Product Specialist Adobe, Insight
You probably know the saying, "to take someone at that word." In other words; an agreement = an agreement. But a deal, or agreement, is only legally binding when it's on paper with a proper signature from two parties. At least, that's how it was. In modern times, things can be different with an electronic signature.. Here are five good reasons to throw your pen in the bin and start signing electronically today.
Before I get to those five benefits, I'll start with the answer to the most common question, "Is it allowed?" The short answer is Yes. At least within Europe, but also between other powers, international agreements have been made so that an electronic signature is equivalent to a signature in ink. There are, however, preconditions. Inserting a picture of a signature as a signature in a Microsoft Word document does not meet the standard. But once the identity of the signer is established with a secure certificate and the digital method of electronic signing meets high, established security standards, the legal validity is identical. You may have noticed that in this article I am talking about electronic signing and not a digital signature. That digital signature is the image I mentioned earlier. Electronic Signing is the verified and secured process of making an agreement that complies with laws and regulations. If you want to know more about the regulatory legislation in Europe, you can read it here.
One of the major advantages of signing documents electronically is speed. You no longer need to print documents (that also saves trees ...), sign them, post them, have them signed and then posted back again. That can easily take days, weeks or even months. When placing an electronic signature via, for example, Adobe Sign the task can be carried out much faster. As soon as signer one has placed his or her electronic signature, signer two is immediately notified and can counter-sign within minutes.
Indeed. This may seem unusual so here’s an example to give you some context. In a three-page document, you sign in ink on the last page. We assume that everyone knows, or trusts, that you have made that signature but I don't know your signature, so who is to tell me that this scribble came from you? Besides, it is not very difficult to add a page, or change content within the document. With a digital version, it's quite different. For starters, you have to disclose who you are, and that disclosure is recorded in a secure third-party certificate. This guarantees that it is you who is doing the electronic signing. In addition, the (proper) software you use for the electronic signature checks to see if any content has changed once the document is opened again after signing. All technology ensures that you are sure that the signer is definitely who they say they are and nothing can be changed about the agreement without being tracked.
A signature in ink only has legal value if it is also preserved in the ink form. There are now libraries full of these. Just go and search, when you need the 1999 contract because of a disagreement with a customer. In this scenario, digital offers many solutions. In the case of electronic signing via Adobe Sign, the content of the agreement is recorded in Adobe PDF format (via the Adobe Acrobat software program). These are searchable files so if you place all of your digital agreements in one central location (such as Microsoft SharePoint online - in the cloud), you will find the right agreement much more easily, from any computer with internet access.
Finally, the integration with all other Adobe solutions is another huge benefit of Adobe Sign. It ensures fewer point solutions (saving money and management), but also less chance of disruption or electronic miscommunication. Furthermore, as a strategic partner of Microsoft since April 1, 2021, Adobe has 100% integration with many of Microsoft's solutions, such as being able to send documents (including follow-up) directly from Microsoft Teams - for signing, or full integration with workflows from Microsoft, such as Flow and PowerApps. There are also dozens of ready-to-use templates available that you can immediately deploy within your Microsoft 365 environment. I have a complete overview of all features available for you, feel free to contact me for that
Working with electronic signing builds trust with your partners, customers and suppliers. By using the proven reliable and certified secure environment of Adobe Sign, you can show everyone that you take the relationship with them seriously. That trust is good for your brand reputation, as you are thought of as a trusted and reliable partner. That's also what Adobe Sign does for you
These five benefits are just the beginning. But there's more, which I'd love to tell you about. Do not hesitate to contact me or one of my colleague today for more information around Adobe Sign or for a demonstration. Or check out the Adobe Sign webinar for your organization.
Insight Enterprises has the highest (Platinum) partner status with Adobe and is also a multiple Microsoft Gold Competency partner. Enjoy the benefit of these partner statuses when integrating Adobe and Microsoft solutions.