By Alpa Agarwal

I’ve just read some cool news about Microsoft BizSpark startup Sopima: Of the dozen Finnish companies competing in the March 24, 2010 semi-final of the Innovate!100 Pitch Slam competition in Helsinki, Sopima Oy was chosen as the winner, placing it amongst the top 100 technology, media and communications startups from around the world.

Sopima identified three major challenges: poor efficiency in handling contracts, poor management of existing contracts, and poor co-operation and communication between business and legal. Sopima is looking to revolutionize the way organizations control, create, negotiate and utilize their contracts. Their promise is to make contract management efficient and streamlined for any organization, including small and medium-sized businesses.

Based on the Microsoft Windows Azure Platform, Sopima’s service has built-in security that makes it “as safe as a bank.” Its smart, collaborative documents, capable of reminding customers about important dates and tasks, are a good way to close those expensive lapses in the negotiation of sales contracts. Since Sopima’s launch in January 2009, its customers have seen their procurement costs reduced by an average of 7% and the lead times of contract negotiations shortened by as much as 50%. See the video of Sopima's pitch at the Helsinki Pitch Slam contest and read more about Sopima's story.