How DocuSign is simplifying the process of trust
November 1, 2017
With the latest Skuid release—Skuid Millau—customers can now connect to all their DocuSign data and display it in Skuid apps—without writing any code.
We got the chance to interview Ron Hirson, DocuSign’s chief product officer, about the evolution of the product, the company’s roots, its current release, and what to expect from the DocuSign team’s session at the Salesforce user conference, Dreamforce, in San Francisco, where they will be sharing customer success stories.
Skuid: DocuSign revolutionized the way we handle and sign paperwork, which can very often be a tedious task that takes a lot of time, especially over email. Can you talk about how DocuSign came about?
Hirson: Back in 2003, our founder Tom Gonser saw the hassles, lack of security, and costs that surfaced every time an individual or organization needed a signature on a contract, agreement, or document. He realized that many business processes could not be digitized because they required a paper signature. Tom knew that to unlock truly digital business, the signature itself had to be digital. He focused on eliminating manual processes—printing, faxing, scanning, and overnighting documents—by creating a cloud-based eSignature solution that would enable anyone to transact virtually anywhere, on any device, using only a browser. Fast-forward 14 years, and DocuSign is not only the pioneer, but the standard for eSignatures and the Digital Transaction Management (DTM) category globally, with more than 300,000 paying companies and more than 200 million users across 188 countries.
What was the “aha moment” in realizing the need for such a product?
Tom was a serial entrepreneur and technologist in the mortgage industry. His wife, Ellen, was a real estate agent. They knew firsthand the hassles of the closing process—mounds of paperwork, driving around town to get client signatures, overnighting documents to out-of-towners. Tom was sure there had to be a better way. He set out to understand the market opportunity, interviewing potential customers to determine what such a solution would require for people to use it. Fast, familiar, and legally enforceable came up time and again. So, he created the first cloud-based electronic signature solution, incorporating electronic versions of familiar “sticky tabs” to drive virality. Now, using DocuSign is its own kind of “aha moment” for consumers and businesses. It’s even grown to become the verb for doing business digitally across many industries—real estate, financial services, insurance, healthcare and life sciences, technology, higher education, government, nonprofit, and more.
How has your product grown over time?
DocuSign began as an eSignature process platform and has since grown to lead the category of Digital Transaction Management, or DTM. DTM is cloud software designed to help individuals and organizations safely and securely manage approvals, decisions, contracts, and workflows, 100% digitally. From a technology perspective, DTM is an important component in an organization’s digital transformation. Fully digital technologies accelerate the process of doing business and simplify life for customers, partners, and employees. We’ve continued to innovate based on our customer needs, adding solutions like DocuSign Payment, which enables individuals and organizations to get signatures and deposits or full payment all within the same transaction.
Let’s talk about your Fall ’17 Release. According to your press release, it’s a product of what your customers have been asking for. Can you talk about why these new features are so important to some of your customers?
Our Fall Release builds on the substantial product momentum we’ve had this year. The updates are in direct response to customer feedback to give them the best possible all-around experience. For example, one new feature is DocuSign Comments—designed so senders and signers of agreements can collaborate by directly adding contextual comments within a document via DocuSign. Previously, if signers had questions about a contract, or wanted more details on a line item, they had to leave the DocuSign platform and email or call the person who sent them the contract and have an out-of-context conversation while trying to reference specific places in the contract. This was a big pain point for customers and it often caused a hold-up in the process. Now with DocuSign Comments, feedback and questions can be asked and answered directly within the document so the parties can come to agreement more quickly.
Let’s talk about your recent announcement regarding authorization to operate under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP). Tell me about how this relates to digital transformation in the public sector. What does this mean and why it is so important?
DocuSign was just granted Authority to Operate (ATO) status under FedRAMP. For those who aren’t familiar, FedRAMP is a government-wide service that vets technology providers for security and risk, so that individual agencies don’t have to do their own checks on a case-by-case basis. Many of the most ubiquitous enterprise technology companies have products that are FedRAMP certified, including cloud services from Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Office 365. Prior to FedRAMP, DocuSign already saw success with state and local government agencies—California alone uses it on a state level and in almost 400 cities—but FedRAMP authorization means it will be a lot easier for federal agencies to embrace cloud-based eSignatures for doing official federal agency business. We see this not as a move that brings eSignature technology to the Federal government, but as a stepping stone toward broad-scale digital transformation across government.
It looks like you’ll have quite a presence this year at Dreamforce. What can attendees expect from your multiple sessions?
The DocuSign team is looking forward to our participation at Dreamforce. We will be highlighting customers using DocuSign to accelerate their quote-to-cash processes. As the number-one eSignature solution on the Salesforce AppExchange, customers like Salesforce, Comcast, and HotelTonight are dramatically accelerating their quote-to-cash processes with DocuSign in their toolkit. On average, 85 percent of agreements are DocuSigned within a day, 64 percent within an hour, and 53 percent within 15 minutes or less.