Tracking Contracts | Hemanth Puttaswamy from Malbek

Whether you’re a small team of five, or a major corporation of five thousand, you’ll be making deals with other entities, and every deal needs a contract.

Even small contracts can be costly and time consuming, and tracking them over the years adds another layer of complication that can bog down any business.

This is the problem Hemanth Puttaswamy set out to solve when he founded Malbek, which he describes as “complete contract lifecycle management.”

On this edition of UpTech Report, Hemanth discusses how he came to recognize this problem in his own businesses, and how he developed a solution.

More information:

Hemanth Puttaswamy is a technology entrepreneur. As CEO and co-founder at Malbek, his vision is to redefine the quote-to-cash solution aimed for the age of AI. Hemanth is a hands-on leader with a passion for building a great team with an amazing culture that zealously works to make every customer successful. He is responsible for overall corporate strategy and product vision with a keen eye towards building the best man-to-machine solution interface that will delight every user.

Prior to Malbek, Hemanth was the CTO and SVP of Products and Development at Revitas (acquired by ModelN), Saba (acquired by Vector Capital), and VP Of Technology at Coremetrics (acquired by IBM). He holds multiple patents in the area of AI and Big Data Analytics. Hemanth has an MBA from San Jose State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Mysore University, India.

DISCLAIMER: Below is an AI generated transcript. There could be a few typos but it should be at least 90% accurate. Watch video or listen to the podcast for the full experience!

Hemanth Puttaswamy 0:00
Any business to business relationship requires contracts. And if companies does not do that, right, when companies fail

Alexander Ferguson 0:15
Hemanth, I’m excited to be able to chat with you today to begin, can you describe what is now back in five seconds very briefly.

Hemanth Puttaswamy 0:24
Sure, Malbek is a Contract Lifecycle Management Solution, where we help companies businesses manage their contracts throughout the lifecycle from drafting, they will see ation signature and post commitment tracking. So it’s a complete Contract Lifecycle Management.

Alexander Ferguson 0:42
Understand, I see contract management reimagined. I like nice phrase that let’s dive a little bit deeper. How did you come across this problem itself? And you said, Okay, I need to solve this.

Hemanth Puttaswamy 0:54
Sure. Before Malbek I’ve been executive for multiple companies. I was CTO, SVP of product and engineering. And one thing that I noticed in every company that that I’ve been at, the companies did not have a clue on what kind of products and services that they have sold to different customer base over seven years, 10 years, right. And they did not know what kind of commitment that they had made. And they couldn’t locate the contracts and time. And closing the business was a difficult thing. So all combined together, I just noticed a problem, which is pretty obvious. Any business to business relationship requires contracts. And if companies does not do that, right, then companies fail. And it it’s a heavy risk exposure for those companies. So yeah, I mean, that made me think about contracts. And me and two other co founders, with this company.

Alexander Ferguson 1:59
And this is a three coming up on four years that you’ve had it? Can you describe maybe some use case or a case study of one of your clients?

Hemanth Puttaswamy 2:09
Sure. Most of the places you would have heard that legal is a bottleneck, right? Legal Team is a bottleneck. And companies do not want to have 20, lawyers for 20. Salespeople, right. So every contract needs to be handled by the legal team. That’s how the previous way of thinking, Now what with our solution, what we are able to do is with pre approved language sales team will be able to take care of their contracts pretty much 90% of the time, and sometimes 95% of the time, but self says and maybe 5% of the time where it’s it’s deviating from the normal language, then the legal counsel. So the legal will become a catalyst rather than a business inhibitor. So that’s what our solution, but your

Alexander Ferguson 3:02
target market, those who are using this isn’t then the sales team, the sales managers that would want to be able to say, yes, let’s implement this into our process. So our sales team doesn’t need to bring in legal so often.

Hemanth Puttaswamy 3:13
So it’s for the old enterprise, but sales is one side of it, anything that you sell or buy, right? So you need contract, anything that requires formal relationship, that requires contract. So the procurement is also a use case that we solve pretty well. Sales teams, it contracts, right HR contracts, so any contracts were the system that the business businesses are using. So that’s when V come. So it’s a platform for any contracts,

Alexander Ferguson 3:46
what level size or company doesn’t make sense for where it’s just gets to the point where it’s complex, this makes sense to be able to use.

Hemanth Puttaswamy 3:55
So believe it or not, we have companies with, you know, like, we have users, like five user license all the way to 5000 or 10,000 users, right? So this size, does not matter. Frankly, small companies have major problems too. Right? If you don’t handle your contracts, well, it’s going to be a major problem for you as, right. So it’s for all the companies across the board. But anyone who has let’s say they have to execute 3040 50 contracts a quarter. That’s that’s where at least minimum you need to have our solution. So

Alexander Ferguson 4:39
what is kind of the standout difference of instead of saying, Alright, let’s just create a bank of different contract options, and they’re in a Google drive somewhere or Dropbox and just pull it in when we need it. What how does your platform work differently?

Hemanth Puttaswamy 4:53
Sure. So the minute you start putting contracts into our system, every contract that runs through us system, it makes the system more intelligent, or solution more intelligent. And it will start providing your insights that you will not get from any other places like Google Drive. So it’s more passive on the Google Drive, you just keep it there. And you have no context when you’re negotiating the next contract, or when you’re drafting the next contract. So with our solution, it gets smarter from every point from when salespeople request a specific contract, then it can draft the contract in such a way that the last time you did these kinds of contracts, and the round trips got reduced from seven round trips, negotiation to two. And this is the best kind of contract that you can draft. So it’s about efficiency, effectiveness and efficacy. So we help in all sides of those.

Alexander Ferguson 5:55
So it’s keeping track of how many revisions that took based off of that type of contract. So next time can say you should just use this type of language next time like that, right?

Hemanth Puttaswamy 6:05
That’s right. It’s both syntax and the semantics, you know how legalese is it can get very crazy, right? It’s extremely difficult, with very complex language there, but it provides both the does both semantic analysis as well as the syntax analysis. And it will be able to provide you context, like for example, you’re looking at liability negotiation, it will be able to give you Okay, these are the kinds of liability languages that you’re accepted in the past and years, some of the recommendations here, right, rather than doing it every time without any context, and reinventing the wheel every time. So just imagine time that they have to spend and the mistakes that they can make. Right. So that’s what our system will help with.

Alexander Ferguson 6:56
Can you share any more about the the technology behind it? How, obviously, it’s been a couple years in development to bring it to where it is, is now? Can you share any more details?

Hemanth Puttaswamy 7:05
Sure. It’s all you know, like micro services platform, AB took advantage of every new modern technology out there, right? From the development side to the deployment side, the user interface, the AI engine that we have built, every part of it is microservices driven, and it can scale up and down. Right, we will be able to handle customers with million contracts, or even billion contracts for that matter. Right. So and also the performance of our solution is so much better than any of those legacy solutions out there.

Alexander Ferguson 7:47
How did you train your your AI engine to be able to recognize what did you train it on?

Hemanth Puttaswamy 7:53
So there are two types of training. One is definitely out of the box, we train saying these are the best practices for some of the smaller companies. But think about this one size fits all just doesn’t work. Right. So for larger companies, they have their own special clauses, special languages. And what we provide is we provide a platform where they can trade their own, you know, like own contracts. And with that the system will get smart

Alexander Ferguson 8:27
is similar to Netflix recommendations effectively, it’ll it’ll get the more learns what is important, the more it will understand and recommend certain clauses, certain elements to the users. That’s correct. That’s for this kind of the roadmap and where you guys are headed. What are you most excited about coming up into 2021 that you’re focusing on and that you can share?

Hemanth Puttaswamy 8:50
Yeah, so believe it or not, in this industry? Definitely. Yeah. Like any industry, I plays a critical role. But apart from that, the biggest challenge this industry faces is the integrations. Integration is a major, major challenge. So you have to play well with the CRM. So the world the ERP is of the world. And there are a plethora of applications, including, for example, vendor background checks that you want to do, or you want to take a French contract and turn that into English contract for the headquarters. So the language translation. So there are a plethora of these, you know, like the connector framework that we have built the platform with which you can drag and drop, and you can pretty much integrate with no it moment if you have to write the zero code. That is one of the exciting things apart from many things that we have built. That is one of the many exciting technologies that we bring to the market.

Alexander Ferguson 9:56
Talking about integration that is powerful and very important in today’s world because we have We’re using all these different services, both for storing our customer data for our data management, and now creating contracts and then getting signatures. You don’t actually your platform isn’t about getting the contract signatures Correct. Is that you make integrations or do you do that as well.

Hemanth Puttaswamy 10:14
So currently, we don’t offer easy nature. But that’s something that’s on the roadmap. You know, like, we integrate with DocuSign and Adobe sign, and few esign vendors. But yeah, that’s, that’s all it is. And it’s very easy on the platform, you just initiate the signature, and you don’t have to go to DocuSign. Or, you know, like other places, the integration is very seamless.

Alexander Ferguson 10:39
And obviously, that analytics and the data about when they sign how they sign all that tracking comes back in, and you can track the overall analytics

Hemanth Puttaswamy 10:48
completely. And then, you know, like, our system also handles very complex rules. For example, think about a company with 3000 users or 5000 users, and you don’t know who the signatories Who should sign this contract, this type of contract with these kinds of clause changes with this contract value, who should sign they can be 300 500 people in the company, we can sign different types of contracts. So our system helps routing to specific signatory. Right? It makes it so much easier, believe it or not, some companies, they save time in every part of the lifecycle. Even in the signature die, their ad, they had to wait for two days, three days, five days before. And with our solution, it’s instantaneous. It goes right.

Alexander Ferguson 11:38
Now, how does that work? Exactly? Is it keeping track of as far as like day contacts in at that company and knowing who’s the right signer? Just curious, how does that work? Even?

Hemanth Puttaswamy 11:47
So some are rules based? I mean, definitely AI. You know, like aI works in many places, but not this. I mean, you don’t want to send it send a $20,000 contract to CFO would never see it, for example, in some large companies. So it’s rules based, right? They can create complex rules, again, with no coding everything can be done by business analyst, and are the customer itself with Celsus?

Alexander Ferguson 12:17
What’s the general startup time from like? Alright, let’s get started. Let’s get integrated or systems. What’s the general timeline for that?

Hemanth Puttaswamy 12:25
So we have small customers who can go live in weeks. And believe it or not, we have a customer who is going live in one week. Right? So it’s, they have pretty complex process, but still, we are able to handle it pretty well. And there are customers, which are very large enterprises that can take a couple of months.

Alexander Ferguson 12:48
And business model, monthly yearly contract based on the number of users.

Hemanth Puttaswamy 12:53
So it’s per user per month. And typically, we signed longer contracts, and longer contracts get pretty good discount. And also, it’s in their best interest to make sure that they have a consistent process, or many years rather than just a few months. So it’s definitely not a monthly thing. It’s typically yearly or multiple years.

Alexander Ferguson 13:18
Yeah, the real power, is it learning and growing and using and building a system around it. Uh, where can people go to learn more, and what’s a good first step that they can take?

Hemanth Puttaswamy 13:27
So definitely or is our website. That’s the first place to go into and then of course, we have the YouTube channel, the blog. You know, like, every place the LinkedIn page, we have presence in all social media, our marketing team, a team of very small, you know, like, very small team members, it acts like we are a big company. Yeah, so they’ve done a pretty good job. Going through all the channels.

Alexander Ferguson 14:02
That concludes the audio version of this episode. To see the original and more visit our UpTech Report YouTube channel. If you know a tech company, we should interview, you can nominate them at UpTech Or if you just prefer to listen, make sure you’re subscribed to this series on Apple podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcasting app.



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