Product Specialist Adobe, Insight
You probably know the saying, "A man is a man, a word is a word." In other words; agreement = agreement. But an agreement, or contract, is not legally binding until it is on paper with a proper signature of two parties. At least, that's how it was. In modern times, things can be different with an electronic signature. I give you five good reasons to throw your pen in the trash and start electronic signing today.
Before I get to those five benefits, I will start with the answer to the most common question, "Is it allowed?" The short version of "Is it allowed under laws and regulations, i.e. legally?" The equally short answer is, "Yes, it is allowed. At least within Europe, but also between other powers, there are international agreements that make an electronic signature equivalent to a signature in ink. There are preconditions, however. 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 secure process of concluding an agreement that complies with laws and regulations. If you want to know more about the regulatory legislation in Europe, you can read about it here.
One of the great advantages of electronically signing documents is speed. You no longer have to print documents (that also saves trees ...), sign them, send them or bring them, have them counter-signed and then get them back. That quickly takes - at a minimum - days. When placing an electronic signature via Adobe Sign, for example, it is many times faster. As soon as signer one has placed his or her electronic signature, signer two is immediately notified and can countersign within minutes.
Indeed. It seems strange, but it is not. An example. In a three-page document, you sign on the last page in ink. Then we assume that everyone knows, or trusts, that you signed that signature. I don't know your signature, so who is to tell me that this scrawl came from you? Besides, it is not very difficult to add a page, or change content. With the digital version, it is very different. For starters, you have to disclose who you are, and that disclosure is recorded in a secure third-party certificate. That guarantees that it is you who is doing the electronic signing. In addition, the (proper) software you use for the electronic signature verifies that content has changed once the document is opened again after signing. All technology ensures that you can be sure that the signer is also the signer and nothing can be changed about the agreement without being noticed.
A signature in ink has legal value only if it is also preserved in the ink form. There are now libraries full of that. Then go searching, when you need the 1999 contract because of a disagreement with a customer. Here, too, digital offers many solutions. With electronic signing via Adobe Sign, the content of the contract is recorded in Adobe PDF format (via the Adobe Acrobat software program). These are thus searchable files. If you place all your digital agreements in one central location (such as Microsoft SharePoint online - in the cloud), you can find the right match in no time, from any computer with Internet access.
Major advantage of electronic signing with Adobe Sign is its integration with all other Adobe solutions. This ensures fewer point solutions (saving money and management), as well as less chance of disruption or electronic miscommunication. Further, as a strategic partner of Microsoft as of April 1, 2021, Adobe has 100% integration with many Microsoft solutions. Such as being able to send documents (including follow-up) directly from Microsoft Teams - for signing. Or the also full integration with workflows from Microsoft, such as Flow and PowerApps. Furthermore, there are dozens of ready-to-use templates available that you can deploy directly 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 creates trust with your partners, customers and suppliers. By using Adobe Sign's proven reliable and certified secure environment, you show everyone that you are serious about your relationship with them. Serious enough not to settle for an old-fashioned signature in ink where anything can happen to it (especially now that we no longer meet). That trust is good for your brand reputation. You are a serious, 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 be happy to tell you about. Contact me or one of my colleagues today for more information around Adobe Sign or for a demonstration. Or check out the webinar Adobe Sign 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.