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DocuSign Goes Mobile

I recently caught up with Tom Gosner, VP and chief strategy officer of DocuSign. Given the advantages of digital signature technology--paperless transactions handled securely and rapidly with legally binding electronic signatures--DocuSign's core service is a natural fit for today's mobile business world. As I watch everyone from salespeople to execs hit the road while doing business out of the palm of their hands, I wanted Gosner's perspective on how digital signatures are being received by those asked to use and trust them, how they fare in legal challenges, and if DocuSign has new service offerings tailored to the latest generation smartphones. It turns out that Gosner has a lot to be excited about these days.

During our discussion, Gosner verified what I thought I knew about DocuSign, in that they are a Software as a Service (SaaS) company with different tiers of service for their growing customer base. Since almost all of their document transactions occur between client web browsers through the cloud, business requiring signatures can be conducted anywhere you have connectivity. DocuSign's method of handling documents ensures that no manipulation of any document content can occur, and their proven audit trail even stands up in court.

Given the ten year anniversary of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act signed into law by President Clinton, DocuSign's street cred got a major boost as the US Government recognized that when handled properly, digitally signed contracts and the like are as good as (and often better) than the old "fax it over and I'll sign it" ways of doing business. The new law is indeed good news for those who are going paperless and who need quick turnaround on legal documents.

Beyond relishing the growing acceptance of e-signatures, Gosner described a soon-to-be released suite of tools coming to the iPhone that reflect just how hi-tech this whole realm has become. Got a paper document that you'd like to digitize to get into DocuSign's framework for digital signature? Using the soon-to-be-released app, you need only take a picture of it and whiz it off to wherever it needs to go. It will arrive in the same trusted, encrypted, legally binding form as if it were manually originated and sent by registered mail.

That's pretty powerful, but Gosner saved the best for last: if I'm a manager and I want to peek in on draft contracts being worked on by my field associates in other states or countries, I open up one of the pending iPhone apps and have total visibility into what my staff is working on, regardless of where they are. I can make edits myself if something is amiss, and my changes become part of the audit trail. Watch DocuSign's web site for the release announcement on these tools. I only forgot to ask Gosner how much a digital signature from Derek Jeter might be worth, and how would get him to sign my Yankees cap electronically from his iPhone?