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VMware is the global leader in cloud infrastructure and business mobility and a member of the Dell Technologies family of businesses. With VMware solutions, organizations are improving business agility by modernizing data centers, driving innovation with modern data and apps, creating exceptional mobile experiences, and safeguarding customer trust with a defense-in-depth approach to cybersecurity.

The legal department at VMware includes 166 people in 25 cities across 16 countries, led by Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Aine Lyons. For the last five years, Ms. Lyons has taken on the challenge of driving operational excellence as the head of legal operations.

 


 

One of Ms. Lyons’ first initiatives at VMware was searching for technologies that could automate some of their current data capture processes.

 

“The return on investment from CounselLink has been really impressive.”

 

At the top of their needs list was a way to uncover the data that would help them better collaborate and negotiate with their law firms.

“There was nothing we could draw from our standard ERP system that would help us have more data-driven discussion with our law firms, nothing that would help us figure out how we should staff our matters to be more efficient.”

 

“Our mission is to be fearless legal innovators and to transform the way that we deliver services to our clients and to drive business success.”

 

They also struggled with knowing for sure whether outside vendors were actually complying with the discounts and alternative fee arrangements VMware had negotiated with them.

“Other than going through paper invoices and working through volumes of data manually, we didn’t have the ability to access that type of metrics or data.”

Ms. Lyons and her team embarked on a very detailed RFP process, evaluating many vendors across the market to uncover the right e-billing and legal management tool.

 

“The reason we selected CounselLink was how easy the user interface was to use.”

 


 

According to Ms. Lyons, it was a clear choice from an operations perspective.

“We really liked the fact that CounselLink had very detailed metric capabilities and dashboarding,” she said. “Additionally, it has the insight tool that allows us to benchmark rates across the US, in different states and with different law firms. We can seamlessly use CounselLink tools for both benchmarking and reporting and metrics.”

Being a global company, the legal team had to address implementation on an international basis. Although they knew such a rollout would present more challenges, it was yet another reason for choosing CounselLink as their ELM solution.

“The real value of having all of your global vendor and law firm data in one tool is all the metrics,” says Ms. Lyons, “not to mention the reporting that you can do to help manage your spend globally.”

One advantage with CounselLink is that it offers support for paper invoices submitted by international and domestic law firms. The CounselLink services team processes and electronically uploads the paper invoices into the application. All the charges, down to the line item detail, are then available for VMware to view within CounselLink. That means VMware gets a granular view into individual charges, along with the ability to report, track and benchmark their total spend.

The customer service team is also available 24/7 to help CounselLink law firms with their questions, including how to submit invoices, whether LEDES or paper, resulting in faster payment and more efficient processes.

 

“The reason we selected CounselLink was how easy the user interface was to use.”

 


 

Ms. Lyons can tick off a long list of monetary advantages they’ve gained from CounselLink.

“There’s been a return in terms of the oversight that we now have on the compliance side,” she said. “There’s the ability to have those really targeted negotiations with our law firms to manage spend.”

“We’ve had savings from our discounting, from the rate freezes we’ve imposed, our staffing efficiency initiatives. There’s also the hard cost savings from having the e-billing tool mark down invoices in compliance with our billing guidelines.”

“All of those returns have amounted to, in 2015, over $4 million in savings for us.”

But according to Ms. Lyons, the continued benefit CounselLink has provided is the value the VMware legal department has been able to demonstrate to their management team and across the enterprise. “For the broader company, I think we’ve built our reputation as being very fiscally-responsible,” she said.

“Our CFO was a real champion for our implementation of this system. We have been able to demonstrate that we can manage our spend like any other business function, and that we now have business intelligence metrics.”

 

“I would recommend CounselLink to my peers. In fact, I do, on a regular basis.”

 


 

“Our global sourcing teams are also very happy. They actually use CounselLink too, as do our finance business partners.”

As you might have surmised, Ms. Lyons is very happy with how her company has benefited from CounselLink.

“It has a lot of capabilities,” she said. “It’s not just e-billing. They’ve got matter management. They have really good metrics and reporting.”

“I think the culture of CounselLink and the team at LexisNexis are really professional in how they help you execute projects. They enable you to be successful in what are sometimes challenging implementations.”

Ms. Lyons and her team know first-hand how the changes required to make technology implementations successful in a legal department can be a challenge. That’s why she believes in CounselLink.

“Our relationship with CounseLink has been very strong, and that’s what’s ultimately made this a successful partnership for us.”

 


 

Client Snapshot

CUSTOMER PROFILE:
VMware is the global leader in cloud infrastructure and business mobility and a member of the Dell Technologies family of businesses. With VMware solutions, organizations are improving business agility by modernizing data centers, driving innovation with modern data and apps, creating exceptional mobile experiences, and safeguarding customer trust with a defense-in-depth approach to cybersecurity.

BUSINESS SITUATION:
A global and diverse team, the legal department at VMware is comprised of 166 people in 25 cities across 16 countries. To achieve continued success as fearless legal innovators, the team knew the data collection from their limited ERP system would not offer the detailed insights to meet their needs. They wanted an ELM solution that could provide access to the metrics they needed to drive strategic spend decisions and help “transform the way that we deliver services to our clients and to drive their business success”.

SOLUTION:
After undergoing an extensive search for an enterprise legal management (ELM) tool with specific focus on legal spend management and analytics, VMware chose CounselLink. “The differentiating factors for VMware’s choice of CounselLink as their ELM solution were its analytics and reporting tools, ease of usability, and all the services that addressed an international roll-out.”

PRODUCT SUMMARY:
The CounselLink solution is an Enterprise Legal Management solution suite for legal spend management, matter management, legal hold, analytics, and strategic consulting services. The solution has earned an industry reputation for enabling corporate law departments to use data effectively as a basis for improving legal department performance and outcomes.