How Uplight Ripped and Replaced Their Legacy CLM in Under a Month

indoor photo of the uplight front desk

I love that I can focus on the more impactful facets of my job, but I can still jump into Ironclad if there’s an occasional tweak. I spend less time thinking about our CLM and more time thinking about how to support our teams and Uplight’s growth.

Grace Unger, Vendor Relationship Manager, Uplight

Uplight’s legal team could tell that at some point they would need to make a CLM switch. Day-by-day, it became more clear that their current contract lifecycle management resource wasn’t a match for how the company needed to scale. The feeling had been building, but once the team made a decision to switch, it had to happen fast.

Grace Unger, the Vendor Relationship Manager at Uplight, recalled the ripple effect of such frustration felt by the other Uplight users. She added, “It felt like forcing our internal stakeholders to use a tool that wasn’t compatible with our goals.”

Uplight is a mid-sized clean energy software company with a small legal team who works with all facets of the company, including sales, finance, product, and engineering teams.


As the renewal date for their previous CLM loomed, the team knew they needed a tool that would allow Uplight to leverage a lean legal team to support the organization’s growth goals in a scalable way. Grace Unger, with Jess Wagner, Corporate Counsel, and Katie Kearns, Contracts Manager, led the charge for the new CLM search and were instrumental in its speedy implementation.

Here’s the story of how Uplight quickly transformed legal operations from a company-wide pain point to a worthy investment.

Time for a change

The Uplight team had high hopes for their previous CLM and its ability to help with complicated workflows and automate work for their team. As the company started to scale and mature its processes, it became clear that they needed a system that worked differently.

Our previous CLM experience was a year of trying to fit an implementation into a process that wasn’t a match. As a result, none of us felt like we ever left the implementation stage. Instead of being able to use the CLM as a lever for progress, the legal team ended up spending too much time walking every person through every request.

Instead of working on high-impact legal tasks, the Uplight team ended up spending a significant amount of time jumping down into modifying how the components worked.

Something had to change.

After two years of that, we knew we needed something that would further improve our contracting efficiency and provide more granular business insights to make decisions with.

Why Uplight chose Ironclad

The Uplight team started their CLM search with 15 contenders. Here’s why they chose Ironclad.

Live demo with sandbox mode

One key feature influencing the team’s decision was the ability to see each contender’s sales pitch in action. Unfortunately, that feature turned out to be rarer than they expected—out of the final contenders, only Ironclad offered a live demo with a sandbox mode that the team could try hands-on with very little design work.

One of the biggest things for me was looking under the hood. When Ironclad said they had AI, we wanted to see that the tool functioned in a workable way and not just get the sales pitch.

Jess Wagner, Corporate Counsel, Uplight

AI capabilities

The Uplight legal team is excited about AI’s potential, so it was a must-have in their CLM search. If a company didn’t have AI capabilities, they were out of the running. They were impressed with Ironclad’s AI and also appreciated Ironclad’s upfront education about current AI capabilities instead of being fed false promises.

It’s not possible to upload 4,000 contracts and review them, so an AI component is essential. Before we understood current AI capabilities, we had certain ideas and goals. Where we landed with Ironclad makes these goals possible, and they’ve helped us understand where the AI space is right now.

Intuitive design and usability

Usability was critical for the Uplight team. Jess was impressed with Ironclad’s user interface, commenting that “Ironclad is so easy to understand. Anyone can figure out how it works. The Workflow Designer and how you grant permissions is night and day from our previous CLM. ”

Money-saving integrations

Ironclad’s integrations help Uplight effectively collaborate and spend its budget wisely. The sales team uses the Salesforce integration, and the legal team leverages the Google Drive integration to manage the number of Ironclad seats. By linking with Google Drive,” Jess shared, “we can save a little bit of money because not everyone needs access to Ironclad directly. So the fact that Ironclad automatically sends contracts to Google Drive means that people who only need to look at a couple of contracts here and there can access them in Drive rather than having to navigate Ironclad themselves.”


As Uplight grows and evolves, the legal team is still working through formal legal workflows for all areas of the business. As a result, they chose Ironclad because it’s flexible to their needs. Our processes still need tweaking,” shared Grace, and they “still have a lot of work to do in terms of having a formalized workflow on certain criteria, so it’s critical to loop in approvers ad-hoc, and Ironclad did that the best.”

Partnership and support

The group felt supported by Ironclad from day one. “The platform speaks for itself, but everyone we’ve worked with at Ironclad has been so easy to partner with. It’s one of the reasons we went with Ironclad over others. The tool is great, but the team absolutely makes it better, “ Jess noted.

How Uplight implemented their new CLM in under a month

Once Uplight decided to migrate to Ironclad, the clock was on to leave their previous CLM in time. The team had less than a month to move contracts, set up workflows, and reduce interruption in the 500+ employee company.

The Uplight team chose Ironclad in part because of how easy it is to use. Still, they wanted help to establish a solid CLM foundation quickly. So, they worked with an implementation consultant.

Michi was fantastic—really on top of everything. The workflows we were trying to build were complex. Michi kept his patience with us throughout the whole thing, guiding us in the right direction when we were going the wrong way. Even with that ultra-condensed timeline, Michi was available for us.

In just under a month, Uplight deployed five workflows, completed their Salesforce integration, and achieved an IMS score of 80.

An Ironclad future

When reflecting on the month since their Ironclad implementation, Grace was shocked, “It’s only been a month? That’s wild—I’ve already done so many contracts.”

Ironclad has improved the legal operations workflow and been a positive mental change for the company. “We’ve had all positive feedback on Ironclad up to the executive level,” Jess added.

Features like a searchable repository make it easy to find past agreements, and the team expects to learn even more as they complete more work and migrate legacy contracts into Ironclad. Above all, Ironclad gives the legal team greater control over their work.

I love that I can focus on the more impactful facets of my job, but I can still jump into Ironclad if there’s an occasional tweak. I spend less time thinking about our CLM and more time thinking about how to support our teams and Uplight’s growth.

  • 1 month Time to Implementation
  • 80 Internal Maturity Score (IMS)

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