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How Dropbox’s Legal Team Simplified Their Simple Inbound Services Agreements

With 500 million users across 180 countries, Dropbox is one of the world’s leading cloud-hosting and file-sharing platforms. Their core product makes it easy for users to centralize files and sync them safely across all their devices. Over 300,000 business teams around the world use Dropbox to reduce busywork and focus on things that matter.

Dropbox employees use Dropbox and other tools to help them focus on their most important work. But like any hugely successful company with a lot of work to do, some portion of the work that needs to get done inevitably ends up being routine, rote, or administrative — work that can be automated away by software.

For Dropbox’s Commercial Legal Team, simple Inbound Services Agreements and their accompanying Statements of Work (“ISA/SOW”) fell into this category. These contracts for services were done on Dropbox templates and according to a fairly routine process. They were simple, straightforward agreements that required limited legal expertise.

And yet, these basic, low-risk documents still cost the Commercial Legal Team in time and resources. Over 1,000 people across 8 teams and 12 offices needed them done, and on average the Legal Team processed almost 2000 of these documents every year. Their sheer volume consumed Legal bandwidth and slowed down turnaround times.

A top priority in Dropbox Legal is focusing on high-value work, while still enabling simpler work to be completed at scale. This helps us maintain a challenging work environment and develop our personnel, while providing invaluable service to the company. Ironclad is a critical component to helping us deliver on this priority, and we look forward to expanding and deepening this relationship as we grow.
— Dan Cook, Dropbox VP of Legal

Solution: Streamlining the ISA/SOW Workflow

We worked with Dan Cook (VP of Legal) and Ashlee Best (Legal Operations Manager) to implement an ISA/SOW workflow that would cut out steps that were slowing down turnaround times and throttling overall productivity. Since the workflow’s implementation this past November, the Legal Team has already seen results in time saved, contract tickets eliminated, and metadata collected.

Results

  • Turnaround time: Often, from 2 weeks to minutes — or in Ashlee’s words, “as fast as you can click”
  • Contract tickets eliminated from Legal’s Queue: 110 in the past 3 months
  • Metadata automatically collected: 20–30 pieces per contract
I love working with Ironclad. I’ve worked with so many different vendors, and they’re always easy to work with when everything is going according to plan. It’s when things go off the rails that you can really see who your true partners are. Ironclad’s team are true partners. They’re always right there by your side, doing whatever it takes.
— Ashlee Best, Dropbox Legal Operations Manager

Old v. New

The Old Workflow:

  1. Dropbox businessperson emails group alias, creates a ticket in Zendesk, requesting that a Legal Team member send over the correct ISA/SOW template.
  2. 24–48 hours later, a Legal Team member is assigned to the ticket.
  3. The Legal Team member reviews the request and sends over the template.
  4. Over the next several days, the Legal Team member assists the businessperson with follow-up questions related to the template.
  5. When the document is ready for signature, the Legal Team member is responsible for collecting all the necessary approvals and signatures.
  6. They then manually store the document in a Dropbox folder.

The New Workflow:

  1. Dropbox businessperson answers launch form questions in Ironclad. Answers to these questions are used to automatically generate an ISA/SOW, without any Legal Team involvement.
  2. As soon as documents are ready, Legal Team members can approve them. Ironclad sends documents out for e-signature automatically, so Legal Team members don’t have to do any administrative cat-herding.
  3. Final documents are stored and named automatically in Dropbox. Metadata is collected automatically so the Dropbox Legal Team can track important information about their contracts.

The new workflow is projected to collect tens of thousands of pieces of metadata and eliminate 2000 tickets from Dropbox’s Legal Queue over the course of the next year, freeing them to focus on important, high-value work. 


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