Benjamin Moutte, Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs at Rakuten France, has decided to digitise his legal department in order to control his contractual commitments, streamline the validation process and rationalise access to contracts for operational staff. Today, he looks back on his encounter with Hyperlex and explains how our legaltech enabled the marketplace to reorganise and improve the management of its contracts.
Benjamin, can you introduce yourself and Rakuten?
I am Benjamin Moutte, Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs at Rakuten France.
I joined the company, which was then called PriceMinister, in 2008. Rakuten is one of the world leaders in e-commerce and an innovative group in a multitude of sectors: marketplaces, VoD, mobile, e-books or banking... as reflected in the adoption of an artificial intelligence solution such as Hyperlex.
What is the role of the legal department at Rakuten France?
Our team of four lawyers is responsible for all legal and institutional matters of the company that operates the marketplace in France. This includes litigation, pre-litigation and, of course, contracts, whether they are reviewed, validated or drafted.
We regularly collaborate with many of the companies in our group, but we work with the vast majority of Rakuten France's teams, who call on us directly for their various projects.
What tools did you use before Hyperlex?
The strong growth of the company has led to a very significant increase in the activity of our team, especially in contractual matters. We had to set up various monitoring tools using classic office software such as Excel. The implementation of these tools therefore met a need for monitoring, but in a rather imperfect manner.
Is this what prompted you to look for a more advanced solution like Hyperlex?
Yes, we had reached the limits of the tools in place, which no longer met our expectations or our requirements. In particular, we had the feeling that we did not have adequate control over the life cycle of contracts, which was a real problem, as contracts are a key element of the business. We were therefore looking for more suitable and efficient tools that really corresponded to our needs.
What were these needs?
We are a subsidiary of a listed group. We therefore have major constraints in terms of internal control, quality of service and reliability: it is essential to have visibility on the duration of commitments and the conditions for renewal. It was essential for us to have a simple and reliable system of reminders of due dates in order to avoid, for example, automatic renewals of contracts that were not entirely satisfactory.
And then, when you say contract, you say commitment. We needed global and exhaustive visibility on the content of current contracts: to be able to identify the important information within these contracts, such as exclusivity clauses. So we needed to have both an overall view and the ability to analyse the content of each contract in great detail.
We were also looking to streamline access to contracts by internal teams. Contracts are documents that are intended to be consulted by different people within the company. Requests for access to contracts and their circulation are difficult to reconcile with the need for confidentiality. Hyperlex allows us to ensure optimal control of access to contracts. It is possible for us to set up and ideally control consultations to interested parties. In addition, the system is designed in such a way that it can ensure total continuity of access to contracts in just a few clicks, by transmitting rights to the successor of the authorised person, in the event of departure or change of post, for example. This functionality is a real added value for us, the Legal Department, but also for our internal customers.
We previously used several tools for the different phases of contract management. This was no longer adapted to our constraints or our quality requirements. Hyperlex was the ideal tool to reorganise and significantly improve contract management within our department.
You have chosen to associate Hyperlex and Docusign in your uses, what advantages do you get from this?
Firstly, the compatibility of a contract management solution on the one hand and an electronic signature on the other: the validation processes are simpler and faster. This saves time and productivity, while facilitating internal control, which is very important. The other benefit for the lawyer is that he did not study law to spend his time writing and validating approval forms: this allows him to concentrate on tasks with greater added value.
You met us in 2017, at the beginning, what attracted you to the Hyperlex adventure?
Initially, you came to meet us to better understand the needs and uses of a legal department. We had a very good contact right away and after several meetings, we were able to test a first version.
We had already looked at the contract management solutions market at the time and the biggest obstacle was the prices, which were disproportionate to our needs. With Hyperlex, in addition to an affordable offer, we also had tailor-made solutions. You were able to completely adapt to our needs and respond in an unquestionable manner.
What also made the difference was the relational approach: at Rakuten, we find it very easy to communicate with the Hyperlex team. This is radically different from other companies that have a more impersonal approach, and ultimately far removed from our specific needs. At Hyperlex, we have responsiveness, people who are involved in the exchanges and in the evolution of the solution... a real saving of time and energy for us.
The Hyperlex team offered us an extremely powerful and innovative tool, but also involved us very closely in its design in order to offer us a tailor-made solution adapted to the type of contracts we deal with, to our workflow and to our internal procedures. It is undoubtedly the impressive quality of the product and the interest shown in the client's specific needs that make Hyperlex one of the most remarkable services in French legal technology.
How was the implementation of the solution and how is it going today?
We have been using Hyperlex since the beginning of 2018. An account was created for us, so we were able to test the tool directly, while being accompanied. This human accompaniment is really what makes the difference with Hyperlex, beyond a tailor-made tool.
It therefore took no time at all to get to grips with it. Today the tool is open to 30 users, including 4 lawyers, so a large majority of operational staff, organised in teams on the platform. Hyperlex has made the contract an element accessible to all those who use it on a daily basis, whether they are lawyers or not.
What features do you use?
Deadline reminders, electronic signature, the search engine and the shared directory are mainly used.
The statistical dashboard is also used to quantify the activity and convince decision-makers, for example to justify a recruitment. The figures are the most telling. We have our own KPIs, at least on the contractual part, and visibility on the type of contracts.
What are the main benefits that Hyperlex brings to your daily life?
- The control of the contractual cycle, with the securing of deadlines, is a very sensitive point. This is a real question of responsibility for us and we must be able to rely on the tool that alerts us.
- The control of access to contracts by the different teams.
- Productivity gains thanks to the dematerialisation of validation circuits coupled with Docusign: time and money are saved and you can concentrate on value-added tasks.
Hyperlex in a nutshell for you...
The adoption of Hyperlex as a contract management tool marked an important step for our legal department. Hyperlex has enabled us to streamline and control our contract management, meeting all of our needs. Artificial intelligence combined with an intuitive interface and customised features make it the ideal contract management tool, regardless of the volume and nature of contracts.
Thank you Benjamin!
Learn more about the Rakuten-Hyperlex adventure. 👇