Re-Signed to a Bright Future
Overall, experts agree that end users (typically consumers) are much more easily sold on the benefits of e-signature technology than the organizational customers the technology suppliers target. "Two things are happening. People are getting more and more used to doing things electronically," says Noakes-Fry, who likens the experience to the one season ticket holders at Disney World have when they gain admittance to the park after scanning their fingerprints. The technology "is becoming more transparent and friendly to the signer."
Noakes-Fry says that she expects an increased interest in product suites offering complete e-signature solutions—those that can take the customer through the entire process, "not just the signature, but the whole workflow, from the offering of the document, the signing, the routing of the document, the storage, and that it would be auditable at the end," she adds. Making the process seamless and transparent will undoubtedly aid in the technology’s further adoption. "This is definitely going to move along and we’ll find it more built in to more processes and transactions," says Noakes-Fry. "It’s possible for something like this to disappear into the mainstream."
"Until recently, the technology wasn’t there," says EchoSign’s Lemkin. "We’re just starting to take off as businesses look for web services proactively to make their businesses better. We’re starting to see it right now. Just in the last year, the web has caught up to make e-signatures work."
E-signature technology providers are continually refining their solutions for the marketplace. In March, Interlink Electronics launched a new component to its eSIGN Anywhere platform, the IntegriSign Emcee. The new product enables customers to effectively manage the e-signing process, from document review to an audit trail that offers time-date stamps for actions accomplished throughout a particular transaction. Emcee is compatible with Interlink’s ePad products, as well as standard web browsers and smartphones. Users can verify the validity of signatures with Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader. Interlink also launched Emcee Mobile, enabling an effective and secure signing environment for sales representatives for their customers via smartphones.
Jemley says that despite prospective customer questions about the legality and security of e-signatures, he feels that the e-signature technology is truly part of an emerging industry. "I think we’re similar to what ecommerce was in 1995," says Jemley. "We’re emerging as an industry, but we’re not yet on magazine covers. When ecommerce was being talked about, every board of directors and C-level executive asked ‘What is our ecommerce strategy?’ Then, suddenly, every company had to think about it. We’re on the cusp of becoming a well-known company in an industry that just makes business sense." Market penetration is key, says Hirtenfelder, and as the larger companies continue to adopt the technology, more and more people will get accustomed to using it.
Companies Featured in this Article:DocuSign www.docusign.comEchoSign www.echosign.comeLynx www.elynx.comGartner www.gartner.comInterlink Electronics www.interlinkelectronics.comxyzmo USA LLC www.xyzmo.com