Sea/contracts & The Great Migration

27 November 2020

When sourcing an integration software solutions, finding the right solution is only the first step in solving the challenge. As we’ve seen, successful digital transformation must go further than that. As well as training, onboarding, and adoption of new technology a key milestone of the journey is the transition between systems.  Our Customer Success team are on hand to get you there.

Modules such as Sea/contracts are a game changer for organisations and, as you can imagine with transformative solutions, instantly stopping using one system one day and starting to use a brand new one another day, isn’t quite as straightforward as it first appears. Information exists in legacy systems and it still needs to be accessed and referenced, but the idea of using two separate systems doesn’t fulfil the original objectives of achieving consistency and efficiency. So, what do we do?

We sat down with Sam Jones, Regional Manager, APAC for Sea/, and his team to understand what is involved in the migration process when moving to Sea/contracts and the value it brings to our clients.

What does your team do?

In relation to Sea/contracts, our team take the Charter Parties and Recaps which exist in their legacy system or process flow and recreate them in order that they are available on Sea/contracts.

Why is that important? Isn’t it better to start afresh with a new clean system?

In some circumstances it would be. But when our clients are creating new charter parties, the quickest, most effective and perhaps even the most risk averse way of starting that process is to start with the last concluded contract, rather than starting with a blank template.

The fact that we undertake this process means that the time savings for our clients are huge. A charter party agreement could be 30 pages long, so not only are we helping to save time from an initial creation perspective, but also from the review perspective too. When the Contract is shared with counterparties, it allows them to review the new changes that have been made to the document only, rather than needing to read a whole contract word for word, line by line.

Our migration process takes that intro consideration so that everyone can effectively pick up where they left off.

What is involved in a migration?

Broadly speaking a client will have a library of contracts on another system. It’s our job to look at the entire library of contracts to whittle down exactly what they need going forward, streamlining their library. For example, if there are 500 contracts in their existing library using the NYPE46 form, and of these only 20 of the contracts are unique in terms of clauses and wording, then with agreement with the client, we can take the streamlined library and import it into Sea/contracts to ensure it is ready for them to access and use from day one.

To your previous point, this achieves a clean environment for the client to work from but with the benefit of ‘ready to use’ contracts too.

How easy is this process for the client?

It’s really easy, all the client needs to do is provide us with any type of document they wish to see in the database. If we can read it, we can recreate it. And this is key for our clients.

We do the heavy lifting from that point onwards in terms of analysing, recreating and importing.

When we recreate documents on Sea/contracts we are also able to highlight the key differences that they may have not noticed previously. We can make it very clear for the client, to compare the authored form to what has been agreed.

Is it an automated or manual process?

It’s a manual process so it is quite a labour intensive. Depending on the size of a contract, it can sometimes take an entire day (or two!) to complete one. It’s not simply recreating the document; it’s creating it and then comparing it for complete accuracy. The contract will go on to be a legally binding agreement so it is imperative to get it absolutely like for like (warts and all). For our team, we’re producing a piece of art, someone is going to take the contract and use it, print it and sign it so we take a huge amount of pride, time and effort to get it right.

And this is all part of the service?

Absolutely, the migration process is part of the onboarding and ‘go live’ process for all new Principal clients. Without it, it would limit the success that the client would see – it would lengthen the adoption time and quite simply it would cause pain for the users who want to get up and running as quickly as possible. First impressions are everything for us. If the first time a user tries to create a contract and their Proforma or Base CP ’ isn’t available, we’ve failed because the effort to create the contract from scratch can be a long and arduous one and their trust in the module would be lost. It’s a tough job, but all part of the roll out a value-added service that our support team brings and fundamental to success.

Our Sea/contracts migration wizards are within the International Customer Success team consisting of Samuel Jones, Diana Ismail, Emma Fang, Nissa Kharmis, Liisi Nagal and Laura Frunzke.