Over the past several months, Anaqua has surveyed and interviewed hundreds of C-suite executives, IP operations managers, and IT managers: one theme that has emerged is the need to create efficiencies by fully connecting IP management processes and systems.
According to a survey by market research firm International Data Corporation, companies lose 20 to 30 percent in revenue every year due to inefficiencies (Source). Process inefficiencies can stem from manual and redundant processes, outdated technology, siloed business models, and poor system integration.
The Problem: IP Departments Working on Multiple Systems and Burdened by Manual Processes
When I sit down to talk with IP leaders, the conversation frequently starts as a business discussion on how they need their operations to be more efficient and how their software and systems are not connected.
The Deloitte 2021 State of Legal Operations Survey found that whether the technology is old or new, “45% of legal operations teams are using between five and ten technologies in support of their legal processes and 30% are using more than ten different legal technology solutions (Source, p. 16/p.19)…Over half of survey participants (52%) noted that legal technologies are not integrated with a consistent data taxonomy to allow for visibility into workflows and real-time data reported.”
Many IP departments can have patent and trademark management software, analytics software, IP budgeting tool, document management system, accounting software, innovation management software, and more. Throughout the day IP professionals’ attention is divided between gathering data from external sources to navigating their internal systems to manage their IP portfolio. These are a few examples of challenges IP teams can face:
- Managing budgets effectively. IP teams want to easily track their IP invoices, and then check their IP spend against the IP budget. IP budgeting information is typically maintained separately and not connected with their Finance Department. It can involve lots of manual work to extract this data and present their budgets.
- Streamlining document management. For companies that have their own document management system (DMS), creating the same record multiple times doesn't make any sense, and yet often records are duplicated in multiple software systems.
- Connecting IP and R&D Teams. IP portfolio managers and heads of R&D, frequently use multiple software systems to understand their pipeline end-to-end. It can be difficult to find collaborative workspaces that connect IP and R&D. Additionally, the tools each team uses for project tracking and data analysis may be disconnected causing information to be separated into different workstreams. Team members may also need shared message board for ad-hoc communication to work effectively and not in silos.
These different systems that are supposed to streamline intellectual property operations can cause inefficiencies when there are too many places to go and too many windows to check. Data doesn’t flow from one system to another, forcing teams to try to figure out how to get one system to communicate with the other.
IP teams find themselves manually entering data in multiple locations, spending time logging in and out of different systems, and trying to extract necessary data for outside counsel and internal stakeholders. Companies end up duplicating dockets, invoices, and other records because each one is kept on a separate system. These situations can result in extra costs, job dissatisfaction, data errors, and more.
The Benefits of a Connected IP Management Software
Anaqua strives to create more value for our clients. One of the ways we do that is through AQX® - a fully connected IP management platform that brings together all the programs that in-house IP departments and IP firms use daily. Many of our clients come to us with older or home-grown IP systems with the inefficiencies described above and are amazed at the dramatic improvements provided by an integrated IP management platform.
Edward Crooks, Vice President, and Executive Counsel of IP, at Diebold Nixdorf commented: “As our company continues to grow rapidly across the globe, we were looking for an IP system that was technologically advanced with built-in analytics and dashboards. We were impressed by Anaqua’s complete IP management solution and its integrated services, workflow automation, and outside counsel integration.”
The transition to a fully integrated IP platform can result in a major impact. The tools IP teams need to manage their IP assets are there when they need to: docket, send and receive correspondence from PTO offices, make annuity payments, invoice, forecast their IP budget, analyze their IP portfolio, and more. In the end, the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts.