great support and help. I started with the VAS (Value-Added Service) team because I thought this department does a lot of manual work with contracts as we have different kinds of systems to give out contracts to private customers and sell our standard services. There were a lot of old and very long documents that I had to restructure. So Avokaado was a perfect partner to get the feeling of success fast,” explains Kristi.
The first results came already during the first month of the pilot with automating contracts for the VAS team. Kristi emphasizes: “I personally saw the impact in the winter last year because during Christmas we have a lot of requests for donation lines. So the VAS team did all this work in Avokaado last year. That saved a lot of time for all of us.”
Further feedback came from the Finance Director of Tele2 Estonia who has managed to start signing NDAs on the Avokaado platform and send signed documents back straight away. Previously, Tele2 legal team would have been able to draft 2 NDA per hour maximum, so 100 NDA would have taken them around 50 hours. Since Avokaado has been adopted, business units are drafting and signing NDA’s themselves on the platform and it takes around 5 minutes for each. So statistically, 100 NDA-s are drafted within 50 minutes instead of 50 hours of lawyer’s time. Next steps ahead for Tele2 lawyers are product order confirmation automation for the finance and marketing team for general terms.
Kristi notices: “With Avokaado it feels safe and under control now. I really appreciate that I don’t have to send documents onwards and backward for signing. I can track who has seen the document, what are the comments, who have signed. On the other side, I have to mention that Avokaado is more than an assistant to us: if I need templates really fast I can order it from Avokaado and the quality is really good.”
“Our biggest aha moment was the speed of getting things done. We appreciate our resources so we have to use them wisely. We have two in-house lawyers so we have to figure out how to make a process really fast and safe. So the aha moment for everyone is how fast we can deliver with limited resources.”
Bonus: how to kick-off contract automation
Chris Robbins, CEO of telecom company Tele2, adds that once a few internal champions build up first success stories, it is important to encourage them to push a tool internally to the other teams. In this case, whenever some people leave or new hires arrive, the tool is tested and used company-wide so that anyone can pick it up and keep using it.
Avokaado’s founder Mariana Hagstrom comments on that:
“Success isn’t always about a great product but also about people and consistency. Even when you have a fantastic tool, alone it does not achieve anything. It is about changing processes, habits and mindset. This is not easy, of course.”
“We can’t bring success to clients who are not ready to change and when there is no full support from the leaders. We do have step-by-step structured pilot plans and an advisory for the teams but to succeed you still have to follow them. I was extremely happy to work with Tele2. Their trust in the process, commitment to the pilot and feedback was outstanding.”
Kristi Mets is a true internal champion and was piloting Avokaado on the full speed and commitment together with other team members. So we asked her how she found time for this and what motivated her to become an advocate for contract automation:
“I had a personal interest as I am a very strong believer in innovation in law and Avokaado showed me the way that there could be innovation in legal. We don’t have to do things in an old-fashioned way anymore: it’s not technology only but it’s also the speed, delivery and brand alignment. So we don’t have to use Word, we don’t have to exchange things – you just have to dig in once, get to know the system, and everything comes up very easy there. I tested it out in my free time and that time put into testing I got back in much more volumes.”
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