WASHINGTON, January 8, 2013 — Kevin M Lynch is the senior vice president and general manager of Acrobat and Document Services at Adobe Systems Incorporated, which acquired EchoSign in 2011. He oversees product development and marketing for Adobe EchoSign and Adobe Acrobat solutions, including Reader, Acrobat and Acrobat.com. Below he answers questions relative to the growth and potential of EchoSign.
Jeff Barrett: What was the inspiration behind Adobe acquiring EchoSign?
Kevin Lynch: Increasingly, customers expect to be able to conduct business completely online, and asking someone to print out, sign, and fax back a signed document breaks the online experience and slows down the process. That’s why we acquired EchoSign in July 2011. Adobe’s online document exchange services help organizations turn inefficient, paper-based workflows into streamlined digital processes. By adding eSignature capabilities to Adobe’s online document exchange services platform, we addressed the need to provide better customer experiences while significantly reducing the time, cost and complexity associated with having a document signed.
Barrett: How will this service integrate into Adobe?
Lynch: Currently, Adobe EchoSign is integrated with Adobe Reader, the most widely used free PDF reader, giving over a billion users the ability to send documents for signature and sign right from their desktop or mobile device. Adobe also plans to make EchoSign a key component of our document exchange services offering, which includes SendNow for managed file transfer and FormsCentral for form creation.
Barrett: How quickly can EchoSign instant e-signature positively impact a business?
Lynch: Adobe EchoSign has already positively impacted businesses of all sizes from Fortune 500 companies to companies of one in a wide range of lines of business and industries including sales, real estate, healthcare, education, and finance.
The most immediate impact eSignatures have on business is the ability to greatly reduce average quote-to-close time for contracts and agreements from days to just minutes. Without the need to manage, print, ship/fax, and file paper-based contracts, businesses can now focus their time on the one thing that matters: customers.
In addition to saving businesses time and money associated with printing and shipping, Web contracting replaces the need to physically store and file contracts as EchoSign stores every document signed in the cloud, providing secure 24/7 access to all documents. That way, users don’t need to worry about carrying around massive contract documents and will always have access to backup copies if needed and can even have documents signed in person on mobile devices.
Electronic signatures are also protected by the federal ESIGN Act, which ensures that customers who sign contracts electronically are as protected as they would be had they opted for pen-on-paper agreements. Some would argue the protections are even greater with digital contracts, since eSignature solutions can offer additional authentications from email, IP addresses, passwords, social network credentials and other safeguards that surpass anything possible with physical copies or fax transmissions.
Barrett: What makes Adobe the leader in web contracting and electronic signature services?
Lynch: Adobe EchoSign was the first 100-percent Web-based eSignature solution to hit the market, providing companies with the option to complete contracts within the cloud. Prior to EchoSign, eSignatures were only available via printer-driven solutions or IT-based tools, behind-the-firewall.
Adobe EchoSign is integrated with a number of leading CRM systems including Salesforce, SharePoint and NetSuite, and has been named Best Salesforce App four times. The integration of Adobe Reader and EchoSign creates a one-stop shop for eSignatures for more than 1 billion Adobe Reader users around the world.
EchoSign is also the only web contracting and eSignature product backed by a large corporation and not considered a startup, which ensures that the service will be around for the long term for our customers.
Barrett: How do you see the web contracting trend evolving?
Lynch: The driving force behind Web contracting and eSignatures has changed. Whereas adoption once was pushed by businesses wanting to eliminate inefficiency, consumers – including customers, partners, and internal users – are now the main drivers. Customers are increasingly comfortable conducting business via the Web and mobile devices, and they are demanding that companies move more of their customer-facing processes online. And now that vendors are offering full-featured Web contracting solutions, the customer experience has caught up with the vision: Web contracting is intuitive, fast, flexible, secure, and compliant.
Jeff Barrett is a recognized leader in public relations, experiential marketing and social media. Co-Founder of Status Creative, 2011 PRNewswire Award Winner for “Best Use of Video In Social Media” and record holder for Most Strikeouts in Tee-Ball.
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