Legal and IP Management & legal News

Microsoft partners with Icertis for blockchain contract management

contract management terms

On the 11th June, Icertis announced plans to work with Microsoft to further develop its blockchain contracting system. Founded in the state of Washington, Icertis provides enterprises with a cloud-based contract management platform and aims to expand its use of smart contracts with this collaboration. Icertis is already working with Mercedes-Benz cars to leverage its blockchain platform.

The contracting system, Icertis Blockchain Framework, is hosted on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. This week’s announcement claims that it is the first framework to link DLT to enterprise contract management “in a meaningful way”.

The partnership plans to expand the Icertis Blockchain Framework with current Microsoft blockchain software and Azure Cognitive Services to bring AI and machine learning to contracting.

“Together, we are giving our enterprise customers a competitive edge with technologies that have immediate impact on their responsible business practices,” said Penny Philpot, the VP of One Commercial Partner at Microsoft.

They hope to address global issues such as child labor and large scale food contamination. By using blockchain to store and track obligations across contracted parties, the framework allows for an entirely new level of transparency and accountability. This was one of the critical benefits that appealed to Mercedes.

The co-founder and CTO of Icertis, Monish Darda, said: “More than ever, enterprises must maintain sophisticated governance and contract compliance, and blockchain technology has a critical role to play.”

Contract management continues to be one of the most active areas where blockchain is being applied. For instance, it has recently been used in private equity by Northern Trust and pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer are exploring it.

Last year, German railway giant Deutsche Bahn used blockchain to simplify contracting between its 760 companies. Meanwhile, a leading Australian government research entity developed its own blockchain for legal contracts with IBM.

The legal sector has also embraced legal smart contracts. Multiple law firms are working with the Agreements Network (AN) to digitize fully compliant agreements, rubbing shoulders with blockchain developers. Big names such as Clifford Chance, Linklaters, and Perkins Coie are part of the blockchain consortium Accord, which was originally founded by smart legal contract firm Clause.