Direct Energy Integrates E-Signatures into their Mobile App — Then Switches Vendors

David Gaudio, June 14, 2018

Across the business world, companies are looking for ways to achieve their digital transformation, and e-signatures have gained wide acceptance as a fundamental component of this change. Energy retailer Direct Energy was stifled by the inefficiencies of their paper processes. Paper was hindering their sales team and impacting their overall revenue numbers.

Direct Energy decided to make a change and pursue an e-signature solution. The results were transformative, but the story doesn’t quite end with their first e-signature provider. A price hike at contract renewal drove them to switch e-signature providers and replace their existing e-signature integration with an integration from OneSpan Sign.

Sales Lost Due to Paper Drops from 50% to 1%

Direct Energy is the largest North American retailer of energy and energy services with more than six million customers in the U.S. and Canada. Direct Energy depends on e-signature capabilities to fulfill door-to-door sales in 13 states plus the District of Columbia.

The ability to gather signatures via its mobile app is vital to Direct Energy’s success. Prior to e-signatures, Direct Energy’s door-to-door reps had to carry and fill out paper forms; however, half of all paper contracts would get lost or misplaced. Without a contract, the sale is invalid.

Today, the company’s field reps use an iPad, mobile app and integrated e-signature capability to keep the customer onboarding process end-to-end digital, all the way through to archiving contracts in Salesforce.

$1.2 Million a Year Saved on Paper

Paper contracts have long been cumbersome and unwieldy processes in the digital age. Due to lost contracts and the other costs of using paper, Direct Energy saved $1.2 million dollars a year by using an e-signature solution.

Furthermore, the rate of contracts lost plummeted from ~50% down to only 1%. Direct Energy was finally able to fully capitalize on the efforts of their sales team without the misplaced paper contracts dragging down their revenue.

DocuSign Pricing Rises 600% at Contract Renewal

In business, acquiring a new customer and keeping an existing customer are two very different things. Direct Energy first had a relationship with another e-signature provider, DocuSign. The business relationship was going reasonably well, until it came time for contract renewal.

Leading up to the end of their contract, Ken Long, head of technology for consumer sales at Direct Energy, tried to get in touch with DocuSign to negotiate a new contract for three months. It wasn’t until the week before expiration that DocuSign came to the table to discuss the renewal. This left Long with little time to finalize a deal and little leverage in the negotiation. DocuSign then dropped the bombshell.

“They said they were going to raise my rates by 600%,” Long says. With so much at stake, Long scrambled to find a solution. He negotiated a temporary renewal with “only” a 300% rate increase on DocuSign pricing, then initiated a search for a better e-signature value.


Direct Energy switched e-signature providers to empower their door-to-door sales team.

Read the Case Study

10 Potential E-Signature Vendors: OneSpan Sign Stands Out

Long and his team began a new e-signature evaluation process. They looked at 10 different providers to find one that could meet their requirements: document security, branding capabilities, and ability to integrate with critical sales applications. After a period of research, Direct Energy narrowed the field to two providers.

Ultimately, OneSpan Sign (formerly eSignLive) won the contract after a six week proof-of-concept test period. OneSpan Sign won the contract for a few key reasons:

  • After a full feature capability/cost comparison, OneSpan Sign proved to be the best value. While it was not the least expensive solution on the market, lower priced alternatives did not have near the functionality required.
  • The opportunity to white-label the full user experience with Direct Energy’s logo and branding was unique in the market.
  • OneSpan Sign offered the ability to integrate e-signing and document workflow capabilities directly into Direct Energy’s mobile application and Salesforce through iOS and Android SDKs.

Rip & Replace: Easier, Faster than Expected

After the proof of concept, the OneSpan team focused on integrating the solution into Direct Energy’s mobile app. “We built in a 90-day window for the integration and go-live,” says Long. “We got full implementation in 48 days, exceeding my expectations.”

In addition to a seamless integration, the release of the new capability also went smoothly. The original plan was to rollout the OneSpan Sign integration to the 350 field representatives over a four week period. OneSpan and Direct Energy completed the entire rollout in a week. In response to such a rapid rollout, Long said, “We didn’t experience a single problem. I anticipated an influx of calls. Not a one. No bugs, no latencies, no problems.

Switching E-Signature Vendors: You Have Options

When an e-signature provider is truly invested in your success and wants to form a long-term relationship with your organization, they will do what it takes to ensure a cost-effective solution today and in the long term.

However, if you are faced with an unreasonable price increase at renewal time, there are options. Call us (888-745-2647) to learn our methodology for switching integrated use cases like Direct Energy – and learn about unique features we offer, such as vendor independence.

“Changing out e-signature solutions is not something we take lightly. We understand this touches your core processes. The first thing I tell prospective customers is: you are not the first. In two decades of business, we’ve seen it all. The difference is our experience, consultative approach, and proven migration methodology. That’s how we’ll make you successful.”

Sameer Hajarnis, VP Client Services

To read the whole story about Direct Energy’s experience and their journey to OneSpan,

David Gaudio is the Senior Content Writer for all things security and e-signature at OneSpan with nearly ten years’ experience in digital marketing and content creation. David earned his BA in Publishing and Creative Writing and has since worn almost every hat in the digital marketing closet.