EchoSign's E-Signature In The Cloud - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
10/5/2009
05:49 PM
Fritz Nelson
Fritz Nelson
Commentary
Connect Directly
Facebook
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

EchoSign's E-Signature In The Cloud

OK, this is fun: Electronic signature in the cloud. I know, it sounds small, but how many documents do you sign? What about your employees (HR forms)? Your sales team (contracts)? EchoSign lets you create a workflow to do this, from delivery to the actual signature to the storage and management. And all in the cloud.

OK, this is fun: Electronic signature in the cloud. I know, it sounds small, but how many documents do you sign? What about your employees (HR forms)? Your sales team (contracts)? EchoSign lets you create a workflow to do this, from delivery to the actual signature to the storage and management. And all in the cloud.You can watch a hands-on demonstration of EchoSign below.

;

This technology is, in the words of the company's CEO and co-founder, Jason Lemkin, an attempt to "automate the last stubborn analog business out there." EchoSign has customers like British Telecom, Dell, SAP and thousands of others.

The core of the product is really getting the document signed. It's just like standard email, where you attach a document from your desktop, or out of a cloud-based document system. A contract, for instance, automatically gets a signature block, but you can drop down other signature (or initial) blocks in drag and drop fashion. Then you send it. You can even send reminders, or get alerts when something is viewed or signed. There is integration with Outlook, so EchoSign can auto-populate the address book.

The recipient clicks on the highlighted link, which takes them to the document itself (on any platform, including Blackberry or iPhone devices). The recipient signs it by typing in their name (the signature is created on the form). Lemkin told me that although EchoSign can import e-signatures on file, most people tend not to use them. The only challenge here may be applications (or humans) who require some sort of signature match for verification -- this may not be a necessary requirement in contract signing, though, and the PDF that gets generated comes with an audit trail (IP address, e-mail address, time stamps on sending, viewing, signing and countersigning along with a copy of the signature). There's also a biometric signature option.

Once the item gets signed, copies are mailed to everyone and the document is stored in the EchoSign account, with an audit trail and accompanying information about the document. This entire process can be implemented and managed from within Salesforce.com (you can see how that works in the ReviewCam above). Lemkin said that while most people are more concerned today about front end integration (contract creation, for example) the system also integrates with several document management back ends.

Everything gets managed in the main dashboard page, where you can get a feed of what's happening in real time, search for signed contracts and check in on the status of everything.

One nifty device is the ability to create a widget -- essentially a template of just about any process, or any repeatable form. The example Lemkin showed me was a series of HR documents that you can add signature capability to and store and manage from within EchoSign.

My only curiosity concerns cultural habits -- the fact that we like to see an inked signature on a written piece of paper. Lemkin said that his company has focused on making the processes within EchoSign as paper-like as possible to address this issue.

The cost: $30 per month, per sender (there are lower costs for small businesses).

Fritz Nelson is an Executive Editor at InformationWeek and the Executive Producer of TechWebTV. Fritz writes about startups and established companies alike, but likes to exploit multiple forms of media into his writing.

Follow Fritz Nelson and InformationWeek on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn:

Twitter @fnelson @InformationWeek @IWpremium

Facebook Fritz Nelson Facebook Page InformationWeek Facebook Page

YouTube TechWebTV

Fritz Nelson on LinkedIn InformationWeek

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
Data Science: How the Pandemic Has Affected 10 Popular Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  9/9/2020
Commentary
The Growing Security Priority for DevOps and Cloud Migration
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  9/3/2020
Commentary
Dark Side of AI: How to Make Artificial Intelligence Trustworthy
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  9/15/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
IT Automation Transforms Network Management
In this special report we will examine the layers of automation and orchestration in IT operations, and how they can provide high availability and greater scale for modern applications and business demands.
Slideshows
Flash Poll