Framesoft Online Negotiation (FON)- Framesoft's Business Process Management platform - supports both static as well as highly dynamic business processes. Business processes can easily be extended or changed "on the fly". The high degree of flexibility addresses the business needs in areas such as
- Master Agreement Requests
- New Product Creation
- Derivatives Structuring
where static, pre-programmed workflows fail to meet the ever evolving needs.
Today corporations rely on telephone, fax, e-mail or "snail"-mail when working together in cross-departmental teams or even in syndicates that encompass third parties. If several negotiation parties such as legal, business divisions, sales and law firms are involved in negotiations of documents or even complex sets of inter-linked documents current communication means inevitably lead to a flood of redundant and inconsistent information which consequently results in costly reconciliation efforts.
A lot of effort has to be invested in order to ensure that all participants always have consistent and up-to-date information. This effort increases further if participants reside in geographically dispersed locations and different time zones.
Specific Challenges of Legal Documentation for Financial Markets
The reconciliation of project-specific legal documentation for primary markets as well as OTC derivatives and structured products is an iterative process which can consume considerable time depending on scope and complexity. In addition to the basic negotiation with contract partners, time-consuming internal reconciliation and approval procedures regarding content, terms and conditions and legal wording are typically required. A mixture of fax, e-mail, phone conversation and mail is currently being used for both external and internal communication. The complexity of the external and internal reconciliation/negotiation coupled with a variety of heterogeneous communication means inevitably leads to unacceptable operational risk, duplication of efforts and low efficiency.
Reduce Operational Risk - Increase Efficiency !
A solution claiming to significantly reduce operational risk and increase efficiency in complex mission-critical projects needs to satisfy the following requirements:
- The distribution of related documents via conventional means like fax or e-mail needs to be replaced.
- All parties involved need to always have access to consistent and up-to-date documents.
- Access to related documents must be possible at any time regardless of location and without specific technical prerequisites.
- All activities of the parties involved must be traceable.
- Response times need to be monitored and reminders need to be issued if necessary.
- Confidentiality and security must be ensured.
- Standard workflows and procedures must be automated.
Framesoft's Online Negotiation (FON) Platform provides considerable advantages for complex negotiation and collaboration negotiation projects. The FON Platform allows teams or syndicates to collaborate in the process of preparing and negotiating business documents, proposals, contracts, project plans or presentations across departmental or enterprise borders in an efficient and safe way.
All documents to be prepared or negotiated are centrally stored on the FON Platform and can therefore be accessed by all members of the collaboration process independent of location or time. All interactions of members of the negotiation project such as revisions of documents or comments are logged.
FON can be accessed via the Internet. All authorised users therefore can access the documents regardless of time and location. They can incorporate their changes, amendments and comments and approve or reject revisions and proposals of other participating users.
FON allows documents to be split into clauses. Each clause can then be subject to its own negotiation allowing work on different clauses of the same document in parallel. As an example, legal questions can be dealt with by in house or external counsel, whilst at the same time economic terms and conditions can be reconciled by the respective business departments. Several internal approval and decision procedures can be initiated in parallel. FON monitors these procedures and issues reminders if due dates have been missed.
FON provides a platform for complex collaboration and negotiation projects involving arbitrary numbers of parties and documents / forms. The underlying project template supports highly complex workflows including dependency checking and threshold monitoring. Pre-configured workflows can easily be adjusted "on the fly" even if the workflow has already been started. Ad hoc extensions and changes to running workflows can be applied if desired. A fine grained security and role concept allows to implement even complex corporate guidelines down to field-level access rights in data-entry forms
The FON Platform monitors due dates and automatically sends out reminder e-mails to the relevant members of the negotiation project. All versions of the documents under negotiation are archived and can be accessed if required. Data encapsulated in documents or forms are automatically reconciled with other systems linked to FON via upstream or downstream interfaces.
Besides providing an intuitive user interface for editing documents and entering data, FON features a graphical model painter which can be used to configure contract structures, define org charts or processes.
Management Reporting / MIS
FON provides a variety of views and reports for management information purposes to monitor the progress of negotiation projects, to support and accelerate decision-making and to identify potential problems at the earliest stage.
Besides providing easy access to content and status of complex negotiation projects, FON uncovers potential divergence from company standards, policies and approval guidelines.
Based on a complete overview of the current situation of a negotiation project, managers can take action as required including the ability to adjust and amend pre-defined workflows and approval procedures as needed. Reconciliation and approval procedures can be accelerated. Responsibilities can be changed and resources can be re-allocated according to new priorities and approval guidelines
Document Generation and Editing
The Document Composer is a powerful tool for the definition of document templates that are being used to automatically generate documents and forms. All document templates are marked up using XML.
Besides text, graphics and layout information the Document Composer also allows to define complex control flow instructions (loops, if-then-else etc) required for creating complex documents typically found in derivatives documentation.
The Document Workbench is a versatile XML-based document editor providing all required tools for editing and formatting documents or entering data into forms.
Framesoft utilizes XML for marking up documents. All economic terms can be encapsulated in the documents in an FpML compliant format. FON allows synchronization of economic data back with existing corporate systems completely cutting out operational risk and providing 100% STP.
Access to FON is password-protected. Each user has a set of access rights defined by roles granted to him by the administrator. Each party has its own administrator allowing to form teams for internal reconciliation of negotiation steps. The fine-grained access rights ensure that users and user groups only have access to pre-defined views on documents and fields and can only perform pre-defined activities.
FON protects against unauthorised access through strong (512 bit) encryption that goes far beyond current e-commerce standards. For audit purposes all activities are logged and can be back-tracked if required at any time.