Document automation. Three is the magic number.

Document automation in legal has been a thing since the 1990’s and it continues to grow.  

There are many technology vendors that either just do document automation or incorporate the capability as part of a wider feature set. This rise in vendors and strategic acquisitions has made it a very challenging for buyers because of the increase in choice and solution fit assessment required. There are often times whereby firms license more than one offering depending on the use case as seen in the Legal IT Insider Top 200. 

Law firms typically focus on solving the problems that address gaps in the delivery of the practice of law. This means that there is often an expectation surrounding a technology’s ability to deliver a degree of maturity and complexity. Often this level of complexity and maturity requires full time internal support and dedicated skilled teams. But of course document automation can be applied across the entire business.

Here at Autologyx, document automation is not new, it’s been a core part of our offering since we started. Nor is it an add-on or premium module, it is embedded as a core part of our technology offering and narrative.  Simply put, we think the generation of a document is more valuable as an output of a wider workflow and encourage our customers to think the same way.

The Autologyx Catalyst workflow automation engine allows you to design playbooks and orchestrate many different work types, both operational and as part of the practice of law. The generation of a document is just one output and could come at any stage of a process. We focus on providing software that allows our clients to design workflows which could include the generation of a document or multiple documents automatically, at any point in time, based on an action in the system and then allow the automatic workflow to do something else with them, for example send to Docusign. 

In order to scale workflow automation solutions, you need to design them around structured data, something that is also essential for document automation. Our configuration and designer tools allow the creation of flexible relational data models and link document templates to them. We allow the template to contain variables from within the relationship, not just the immediate linked data table. This allows us to solve for all sorts of mature business document automation use cases.  

However, we understand that not all work types or teams are ready for end to end workflows, sometimes you just need a document. This is why we have taken the approach to deliver our Document Automation feature set in three ways. 

1. Manual: Form based 

 The template is created, linked to the data model using our native Word plug-in and a call to action or link is presented to the end user in either an Autologyx landing page or embedded in an internal system. Once the form is accessed and completed, a new record will be created in the system, forming an important audit, and it will also produce the document and share it with the user requesting it.  

2. Manual: In context

Once the template configuration is complete and linked to the data model, the templates will then be made available in the context of any record associated. Meaning approved and audited templates of any kind (such as a due diligence report, a claims update or a form of customer communication, for example) can be generated manually using the data already captured in the system from our Document tool bar available in the record.

3. Automated: Embed in a workflow 

Design your end to end workflow and playbooks to include document automation. Creating a workflow solution will improve efficiency, accuracy, compliance, collaboration, and overall productivity. It enables businesses and legal professionals to save time, reduce costs, and mitigate risks associated with contract management.  

Same underlying technology. Adapting to different maturity levels, different ways of working, different approaches and different use cases. 

We believe that tightly embedding document automation use cases as part of a broader workflow and playbooks is exactly where law firms are heading. Don’t think of document automation as a manual standalone activity, embed it into your matter or contract management lifecycles with fully integrated, live matter data from processes built on the Catalyst platform.