Best Practices for an Easy Enterprise Electronic Signature Expansion Methodology
We regularly host webcasts sharing best practices for digitizing remote business processes. If you missed our recent webcast, “Extending E-Signature Use Across the Digital Agreement Continuum” here is the 4-minute summary. The full presentation is available on-demand.
Your organization is now probably quite comfortable with e-signature use, digital signature security, and experienced benefits across a broad range of use cases – be they internal or external – spanning B2E, B2B, and B2C workflows. So, what’s next in the digital transformation journey?
Below, we walk through a 6-step process that outlines how to successfully leverage your existing e-signature solution to ensure buy-in from key stakeholders, secure widespread adoption, and build towards a Center of Excellence (CoE). This formal, repeatable process can be applied to help expand the use of e-signature software across the organization for enterprises, small businesses, and companies of all sizes.
Expansion Methodology: A 6-Step Process
1. Use Case Assessment
If you’re tasked with leading the digital charge within your organization, the best place to start is to first map out all the possible document signing use cases and opportunities for automation with e-signatures within the business.
Ask yourself such questions as:
- How can I leverage the solution’s APIs?
- Do my customers typically use Android or iOS mobile devices? Will that impact my workflows?
- Is your solution integrated or a standalone mobile app?
- Can teams easily share notifications and information easily?
- Have I integrated the solution into Salesforce?
- Are there any high impact PDF documents or other docs that still require automation?
- Will custom branding of the solution make any one use case more valuable than others at this time?
For this initial exercise, work with stakeholders from different corners of your organization to earmark the easiest use cases with the highest impact. ROI impact and implementation speed should be key parameters in the evaluation process. Look for quick wins that will showcase the best value.
A great B2C use case to consider is wealth management. The consumer-facing transactions linked to customer acquisition, growth, and retention initiatives have the potential for high ROI. Implementation speed is quick, with interactions usually being person-to-person or user-initiated, and don’t require integrations within existing systems to launch. Wealth managers can typically log into OneSpan Sign and begin sending agreements immediately.
Example: B2C Wealth Management
- ROI impact: High
- Aligned to ongoing customer acquisition efforts
- Implementation Speed: High
- No integration required
- Templates to accelerate document preparation
- Know your customer (KYC) compliance requirements
- How the signing will take place, e.g. remote or in-person
- White labeling, to keep your brand front and center
2. Approach New Business Groups
Once your priority use cases have been identified, it is now time to approach business units to understand their current signing processes, any pain points or issues within their workflows, and highlight how e-signature functionality can benefit them. The key here is understanding any barriers to adoption or current challenges, which may explain why they haven’t considered e-signatures. Sharing internal success stories or anecdotes from industry peers can also help evangelize the benefits and shed light on use cases that may not yet be live within your organization.
3. Qualification Checklist
Dive a bit deeper and document the specific requirements for each identified use case. Capturing this information up front is an important foundational step. Ask questions like:
- How will each transaction be initiated?
- What authentication method should be used to verify signers?
- Are signatures required from every recipient or are some optional?
- Which documents should be visible or hidden to certain participants during the signature process?
4. Demo Day
This is a great opportunity to promote your case internally. Develop use case specific demos for influential stakeholders within your organization, including executive sponsors, business owners, and representatives from finance, IT and security, and legal and compliance. Features such as the detailed audit trail will be of great interest to these groups.
A typical demo day agenda should include an overview of your initial e-signature use cases, your success outcomes, the rationale in targeting this specific line of business, next steps in the implementation process, and plans for future implementations to maximize value and benefits.
5. Deployment Plan
This step is all about accountability. Ensure you keep the project on track and key milestones and deliverables are transparent to all stakeholders involved. Building a deployment plan for your e-signature initiative should always include the following components:
- Project schedule
- Project lifecycle, organized by phases
- Key deliverables and milestones
- Work breakdown, organized by required tasks to complete the project
You should be able to easily replicate this process for future deployments in order to build and expand the use of e-signatures across your enterprise.
6. Internal Marketing
Evangelize what you’ve built with your electronic signature solution. This will enable you to gain better traction and momentum for future e-signature projects.
Organizations that leverage internal marketing often get better results and see higher adoption rates among teams when they make use of internal tools like launch events, weekly usage reports, tutorials, and professional development activities for staff. When e-signature use takes off internally, your employees will help drive the right set of behaviors for customers who now expect the ability to easily and securely interact and do business remotely. Overall, make sure to highlight what’s driving the change and keep your teams updated, engaged, and informed throughout the implementation process.
What about Compliance?
When establishing an enterprise electronic signature strategy, it is important to ensure compliance with each new deployment. Regulations may differ by country and locality, but whether OneSpan Sign DocuSign, SignNow, Pandadoc, Hellosign, Adobe Sign, or any other electronic and digital signature solution, they are subject to these regulations. In the United States, electronic signatures are defined and regulated by the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN Act) and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) while in the EU, they follow the eIDAS regulation. Legislation such as these exist in countries around the world and determine the requirements of the signature service or signature platform.
In addition, other certifications, such as HIPAA compliance will also have relevance to your digital documents and document management systems.
For more information, refer to the OneSpan eSign Legality Guide.
When exploring your e-signature roll-out, think past initial pricing to the goal of eventual enterprise-wide adoption. This is a best practice that will provide a level of uniformity and standardization to your plans. By establishing a proper methodology and building once before scaling across different use cases, channels, and lines of business, you can increase efficiency, avoid siloed deployments, and greatly reduce the maintenance costs and time required to digitize new use cases as they come online. Standardizing your tech stack and establishing a centralized point of service will help reduce the complexity and time to deployment and ensure ease of use for cost-effective new e-signature applications, freeing up more time to focus on transformational goals while gaining more value over time.
To learn more about e-signature solutions and remote business, watch the recording of our webinar, “Extending E-Signature Use Across the Digital Agreement Continuum”. For more on how OneSpan can support digitization projects, download our whitepaper, “Fast-Track Your Enterprise Digitization.”