Today we all moved one step closer to the elusive paperlessoffice with Adobe’s (news, site) announcement of its newest acquisition --electronic signature provider EchoSign (news, site).  Adobe will be integrating the technology intoa number of its products and perhaps improve the adoption of electronicsignature technology in general.

Electronic Signatures Improve Automation

According to Adobe, it plans to integrate EchoSign’scloud-based digital signature solution into SendNow for file transfer,FormsCentral for form creation and CreatePDF. Integration of EchoSign’s toolsmeans that Adobe will abandon the free beta eSignatures technology that itreleased last May that provided similar functionality. Acquisition of EchoSign mayfurther integration of Adobe’s products deeper into enterprise processes; itsPDF technology is already used prolifically as a document exchange format.

Why should anyone care? Organizations that have taken theeffort to implement process automation technology and content management systemswill likely be pleased with this announcement. The EchoSign integration will allowadopters to make any process that requires a human signature to be entirely electronicfrom document creation to signature and storage. The automation should reduce thecost and time for getting signatures as compared to manual processes thatrequire signing, scanning, mailing and overnight delivery.


EchoSign e-signatures

Learning Opportunities

Taking Manual Signatures out the of Process

EchoSign’s subscription based electronic signature serviceis currently used by over 3 million users. According to EchoSign, on average,electronic signatures require just 42 minutes and is capable of automating thesignature process with just a few clicks from users. Although digital signingtechnology has long been available and easy to use, it has not been adopted aswidely. Given how widely used the PDF document format is, Adobe’s acquisitionmight just the kick e-signatures need to become the defacto way people signdocuments.

Adobe isn’t just getting a new product; it’s getting theentire EchoSign team. EchoSign’s founders and all full-time employees willtransition to Adobe. The terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed andit is also not clear if EchoSign’s existing subscription model pricing will be modifiedin anyway as a result of the acquisition.

How do you feel about moving to completely digital signing? Do you love or are you nostalgic for a post office trip?