How AppDynamics Achieved 100% Sales Compliance with Digital Contracting

With Ironclad, AppDynamics attained 100% sales compliance in its $3.7 billion acquisition by Cisco.

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We used Ironclad to ensure that compliance would be baked into our contracting processes.

Suzanne Sykes, Associate Director of Channel Compliance, AppDynamics

AppDynamics is the No. 1 fastest-growing application performance management (APM) solution, supporting hundreds of large enterprises across financial services, retail, transportation and more. By working with Ironclad, AppDynamics has been able to accelerate contracting, bake 100% compliance into its sales processes, and use data to demonstrate the team’s progress over time—all with the legal resources it already has.

Global company, small and mighty legal team

The relatively small size of the AppDynamics legal team (12 lawyers for 2,000 employees) makes it crucial that the team leverage technology and well-defined processes to maximize the amount of tasks it is able to handle.

Suzanne Sykes, Associate Director of Channel Compliance at AppDynamics, says that the company’s Legal team decided to automate common contract workflows, or processes, several years ago. The Legal team had four goals for their contracting solution:

  1. Speed – Legal wanted to speed up contracting processes, especially for high-volume, low-risk contracts.
  2. Empowerment – Legal wanted to empower teams across the business to kick off the contracting process on their own, within the tools they already used (e.g., Salesforce).
  3. Visibility – Legal wanted to provide business counterparts and executive leadership with visibility into contract metrics (e.g., average time to contract completion).
  4. Reporting – Legal wanted to be able to use automated, regular reports to demonstrate the value the team brought to the company.

The Ironclad self-service solution

Before implementing Ironclad, it had been Legal’s job to review, correct, and follow up on incomplete contracts. Back-and-forth between Legal and its business counterparts happened over email and could add weeks to contracting processing times. The contracting process also needed more robust programmatic safeguards. There was no way to easily verify that existing contracts contained all required compliance information.

Ironclad’s Legal Engineers worked with AppDynamics to create a self-service contract generation capability that also included compliance guardrails. That meant that business units like AppDynamics internal Channel Sales (e.g., Value Added Resellers) could only request contracts if they entered all required contract and compliance-related information in Salesforce beforehand.

We have very few users who had any difficulty accessing with Ironclad. It was as easy as logging in to Salesforce.

Janice LeBon, Legal Operations Lead, AppDynamics

Implementing Ironclad helped AppDynamics achieve the four goals it set out to accomplish:

1. Ironclad helped AppDynamics fast-track contracts by automating contract generation, contract-related data collection, and approval routing. That meant less administrative work for Legal and faster processing times for business counterparts.

2. Ironclad empowered the AppDynamics Channel Sales and Legal teams by enabling them to generate new contracts from within Salesforce, provided they had entered all relevant compliance information in the Salesforce record. Those compliance guardrails gave Legal peace of mind — contracts could only be kicked off through Ironclad if requesters inputted all required compliance information.

3. Ironclad brought visibility into the contracting process by providing a central view of contract status, what the bottlenecks in the contracting process were, and other contract-related process information.

4. Ironclad enabled reporting at AppDynamics by standardizing reports and providing a one-click report generation capability for Suzanne and others on her team.

Prepared for anything

Today, Ironclad enables Legal to think about what’s coming next, rather than worrying about what’s slipped through the cracks. Says Suzanne: “Less time spent on contract review and tracking means more time spent on strategic thinking. More sophisticated partner business deals, different licensing models, incentive mechanisms and more.”

Legal demonstrated its operational flexibility two years ago when the company was acquired by Cisco for $3.7 billion. One new compliance responsibility that came with the acquisition was the process for executing Channel Partner Agreements, and other contractual documents that AppDynamics signed with resellers around the world. Following the acquisition, each Value Added Reseller would have to be matched to certain information previously provided to Cisco (e.g., Cisco ID number, verification of address) when executing an AppDynamics Partner Agreement.

Ironclad’s rules-based contracting workflows helped AppDynamics ensure programmatic (i.e., 100%) compliance with Cisco’s requirement, as partners could only request contracts if they supplied all required information in Salesforce beforehand.

In a pre-Ironclad world, Suzanne says, “it would have been difficult to comply with Cisco’s requirements in a timely fashion.” Suzanne added, “we look forward to continuing to roll-out new documents and templates in Ironclad for other internal business teams in FY 2020.”

It would have been difficult to comply with Cisco’s requirements in a timely fashion. We look forward to continuing to roll-out new documents and templates in Ironclad.

Suzanne Sykes, Associate Director of Channel Compliance, AppDynamics

Final takeaways

  • Legal teams with relatively low headcount can use technology and well-designed processes to augment their capacity and mitigate business risks. By implementing Ironclad, for example, AppDynamics was able to simultaneously speed up contracting and ensure that 100% of its new Reseller agreements were in compliance with internal policies.
  • Having a robust technology infrastructure allows legal teams to address unforeseen challenges in a timely manner, utilizing existing internal resources. When AppDynamics was acquired by Cisco, it was able to use Ironclad—a software platform it had already implemented—to quickly implement new changes in its Reseller policies.
  • The ability to track and manage contracts from a central platform helps legal teams track overall progress on contract completion and demonstrate value to the rest of the company. At AppDynamics, increased visibility into the contracting process has been a huge value-add for both Legal and company leadership.
  • 100% Compliance
  • $3.7 Billion Acquisition
  • 1,900+ Clients Served

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