The journey to Ontra, Contract Automation & Intelligence, and the future of legal technology

October 27, 2021
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Today, we’re thrilled to announce that InCloudCounsel is now Ontra.

Ontra started with a vision to free ambitious global enterprises from time-consuming, repetitive routine legal work so they can focus on their most impactful and engaging projects. We also set out to empower talented and highly experienced attorneys to build successful, independent practices on their own terms.

That remains our mission today, but we realized we needed a new way to show our deep dedication to our customers and legal network members, as well as our continued commitment to technology and innovation. Doing so demanded a creative rethinking of almost every element of our brand, while keeping our company vision and values close. This exciting step in our journey was a companywide effort that wouldn’t have been possible without the entire organization’s grit, zest, and creativity.

There’s a lot happening under the surface of our new name, look, and feel, and it’s important to connect it all to our mission, thank everyone who helped make it possible, and set the stage for what’s to come.

Translating Ontra’s vision into creative reality

So what’s in a name? Ontra — which is at the heart of the word contracts — represents our mission to make contracts more efficient and to free businesses and lawyers to focus on impactful, engaging work. Our new look and name reinforce our commitment to customer success and to delivering innovative, efficient solutions for contracts.

Our logo — which features documents rising to the cloud via chevron — is an homage to our brand heritage and the future of our cloud-based platform. Our modern color palette, font family, design elements, and overall look and feel work together to convey our message with professionalism, approachability, and clarity.

Building the dream team

The scope of our rebrand was vast and included countless details. Aligning around our brand personality, promise, and purpose was milestone number one.

Ontra’s launch objectives were clear:

  • Chart the successful integration of our new brand identity inside the organization.
  • Communicate and share the new brand fidelity far beyond the company.
  • Connect our brand’s mission in a modern and approachable way, globally and at scale.

Our marketing team was responsible for enabling and educating the organization on all facets of the new brand — from messaging and design to channel strategies — and ensuring that all departments could continue to conduct business as usual pre- and post-launch.

Strategic partnerships were also critical to our success. Expert agencies and contractors helped streamline projects, enabling the core team to focus on the internal brand journey and the many layers of rebranding an entire entity. It was critical for everyone in the company to understand the change not only strategically and foundationally but also at an emotional level.

Alongside rebuilding our website and overhauling a vast library of resources, regular communication with the entire company was crucial. One way we accomplished this was with a series of companywide brand AMA (Ask Marketing Anything) sessions. It was important to ensure that as the company was growing and changing, all employees felt connected, well-informed, and a part of the journey.

It’s about the adventure and the destination

Building a brand doesn’t happen overnight. It took several teams several months to ensure our new brand would deliver.

Three important takeaways from this project:

  • Strike the right balance. It’s essential to balance the strategic, creative, and tactical time components of the brand evolution.
  • Employee engagement. Identify your key stakeholders early, and keep your brand champions informed and enabled.
  • Keep learning and laughing. Rebranding a company is not for the faint of heart. For most of the team, it was a new and unique experience. Just remember to keep learning, leaning on each other, and laughing at the little stumbles along the way. There will no doubt be a few.

Three must-dos when setting out on your rebrand:

  • Keep your planning process honest. A project management system is the key component that keeps strategy aligned with tactical execution. Time flies when you’re having fun. Time also flies, period. Leverage a project management tool (we used Asana) that helps everyone understand timelines, dependencies, and blockers. Align your team on individual tasks and upcoming milestones.
  • Show gratitude to your team and agency partners. Everyone is in it to win it. Don’t second guess that. Make time, no matter what’s happening, to show appreciation, gratitude, and grace.
  • Start big, then refine. Take the time to clarify who your audience is, and connect with precision. A company’s brand is a physical and visual representation of its mission, values, and people. It is important to make sure that the images, language, color palette, and narratives come together to emotionally connect with internal and external audiences to drive lasting impressions and brand loyalty.

Looking ahead: advancing legal technology through Contract Automation and Intelligence

When Troy Pospisil — alongside co-founders Ben Levi and Lane Lillquist — launched Ontra in his living room in 2014, the goal was simple: help the world’s most ambitious companies focus on their most important work.

Today, our business looks much different than when it began. A small but mighty U.S.-based team that once processed a few thousand contracts a year has expanded into a still-growing organization with nearly 200 employees around the world and a global network of more than 400 highly experienced lawyers. Together, we have processed more than half a million contracts.

As Ontra, we are focused on leading an emerging category in legal technology: Contract Automation and Intelligence. Our world-class Engineering and Product teams are constantly innovating our human-in-the-loop technology. By marrying artificial intelligence and software with a global network of talented corporate lawyers, we deliver a complete solution for high-volume, routine contracts.

The journey is far from over. In fact, this is just the beginning. The passion, commitment, and insatiable appetite for technology that fueled us for the past seven years remains. We’re just doing it as Ontra.

Ontra: at the heart of your contracts

Watch our Executive Perspective webinar to learn more about Ontra and how Contract Automation and Intelligence helps businesses streamline contract processes so they can focus on what’s most important.

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