Streamlining Business with eSignature Integration

Apr 19, 2024 4:24:30 PM
Streamlining Business with eSignature Integration

Over time, seemingly small changes can make a big difference. One brick in a field doesn’t seem important, but as more bricks are put in place—all of a sudden, you have one wall, then another, and soon you have a whole building.

It’s the same in business operations. If you find a way to save a few cents on a regular part of your processes, it won’t seem like much at first. But after you save those pennies often enough, you’ll find that you have a nice budget windfall.

An eSignature integration is like the brick in the field. You may not notice how much of a difference is made right away, but the savings in time and money that is provided will soon be standing in front of you.

Because it is not just that utilizing eSignature technology speeds up the signing process. It’s how that technology does it that provides massive benefits to your team’s day-to-day operations and to your organization’s bottom line.

So how can integrating electronic signature solutions benefit your business? And how can you be sure that you are actually using your eSignature software optimally? 

What Are eSignatures?

Before we dive into the various ways an eSignature integration can benefit your company, we need to have an understanding of what is meant by “eSignature.” On the surface, the definition is pretty straightforward, but there is some nuance to it.

eSignatures are digital representations of a person’s signature. In some cases, that can mean a scanned image of a person’s signature. It can mean a person signs a digital document with their finger or with a mouse. These are just the beginning—there are many different ways a signatory can leave their mark on an electronic document.

Digital signatures, while often conflated with eSignatures, are different things. They are related, though. A digital signature uses encryption and various means of identification to confirm the identity of the person viewing, changing, and/or signing a document. 

An eSignature is often part of a person’s digital signature, but you can have situations in which an eSignature is requested without any sort of digital signature required or where a person’s digital signature does not involve signing anything—such as confirming your identity in order to demonstrate that you have the proper permissions to view confidential materials.

The important thing to remember is that there are robust laws in many nations that have been in use and refined over the course of many years. eSignatures are legally binding and enforceable as long as they meet the criteria established in laws such as the ESIGN Act in the United States.

What Are eSignature Integrations?

With the understanding of what eSignatures and digital signatures are, getting a picture of what an electronic signature integration is capable of becomes possible. 

eSignature integrations are the means by which your eSignature solution works with the various programs and applications your organization utilizes for document and content management. Again, eSignatures are what saves your business time and money while the integrations are how.

Between your CRM and your document management system and all the other programs and apps you use to keep your business operating smoothly, there are a lot of processes and workflows that can be improved with eSignatures.

By utilizing the application programming interfaces (APIs) of your eSignature solution, you can integrate that solution with the programs you use to keep your business going. This allows your various programs and apps to seamlessly access your eSignature solution without jumping between windows and programs.

For all intents and purposes, your eSignature integration makes it so that the other programs you use seem like the use of eSignatures are built-in functions of those programs. It makes it so that your use of eSignatures is so ingrained in what you are doing that you hardly notice it.

The best eSignature solutions for a streamlined workflow will come out of the box with APIs that will connect to industry leading programs. Dropbox Sign, for example, can integrate with major software from Oracle, Microsoft, M-Files, Dropbox (of course), Salesforce, and more with ease.

And if you are using an application that is not already supported with a Dropbox Sign API, you can design and implement a custom API with the help of experts in document and content management technology, such as the experts at TEAM IM.

Taking steps toward eSignature integration allows you to make use of your established digital signature protocols within your document management system, integrate them with your eSignature solution, and create processes and workflows that will not play victim to the drawbacks of traditional paper-and-ink documentation.

Streamlining Business with eSignature Integration

What Are the Benefits of eSignature Integration?

So we know what an eSignature is and what is meant by integration, but how does any of that improve your operational efficiency? The answer to that question needs to be approached from multiple angles because eSignatures improve your business operations in more ways than you might realize.

Automating Manual Tasks

When you rely on hard copies of your documents, they need to be delivered to their recipients, signed, delivered back to you, and then sorted and stored for future referral—be that to confirm deliverables on a contract, renew a contract, fulfill an audit, or any number of other reasons.

With eSignature integration in your document creation and management workflows, you no longer need to print out your contracts and other important documents. You no longer need to physically deliver them to the correct signatory. And you don’t have to physically sort and store them.

You can automatically create a document using an established template that includes fields for initials and signatures, which can be sent electronically to its signatory. Then, once the signing is complete, that document can be set to automatically notify the relevant party in your organization.

If multiple people need to sign a contract, your electronic document can automatically move from one stakeholder to the next in a set order—each person getting an automatic notification when it is their time to sign.

That document can then be automatically sorted by metadata and stored securely in your cloud. This will allow you to search for any document you need in a matter of seconds no matter where you are at any point in its lifecycle.

All of this automation is only possible because of eSignature integration. 

Facilitating Focus

By integrating eSignature software into your technology stack, you all but eliminate one of those little annoyances that builds up over time as a major blow to your teams’ collective efficiency—switching between different apps, windows and/or tabs.

It seems like this isn’t something that should bother you. At most, it is only a few seconds at a time for a person to refocus on a new screen. But when you factor in the need to scroll to get to the relevant function and then the seconds to refocus on the first screen time and time again throughout a day and week and month, those minuscule times start to add up.

eSignature integration allows the different programs and applications that are needed to process your documents to connect in such a way that you need not hop between them mid-task. For example, let’s look at an offer letter to a new team member.

When you create your offer, you can set up the field for an eSignature to signal acceptance. Upon completion, you can send that offer out without needing to upload it to an email app because the integrations you have established connect those applications.

Then, upon your offer’s acceptance, that document can automatically go to your HR team—signaling to them that it is time to create and send out the electronic new-hire paperwork that can also be signed electronically and processed automatically. 

And all of this gets done without the little hiccups that come with hopping between different screens.

Improved Security

In managing your document operations, maintaining security is of tantamount importance. By integrating your eSignature solution into your document management system, you ensure that the people viewing and signing a document are the people with the correct permissions and clearances.

Additionally, eSignature integration can track when a contract is signed while working with your software to show if an attempt to change that contract was made after a signature was applied. Your eSignature and digital signature solutions work in tandem with your document management system to track every change and signature applied to a document to ensure that no fraudulent activity takes place.

What Are You Waiting For?

eSignature integration allows you to make your workflows simpler to navigate for everyone involved. Whether you need signatures on internal documents or contracts with outside parties, integrating your eSignature solution with your enterprise document management system just makes sense.

It helps your team become more efficient, it allows your key documents to be processed and stored automatically, it helps maintain a higher degree of security. It also allows signatures to come in from anywhere in the world in a fraction of the time it would take with pen and paper.

All of these improvements feel like little things, but again, remember those bricks in the field. One doesn’t seem like much. But as you add more and more, you get a stronger building. Let eSignature integration build your business into something spectacular.

You May Also Like

These Stories on Document Management

Subscribe by Email

No Comments Yet

Let us know what you think