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How Multidisciplinary Teams Approach Problems like COVID-19 Disruption

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By Dr. Daniel Martin Katz, VP, Data Science and Innovation, at Elevate Services

COVID-19 has officially been declared a pandemic. Public schools and universities have closed, governors are ordering the closure of restaurants and other public gathering spaces. The breadth and depth of the coronavirus pandemic has grown exponentially since our posts last week.

Businesses all around the world, in every economic sector, are planning their next steps. This is a true Black Swan event. So the most critical question that lawyers and other legal professionals are trying to answer is: What are my organization’s obligations? What do our contracts say? How should we proceed? We can help find those answers.

So how does Elevate approach multidisciplinary problems like the disruption caused by COVID-19? By assembling a multidisciplinary team from across a number of our business units. By having subject matter experts work closely with engineers and data scientists to be able to harness the combined power of people, process, and technology to deliver a high-fidelity solution.

Our AI Platform + Engineering Team

In a crisis like the global COVID-19 pandemic, any contract analysis project that seeks to leverage AI-enabled technology like ContraxSuite needs to have machines set up and deployed rapidly. This means access to engineers. We know that not everyone can be an expert on AI, and that AI adoption is often met with skepticism. That’s why at Elevate, we don’t just hand software to our customers and wish them good luck. Our teams of SMEs, software engineers, and data scientists work closely with firms to make sure our solutions work for them. On projects both large and small, we help extend and customize our tools to meet customer needs, and make sure their system architecture, security protocols, and storage requirements are taken care of.

As we mentioned last week, we have been working hard to build a data solution to address the business challenges COVID-19 has created. Pre-trained data fields are not always enough – sometimes CTRL+F searching for things like “force majeure” won’t show you the proper context you need to get the job done. We are stepping into that breach, with our consultants and engineers working together to build a custom data model for organizations that are working on their COVID-19 response plans.

Subject Matter Expertise

Elevate already provides managed services and solutions for law firms and corporate legal departments. Similarly, when it comes to technology like ContraxSuite, we offer more than just a software product. We offer expert support to help shepherd your project and develop the AI training you need to get the job done.

But right now, if you’re a law firm or legal department, you likely have clients asking questions that are difficult for only an algorithm to answer:

  • Can we cancel certain – or all – contractual obligations due to the pandemic?
  • Can we delay fulfilling certain contract terms while still staying compliant?
  • Do we need to give notice of business disruption to our partners?
  • What are our obligations if we cancel this conference/event we’ve been planning?
  • Is our Business Continuity plan detailed enough for, and applicable to, a pandemic like COVID-19?

Beyond the immediate crisis, organizations are looking for more than just plug-and-play software. What makes Elevate stand out is that we have teams of lawyers, technologists, and subject matter experts to facilitate any kind of contract analysis and remediation project. And these teams work directly with customers on the best strategies, based on their needs.

Conclusion

At Elevate, we combine legal subject matter experts – supported by our colleagues at ElevateNext and ElevateFlex – together with software tools like our ContraxSuite platform. This provides immense firepower for your organization to identify, remediate, and potentially redraft your contracts to respond to any business challenges that may emerge. Yesterday, it was LIBOR, GDPR, and Brexit. Today, it’s COVID-19. Tomorrow’s challenges are unknown, but it is a sure thing that there will be challenges. Will you be prepared with all of the people, processes, and technology you need?

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