A Unique and Innovative Contract Editing Solution by BIMCO


Pic Credits: bimco.org

BIMCO, the largest international shipping association has introduced an advanced solution, named SmartCon for editing contracts and making it more secure and hassle-free.  The product was launched on January 18, 2018 in an event in Singapore. Grant Hunter, Head of Contracts and Clauses at BIMCO said that “This new advancement is an amazing methodology to contract editing that will surely ease the work life of the current users and will grab the attention of the new users to the company’s contract universe”.

The exciting thing about this new advancement is that its features are implemented in a Word document to make them merge effortlessly with the current workflow of shipping experts and legal professionals. Being the complete protection provided by Microsoft’s cloud security infrastructure, this contract can be easily shared until it is fixed. There is no security risk in it.

Hunter further said that “our contracts are being used globally, which offers higher certainty of the expected commercial result. This helps the users handle all their contractual risks”. This BIMCO’s innovation beats IDEA that manages approximately 40,000 contracts per year and was brought into business in the year 2000.

BIMCO is well-renowned for designing and drafting standard contracts and clauses for the maritime as well as offshore industry. Offering the contracts in an editor is a basic extension of that focus.

Contract Ecosystem

BIMCO’s SmartCon contract editing software includes all the IDEA’s software characteristics. The main difference between both lies in its integration as the SmartCon is based on an encrypted word-document that offers exceptional security and enhanced editing features, which considerably minimizes the complexity. Additionally, it also has context sensitive explanatory notes giving straight access to eLearning modules. In this, the members can contact directly to the company’s support and advice function.

“We consider it as a full ecosystem for the professionals in this industry working with the contracts”, Hunter further stated. The professionals can open an authentic contract using this new software and then make changes in it, as required. These changes can be tracked by both the parties working on the contract. However, the core features that make it a binding legal document that cannot be eradicate from the software. SmartCon includes 35 most popular BIMCO’s contracts and will likely to have more in nearby future.

Security in the Microsoft Cloud

The well-known shipping association has utilized the cloud technologies of Microsoft to provide a solution as a service product. This solution removes current internet bandwidth errors and boosts up the number of targeted users. The development of BIMCO’s new contract editing solution was made possible by a number of latest advances in the Microsoft Universe, which also includes the arrival of Office Groups.

Hunter said in a statement that “the current focus on cyber security has made us believe that this tool is very timely. It offers a great extent of security and also makes sure that the users always use only authentic BIMCO documents”. The customers of this new innovation can use multifactor identification, such as via Microsoft’s app, where accessing a document needs an additional security or code to be sent to the user’s phone.

For adding a higher level of security, BIMCO has not provided any feature of storing user information in the software named as SmartCon. The entire information will remain stored in Microsoft’s cloud. It’s the Microsoft technology that will also provide the protection to the stored information.

Lasse Svane Ryby, Business Group Lead, Cloud and Enterprise at Microsoft Denmark, has said in a statement that “in order to offer highly valuable service to its subscriber, BIMCO has wrapped our cloud technologies into a unique and innovative package.” The software will get more advanced features with the advancement in the technology.

FACT BOX- Significant Features of SmartCon

  1. It is not only an editing tool, but also includes a wide selection of complimentary products allowing the users to have complete and direct access to the eLearning, explanatory notes along with the direct messaging access to the company’s support and advice service.
  2. SmartCon’s forerunner, IDEA presently has more than 3000 companies using it
  3. There is a small price difference between the two contracts editing solutions by IDEA and SmartCon
  4. At the launch, BIMCON’s contract editing solution has 35 most popular contracts that can be instantly used. The company may add other contracts to it in the future depending upon the demand of the customers.
  5. SmartCon doesn’t come up with a turn off “Track Changes” feature that makes the two parties to work on a contract as a part of their daily work flow. However, they both can give each other an assurance that none of them can edit the document without both being able to track it.

FACT BOX- SmartCon

  1. BIMCO, a membership company derives its profit from the fees of its members
  2. BIMCO Informatique owned by BIMCO is a company with main focus on creating the products relevant to the complete maritime industry as well as BIMCO members.
  3. SmartCon is a division of the BIMCO Informatique portfolio along with other Shipping KPI and BIMCO’s training as well as publishing activities
  4. SmartCon was designed and developed subsequently with the Hosters.com, which a Microsoft’s Gold Competency Managed Services Provider
  5. SmartCon can be accessible by any user; however, BIMCO members can get a huge discount on it
  6. The new contract editing solution is built on Microsoft’s Cloud technology that uses Azure Active Directory, Office Groups and Azure Information Protection
  7. Minimum system specifications are Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft Word 2013
  8. The software works on Android as well as iOS devices, which support the Microsoft Word application
  9. SmartCon documents are encrypted strongly using the special Microsoft technology

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