Kentucky's Department for Natural Resources shares its recipe for successful deployment and adoption of electronic signatures

May 9, 2005

Montreal, QC, May 10, 2005 — Silanis Technology, the market leader in automating business approval processes, today announced the key factors that contributed to the Commonwealth of Kentucky's successful deployment of electronic signatures within the Department for Natural Resources since 2001.

According to David O'Hara, Project Manager, it was important for the department to streamline its processes so that it could improve services for enforcing mining laws and protecting citizens, the environment and natural resources.

The department recognized that an electronic signature solution was required to eliminate the need to print documents for signature approval each year, only to have to scan the tens of thousands of pages back into electronic format and re-key information into a database. By successfully integrating electronic signatures into their processes, the department has significantly improved its data accuracy, responsiveness and overall productivity.

O'Hara attributes their first success factor to choosing an electronic signature solution that supports the department's existing document applications.

"We work extensively with Microsoft Word and Excel, as well a workflow application that we built ourselves," says O'Hara. "We didn't want to throw that all away just to add electronic signatures. We also didn't want a solution that required specialized skills or 3rd party support. Silanis' solution enabled us to leverage what we already have and know."

The department's next success factor was choosing an electronic signature solution that is easy for people to use.

”This was the first time we required our field staff to complete inspection documents in an electronic format so we knew we had to make it as simple as possible for them to sign electronically,” adds O’Hara. Features such as Replacement Phrase, which automatically places signatures in the right spot, and Batch Signing, which allow multiple documents to be signed at once, are two examples of how Silanis' solution met that criteria. In addition, Sectional Signing, which allows signatures to be added to specific sections of a document, provided the ability to add a certificate number at the bottom a document, without invalidating the previous signatures.

Equally important was choosing a solution that supports the department's current workflow processes.

”More than 25% of the department’s staff are field inspectors who need to capture both department and industry people's signatures at mining sites. We didn't want to force them to come into the office to sign so we equipped each inspector with an electronic signing pad so that they could capture people's 'live' electronic signatures."

Another critical success factor, was getting user input from the very beginning and making people feel like they were part of the solution.

"To rally management and user support prior to deployment, we formed a management committee and test-group," says O'Hara. "The management committee was responsible for laying out the requirements for signing electronically, while the test-group, consisting of field officers and inspectors, gave us constructive feedback on what worked and what could be improved upon."

The department also mandated the use of electronic signatures amongst all staff, contractors and suppliers to ensure return on investment.

"We made it very clear to all employees that they were expected to sign electronically. We also told our contractors and suppliers that this was the new way of doing business with us. They either had to buy the software themselves or use an electronic signing station that we set up in select offices."

Since deploying electronic signatures, the department has increased its data accuracy, responsiveness and overall productivity.

About Kentucky Department for Natural Resources

The Department for Natural Resources is a division of Kentucky's Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet. The cabinet's mission is to promote the quality of life for all Kentuckians and contribute to the Commonwealth's economy by protecting the environment, while the focus of the Kentucky Department for Natural Resources is to preserve and sustain the Commonwealth's natural resources.

About Silanis

Silanis Technology is the leading provider of solutions that automate the Business Approval Process. The company’s award winning desktop and server-based solutions leverage electronic signature and approval technology to achieve total automation. With over 1,000 customers across government, mortgage, auto finance, insurance, banking and FDA regulated industries, Silanis has over a decade of experience in developing and delivering solutions that work the way organizations do. Government customers include NIH NIAID, USPS OIG, US Mint, and an enterprise license with both the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and the US Army.


Mary Ellen Power (514) 337-5255 ext. 1117 [email protected]