Salesforce Partner Conga Turns to AI/ ML For Smart End-to-End Documents & Contract Management

Conga, a Salesforce ISV partner, is turning to a wide combination of AI-related technologies to deliver a set of seamless integrated products to make document and contract management smarter and more efficient. To drive automation and efficiencies, Conga is also tapping RPA and NLP.

Tags: AI, Cogna, document management, integration, workflow,


Conga, a provider of productivity software, is turning to a wide combination of AI-related technologies to deliver a set of seamless integrated products to make document and contract management smarter and more efficient.


Conga, an ISV partner with CRM giant, rolled out its Conga Digital Transformation Suite during last month’s DreamForce conference.


“Where document generation, CLM, eSignature, and other components of a business document process once had to be cobbled together from several vendor solutions, Conga now offers a simple, easily integrated end-to-end solution,” said Conga CEO Matthew Schiltz. Conga Digital Transformation Suite’s set of integrated products aim to create more efficient, effective and compliant workflows, he added, with a specific aim to “drive the end-to-end digital transformation of a company’s documents and contracts,” Schiltz added.


In addition to AI / ML, Conga’s solution also leverages RPA (robotic process automation) and NLP (natural language processing) technologies.

The result:


Bringing AI into the mix of tools and methodologies for managing documents (particularly contracts) Conga says companies can:

  • Automate many time-consuming tedious tasks,
  • Close and execute on contracts faster and with more reliability
  • Accurate integrate contract data and information into existing business-critical apps (such as Salesforce)
  • Gain quicker and deeper visibility across silos (business, operations and legal) and
  • reduce risk of exposure to non-compliance issues.


Conga's premise of an 'end-to-end integrated suite' is a key aspect of the launch, according to a company whitepaper, , “Documents Make Digital Transformation a Reality”, takes this big picture conclusion: "Documents are the connective tissue of a business. But disconnected documents leave a gaping hole in the middle of every digital transformation."


In part, Conga makes this case for how AI/ML is key enabler for next-gen documents and contract management:

"While documents have been digital for decades, they still remain largely disconnected. This is cause for concern, since documents connect companies to every employee, partner, supplier, and customer in their ecosystem. Documents need to be routed for approvals, reviews, and signatures.


Documents need to use legal language to establish responsibilities of parties involved. Documents define pricing, profits, workloads, production schedules, and more. Documents follow every dollar from a customer, through your company, along the product delivery, and even into an employee’s pocket and a vendor’s bank account.


This is a challenge that can be solved easily with technology available today.

Conga: AI-Powered ‘Connectedness’ Powers Document-Driven Digital Transformation

According to Conga, digital transformation of documents occurs in three discrete phases, which should be connected end-to-end:


Discover: Finding and leveraging existing documents.
This step is not simply the tracking and storage of the whole document, according to Conga. It needs to also include the discovery of the parties, the terms, the data, and the outcomes related to the existing documents. That information then provides insights to improve outcomes for future document.


Modernize: Updating how new documents are created and negotiated.
This phase should focus on transforming how new documents are created, negotiated, and approved. This enables companies to begin streamlining and automating processes, rightsizing workflows, and digitizing signatures. It also enables connectivity between documents and systems of record, which dramatically reduces workloads by automatically populating data and eliminating the need for downstream approvals.


Analyze: Exploring document contents and processes to optimize business growth.
This last phrase considers the benefits once documents are effectively managed, connected, once new levels of intelligence in brought in. In fact, adding intelligence and integration to documents (and the document process) are keys to adding new levels of value.


In specific, Conga notes the ability to connect documents, processes and components to any desired business outcome is infinitely easier. Document intelligence, and its critical integration to current systems of record, enables the insights that can impact outcomes for service, operations, support, finance, human resources, procurement, and so many more aspects of business. Those earliest documents that define every downstream part of a relationship — proposals, contracts, service level agreements, non-disclosures, etc. — can now be analyzed and connected to every business outcome.


AI and related technologies enable this “connectedness” among documents (and the people who use them), according to Conga’s vice president of product management Doug Rybacki.


“We use bits of data to intelligently create contracts. Conga Composer ‘composes’ documents and contracts through data stored in Salesforce. Now, we ‘decompose’ contracts as well as ‘compose’ them – bringing data back into the core system of record. We can use the data to analyze the business from a contract management perspective. We’re continuing to dig deeper in this as it has many applications across companies of all sizes.”


Put all these technologies together, and Conga aims to deliver these customer benefits for a document-centric digital transformation project:


Saves time by automating common and manual contract and proposal processes;
Provides immediate visibility—most because the data and information is no longer opaque or hidden in data silos or disorderly document stores;


Provides consistent compliance through the ability to uniformly apply contracts and language reducing the risks and liabilities.


This launch of the integrated suite also follows a host of Conga acquisitions, including Octiv, Orchestrate and Counselytics, a contract discovery and intelligence company, earlier this year.


Jason Gabbard, former CEO at Counselytics, now serves as Conga’s Head of AI Strategy.


Speaking about the importance of AI/ML to document-centric digital transformation Gabbard  wrote in a recent blog:

We’re nowhere close to general AI. Nobody has a system that can seamlessly take all your third-party paper and pass it into Salesforce with complete accuracy and no human intervention. Nobody.


Someday those machines are going to march, but right now it takes a helluva lot of work to make them crawl.   Don’t simply buy the AI add-on without digging into it. You really need to work with trusted vendors when approaching AI.

A recent 451 Research survey found that roughly 80% of organizations are in the process of actively digitizing their business processes.