Canadian Lawyer InHouse

October/November 2020

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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20 www.canadianlawyermag.com/inhouse INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT capacity for employees working from home," says Alex Ghita, legal director at Cisco. "We don't see that trend slowing down any time soon and believe our remote work and collaboration tools will continue to be a lifeline for customers and their people." Cisco, a global technology and networking company, has added new features to the Webex platform to support a larger remote workforce, including more capacity and security features. A new integrated security platform, SecureX, has also been launched to better support organizations as they juggle managing business and security challenges. The legal team at Cisco is accelerating an initiative to simplify and standardize sales contracts. "Reducing the amount of content our customers have to consume and presenting it in a simpler and more consistent form was an effort that was already underway, but we've accelerated that effort to streamline our customer engagement and close deals faster," says Ghita, who leads an eight-person legal team. An acceleration of the movement toward the cloud is also likely, according to Daniel Micak, general counsel, corporate secretary at Lightspeed HQ, a Montreal-based point-of- sale and e-commerce software provider. Among its services, the global company operates a cloud-based POS system that allows retailers and restaurants to access their systems from anywhere, which was a huge advantage during pandemic-related closures. E-commerce is another growing trend, Micak says. "As we're looking at retailers and restau- rants that are trying to stay afloat amid the macroeconomic environment, we're seeing e-commerce as a major vector of our business. A lot of our customers tend to have a physical storefront but they're selling through multiple channels, so we're really doubling down on the omni-channel aspects of our business right now because we think that's the new world for retailers and restaurants," says Micak. He is currently looking to expand his seven-person legal team at Lightspeed to prepare for anticipated growth of the business. "I think we're at a real inflection point in terms of being able to rely on the opportunity that comes from the shift from the legacy providers to the cloud, and so, because of that, I'm happy to say that my legal team is growing and so is the rest of the company," he says. Micak regards the pandemic as another "vector of analysis" to be considered along- side risk and liability. Not being able to interact in person with clients has been challenging for the team and requires a flexible approach. The team has been busy handling commer- THE TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY has weathered the storm of 2020 better than many other sectors — in part due to the tremendous demand for services such as video conferencing and other communication tools as many people adjusted to remote work. Platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams saw exponential growth, while file-sharing tools, e-signatures, cloud capabilities and digital learning platforms have also seen an uptick during the new pandemic landscape. "At the start of the pandemic, we saw a huge increase in demand for our video conferencing and collaboration technology, Cisco Webex, as companies looked to build Technology companies storm ahead In-house counsel at Lightspeed, IBM and Cisco discuss opportunities for growth in the tech industry "I think we're at a real inflection point in terms of being able to rely on the opportunity that comes from the shift from the legacy providers to the cloud." Daniel Micak, Lightspeed HQ

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