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Comparing Two E-signature Apps: DocuSign and Adobe EchoSign

POSTED 10/07/2015
By Joseph Mapue

While a fully paperless office remains an elusive dream, the road to get there has become clearer and easier to tread, thanks to technologies like cloud storage and e-signature software. By transforming traditional processes such as contract signing into a purely digital transaction, for example, e-signature apps like DocuSign and Adobe Document Cloud (formerly Adobe EchoSign) make it a lot easier, cheaper and faster to send, sign, store and secure all types of documents.

How is that possible? DocuSign, Adobe Document Cloud and other leading e-signature software enable people to send and sign documents using just a web browser or a mobile device. This eliminates the need for physical paper and related resources such as printers, scanners, fax machines, and even pens. Well, at least where contract management is concerned.

Much like an ink-based signature, digital signatures are legally binding. Moreover, you can store terabytes of digital documents in virtually unlimited and highly secured space on the cloud, unlike physical counterparts that can take up entire floors of an office building.

Millions of individuals and organizations — including Salesforce, LinkedIn and Samsung — already reap the benefits of signing and managing documents online. Many more are joining the trend. Buoyed by the promise of reduced contract processing time and hiked savings in document management costs, the digital transaction management market is projected to be worth at least $30 billion by 2020.

If your teams still struggle with piles of paperwork, your organization needs to embrace the future. As you might have guessed, the two most popular digital transaction management (DTM) solutions are DocuSign and Adobe Document Cloud.

To help you decide which solution best fits your business, here’s a quick review of some of their features.

DocuSign Adobe Document Cloud
Parent Company DocuSign Adobe Systems Inc.
Supported OS/Platforms Mac, Windows, Web-based Mac, Windows, Web-based
Mobile Support Yes (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, mobile website) Yes (Android, iOS, mobile website)
Price/User/Month Starts at $10 for individuals and $30 for businesses Individuals and companies need to join Adobe Document Cloud to access the eSign service. Monthly plans for individuals start at $20 while companies need to contact Adobe for custom pricing.
Free Trial? Yes, 30-day free trial with no obligation/credit card requirement Yes, 30-day free trial with no obligation/credit card requirement
Typical Users Individuals, small to medium companies, nonprofits, large enterprises, government Large enterprises, small to medium companies, nonprofits, government, individuals
Target Industries Cross-industry: includes agriculture, banking, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, education, information technology, insurance, health, medical services and real estate. Cross-industry: includes automotive, finance, construction, education, information technology, insurance and entertainment media.
Prominent Customers Alliance Staffing Solutions, Aon Affinity, Bellco Credit Union, Box, DuPont, EDGAR Online, Expedia, LinkedIn, Nest Realty, RE/MAX Signature Properties, Salesforce.com, School of Rock, SugarCRM Aetna, BT Group, Dropbox, Google, Procter & Gamble, Groupon, KIA, Citrix, Foursquare, Jaguar Land Rover, Marketo, NEC Financial Services, NetApp, Philadelphia University, Time Warner Cable
Language Support 40+ including English, Arabic. Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Russian and Spanish Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish
Applicable Jurisdictions Global, in countries where digital signatures are allowed/enforced Global, in countries where digital signatures are allowed/enforced
Security & Legal Compliance Features Non-repudiation audit trails, bank-level encryption, tamper-proof sealed certificates, multi-factor authentication, ESIGN Act Compliance, ISO 27001- and SSAE 16-certified, adherence to special financial standards of FDA, FTC FHA, IRS and FINRA Audit log, strident encryption systems for data at rest and in transit; compliant with industry security standards, including ESIGN, UETA, HIPAA and PCI v3.0, and ISO 27001
Customizable API? Yes (REST/SOAP API, IODocs) Yes (REST/SOAP API)
Common System  Integrations Salesforce, Dropbox, Google Drive, NetSuite,Kwik-Loan, xRM, Constellation, Box, OneCloud, Microsoft Systems, etc. Ariba, Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, NetSuite, SAP, SugarCRM, Microsoft SharePoint 2010, etc.
Customer Support FAQ, email, community forum, demos, webinars, e-Learning (DocuSign University) Video demos, guides, community forum, blog, product documentation.

Table data collected from multiple sources including the websites of DocuSign, EchoSign, GetApp, G2Crowd, SoftwareInsider, and FitSmallBusiness

Adobe Document Cloud’s eSign Services

Aobe Document Cloud Screenshot

EchoSign is a multi-awarded e-signature software owned by Adobe Systems. It enables individuals and enterprises to send, sign and store documents while providing full tracking and filing capabilities. In April 2015, Adobe merged EchoSign with its PDF file management application Acrobat into a single web-based subscription service called Adobe Document Cloud. With this move, Adobe consolidated its robust digital signing capabilities with the standard-setting features of its suite of Acrobat software.

As claimed in its website, Adobe Document Cloud significantly speeds up signature-related processes, sometimes by as much as 93%. Adobe Document Cloud is used by millions of individuals and organizations including many Fortune 1000 companies. Via a customizable API, it can be integrated into the digital components of processes such as sales, procurement and HR; as well as into third party applications like NetSuite and SharePoint. Adobe Document Cloud’s customer base ranges across industries given Adobe’s market clout. The service is also mobile-enabled via the eSign Manager DC app for iOS and Android devices, allowing users to send or sign contracts on the go, virtually anywhere in the world.

DocuSign

DocuSign

Created in 2003, DocuSign predates EchoSign (which later was rebranded as Adobe Document Cloud) by two years and has generated a lot of buzz — and a lot of funding ($408 million and counting) — since then. Buoyed by fresh funds following a round of investments in May 2015, DocuSign recently joined the $3 billion club in terms of market valuation. If you’re wondering what’s keeping investors excited about DocuSign, it’s likely the company’s booming core business (e-signatures) and the growing ecosystem around it (digital transactions). DocuSign claims to be the global standard for digital transaction management (DTM). With the company serving 50 million users in 188 countries, challenging that claim won’t be easy.

DocuSign simplifies digital transaction management into three steps: send, sign and manage. In the sending phase, you can upload a common-format (PDF, Microsoft Word, etc) document from your computer or from a file-sharing site like Dropbox or Google Drive. After specifying the recipients and their email addresses, you can place tags/markers in the document to indicate where recipients should sign. The signing phase is just a matter of opening the email, clicking the link and following simple instructions. Lastly, the management phase is supported by user interfaces, algorithms and policy-compliant features that track, store, and protect your documents.

DocuSign’s robust APIs can help accelerate contract signings and other digital transactions in just about any department in your organization: sales, human resources, finance, legal, customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP). Meanwhile, the service’s mobile support includes the free DocuSign app for Windows Phone, iOS and Android devices.

Time to Sign up for Digital

A Forrester report found that businesses lose substantial revenue due to inefficient transaction management.

Do you still send physical copies of contracts to your clients, partners, suppliers and candidate employees, then leave everything to luck, hoping they will sign the documents quickly and send those back without delay? Given the way things are, you’ll likely need an awful amount of luck to even expect all the documents you’ve sent to find their way back to their space-consuming cabinets.

Going digital signals the difference between excellence and inertia in your organization. Whether you choose DocuSign or eSign Services on Adobe Document Cloud, the change will dramatically transform your business. By signing up for either service, you’re taking the first step in speeding up your operations, cutting transport and storage costs, minimizing errors and establishing a fluid experience for your customers. More importantly, you’re also taking your organization a step ahead into the future.

Jagged Edge Media JAcom Consultants