Meg Cavanaugh – Commvault
For anyone without a law degree, it can be hard to understand most of what’s written in product terms and conditions.
Meg Cavanaugh has set out to change this, at least at Commvault, a publicly held data protection company. As associate general counsel, her goal is to write terms and conditions that are user-friendly and fair to customers, avoiding unnecessary friction and negotiation.
“We want it to be easy for our customers to understand so they aren’t confused or uncertain when reading our contracts,” Cavanaugh says. “We also stand behind our product and offer our customers appropriate contractual protections.”
Since her hiring in November 2021, contracts now contain straightforward language and plain English terms, so Commvault’s sales team closes deals faster.
Based in New Jersey, Commvault specializes in data management solutions for mid-and enterprise-level organizations around the world. Its solutions include data backup, ransomware protection and data security, with the goal of helping customers use data to make better business decisions.
In updating the product terms and conditions, Cavanaugh started by learning about the company’s products. While she tailored each term to the product, she also ensured there was consistency and standards. She then collaborated with the product, finance and sales teams to review and approve the proposed changes.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with my colleagues on changes that improve their process while also keeping an eye on the larger goal: creating a delightful customer experience,” Cavanaugh says.
When she was hired to run the commercial legal team, Cavanaugh was tasked with bringing simplicity and streamlining to the legal commercial programs.
For example, when a member of the sales team needed a new contract drawn up, it was often unclear when it would be finished.
“For sales leaders, it can feel like a contract goes into a black hole and a lawyer emerges weeks, or even months, later with a draft agreement,” she says. “It can be a frustrating experience.”
Cavanaugh has remedied this “legal black hole” by creating self-service contracts for the sales team. This has reduced unnecessary wait time and given the sales team more autonomy, she says.
Cavanaugh has also introduced LinkSquares, a contract management platform, which the sales team can use to check the status of a contract. For instance, they can see if it’s being reviewed by a customer, finance or the legal department, and when it’s expected back.
“Sales no longer has to waste their time asking about the status of a contract, so it allows them to create a good customer experience,” Cavanaugh says.
She didn’t waste any time either—she made these changes in less than six months.
“I wanted to make these tactical improvements so the legal team could focus its attention on strategy,” she says. “Once you have a well-oiled machine, it allows the legal professionals to be part of proactive problem solving and goal achievement rather than serving as a reactive cost center.”
She says she’s been focused on building relationships across functions and making her team more accessible and integrated in the company. Cavanaugh is also part of Commvault’s “cross-functional strategy committee,” which focuses on things such as business transformation projects.
“My goal is to be a trusted advisor to my business partners. I want to help them achieve their goals in a meaningful way,” she says.
Continuing to grow
While Cavanaugh has been interested in law for many years, it was only in the past decade she narrowed her interest to technology.
She started her career over 15 years ago as a legal administrator at a firm in Worcester, Massachusetts, where she lives with her family. She then worked in advocacy as a family case manager at Spectrum Women and Children’s Program in nearby Westborough. While in that role, she began attending Suffolk University Law School, where she graduated in 2016.
In law school, Cavanaugh had an internship at Carbonite, a Boston-based public software-as-a-service company, which turned into a full-time role. When she left after six years, she was leading its privacy and commercial contracts program. She was then recruited to Bottomline Technologies in New Hampshire, where she worked for almost two years as its vice president of legal.
Cavanaugh was recruited to Commvault last year. She says she was excited to support an international technology company, particularly one that works in the cloud.
“I’m very much enjoying innovating our legal team and programs and cannot wait to take on new challenges and see what the future holds,” she says.
View this feature in the Vanguard Summer III 2022 Edition here.
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