Why Onit

Yes, Onit’s approach to streamlining business processes—better workflows, not better databases—is unique, and it does set us apart. But what’s often forgotten are the minds behind that approach. The team at Onit is made up of some of the best minds in the legal technology industry, including the people who actually created it more than 20 years ago.

And that’s why when the question of “Why Onit?” is asked, our answer is that we love our product and our team.

When Eric M. Elfman and Eric Smith founded Onit in 2011, the company focused on legal project management software. Since then, the team at Onit has grown, adding more and more of the smartest minds in the industry, and the software has evolved—bridging the gap between systems of record and systems of engagement.

Today, our team continues to grow, and it continues to innovate. Now, our solutions are transforming the way Fortune 500 companies and billion dollar legal departments drive operational and process improvements. We help customers find gains in efficiency, reduce costs, and complete transactions quicker.

Meet our leaders

Eric M. Elfman

Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer

Eric is passionate about building great software companies. He’s a serial entrepreneur founding four companies in the last 25 years, two of which have been software startups.

At Onit, Eric oversees the company’s overall strategic direction, planning and execution. Previously, he served as an entrepreneur in residence for the Houston Technology Center (HTC), a business accelerator for Houston-based emerging technology companies.

Eric’s first software start-up, Datacert, Inc., is an industry-leading provider of corporate, legal and IP spend and matter management solutions for Fortune 500 companies. During his more than ten years as the CEO, president and chairman of the board, he grew the company to $28 million in revenue and secured more than 100 Fortune 500 customers. Under his leadership, Datacert became one of the fastest-growing technology companies in North America with three consecutive listings on the Inc. 500.

Prior to Datacert, Eric co-founded PeerPoint Technologies, where his work helped identify new technology for e-invoice data management. Eric is a pioneer in the creation of the Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard (LEDES) and is an authority on the Uniform Task Based Management System (UTBMS).

In 2002, he was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for emerging technology. Eric has a bachelor’s degree in English literature and earned an MBA from Rice University. He is a member of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship and serves as a board member for the Make-a-Wish Foundation of the Texas Gulf Coast and Louisiana, a non-profit organization that grants wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses.

Eric Smith

Co-founder, COO & Chief Security Officer

Eric Smith brings extensive experience in software development and technical leadership to Onit. With nearly twenty years of experience in the legal technology industry, he has broad domain experience in the legal electronic invoicing and spend management arena. As Onit’s co-founder, COO and Chief Security Officer, he is responsible for the technical and strategic direction of the company’s products.

Prior to Onit, he co-founded Datacert, a leading provider of corporate, legal and IP spend and matter management solutions, serving as the CTO for nearly 10 years. During his tenure at Datacert, he was a key member of the executive team that assisted with growing the company to more than 200 employees and was responsible for managing the overall technical architecture of the company’s products and services.

He was also instrumental in providing cross-functional direction and leadership for research and development initiatives, product development and managing a complex and globally distributed workforce.

Eric holds a bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University.

York Richards

Chief Financial Officer

York Richards brings more than 15 years of finance and operations experience to Onit, including CFO positions at several privately held companies in the Internet and technology industries. He has built large, multi-national finance organizations, completed many strategic acquisitions and divestitures, raised capital in debt and equity markets and managed multiple shareholder exits.

A seasoned executive with extensive experience managing finance organizations for high-growth companies, he most recently served as CFO at Riversand Technologies, Inc. where he was responsible for overall financial operations and reporting. As CFO at Onit, York is responsible for ensuring the finance organization can help the company drive growth while capitalizing on the accelerating demand for software solutions that drive efficiency and process automation.

York holds a master’s degree in science and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Texas A&M University.

Chris Fields

Chief Technology Officer

Chris Fields joined Onit with more than 25 years of technology research and software development experience, including several key management and executive positions at various high-growth companies, including Datacert, Digicontract and Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions.

Chris most recently served as CTO for Innovative Interfaces where he led the engineering and product management team and was responsible for converting client/server-based technologies into a multi-tenant system leveraging cloud-based microservices for global library systems. He is well-versed in leading technology strategy and all aspects of product engineering and was one of the key inventors named on a patent of a high-profile technology platform.

As CTO at Onit, Chris will be responsible for overseeing the technical vision of the company and leading product research, engineering and development efforts. He will also be responsible for evaluating and implementing new systems and infrastructure and ensuring technologies are used efficiently and securely. Additionally, he will build quality assurance and data protection processes and communicate the company’s technology strategy to our consulting and business partners and customers.

Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Baylor University.

Matt DenOuden

Vice President of Global Sales

Matt DenOuden has nearly 30 years of legal industry experience, including a dozen years practicing law as a partner in a boutique defense firm in Hartford, Connecticut. While there, he started and grew an early e-discovery technology practice. In 2002, he left private practice to join a young e-billing company, TyMetrix. As vice president of sales for TyMetrix for 14 years, he helped take the company from four clients and $2 million in revenue to 250 clients and $60 million in revenue.

Matt has spent his career working with clients and industry leaders and has a passion for developing solutions to manage the business of law. Most recently, he was a managing director at Huron Consulting (now Consilio) where he worked closely with legal operations leaders around the country as they devised operational strategies and technology roadmaps for their law departments.

Matt has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Hartford and a J.D. from The University of Connecticut School of Law.

What's Happening At Onit

Legal Holds: To Hold or Not to Hold Shouldn’t be a Question

“A successful lawsuit is the one worn by a policeman.” ― Robert Frost Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 37(e) states that when “electronically stored information that should have been preserved in the anticipation or conduct of litigation is lost because a party failed to take reasonable steps to preserve it, and it cannot be restored or replaced […]

Read more

Kickstart Your Enterprise Legal Management with 8 Crucial Features

“The best way to become essential for the companies that buy your products is to help them grow their business (i.e., to produce meaningful ROI) in unique ways. That is what solving customer problems is all about, and it’s as neat an encapsulation of the difference between enterprise and consumer software as we can offer.” […]

Read more

Five Must-Have Features of a Contract Management Solution

“Marriage is a financial contract; I have enough contracts already.”   – Linda Fiorentino It’s a fact: businesses that implement a transparent contract management process compress their time to revenue; mitigate risks by having fewer contractual exceptions and increase customer satisfaction. Contracting is more complex than ever before, and this unfortunate trend is expected to continue. […]

Read more

Onit, Colgate-Palmolive and Citigroup to Present at CLOC Institute

The annual Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) Institute is just around the corner and Onit is thrilled to be taking part again. Held in sunny Las Vegas, this session is titled, “A Platform Power Play: Why Workflow is Critical.” One of the key areas where law department operation professionals are seeking operational wins is by […]

Read more

Onit Appoints Chief Technology Officer and Chief Operating Officer

Onit is pleased to announce that we’ve appointed a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO). Chris Fields is our new CTO, a position previously held by co-founder Eric Smith who will now assume duties as COO. Chris most recently served as CTO for Innovative Interfaces where he led the Engineering and Product […]

Read more

Want To Work With Us?

SEE JOB OPENINGS
What Our Customers Are Saying About Onit

Lauren Giammona

Director of Operations, Business Affairs & Legal, PayPal

"We really focused on a system that provided more of the back-end and the analytics that we needed. … We sacrificed some of the UI, the ease-of-use, and some of our law firms liking the old system better to get to the data that we needed."

READ THE CASE STUDY

David Cambria

Global Director of Operations – Law, Compliance and Government Relations, Archer Daniels Midland

"In its essence, it’s really important for corporate law departments to be involved in business processes and continuously optimize those processes to improve the performance
 of the business as a whole. That’s what keeps law departments innovative, creative and providing continuous value to the company.”

READ THE CASE STUDY

AIG

"The team has automated workflows and reporting supported by Onit’s business process management platform and uses DocuSign to support its contracting needs with law firm panel members. By employing competitive, market-driven tools, the LOC was able to realize reductions in hourly panel rates ranging from 2 to 32 percent. In all, the creation of the LOC and its innovative work has saved AIG more than $200 million in legal costs in 2014 alone."

READ THE CASE STUDY
2018

Awards & Recognition

2017

Awards & Recognition

  • Ranked #949 on the Inc. 5000
  • Recognized by Capterra as a Top 20 Contract Management vendor
  • Archer Daniels Midland (Onit Customer) and Onit won ACC Value Champion Award
  • Archer Daniels Midland won Transatlantic Legal Department of the Year (Onit was a major contributor)
  • Houston Business Journal Fast 100 finalist and winner
  • Houston Business Journal top B2B software companies list
  • Onit’s CEO Eric M. Elfman Recognized by Owler as a Top CEO
  • Onit and Archer Daniels Midland Won Best Use of Legal Technology by The Buying Legal Council
2016

Awards & Recognition

  • Ranked #387 on the Inc. 500
  • Recognized by Capterra as a Top 20 Contract Management vendor
  • Recognized by Gartner in the Market Guide for Enterprise Legal Management Solutions
  • Nominated as one of the best matter management vendors by Corporate Counsel magazine
  • Houston Business Journal Fast 100 finalist and winner
  • Houston Business Journal Enterprise Champion finalist
  • Houston Business Journal top B2B software companies list
2015

Awards and Recognition

  • Houston Business Journal Fast 100 finalist and winner
  • Recognized by Capterra as a Top 20 Contract Management vendor
  • Named market leader by Hyperion Research for process management and highly innovative for its “appification” approach
  • Awarded 3.5 stars for its Contract Administration and Review & Approval App by PC Magazine
  • AIG (Onit customer) won ACC Value Champion award
  • Houston Business Journal top B2B software companies list
2014

Awards and Recognition

  • Houston Business Journal top B2B software companies list
  • ZS Associates (Onit customer) won ACC Value Champion award
  • Recognized by Capterra as a Top 20 Contract Management vendor
  • AIG (Onit customer) named best legal department by Corporate Counsel Magazine

Learn how Onit can help you build a better business.