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50 Most Trustworthy Companies of the Year 2019

Simplifying the meandering corridors of Contract Management: Ecteon

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Technology governs just about everything that happens in today’s businesses. Whether it is research and development, managing payroll, production, manufacturing or if it is sales, marketing, and distribution, software that governs relevant technology has become an integral part of every aspect of business administration. Whenever two companies need to collaborate for any type of business activity, they formulate a contractual agreement that specifies various aspects of the partnership. Some of those aspects could include rights for manufacturing a range of products awarded by a company to a manufacturer, televising rights by a production studio to a broadcasting company, development of relevant business software by one company to an IT company, and so on and so forth. The most important part of any business alliance is the contract.

Drafting, negotiating, signing and performing contracts are what generate revenues, define production costs, hire the teams, and keep a company afloat. Managing contracts is, thus, one of the most important aspects of running a business. Ecteon is one of the world’s leading developers of contract management software. Contracts have to be varied according to the type of services offered, duration of the service, nature of the service provider, pricing, requirements, and so on while considering numerous terms and conditions, legal disclaimers, copyright protections, patents, etc. Furthermore, all of these parameters vastly differ according to industry. To top it all, businesses also need to consider government regulations while drafting a contract, in order to avoid compliance complications.

A contract is but a piece of paper, but it weighs heavily on corporations that run a business. It is for this reason that contract management is vital for an organization’s growth and protection against external legal risk.

The idea behind Ecteon

The journey for Ecteon began 30 years ago when its founder, Richard Eckerstrom, was working as an analyst for the media giant CBS Records. Eckerstrom realized the importance of a consolidated way of managing all the numerous types of contracts that govern tie-ups and operations among contracting parties. This is where the idea for Ecteon was conceived. A large media organization like CBS Records maintained numerous contracts with its portfolio of artists and signed on many more every year. Each of the contracts would have had varying clauses that dictated the working relationship of the company with the artists. Some examples of such clauses include tenure, number of albums produced, distribution, pricing, advances, royalties, and so on.

Eckerstrom saw this as an opportunity to deliver a product that would establish a supply for an ever-increasing demand, i.e. managing contracts between multiple business entities. This would be the start of an entrepreneurial journey that began three decades ago and is still going strong. Eckerstrom faced all the challenges and obstacles that are typical of every budding startup, namely, money and people. Eckerstrom succeeded in finding talented people who shared his vision and helped him attack the problem of trying to do something that had never been done before. The result was creation of the company’s flagship product called Contraxx.

Contraxx is a unique solution to manage contracting processes in enterprise environments with all the added flexibility to accommodate numerous types of legal entities, operational scenarios, differentiated process flows, and so on. Using Contraxx, an organization in any business sector can formulate an agreement with any other organization that belongs to any sector. It is such malleability and the ample provision to customize contracts to suit any requirement that has made Contraxx a definitive success among Ecteon’s customers.

An important factor in Ecteon’s success has been the mutual trust developed between the Ecteon team and Ecteon’s customers. Working with its clients’ contracts requires Contraxx software to handle highly confidential data and, often, proprietary strategic plans of its customers. Ecteon’s customers are reassured by the single focus of Ecteon’s staff and secure data systems that critical information is securely maintained. But in a larger sense, that trust means more than just keeping data secure. Ecteon works with many customers to turn the contracting process into a competitive advantage. When considering the many facets of that mutual trust, Ecteon’s customers have learned they can trust Ecteon to care about their best interests. This culture of trust and customer care has resulted in many long term partnerships with Ecteon. Today, Ecteon boasts of an impressive clientele that spans industries such as media & entertainment, retail, energy, banking, insurance, healthcare, steel, etc. Some of its most recognizable clients include, Blue Shield of CA, Dick’s Sporting Goods, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Universal Music, Meredith Entertainment, Kaiser Permanente to name a few.

Meet the visionary behind Ecteon’s success, Richard Eckerstrom

Richard Eckerstrom started Ecteon in 1986. In the early 90s, Eckerstrom established the company as a leader in entertainment industry consulting, leading to key engagements with companies such as Sony, Time-Warner, Bertelsmann, and Universal. Prior to Ecteon, Eckerstrom spent several years working in corporate finance, strategic planning, software marketing, and new product development.

“Ecteon has been the leader in contract management for over 30 years.”