Think Twice
before you sign
anyThing again
   12 Business Cases for Digital Signatures
Handwritten signatures are
    strangling your enterprise.
    Fortunately, there’s an easy
    way to break free.

      ...
That’s why thousands of enterprises use digital signatures         because every signature is made on the bottom line

Dig...
1



        FuLFILL PROMISES OF
                                                                                    Digit...
2



 EnSuRE ComPlIAnCe
                                                                            PareXeL cuts signing p...
3
                 COLLECT APPROVALS
                 ACROSS multIPle loCAtIonS
                 Many important documents ...
4

SECuRE AuTHORIzATIOnS FROM
exeCutIveS on tHe move
Many executives travel extensively, yet need to sign approvals while
...
new Flyer soars over capacity strains

                                                                                   ...
6



 COLLECT rePortS From FIelD StAFF
                                                                                  m...
Globalvetlink is off to the races with an online
            7                                                            ...
8



EXPEDITE ServICe rePort turn-ArounDS                                        “Digital signatures work seamlessly with ...
9                                                                         oglethorpe Power saves over $300,000 in its
    ...
10
                                                                              uPS Israel differentiates itself with ele...
11



      CAPTuRE SIGnATuRES At tHe PoInt oF SAle
                                                                      ...
12



 COLLABORATE WITH PARTnERS onlIne
                                                                              Duke...
tAKe A HArD looK At tHe numBerS
     Think signatures are a soft issue? You may be in for a           For the purpose of t...
but wait, there’s more. Much more.

We’ve tallied the expenses that are relatively easy to quantify.           Both the qu...
tHe toP ten DIGItAl
     SIGnAture CHeCKlISt
                                                                   1   Does i...
6    Does it comply with all legal requirements?
     If the signature doesn’t stand up in court, it can’t meet your busin...
See WHAt A GreAt DIGItAl SIGnAture
     SolutIon reAlly looKS lIKe


     What does a system that satisfies all of the abo...
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Digital Signature eBook - Think twice before you sign anything again

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Of all the business operations we fulfill every day, signature requests seem so ordinary we rarely give them a second thought.
Yet it’s precisely because they are common—a regular part of just about every business activity or process—that they impose so many costs, obstructions and delays.

Within the following pages, you’ll find case-by-case examples of business benefits, simple methods for calculating
the ROI of digital signatures, and a checklist to help you define the right solution for your enterprise.
Whether you read, skim or scan Think Twice Before You Sign Anything Again: 12 Business Cases for Digital Signatures,
you’ll never think of a signature in the same way again.

Published in: Technology, Business

Digital Signature eBook - Think twice before you sign anything again

  1. 1. Think Twice before you sign anyThing again 12 Business Cases for Digital Signatures
  2. 2. Handwritten signatures are strangling your enterprise. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to break free. Of all the business operations we fulfill every day, signature Printing pages at $0.03 a sheet requests seem so ordinary we rarely give them a second thought. Yet it’s precisely because they are common—a regular part of just routing costs, via fax, mail, couriers and overnight shipping, about every business activity or process—that they impose so that range from $0.05 to $42.55 per deliverable many costs, obstructions and delays. scanning and archiving costs at about $1.33 per document Research shows that 80% of all business processes rely on forms. Loss and reproduction costs of roughly $20.00 for each loss And most of these need to be signed, initiating an expensive and $40.00 for each reproduction “cost cascade.” While not every company is exposed to all of indirect costs in delays, lost deals, workflow obstructions, the following expenses, organizations that trim or eliminate any declines in customer or partner satisfaction, and just plain of these expenses will realize measurable benefits to their top wasted time. and bottom-line operations. Expenses that can be avoided with digital signatures typically include: The picture is clear: while signing one document hardly seems burdensome, copying, collecting, storing, distributing, process- ing and scanning thousands of documents requiring signatures 1 is an expense no enterprise can afford to ignore.
  3. 3. That’s why thousands of enterprises use digital signatures because every signature is made on the bottom line Digital signatures capture signatures without the expenses of A simple signature becomes a complex cost when it The 3 “i”s of a paper, yet with a degree of security, reliability and simplicity interferes with the otherwise efficient flow of transactions True Digital signature unmatched by other signing technologies. among company employees and between the company and What makes a digital Digital signatures provide critical competitive advantages by its partners, vendors and most importantly, its customers. signature the “gold standard” reducing operating costs and increasing trust and control in the world of electronic My colleagues and I at ARX have written Think Twice Before signatures? over internal operations and external business processes for greater customer satisfaction, stronger partner collaboration, You Sign Anything Again: 12 Business Cases for Digital Look to the “I”s: and increased sales efficiency. With the right digital signature Signatures to cut through the confusion and demonstrate the technology, businesses can: practical business value of implementing digital signatures. iDenTiTy Each user gets a unique, digital “fingerprint” that accelerate workflows that are currently jammed by signature Within the following pages, you’ll find case-by-case examples serves as his identification. delays of business benefits, simple methods for calculating the ROI of digital signatures, and a checklist to help you inTenT guarantee confidence in the validity of the signer and of the define the right solution for your enterprise. A digital signature with the signed document right procedures in place re- quires a user’s attention, mak- close more deals faster by allowing customers to approve Whether you read, skim or scan Think Twice Before You Sign ing it difficult for users to make Anything Again: 12 Business Cases for Digital Signatures, subsequent claims of being deals online or your sales staff to capture signatures when “unaware” that they had signed enthusiasm is at its peak you’ll never think of a signature in the same way again. a given document for a specific reason or purpose. enhance collaboration across departments, vendor networks Sincerely, and multiple offices by distributing and fulfilling signature inTegriTy requests, fast Once signed, the document Boaz Lantsman cannot be changed or altered VP Marketing, ARX. without detection. Any manipu- create customer and partner portals that facilitate sales and boazl@arx.com lation immediately invalidates project coordination electronically the signature and triggers a visual change that alerts comply with regulatory requirements for documented readers, stakeholders and/or approvals that can be obtained, stored and retrieved examiners. quickly and easily. Manage paperless contracts and invoices to accelerate work processes and make archiving easier realize the full value of your document management tech- nologies, by eliminating dependence on “wet” signatures reduce dependence on IT by using a standard technology that does not require special downloads or proprietary software 2
  4. 4. 1 FuLFILL PROMISES OF Digital signatures allow CPI to realize the full PAPerleSS AutomAtIon InveStmentS value of its SharePoint solution To facilitate collaboration throughout the enterprise, many organizations C&P Inspection (CPI), an inspection and quality assurance have embraced electronic document management (DM) solutions, such firm, made a bold leap from paper-based document man- as Microsoft® SharePoint®, to give employees easy ways to share crucial agement to electronic workflows by investing in Microsoft’s information, fast. SharePoint solution. Its intention? To make it easier for CPI’s worldwide team of inspectors to submit reports from customer locations across the globe. But signature requests compromise electronic solutions at the “last mile” But to its dismay, CPI found that a considerable amount in the process. When documents need to be printed, signed, scanned, faxed of paperwork kept creeping back into the process, de- and/or delivered, they reintroduce costs the DM solution was intended to feating the purpose—and the value—of its SharePoint remove. By deploying digital signature capabilities with document solution. CPI IT Manager Carsten Peyk investigated the management systems, organizations can realize the full value of their situation and uncovered the core problem: the engineers’ automated-workflow investments. reports required authenticating signatures, forcing the reintroduction of printed documents into the workflow. “Adding digital signatures to our SharePoint deployment has Carsten addressed the problem by incorporating a digital signature solution that allowed engineers to complete the changed the way we’ve done business. It has saved us money “electronic loop” without paper printouts. By installing and significantly improved our customer service.” the digital signature component to the workflow, not only did CPI save an estimated $3,000 in paper-related costs HAnS CHrIStAnSEn, CEO Of CPI per signer, per year, it completed the last link in the electronic document process and allowed CPI to reap the full rewards of its SharePoint investment. 3
  5. 5. 2 EnSuRE ComPlIAnCe PareXeL cuts signing process from two weeks to twenty minutes Whether it’s to ensure conformance of externally imposed regulations, evidence of compliance is key in many industries, particularly in life As a leading provider of Clinical Technology Services to sciences, healthcare, engineering, government and financial services. the pharmaceutical industry, ClinPhone (a subsidiary of PAREXEL, a leading clinical research organization) is under pressure to demonstrate compliance with FDA 21 Digital signatures bring certainty to the process, providing users with CFR Part 11 requirements while expediting paperwork a fast way to approve forms while satisfying all authorities that the across offices around the globe. signatures are valid. In a global economy, it is especially important to Moving papers from continent to continent cost ClinPhone keep up with various international standards, such as the Eu Directive a lot of money—and up to four weeks of time. The company on Electronic Signatures, that allow documents to cross borders without installed a digital signature solution that changed all that, putting your enterprise in the regulatory authorities’ cross-hairs. even before investing in an expensive document manage- ment system. Once they went electronic and started using “to obtain an approval on a project required us to fax documents digital signatures, ClinPhone got the compliance it needed while getting the speed it wanted: now, all offices can com- from our HQ in the uK to branches around the world. It could plete the necessary signatures within twenty minutes. take anywhere between three to four weeks to get signatures from all parties. today, however, the process is completed in 10 minutes. Digital signatures paid for themselves just in terms of increased productivity.” DALjIt S. CHEEmA, DIrECtOr, CLInPHOnE 4
  6. 6. 3 COLLECT APPROVALS ACROSS multIPle loCAtIonS Many important documents require signatures from participating parties who may be operating in disparate offices, and often in different countries. On paper, these remotely located signers add routing and printing costs (multiple copies distributed to additional signers), not to mention painful delays. Digital signatures leverage the power of electronic document manage- ment solutions by giving signers, regardless of location, an easy way to add their official approvals to any document, from any office, that, in turn, may be routed to any additional locations as needed. South Carolina Department of mental Health attains more than 9,500 signed forms a day across 21 locations Responsible for twenty-one hospitals and community health centers throughout the state, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) found itself deluged with complex forms that had to meet HIPAA and GPEA regulations. In addition to requiring the signatures of 3,500 medical staff, most of the docu- ments needed signed authorizations from patients or patient guardians at various locations. SCDMH arrived at a system of digital signatures that allowed patients to sign at “point of service” via kiosk signature pads, with subsequent physician/ nurse digital signatures serving as notarization. The digital signature solution not only made it easier to collect approvals from various locations in the SCDMH system, it simplified the entire process of obtaining sequential approvals from the patient or patient guardian to the supervising medical staff. 5
  7. 7. 4 SECuRE AuTHORIzATIOnS FROM exeCutIveS on tHe move Many executives travel extensively, yet need to sign approvals while on the road to avoid accumulating piles of documents that await their signatures upon their return. Otherwise, important approvals, work orders and deal documents may be shifted into the slow lane—or neglected altogether. Paperwork delays can be further compounded by the time it takes to identify the locations of traveling executives and to route the documents appropriately. Digital signatures move the workflow online, allowing all parties to distribute and sign documents instantly, via ordinary and widely available network connections, or even smart phones, regardless of location. Italian Senate coordinates signatures on the move In addition to its law-making powers, the Italian Senate provides guidelines for government action and holds the government to account. With such broad responsibilities, the 315 senators and their staffers are frequently travel- ing. Yet their correspondence must be signed to meet Italian regulations. The Senate’s digital signature solution overcomes the challenges of physical distance, allowing Senators and staffers to create and distribute signed memos from any location, and on the move, without imposing time delays or delivery costs. 6
  8. 8. new Flyer soars over capacity strains A leading manufacturer in the heavy-transit market, new Flyer coordinates Engineering Change Orders 5 (ECOs) from more than 100 engineers. Each order requires five CAD drawings plotted for TIFF and vectorised PDF, approved and signed by three different employees. Paper orders made matters even more complicated, as many of the orders were generated from a remote office, then physically driven to headquarters for plotting. new Flyer resolved the problem, and MAnAGE multIPle APProvAlS increased the productivity of its designers, by incorporating digital signatures into the electronic In many complex industries—such as engineering and manufacturing— stream that produces the drawings. now new Flyer operations cannot proceed without sequential approvals from multiple manages 250–350 ECOs per week without printing authorities. When these are paper-based, the costs in time and speed and scanning costs, and without distribution delays. are obvious. But when they also require sophisticated documentation, such as CAD drawings, the drain on resources becomes onerous. Digital signatures not only eliminate the slow distribution of approved “ new Flyer was looking to implement an end-to-end documents, they make it easy for all participating parties to contribute digital sign-off process to keep up with its high their authorizations without requiring multiple printouts and routing. pressure engineering and manufacturing environ- ment. using digital signatures allows our engineers to electronically add their signatures and professional seals to CAD, microsoft Word, excel, and Adobe® PDF documents, significantly enhancing our processes —reducing paper, scanner and labor costs and eliminating about 25% of the time we needed in the engineering release process. DAvE frASEr, CAD SyStEmS mAnAgEr, nEW fLyEr 7
  9. 9. 6 COLLECT rePortS From FIelD StAFF meDrAD brings online 15,000–20,000 digital Gathering signatures within the same building is an inconvenience. reports from the field But collecting them from employees who fulfill their duties out in the As a leading, worldwide provider of medical imag- field is an outright headache—and an expensive one as well. ing devices and services, MEDRAD was responsible for complex, FDA-required service reports gathered Whether necessary for billing, contracting or compliance, field reports from numerous field service representatives. In the fulfill a critical role within the operations of many far-flung organizations. FDA market, companies typically spend hundreds of Fortunately, digital signatures eliminate the need for costly express thousands of dollars annually just on priority mail- delivery services by collecting documentation electronically—and ing of signed documents from field staff to the home instantly—through secure, online applications. office or to clients. According to MEDRAD records, that meant controlling between 15,000 to 20,000 Field Service Reports that had to be signed and “through our use of a digital signature solution, meDrAD routed to clients and FDA auditors. significantly cuts costs in shipping, paper-related products By using a digital signature solution to complete the and workload, producing an estimated annual savings of “last mile” in the electronic document management over $150,000. Additionally, our field service representatives process, MEDRAD eliminated an enormous paper burden while accelerating the speed at which impor- are now able to concentrate on work, not paperwork.” tant records are signed, routed and archived. AngELA gASPEr, It PrOjECt mAnAgEr, mEDrAD 8
  10. 10. Globalvetlink is off to the races with an online 7 certification process GlobalVetLink (GVL), a service enterprise for animal health providers in north America, operates in a strict regulatory environment that carefully monitors animal movement. When horses change ownership, stables or are transported across state lines, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) must complete and sign Official Certificates of Veterinary Inspection CREATE A CuStomer PortAl (OCVI) and Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) certifi- cates before the animals can be legally moved. As we all know, every customer interaction we move online improves customer satisfaction, accelerates sales and reduces expensive direct For GVL, the answer was an online customer portal customer service costs. backed with a digital signature solution that removed paper from the process. With a few simple clicks, But movement to full-service customer portals can come to a dead the signed certificates can be shared instantly halt when signatures are required. Suddenly, the service chain among the DVM, horse owners and animal health becomes interrupted with a process that must shift to paper. authorities. By launching an efficient online portal Every action required from a customer can lead to delays—or and enhancing it with compliant digital signatures, worse. If customers are required to sign and fax a form, they may GVL captured a market leadership position. defer action, get second thoughts, or change their minds—deals could be lost altogether. Digital signatures can break up the logjam, allowing portals to collect, “ I was seeking to deploy a new business model with a simple click, the unique identification (under guaranteed data that extended access to the Certificate of integrity), that the courts, regulators and other authorities demand Health beyond the veterinarian directly to the while facilitating customer action when they are most enthusiastic animal owner. By using digital signatures to about closing the deal. ensure we stay in compliance while helping improve efficiency in all aspects of animal health and movement records, we became a reputed leader, enabling us to move from hundreds to thousands of users.” KEvIn mAHEr, PrESIDEnt, gLOBALvEtLInK 9
  11. 11. 8 EXPEDITE ServICe rePort turn-ArounDS “Digital signatures work seamlessly with the PDF-based reports created in our workflow. In many service industries, the primary deliverable is a signed report maxxam’s project managers sign and seal that verifies, evaluates, assesses or qualifies an issue of both business around 15,000 reports every month.” and legal significance for the client. The faster these reports can be SOrIn BOBArIu, APPLICAtIOn-DEvELOPmEnt mAnAgEr, mAxxAm submitted, the greater the perceived value to the client and the better the positioning of the vendor. Digital signatures remove the delivery delays associated with paper (printing, hand-signing, faxing, mailing, hard-copy archiving), allowing maxxam Analytics distills report delivery from 3 days to instantaneously companies to share signed reports immediately. Project managers in fifteen labs throughout Canada create and submit reports for Maxxam Analytic’s cli- ents in environmental sciences, petroleum testing, food safety and forensics. Each year, they test more than 1,500,000 samples for everything from food contamination to determining paternity. naturally, Maxxam’s clients are eager for the lab results. But the necessary signatures must stand on their own without requiring additional software for validation, and must meet legal requirements to stand as evidence in court. By moving to digital sig- natures, Maxxam not only met all of these require- ments, but cut report submission times from 3 days to instantaneous delivery, giving them a consider- able advantage over their competitors. 10
  12. 12. 9 oglethorpe Power saves over $300,000 in its first year of digital signature implementation Based in Georgia, Oglethorpe Power Corporation (OPC) is one of the largest power supply coopera- tives in the united States. To accelerate project workflows and reduce costs, they invested in a contract management application that would turn approvals into an electronic process. MAnAGE PAPerleSS ContrACtS Signature obligations, however, interrupted the For enterprises with numerous clients (such as B2B service providers, workflow at the “last mile.” By integrating a digital utilities, insurance firms, etc.), contract management can become a signature solution with its contract management complex, expensive and time-consuming affair. To drive efficiency, application, OPC keeps the electronic workflow intact. In just its first year of implementation, the many of these enterprises are turning toward electronic contract company saved over $300,000 and made a complete management systems that can reduce paperwork and delays. return on its investment in just three to four months. But signature requests can disrupt the contracting process and re-insert paper into the otherwise digital chain. Digital signatures can help enterprises maintain the electronic integrity of the contracting process, eliminating obstacles to achieving the efficiencies they seek. “Digital signatures have enabled us to realize a truly paperless process. Without the digital signature solution, we would still be hindering organizational processes by reintroducing some form of paper into our workflow for contract approvals.” jOHn LAuEr, It mAnAgEr, EntErPrISE SErvICES, OgLEtHOrPE POWEr COrPOrAtIOn 11
  13. 13. 10 uPS Israel differentiates itself with electronic invoicing for customers Although it’s recognized as a leading carrier re- InVOICE eleCtronICAlly nowned for quality service, uPS refuses to rest on its reputation and continually seeks ways to improve Today, an ever greater portion of business is conducted, and the customer’s experience. even fulfilled, electronically. With the Internet as the leading uPS Israel turned to digital signatures to give business driver, enterprises must be prepared to submit, transmit customers the option of receiving invoices electroni- and receive invoices electronically, via Web forms or emails. cally, rather than by paper. Based on a standard technology available with the free Adobe Acrobat Digital signatures allow you to work with electronic invoices without Reader, the digital signature didn’t require any compromises in security or issues with acceptability by the customer. special verification software. Within the first month, Fortunately, today’s digital signatures (unlike previous generations of a much larger number of customers than expected electronic signatures) are standards-based, meaning that they do not chose the electronic option. The new service helped require proprietary software nor downloads on the recipient’s part. expedite payment collection for the company’s accounts receivable department while giving customers a convenient way to reduce their dependency on paper. “ uPS Israel prides itself on using innovative It solutions to differentiate itself from its competitors, improve its customer services, as well as reduce bottom line expenses. migrating to e-invoicing with a digital signature solution is another example of how uPS obtains competitive advantage.” EyAL mAyO, uPS ISrAEL 12
  14. 14. 11 CAPTuRE SIGnATuRES At tHe PoInt oF SAle AIG-Israel collects signatures at its Carpe diem or “seize the day”: it applies as much to business as it customers’ homes does to classical philosophy. When the customer is ready to sign on Insurance is a very personal matter. In fact, AIG-Israel, the bottom line, you don’t want to endure any business delays imposed a leading insurance and financial services company, by paper contracts. completes many of its consumer sales off-site, in the customers’ own homes. In this context, excess paper- When much of your sales force is in the field, however, paper contracts work is not only an inconvenience, but an impediment must be circulated by fax or mail. Digital signatures provide the alter- at the least opportune moment—when customers are native: as legally-binding as “wet” signatures, they have the important ready to sign. advantage of immediacy. Once a document is signed, it can be instantly submitted to initiate action. AIG-Israel chose a digital signature solution that easily integrated with its central computer facilities for rapid imaging and storage. Accessible via laptops “Digital signatures have reduced the time it takes and cellular connections, the solution has allowed for the organization to complete a sale by 50%. By AIG-Israel representatives to capture secure and combining digital signatures with mobile technologies graphical signatures that are completely compliant with Insurance Commissioner and regulatory agency and integrating them into our business process we requirements. were able to improve data accuracy, speed processing time, and reduce operational costs.” EtzIOn yAtSIv, CIO, AIg ISrAEL 13
  15. 15. 12 COLLABORATE WITH PARTnERS onlIne Duke realty builds an online portal for its Just as multiple office locations require an efficient way of distributing construction partners and approving documents, partners from different organizations need With more than 144 million square feet of office, a timely and cost-effective way of collaborating with each other. industrial and healthcare properties under management, Duke Realty is one of the largest Any collaboration, however, requires contracts, change orders, project real estate companies in the united States. requests and other approvals that must be signed in order to initiate In its roles as Design Builder, General Contractor work. Some smart enterprises are creating online portals, accessible or Contract manager, Duke Realty oversees via the Web, to help partners manage the paperwork electronically. thousands of contract partners on behalf of its By adding a digital signature solution to the portal, required approvals clients. can be securely recorded for all official documentation. Wisely, Duke Realty built an online portal, Construction Connect, where the company can “Kudos to Duke! the money and time this easily manage communications, contracting, saves Ace Air is very much appreciated!” reporting and more with its partners. Adding the digital signature solution component to mArEttE EKArt, ACE AIr (A DuKE rEALty PArtnEr) the portal eliminated paper from the process, allowing Duke Realty to take advantage of an efficient, entirely electronic, collaborative tool. 14
  16. 16. tAKe A HArD looK At tHe numBerS Think signatures are a soft issue? You may be in for a For the purpose of the following calculations, we’ll work with surprise when you take a close look at the hard numbers. a hypothetical company, ValueMax, that has a modest profile: Even when qualitative issues (such as workflow delays, 200 employees who regularly sign documents legal hassles and reputation risks) are set aside, the directly measurable factors expose the startling costs 500 documents signed per employee, per year associated with paper-based signatures. (or 2 documents each working day) A document size of 2 pages amounts to 200,000 pages per year Printing costs routing costs scanning costs Paper archiving costs Document loss and Total costs for reproduction costs ValueMax It’s not just paper, One way or another, To save on storage If half of the documents but toner and ink as documents must move and handling costs, are scanned for elec- It shouldn’t happen Keep this in mind: well. On average, the from the signer to many archives today tronic archiving, what but it does: documents we took a conservative sum of their expenses elsewhere, whether are electronic, rather about the other half? get lost, necessitating approach using reduced is $0.03 per page. to other signers, other than physical. Suppose It’s even more expensive: searches and, if these figures and a modestly- departments, or exter- ValueMax scans just fail, reproduction of the sized enterprise. Yet the ValueMax’s annual nal partners, vendors half of their documents ValueMax’s annual missing item. numbers are staggering: printing costs: or clients. using employees who paper archiving costs: make $10/hour: ValueMax’s annual loss All told, ValueMax’s 200,000 pages x $0.03 Let’s say only half of 50,000 documents x $0.83 and reproduction costs: annual cost of paper- = $6,000 ValueMax’s signed ValueMax’s annual = $41,500 based signatures documents (50,000) scanning costs: $120,000 + $60,000 = $650,000 need external routing = $180,000 by mail, courier, 50,000 documents x $0.50 That means: shipping or faxing. = $25,000 Average cost per paper- Even if only 10% of its based signature: documents are delivered $650,000/100,000 by overnight shipping, = $6.50 per signature the total costs are huge: Annual cost per signer: ValueMax’s total $6.50 X 500 annual routing costs = $3,250 = $438,300 15
  17. 17. but wait, there’s more. Much more. We’ve tallied the expenses that are relatively easy to quantify. Both the quantifiable and qualitative expenses of But many of the most expensive costs associated with paper-based paper-based signing impose huge—and unnecessary— signatures elude direct measurement.They may not be readily burdens on your organization. quantifiable, but they are certainly very real: For more insight on costs, download the free white paper: environmental costs. An estimated ¾ of a barrel of oil, half a tree, and 150 pounds of carbon emissions, per signer, per year Calculating the roI of digital signature implementation opportunity costs. Lost business due to delays in signing agreements brand costs. Damage to reputation caused by lost documentation or documents that cannot be authenticated roi costs. Failure to realize the full potential of your content manage- ment system 16
  18. 18. tHe toP ten DIGItAl SIGnAture CHeCKlISt 1 Does it seal documents with a unique “fingerprint”? Many programs, such as Microsoft Word, allow users to add an electronic Which digital signature solution really delivers? signature to a document. But as long as these documents can be altered without changing the signature, the document isn’t truly sealed. A secure digital signature solution seals documents with a tamperproof digital “fingerprint” unique to both In the preceding pages, you’ve seen evidence for the the signer and the document; any changes whatsoever immediately—and visibly— real business benefits of digital signatures: eliminating invalidate the signature. the costs associated with paper, moving documents instantly across offices (or even continents), accelerating 2 can it support multiple applications across the organization? workflows and fulfilling the potential of your document Solutions for Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat® are common. But to facilitate management system. movement through your workflows, your digital signature system must work with numerous applications, including popular office apps such as Microsoft Word, Excel®, PDF and AutoCAD®. In addition, the technology should support Yet not every electronic or digital signature solution signatures in document management and workflow systems such as can truly deliver on its promises. Before you invest Microsoft SharePoint. in a digital signature system, apply the following Top Ten checklist. If the solution you’re considering 3 will it let you see a graphical signature? can satisfy all ten requirements, then it’s In electronic documents, the real security is provided by the underlying technology. likely to provide the benefits you want— But what we actually see is a visually convenient way of recognizing identification. Look for digital signature solutions that allow you to apply and see a graphical and satisfy the most demanding representation of the traditional “wet” signature. expectations of all—yours. 4 can it record more than one signature? Many of the most important documents, like contracts, require more than one signature. Yet some electronic systems have no means for accommodating more than one valid signature per document. The right solution allows more than one person to sign in more than one place while maintaining the validity of the document. 5 can it run without iT management? Who hasn’t been burned by digital “solutions” that have become massive administrative headaches? Many of the electronic signature systems out there depend on proprietary software that requires intensive IT management for installation, management, control and troubleshooting. You want one that runs simply from day one—a solution that’s easy to use without lengthy learning cycles. 17
  19. 19. 6 Does it comply with all legal requirements? If the signature doesn’t stand up in court, it can’t meet your business standards. Your solution must meet the following basic requirements: • Authenticity: the signature is uniquely linked to the signer • Integrity: any tampering to the document can be detected • Enforceability: signatures must be verifiable by all parties • non-refutability: the signature cannot be denied or disavowed 7 can it be verified anytime, anywhere, by anyone? You’ve assigned your signature with your system. But will the receiving party be able to verify it without installing the same digital signature software? An effective solution allows recipients to see and verify unaltered signatures with the ordinary document software, such as Microsoft Word or Abobe Acrobat, they already have. 8 Does it allow seamless user sign-up? no user should have to use a wizard or call a help desk to sign your docu- ments. Instead, the assigning of digital certificates should be easy, fast and as transparent as possible. Once the digital signature system is deployed, neither the users, or IT people, should be aware of the underlying technology. 9 is it simple to use? A “wet” signature requires pen and paper—simple. But a digital signature system that insists on multi-step, wizard-like processes is anything but simple. The acid test? The right solution should take no more than 10 seconds or 1-2 mouse clicks to ensure that a document is signed, sealed and legally compliant. 10 Does it have a low total cost of ownership? Look under the hood for hidden costs: complex software installations, additional staffing requirements, help desk demands, registration and/or renewal fees for digital certificates, and more. The digital signature solution you want should solve problems, not impose new costs. 18
  20. 20. See WHAt A GreAt DIGItAl SIGnAture SolutIon reAlly looKS lIKe What does a system that satisfies all of the above requirements look about arX—The Digital signature company like? In a way, you already know—all of the case studies in this ebook feature clients who use CoSign® as their digital signature solution. ARX’s CoSign digital signature solution automates approvals But you can learn more in this brief video. And if you like what you affordably in a compliant manner, allowing organizations to go see, we invite you to try CoSign for a month, free of charge. paperless, expedite business processes and reduce costs. CoSign is the only digital signature solution that is seamlessly integrated To learn more about how a digital signature solution can reduce with Microsoft SharePoint and other popular DM/ECM solutions. costs, accelerate workflows in your enterprise and improve For reliable control of signature privileges and ease of administration, relationships with customers and partners, contact the experts signatures are managed centrally through the organization’s user at ARX at ebook@arx.com or by phone at (415) 839-8161. directory. Just as importantly, CoSign signatures are globally accepted by external partners without the need for proprietary validation software. Learn more about the CoSign digital signature solution at: www.arx.com You may post this ebook on your blog or email it to whomever you believe would benefit from reading it. Thank you! 19

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