More e-signatures are an opportunity for the channel

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More e-signatures are an opportunity for the channel

With many organisations conducting more of their affairs digitally during the pandemic, e-signatures have become more useful than ever – and that’s an opportunity for the sales channel.

Australian laws regarding e-signatures have been relaxed in highly-regulated areas, such as at the company director level, to allow e-signatures for board meetings for the first time. And there have been previous predictions that the global e-signature market will grow at a CAGR of 28.6 per cent through to 2030.

Adobe research shows demand for e-signatures is being driven particularly rapidly by millennials, who are regarded as more comfortable with technological solutions to traditional ways of doing business. Adobe estimates that 61 per cent of millennials use e-signatures and expect to be able to use them to formally sign documents – including critical legal documents such as insurance policies and healthcare registration.

According to Chandra Sinnathamby, Head of Adobe Document Cloud, Asia Pacific, “the move from paper to digital is nothing new – 30 years ago the PDF was introduced. However, 2020 was a tipping point. Digital documents have become the currency of business productivity, and this is now, in a very real sense, how businesses, governments and consumers communicate, collaborate and transact.”

As the use of e-signatures grows, channel organisations may discover that this creates opportunities for their own businesses.

E-signatures give the channel an added security play

E-signatures can be a component of a broader digital transformation strategy. KPMG predicts that 80 per cent of new revenue opportunities for businesses will come from digital offerings and operations. Integrating e-signatures into those processes may enable greater efficiency and productivity, and channel partners can provide the consulting and implementation services around this.

Secure digital document process automation will be one such opportunity. Business leaders are deeply concerned with security, especially as they undertake these transformation exercises and move their working environments to the cloud, especially with workflows that capture sensitive PII  data. Australian businesses are struggling with a 60 per cent increase in ransomware attacks and paying millions to attackers. And yet, as Deloitte notes, there is a severe skills shortage when it comes to security. Businesses of all sizes are turning to channel partners to assist with their security concerns, and building secure solutions that put security at the forefront is an additional revenue opportunity for the partner.

Meanwhile, on the security front, Adobe has ensured that its Adobe Sign solution has been accredited by the Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP). This accreditation means that it meets the requirements of government for sensitive data, and according to Adobe, this means channel partners can broaden their outreach across public and private, reaching new customers, growing revenue with existing security-conscious customers and, in many cases, enabling digital signatures in their customers for the first time. These all then become new revenue streams for the partner.

For an example of all of this in motion, NSW Health was undertaking a digital transformation project and had reached the point where 90 per cent of its documents had been digitised. Achieving the last milestone required an e-signature solution.

NSW Health selected Adobe Sign, which can be integrated with Microsoft Teams, allowing users to automatically pull completed and signed documents into a properly secure cloud storage Microsoft Teams library, while maintaining the security and integrity of the data. With the assistance of partners, NSW Health digitised its business process and integrate Adobe Sign with new ways of working (read more about the NSW Health story).

Supporting partners of enterprise and SME alike

In addition to government and enterprise, channel organisations also have the opportunity to use e-signatures to enable digital transformation for SMEs. For example, Adobe Sign functionality within Adobe Acrobat gives small businesses the ability to embed customer forms into a website with webforms, collect digital payments with PayPal/Braintree, add custom branding to electronic contracts and invoices and utilise advanced form fields for complex customer workflows.

OECD research suggests SMEs are lagging when it comes to transformation and digitalisation. And Adobe’s data shows that 57 per cent of SMEs believe that digital payments were essential to survive the last year. Yet, 86 per cent continue to handle physical paperwork at least once per week, and 51 per cent do so daily.

Solutions such as Adobe Sign with Adobe Acrobat gives these businesses the opportunity to normalise digital payments and document management, and make the leap from knowing what they need to do to participate in the digitally-driven economy, to making it happen.

The efficiency and productivity benefits that e-signatures solutions provide, as well as the technology’s ability to improve the customer experience, can help channel organisations position their businesses as providers of added value. This could lead to more complex, value-adding projects, as customers continue to embrace digital ways of working.

For more information on Adobe Acrobat Pro DC with e-sign, which makes it easy to send, track and collect e-signatures, click here.

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