⁄ Success Stories
Selecting a Matter Management Solution to Support a Strategic Vision
In the legal department at Walmart, matter management is the nucleus of their systems and is viewed as one of
the key operational tools to allow the legal team to implement a long-term strategic vision. However, in 2010 when
the department conducted a detailed evaluation to determine if its current matter management solution was enabling
the team to fulfill its vision, Walmart determined that it was time to explore the matter management software
industry to determine if a change was needed to embrace more current technologies and features.
"Legal departments can deliver more value to the organizations they serve by regularly evaluating existing
processes to determine if they meet today's business needs. A matter management system should enable efficient
process management, communication, reporting, and performance evaluations, and serve as the single authoritative
source for data and capturing knowledge," explains Ken Vermilion, senior director, Walmart.
A lengthy and comprehensive product review process ultimately led Walmart to select Datacert Passport®
because it offered a technology platform with matter and spend management applications that are easy-to-use and
highly-configurable, at the right cost. In addition, the Walmart selection team liked the idea of being able to
integrate the Datacert solution with other legal department systems. This helped support the Legal Department's
strategic vision because it puts matter management at the heart of department operations.
Internal Planning and Alignment
Before engaging outside vendors in the selection process, Walmart outlined the key internal elements that were most
important to the overall project success: budget, staffing, and internal buy-in.
Budget: Walmart recognized that technology implementations can require varying degrees of expenditures, depending
on the complexity of the system and its ability to easily integrate with its internal IT infrastructure.
So the department's first step was to ensure it had the appropriate funding available to successfully implement a new system.
Staffing: From selection, to implementation, to testing and training, changing technology systems also requires a significant
investment of employee time. At an organization as large as Walmart, members of the legal and IT departments would likely have to
be involved in multiple phases of the project. "It is imperative that the staff members required for project completion have the
time to contribute to make the project successful,” said Vermilion. "To eliminate potential staffing issues down the line, we
identified and designated the internal team early in the process.”
Internal Buy-in: Walmart’s legal team is accustomed to using an array of technology systems, but the idea of having to learn a
new system could’ve been met with hesitation. Knowing that team members would be more likely to embrace change if they could be
reassured that the new system would improve their day-to-day tasks, Vermilion and his team spent time listening to the frustrations
users had with the current system. That information was then used to develop the criteria for evaluating new solutions. "In the
planning stage it is critical to document current processes and outline the improvements that can be achieved by implementing a
new solution," said Vermilion.
Walmart executed a request for proposal (RFP) process to gather information from vendors and evaluate potential solutions.
A number of vendors responded to the RFP, but only a select few advanced to the next review round and were invited to give a
While product demonstrations allowed the Walmart team to review the different systems and their user-interface, the final
decision was based on much more. The review and process included an in-depth examination of the vendor’s and the solution's flexibility.
Walmart's strategic vision required a solution that could integrate with other legal systems, offer the ability to make configuration
changes internally as business needs change, and offer the software in a hosted environment. The department was focused on implementing a
solution that would meet the business needs today and in the future.
Selecting the right solution was imperative, however, the Walmart team believed it was equally important to choose the right vendor.
They recognized the value of having a financially-stable vendor with the expertise and commitment to be a long-term partner, and
Walmart found that partner in Datacert and its people.
"A vendor should not be content with the idea that its technology alone will yield a selection. Rather, the relationship between
the department and the vendor should be equally emphasized," said Vermilion.
"We were vigilant in our efforts to secure a financially stable vendor that placed a high value on establishing and maintaining a
continuing partnership. Ultimately, Datacert proved to be the only vendor capable of meeting all of our vendor requirements.
In addition, Passport features tools that will allow us to evolve the system, thus providing the department with insurance against changing business needs."
The Walmart legal department needed to upgrade its matter management system to embrace more current technologies and features and to better support domestic legal processes. The new system would be the heart of the department and therefore needed to support changing business needs and be implemented by a stable vendor that offered a solution in a hosted environment and was easy to work with.
Walmart conducted an internal assessment prior to vendor review and outlined the elements that were most important to the overall project success and ensured internal alignment and buy-in. They then conducted an RFP process during which they reviewed the options from multiple angles, including the vendor’s suitability as a long-term partner and the ability for the solution to support the long-term needs of the department.
Its thorough review process resulted in Walmart selecting Datacert Passport®, a patented platform with matter and spend management applications built on the system. Passport was selected because it proved to be the only platform with the comprehensive capabilities to meet the department’s current requirements and easily evolve to support future needs. Additionally, Datacert proved to be a financially stable organization with a solid team in place that could form a lasting partnership with the department for years to come.