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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic many companies are finding that their workforce has abruptly shifted to a remote workforce. This shift can be challenging for many companies and stressful for employees who are accustomed to working in an office. In this article we will explore five tools for increasing efficiency when working from home during the COVID-19 outbreak: collaboration software, scheduling software, eSignature & Digital Transaction Management software, meeting software, computer hardware & internet access.

 

Collaboration Software

 

Streamlined communication, collaboration and transparency are three important factors when working remote. Having the necessary software in place to encourage effective communication, promote transparent project management, and conduct reliable meetings can be the difference between a successful remote work team and one that fails to meet deliverables. There are many options on the market for software that accomplishes these goals, here are a few:

 

  • Communication
    • Slack is a collaboration tool that brings remote teams together. Slack’s instant messaging platform makes real-time communication seamless and engaging.
    • Microsoft Teams replaced what used to be Skype for Business. This collaboration platform is Microsoft’s answer to an online meeting hub. What we like most about Microsoft Teams is it combines video conferencing, calling and document collaboration into one easy to navigate app. (At the time of posting this blog article Microsoft Teams is being offered for free for users working remote.)
    • Google Hangouts is a professional business collaboration tool that gives users the ability to use both voice and text to communicate in real-time. Hangouts seems to work better with smaller teams from our experience.
  • Project Management
    • Asana is a web and mobile application aimed at helping teams organize, track and manage projects. Asana makes project collaboration simple with tools to help keep everyone working toward a common goal and completing projects on time.
    • Monday.com was previously Dapulse and is a collaborative space that helps teams plan, organize and track projects all in one place. Monday.com has a sleek platform with visually appealing charts that help keep track of projects.
    • Trello is a great collaboration tool built into a visually appealing app. Trello is fun and flexible with many uses both professional and personal. Great for a start-up or large family trying to keep appointments straight.
  • Document Collaboration
    • Google Docs is a cloud-based collaboration tool that allows teams of all sizes to create, share, edit and even publish documents and presentations.
    • Zoho Docs make document creation, storing, editing, sharing and collaboration seamless. Zoho Docs allows users to store all their files like music, videos and spreadsheets in one place.
    • Quip is a collaboration and communication tool for teams. Quip allows users to edit documents and spreadsheets in real-time.

 

Meeting Software

 

Virtual meeting platforms are a necessity when working from home. These platforms allow for visual communication in a virtual meeting space. They also allow users the ability to share computer screens in real time for a collaborative meeting experience. The following software allows for both internal and external virtual meetings.

 

  • GoToMeeting is great for large virtual meetings and is easy to get started. It also has the option to set up turnkey onsite meeting rooms with prepackaged equipment for those businesses that have a team of both location-dependent and location-independent employees.
  • WebEx is an enterprise solution for video conferencing, online meetings, screen share, and webinars. WebEx stands out because it integrates well with other applications like salesforce, Google Drive and Office 365.
  • Zoom allows users to visually connect without having to physically be together. Zoom is easy to navigate and works well with very large groups. One thing we like about Zoom is the easy option for those without a video connection to dial-in to meetings from their phone. (At the time of this blog post Zoom has extended its free account to have additional features for users working remote.)

 

Scheduling Software

 

One challenge with remote teams is the ability to schedule internal and external meetings without the need for lengthy email chains. While collaboration software can cut down on the need for meetings, sometimes meetings are necessary. These scheduling tools make scheduling meetings quick and help keep you organized.

 

  • You Can book me is a simple straightforward tool to help your team schedule online meetings.
  • Calendly touts the ability to help you schedule meetings without the back and forth emails.
  • Doodle is an online scheduling tool specifically focused on helping larger teams find the best time for a meeting that works with everyone’s schedule. After a time is identified the system will send out a calendar invite.

 

eSignature & Digital Transaction Management Software

 

eSignature and Digital Transaction Management (DTM) software can increase productivity and efficiency while reducing errors and cost. ZorroSign can help companies:

 

  • Track completed work, enabling accountability of workflow.
  • Centralize in-process and completed documents so users don’t have to check multiple sources.
  • Reduce fraud with blockchain based audit trail, so users have full trust and confidence that executed documents will be legally binding globally.
  • Execute documents and contracts anywhere, any time, and on any smart device.

 

Hardware & Internet

 

When working from home having secure computer hardware that can handle the type of work the employee does is very important. A data analyst, systems engineer, or graphic designer would each have very different hardware needs. Many people use laptops, so physically switching locations (from work to home) should not be too difficult. Just as important is the ability of an employee to have access to reliable and fast internet. Internet speed often varies depending on the location of the individual. In general, most people who work from home can comfortably conduct business with internet speeds around 25 Mbps. If the user is downloading very large files or needs to stream 4K content, 200+ Mbps or greater should be used. Unfortunately, in many locations outside of larger cities higher speed internet is not available. If an employee plans on working from multiple locations, a personal hotspot would be useful to ensure uninterrupted internet access.

 

Another consideration companies should take when relying on a remote workforce is security and privacy. Company issued equipment should have appropriate security software pre-installed. If an employee is using their own hardware then the company should have protocols in place to ensure sensitive data is protected. Companies should be concerned with cybersecurity and take steps to protect company equipment and information. A few tips for being cyber aware when working remote are to: secure your home network, encrypt sensitive files, dispose sensitive data securely, patch vulnerabilities when prompted, use multi-factor authentication to access systems, use a VPN, have MDM and EPM policies in place, and don’t open emails from unknown senders.

 

Conclusion

 

The bottom line is if you are not accustomed to working from home this can be a very stressful time. As you begin to navigate a new normal, having the correct tools in place to increase your efficiency will help reduce some of the stress you are feeling. Remember, when you are working remote, clear and consistent communication is very important. Using the tools and resources above can help you and your company succeed in the remote workforce environment. If your company doesn’t already have some of these tools in place, many of them are easy to implement with low costs. The right tools, with the right attitude and drive will make working remote through the COVID-19 outbreak fun, effective and efficient.

 

 

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If there was something you could do to increase workforce productivity, efficiency, employee wellness, increase employee satisfaction and save money, would you?

 

For many businesses a remote workforce can provide the benefits stated above. For small businesses the benefits of a remote workforce can drastically decrease overhead cost, allowing additional talent acquisition and business growth. For larger businesses a remote workforce can decrease turnover and attract top global talent.

 

Remote employees, also known as location-independent employees are those company workers that can accomplish their work from a location other than the physical location of a company office. In addition to the benefits of a remote workforce, it’s important to realize this is not a fad. In fact, a survey conducted by Owl Labs determined that as much as 52% of employees around the globe work remotely at least one-day per week, with 16% of global businesses operating 100% remote. The reason for the increase in businesses utilizing remote workforces are many, in this article we will explore increased productivity, increased employee satisfaction, access to top talent and saving money.

 

Increased productivity

 

Imagine having a cohesive team that consistently gets more done in less time. The University of Illinois published a study that showed telecommuters often outperform their location-dependent peers and go above the call of duty to provide more effort for their companies. Remote workers generally work more hours as they start earlier since they do not have a long commute. These same workers also take shorter breaks and are more likely to work until the end of the day, as they are not rushing out of the office to try and decrease their commute time in traffic or run errands before businesses close. Remote workers also tend to work through lunch and unscheduled leave for sick days decrease. According to a study in the Harvard Business Review, remote employees actually worked almost an entire day more per week than their in-office counterparts.

 

Flexibility to get demanding work done during hours the employee is most effective increases productivity and deliverables. For some employees the early morning hours are when they are at their best, for others the middle of the day is when they are most effective or creative. Other employees are inspired by their environment and the flexibility to physically change their work environment helps to increase their productivity and give all their attention to the project at hand.

 

Remote collaboration using conference calling and video chat cut down on lengthy meetings and help provide a smoother transition from meetings to working on projects. Instead of using valuable time chatting about the weather before or after a meeting, online meetings are more likely to start and end on time, allowing employees to begin meaningful work much faster after a virtual meeting, rather than an in-person meeting.

 

Increased employee satisfaction

 

Remote work leads to increased employee satisfaction. Namely, location-independent jobs allow for work/life balance. This balance decreases employee stress and increases wellness. With the flexibility of working remotely employees are often able to increase their physical activity, while still spending time with their family as a result of saving considerable time not commuting each day. Location-independent work arrangements also lead to the flexibility of employees being able to explore additional education and career training. This flexibility to improve one’s skill set leads to not only increased employee satisfaction, but personal fulfillment and career growth. Along with the savings realized by corporations, Flexjobs reported that employees save on average $4,600 per year by working remote full-time.

 

Access to top talent

 

A remote workforce can allow a business to tap into top talent and subject matter experts across the globe. With geographic constraints removed employers are now able to seek the best and brightest talent, regardless of living location. AfterCollege conducted a study showing that 68% of millennials would consider a remote work arrangement a favorable perk when deciding on a prospective employer. When competing for top talent, offering remote work arrangements can give a business a competitive advantage.

 

Save money

 

It’s simple, reduce the number of employees in an office and you can reduce overhead cost. Some of the cost reduction associated with fewer employees working in an office are office rent, furniture, supplies and utilities. According to Flexjobs employers can experience a $22,000 savings per full-time remote employee per year by offering a full-time remote work arrangement. According to an online article in Forbes, Insurance giant Aetna is one of the largest employers offering remote work. This arrangement has paid off big for the company with an estimated cost savings of $78 million per year from a reduction in rented space.

 

Location-independent employees also have a reduced rate of employee turnover. Remote employees are more likely to stay loyal to their company. It is estimated that millennials average job tenure is about two-years, imagine being able to double that. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has conducted research that suggests average replacement cost of a salaried employee is six to nine months’ salary. It’s clear that keeping a valuable employee engaged and loyal will ultimately pay dividends given the cost to replace an employee, remote work arrangements help with turnover reduction.

 

Conclusion

 

For some businesses, allowing employees to work remotely will greatly benefit both the business and the employee. Workers who feel valued and inspired will ultimately be more productive, efficient and more willing to work harder in order to be a valuable member of the team. While remote work takes discipline, providing employees with tools that will help them succeed will allow businesses the ability to experience significant benefits by allowing for partial or total remote work. Finally, remote workforces help to decrease carbon emissions, thus improving the global environment, which is a major focus area for ZorroSign.

 

Click here to get in touch with us. You can also email us at [email protected]

A freelancer or independent contractor is generally a self-employed individual that performs work on a per project basis for the clients that hire them. Because of their self-employed status, most freelancers and independent contractors do not have the legal protections that a typical corporate employee would have. Freelancers and independent contractors often work in a comparatively high-paced environment, sometimes managing multiple contracts at once with people they do not know well. As a result, work contracts are very important, and electronic signature solutions, like ZorroSign, provide a solution to securely, effectively and legally create and execute freelancers and independent contractors client contracts that are fully enforceable in a court of law. This legal validity provides the peace of mind that freelancers and independent contractors can work in comfort, with the assurance that they will get paid.

 

The Importance of Contracts

Freelancers and independent contractors are at risk of non-payment due to a range of issues such as client disputes, and scope creep (where client repeatedly adds more work to the agreed scope). Without a proper contract, freelancers and independent contractors have no proof that they are entitled to payment by the client. To avoid problems of this nature, freelancers and independent contractors should always enter into legally binding contracts with their clients. The contract should clearly define the scope of work, the terms of payment, milestones and deadlines. With details specified in a contract, there is clarity on both sides about scope, deliverables and terms. It would be cumbersome to handle contracts in physical form, ZorroSign electronic signature solution allows freelancers and independent contractors the opportunity to execute work contracts anywhere, on any device, and at any time.

 

What is an Electronic Signature?

Electronic Signatures are a digital representation of the traditional wet signature that people use to sign documents. With electronic signatures, there is no need to print a document. Instead, you can electronically send the document for signature, and once all parties have signed the document, a fully executed version will be available to all parties, inclusive of an audit trail. The electronic signature itself can be a signature created using an electronic signature pad, text or even a verbal signature in line with global laws on electronic signature.

 

Advantages of Electronic Signatures

  1. Prevent risk of loss or damage – With electronic signatures, physical filing of documents becomes unnecessary, preventing potential loss or damage of paper documents during traditional storage processes.
  2. Saves money & time – eSigned documents allow secure, fast, efficient processing of documents and contracts. They also allow cost reduction in printing, scanning, filling and courier services that would be incurred with traditional wet ink processes.
  3. Doesn’t require physical storage – Physically signed documents are often stored as an archive copy in storage cabinets, using valuable office space. Electronic Signatures reduce or eliminate storage costs while staying compliant with all industry or company document retention policies.
  4. Improves security of documents – Printed documents are vulnerable to copying, theft or robbery, whereas digitally signed documents are encrypted and safely stored inside password protected accounts that are accessible 24/7/365.
  5. Quicker turnaround times – With Electronic Signatures and Workflow Automation, available using ZorroSign, freelancers and independent contractors can focus on their work and automate the documentation processes. Documents can be signed and sent back instantly, which employers will appreciate and may even provide a competitive advantage, as clients may prefer to work with freelancers and independent contractors with such quick response times.
  6. Enhance customer relationship – Accurate and fast turnaround times often lead to enhanced positive relationships with the customers (employers).

 

Types of documents that can be Electronically Signed

For freelancers and independent contractors, while working with clients, there are many document types that can be executed electronically, such as:

  • Contracts
  • MOU – Memorandum of Understanding with clients
  • MNDA – Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement with clients
  • SOW – Statement of Work
  • Proposals / Bids / Quotes
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Invoices / Purchase Orders / Receipt
  • Partnership Agreements
  • Royalty Agreements
  • Tax Forms

 

ZorroSign for Freelancers & Independent Contractors

ZorroSign, pioneer of Electronic Signatures, offers its solution for freelancers and independent contractors. With the free for life ZorroSign account, freelancers and independent contractors can send up to 3 documents per month for signature. For more documents, ZorroSign provides options to sign up for a monthly subscription at nominal rates. With Workflow Automation and several other integrations, ZorroSign provides an attractive solution for freelancers and independent contractors looking to protect themselves with electronic signatures.

 

With ZorroSign’s Electronic Signatures, get work done faster, get paid faster, keep your clients happy, all while keeping administrative costs minimal. Signup for ZorroSign, today.

Walk into any office and you will see remnants of paper use, whether it’s paper receipts, file cabinets full of contracts, printers, courier services, or even medical records. Paper has long been the standard in most businesses, but this is changing. With the recent ‘go digital’ movement, more and more companies are choosing to replace their paper processes with digital workflows. The companies who have already made the switch to digital are realizing many benefits, both for their employees and the company. There are cost savings, environmental benefits, and even increases in employee satisfaction. Paper processes are costly, in this article you will learn about 11 immediate cost savings your company can benefit from by adopting an eSignature and Digital Transaction Management (DTM) solution.

 

In order to fully understand potential cost savings of going digital, let’s first briefly explore the dollar costs associated with paper based processes, specifically, Print-Sign-Scan-Email or Courier processes. Businesses large and small generally have different processes, and this results in slightly different cost estimates for paper based processes. As a result it is better to provide a framework for cost calculation.

 

Cost Analysis Framework (USA estimates)

 

Copy paper

$5 / pack of 500 sheets

Printer/WorkCenter

B/W: $8,000

Color: $4,500

Printer Ink (per printer)

B/W: $250 50k pages

Color: $360 20k pages

Scanner

Included w/Printer/WorkCenter

Electricity

$99.06 /Month/printer

Steel file cabinets

$600 average / Cabinet

Folders & stationery

$300 / Year/Employee

$1000/Year/Employee (Law Firm)

Courier services

$33,000 to $65,000/Year

Man hours, Time

260 hours/ Employee/Year

Off-site paper storage

$0.72 /Box/Month

$864/100 Boxes/Yr.

Office space (file cabinets)

15 Sq.Ft (standard 4-drawer file cabinet)

Avg. $50 /Sq.Ft = $9000/Year

Insurance (Data Breach Policy)

$12k to $120k /Year

size of company, includes cyber attack coverage.

As you can see from the above cost analysis framework, paper processes are expensive and a major cost for businesses. Going digital and having your company adopt a paperless lifestyle can drastically impact company profits, increase employee satisfaction, while also positively impacting the environment. The cost savings of going digital are immediate, below is a list and additional details of just eleven of these savings:

 

    1. Copy Paper – Copy paper is costly, and printed documents are vulnerable to copying, theft or damaged, whereas digitally signed documents are encrypted and safely stored inside password protected accounts that are always accessible.
    2. Printer Ink – Paper processes require documents to be printed using printer ink or toner in order to wet sign a document. When going digital, the need for printer ink can be eliminated altogether or drastically reduced.
    3. Printer/WorkCenter – Printed documents require companies to invest in expensive printers or WorkCenters that are capable of handling extensive printing needs. Assuming the company is not printing and distributing printed marketing collateral, this expense can be reduced or eliminated by adopting a digital process.
    4. Folders & Stationery – When using paper processes, companies must organize printed materials that are then stored. The use of file folders and stationery are often the answer to methodically storing paper based documents. Transitioning to a digital process can eliminate or reduce the need for file folders and stationary.
    5. Filing Cabinets – Physically signed documents are often stored as an archive copy in storage cabinets. These filing cabinets cost money. Transitioning to electronic signatures will reduce or eliminate the need for filing cabinets.
    6. Office Space (for file cabinets) – Physically signed documents that are stored in filing cabinets use valuable office space. Adopting an eSignature and DTM solution reduces or eliminates the cost associated with extra office space to house these filing cabinets.
    7. Off-site paper storage – Often companies are forced to use off-site storage facilities for archived documents in order to make room for current and new documents in their daily office space. This opens the door for damage, theft or loss of these valuable documents when being transferred in between locations, not to mention the expense incurred to store these documents off-site. Prevent risk of loss or damage with eSignatures as physical filing of documents becomes unnecessary.
    8. Courier Services – Shipping and handling of paper documents for signature is avoided all together.
    9. Legal Fees – Using ZorroSign’s patent pending 4n6 (Forensics) Token Reader, ZorroSign offers non-repudiated audit trails and chain of custody. ZorroSign users can be confident their documents have been executed with tamper-proof security and enforceability. This audit trail and chain of custody can drastically reduce legal fees if a contract is disputed in a court of law.
    10. Insurance – Decrease of insurance premiums from lowering fire and theft risk by eliminating paper file storage.
    11. Personnel Resources:
      a. Save time retrieving documents.
      b. Save time managing signature process like tracking and follow-up, etc.
      c. Save time with the ability to manage multiple versions of documents and templates.
      d. Save time by identifying bottlenecks and make appropriate adjustments to the process in order to increase efficiency.

 

Along with immediate and long term cost savings achieved by using an eSignature and DTM solution, there are substantial environmental impacts, these include: conservation of water, energy, and trees as well as reduction of carbon footprint. Check out ZorroSign’s Environmental Savings Calculator to see your company’s potential environmental impact. For organizations adopting a ‘go digital’ mindset, there are tangible benefits like cost savings and intangible benefits like doing your part to save the environment, these benefits not only help the company, but its employees as well. Studies show that 3 in every 4 companies who adopt paperless processes experience a tangible payback within 12-18 months.

 

To learn more about ZorroSign’s green initiative, please visit Paperless Life and find out just how large of an environmental impact your company could have by going paperless. Click here to check out ZorroSign Plans & Pricing, enabling your company to do an accurate analysis on their total current cost of using paper and compare that cost to purchasing and using an eSignature and Digital Transaction Management system like ZorroSign.

 

 

References

The increased popularity of, demand for, and mainstream use of electronic signature is the result of the global “go digital” movement, significant enhancements in the technology, and  governments passing laws to go completely digital in the near future. It does not suffice to use an image of your signature as an “intent to sign” or use incomplete electronic signature solutions that do not include an audit trail. Security, privacy, legal acceptability, signatory attribution, and authenticity of electronic signatures, electronic records, and document transactions have become key decision factors for users in legal, financial services, real estate, insurance, banks, healthcare industries and more.

 

In this article we outline the clear competitive advantage that ZorroSign has over its competitors, their products and why we believe we have developed the most advanced electronic signature and digital transaction management platform, that was created to meet the past, current and future needs of both the private and public business sector.

 

ZorroSign Competitive Advantages

 

ZorroSign is an advanced Digital Transaction Management (DTM) platform. There are less than a handful of competitors who may qualify as DTM providers, but studies show that those solutions do not meet basic DTM requirements of many customers. ZorroSign, on the other hand, is considered an Advanced DTM due to its enterprise-grade workflow automation, workflow builder, content automation, bank-grade security, built-in Document Management System, and intelligent forms.

 

  1. ZorroSign uses (patented) true legally-binding electronic signature with real digital information vs our competitors who simply superimpose a flat image of a signature on a document. It’s about capturing intent to sign a document vs actually signing a document.
  2. We use high level security provisions and multi-factor authentication (including biometrics) to ensure signatory attribution. This is increasingly becoming a problem when it comes to legal matters.
  3. Our proprietary technology, the Document 4n6 (forensics) Token, detects document fraud tampering and signature forgery. It is  a tamper seal that runs on the Blockchain.
  4. Our competitors use 3rd party digital security certificates that expire every two years. ZorroSign is authorized to issue its own certificates and they never expire. We call it Lifetime Document Escrow.
  5. ZorroSign is a true Advance DTM platform complete with workflow automation and exception handling.
  6. ZorroSign is built on permissions-based private Blockchain technology. We take advantage of its security, privacy and trust features to manage all our customer’s document signature transactions.
  7. For ZorroSign, privacy and security are at the core of everything with do. We think security and privacy first for every product design, policy, and business practice decision. We use bank-grade security protocols, AES Encryption, biometrics, MFA, and other heuristics for handling our customer’s document signature transactions.

 

For a complete competitive analysis including analysis of a particular ZorroSign competitor, please contact our customer advisors.

 

Disclaimer: All competitive information is based on publicly available information.  When reviewing competitive information including pricing, please consider that products are continuously enhanced and modified by vendors and pricing published on the website is MSRP. ZorroSign does not disclose product roadmap and features that are in development and not yet released to the general public. ZorroSign also does not disclose feature-by-feature comparison for the same reason.

 

Signing agreements, contracts, documents, and forms with electronic signatures is becoming the norm. Using electronic signatures is easy, fast, and convenient. People use different ways to e-sign documents. Some paste images of their signatures captured off of a laptop camera onto documents and some use computer generated signatures. Yet others use more sophisticated tools which allow them to sign documents with pen or finger onto a touch-sensitive screen. The act of signing a document is one aspect of it, security and privacy is another. In this article we share tips on how to protect your identity and think security first when eSigning agreements.

 

As we use electronic signatures to sign more high value, critical and sensitive documents we must make sure that our signatures, documents, information, and the entire transaction is secure and protected against fraud, tampering, and miss-use.  Examples of high value transactions are buying a home or business, signing sales contracts, promissory notes, loan documents, credit card applications, your child’s medical information release forms, and more. Over the years, ZorroSign has helped thousands of customers sign contracts and agreements securely, in this article we share best practices that we have learned.

 

Tips for protecting your identity

  1. Avoid signing documents by pasting an image of your signature on documents. Use highly secure online eSigning solutions instead.
  2. Shy away from eSign products that distribute documents via email attachments.
  3. Never use the same password for more than one online profile.
  4. Make the length of your passwords across different online profiles different.
  5. Avoid using obvious strings and numbers as your passwords that people can easily guess by knowing little about you.
  6. Take advantage of free online random password generators.
  7. If you use a password manager program, make sure to take full advantage of all of its features. For example use its random password generator and also review reports showing where you are repeating passwords and strengths of your passwords.
  8. Even if you are using a random password generator, make sure to change your password at least 4 times a year.
  9. If your online profile offers options to use Biometrics, like ZorroSign does, take full advantage of it.

On March 21, the world celebrates the International Day of Forests (IDF). International Day of Forests was proclaimed on March 21, 2012 by the UN General Assembly. This year, the IDF theme is “Forests and Education’. IDF raises awareness of how important all different types of forests are for the environment.

 

On this International Day of Forests ZorroSign wants to remind everyone of the importance of living a paperless life, and being responsible by doing our part to reduce the use of paper. In an effort to contribute to the communities where ZorroSign employees and customers live and work, ZorroSign has partnered with One Tree Planted to help with reforestation efforts.

 

ZorroSign plants a tree each time our customers save 8,000 sheets of paper by using ZorroSign instead of printing paper. Trees are planted in regions with the most need, not only from the environmental perspective but also from the socio-economic perspective. For example; we plant trees in certain villages in India where trees provide livelihood to farmers and improves their quality of life. Our forests are important for our long term survival and investing in reforestation and forestry education will save the environment, and ultimately make the world a better place.

 

You can also check out our Environmental Savings Calculator and see what impact your organization could have on the environment by living a paperless life with ZorroSign.

 

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Here are the most popular ZorroSign product training videos.

Checkout ZorroSign YouTube channel for the entire video library.


What is ZorroSign?

 

Tired of reading? Interested in learning more about Blockchain, Electronic Signature, DTM and Document Security? Check out the Introduction to ZorroSign webinar and get an in-depth look at how ZorroSign uses eSign, Blockchain, chain of custody, distributed ledger, electronic signature, biometrics, workflow automation and other signature workflows.

 


How to use ZorroSign

 

Want to get to the point and learn to be more efficient with ZorroSign’s newest updates? Check out the Workflow builder 2.0 playlist and learn everything you need to know about ZorroSign’s latest updates.

 


ZorroSign Admin Tools

 

If you are an existing customer, learn about admin tools here.

 


How ZorroSign Gives Back

 

Interested in understanding how ZorroSign gives back to the community? Check out how ZorroSign supports Reforestry efforts.

 

 


Ready to learn even more? View the ZorroSign Kickstart Training playlist, and with our new pricing plan you can Sign up for a free account and get 3 document sets each month free with no credit card required for registration.



 

Don’t forget to subscribe to the ZorroSign YouTube channel and be the first to be notified when new videos are posted.

Washington, DC City Council is leading the country by passing the revolutionary Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018. This legislation mandates implementing a 100% renewable energy target by 2032. On January 18, 2019 mayor, Muriel Bowser, of Washington, DC reinforced her mavrick law making style by signing the landmark legislation, cementing Washington, DC as the leader in government led environmental protection with regard to climate change.

 

The bill addresses four major provisions: new building standards, transitioning to renewable energy sources, funding local sustainability initiatives and transportation emissions. According to Councilmember Cheh’s press release, the “Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act is a historic piece of legislation that puts the District at the nation’s forefront in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The fight to reduce the impacts of climate change is the most important environmental issue of our time, and if the federal government is to abandon us in this effort, then the District can serve as a model for other jurisdictions and States to follow.”

 

The renewable power as mandated by the bill will limit Carbon footprint and greenhouse gases and improve the environment and quality of air in the next 25 years as the legislation requires 10% solar energy carve-out by 2041 and zero-emissions public transportation by 2045. While governments have the power to make large scale environmental changes through legislation, all businesses, large and small can do their part as well. The Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 is similar in cause to ZorroSign’s Paperless Life which aims to help reduce consumption of water, reduce Carbon footprint, save trees and improve air quality. Environmental protection is an ambitious undertaking, but well worth the potential benefit for all.

 

Living a Paperless Life will have positive impacts on the environment by decreasing use of paper and Carbon emissions, but it also has positive business impact through reduced cost of paper, shipping, as well as costs associated with printing and storing printed material. Going digital just makes sense. Interested in taking Paperless Life a step further? Check out this previous blog article on how ‘There is no place for paper in a smart city,’ and think about how you can make a change today and decrease your Carbon footprint.

 

Want to see how switching from doing business using paper to digital is a smart business decision, check out the environmental impact of using office paper for business transactions and better understand how each time you use ZorroSign to digitally transact instead of printing, faxing, scanning, shipping documents overnight to collect signatures, you save trees and water, reduce Carbon emission, while your business saves time and money.

 

When it comes to eSignature and Digital Transaction Management solutions consumers have a few choices. It’s a challenge to identify the best solution that meet your business needs. In addition to your unique business requirements like workflows and approvals,  you are also concerned about legality of eSignatures and documents signed with them, security of electronically signed documents against tampering and fraud, what is and how to implement a Digital Transaction Management (DTM) System, and how to manage change within your organization in order to successfully implement a new system like ZorroSign.

 

ZorroSign has those businesses looking to understand these factors and what sets ZorroSign apart from other eSignature and DTM providers covered. Read on to learn why ZorroSign is the only REAL electronic signature solution provider, how we use advance workflow automation to automate your signature signing ceremonies, and how using Blockchain technology helps detects electronic signature fraud and tampering of digital documents. Furthermore our bank-grade security secures and protects your user information, your signature and your documents.

 

ZorroSign was co-founded by one of the inventors of the original real electronic signature technology including signature pads and stylus type pens. This same technology was used by President Bill Clinton to sign the eSign Act into law in the United States in June 2000. Meaning documents signed with this proprietary technology use REAL electronic signature and not just an image of a signature superimposed on a document. ZorroSign eSignatures capture the real “digital bits” of a person’s signature as it is written, including the speed, color, thickness, and pressure of the pen and includes additional metadata. ZorroSign also offers use of computer-generated signatures. The underlying technology used makes them legally binding and addresses the question of signatory attribution. ZorroSign is authorized to issue its security certificate that never expires unliked those used by our competitors. Although ZorroSign also works with all third party digital security certificates to satisfy our customer’s needs, ZorroSign DOES NOT use or require them to authenticate or validate eSigned documents. Through our own proprietary 4n6 (Forensic) Token technology, ZorroSign customers are able to authenticate and validate both digital and paper versions of eSigned documents and in perpetuity.

 

Finally, ZorroSign is a unified platform and is a complete advanced Digital Transaction Management (DTM) System with bank-grade security for eSignatures and documents that can be used anywhere, anytime, and on any device. The platform includes other components such as full workflow automation, Document Management System, and intelligent forms.

 

With ZorroSign DTM users have the ability to create different types of templates and workflows, track progress, and handle exceptions such as reject, recall, cancel, and it can also handle sub-workflows. ZorroSign provides full Sarbanes-Oxley compliant audit trail and chain of custody and a report on each document signed. By using proprietary permissions-based private Blockchain architecture, ZorroSign is leading the field in using Blockchain and distributed ledger, chain of custody, and audit trail with regard to digitizing contracts and documents.

 

At ZorroSign we understand that adopting new processes and software can be a huge undertaking. This is why ZorroSign offers full end-to-end professional services to help manage and onboard all ZorroSign users at your company and we also train designated ZorroSign software administrators who support ZorroSign at your company.

 

We invite you to sign up for a free Individual account today and send up to 3 documents every month for free for life with no credit card needed. ZorroSign also has other subscription plans to fit your business needs. To learn more about ZorroSign and how it can fit your business needs, schedule a custom demo now.

Earlier this month, on December 5, 2018, the 21st Century IDEA (Act) passed in the US House of Representative and December 12, 2018 it passed the Senate. On the 20th of December 2018, the President of the United States signed the “21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act” or the “21st Century IDEA” bill into law. We discussed this in a blog article speculating what it means and its impact on business. The passage of this bill is a tremendous milestone particularly for the Digital signature and digital transaction management industry and represents rather progressive “forward” thinking of our country’s leaders. The law addresses issues with regard to:

 

  • Website Modernization
  • Digitization of Government Services and Forms
  • Plan to Increase use of Digital Signatures within Federal Agencies
  • Improving Customer Experience and Digital Services Delivery

 

With this new legislation, the ability to conduct all of your government business via digital technology is closer than ever before. 21st Century IDEA, will position the US Government to be a fully digital public sector operation, potentially in the next few years.

 

The goal of the 21st Century IDEA legislation is to enhance the digital services within the federal government. Accelerating the federal government’s ability to improve digital service delivery and customer experience. The 21st Century IDEA will:

 

  • Enhance federal agency websites, making them mobile friendly, and establishing minimum standards.
  • Transition from paper-based forms to electronic transactions.
  • Decrease federal costs, saving taxpayers money.
  • Increase efficiency and productivity of federal employees.
  • Promote the use of Digital signatures standards established via the eSign Act.
  • Reinforce the validity of Digital signatures.
  • Decrease use of paper, and potentially decrease human error by digitizing processes.

 

We think there are two areas of significant impact that beg to be called out here.

 

Workflow Automation and Business Process Optimization

 

With the passage of this bill, there will be even greater emphasis on enhancing business process optimization and using workflow automation. The digitization will create opportunity to revisit how we run our operations, how we handle approvals, how we manage storage and tracking of information, how we handle inquiries and how we provide service to the constituents in the front office and how we handle everything else in the back office. Digital signature is just one part of the complete Digital Transaction Management system which will be a core enabling technology. An added benefit of going digital is the business savings of time, cost and efficiency. Check out our blog article of complete business impact of going digital.

 

Environmental Benefits of 21st Century IDEA

 

Imagine what the approximately 800,000 federal employees do every day. Add millions of State and local government employees to this list and then add all the millions of private companies that interact and do business with all the government agencies and programs. Now imagine how much paper is used every day, printers, ink, and storing of those files and documents. On average about 3 Gallons of water is required to produce one page of copy paper, 1.5 Gallons if recycled water is used. The magnitude of positive impact on the environment is tremendous. Water, trees, and Carbon footprint. Checkout ZorroSign’s Environmental Savings Calculator (a part of its Paperless Life initiative) to estimate the environmental impact this law will have.

 

Checkout our complete review of the environmental impact of going digital in this blog article.

 

ZorroSign is excited for the 21st Century IDEA to be implemented so we can start to see the digital transformation within the government. This marks a fundamental shift in Government to consumer customer experience. ZorroSign would like to thank and recognize all of the cosponsors of this legislation for a bipartisan job well done: Rep. Ratcliffe, John [R-TX-4], Rep. Kelly, Robin L. [D-IL-2], Rep. Russell, Steve [R-OK-5], Rep. Connolly, Gerald E. [D-VA-11], Rep. McMorris Rodgers, Cathy [R-WA-5], Rep. Krishnamoorthi, Raja [D-IL-8], Rep. Fitzpatrick, Brian K. [R-PA-8], Rep. Raskin, Jamie [D-MD-8], Rep. Costello, Ryan A. [R-PA-6], Rep. Watson Coleman, Bonnie [D-NJ-12], Rep. Hunter, Duncan D. [R-CA-50], Rep. Lawrence, Brenda L. [D-MI-14], Rep. Comstock, Barbara [R-VA-10], Rep. Eshoo, Anna G. [D-CA-18], Rep. Curtis, John R. [R-UT-3], Rep. Swalwell, Eric [D-CA-15], Rep. Stefanik, Elise M. [R-NY-21], Rep. Walker, Mark [R-NC-6], Rep. Ross, Dennis A. [R-FL-15], Rep. Faso, John J. [R-NY-19]. Read the entire bill here.

 

ZorroSign is the pioneer of the Digital signature technology which was instrumental in passage of the eSign Act in June of 2000. President Clinton also signed the bill into law using the technology invented by one of ZorroSign’s co-founders. That is a matter of pride for our team. ZorroSign not only uses the real true electronic code to sign documents it is also an enterprise-grade Digital Transaction Management platform built from the ground up using Blockchain with security and privacy at the core of its philosophy and design. With ZorroSign There is the added benefit of its proprietary document tampering and signature forgery detection system. With ZorroSign, documents are not only signed with real Digital signature, use of biometrics, and full automation, the Government can also ensure, verify and validate the sanctity of electronically signed digital documents for the life of the document.

 

ZorroSign is idiosyncratically poised to aid executive agency leaders to convey their proposal to the OMB and Congress and federal agencies in order to meet their 180-day requirement to demonstrate how their agency will increase the use of Digital signatures.

 

ZorroSign looks forward to using our industry and subject matter experts to help executive agencies identify their plans to meet the June 2019 deadline to submit their plan on accelerating the use of Digital signatures within their agencies. For consultative discussion, federal agencies can email [email protected] for immediate assistance.

 

Read more on how ZorroSign Supports the 21st Century IDEA for government agencies here.

Throughout history the US government has flourished by staying at the forefront of technological advances. In recent years, however, the slow adoption of digital services within the government to consumer business process has many people frustrated. Ever wish you could conduct all of your government business via digital technology? If so, the “21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act” also known as the ‘‘21st Century IDEA”, will be of great interest to you.

 

The goal of the 21st Century IDEA legislation is simply to enhance the digital services within the federal government. Accelerating the federal government’s ability to improve digital service delivery and customer experience. The President’s Management Agency previously reported that there were greater than 23,000 unique forms within the federal government, leading to an estimated 11.4 billion hours spent on paperwork per year. This leads to a poor customer experience and increased cycle time.

 

The 21st Century Idea Act will:

 

  • Modernize the digital government experience.
  • Enhance federal agency websites, making them mobile friendly, and establishing minimum standards.
  • Transition from paper-based forms to electronic transactions.
  • Decrease federal costs, saving taxpayers money.
  • Increase efficiency and productivity of federal employees.
  • Promote the use of Digital signature standards established via the eSign Act.
  • Promote the use of Digital signatures and reinforce their validity.
  • Decrease use of paper, and potentially decrease human error by digitizing processes.

 

ZorroSign supports and is excited for the 21st Century IDEA to be passed so we can start to see the digital transformation within the government. We encourage Congress to act swiftly and sign this legislation into law no later than first quarter 2019. This will mark a fundamental shift in Government to consumer customer experience.

 

At the time this article was written, 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (bill S.3050), was just placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders, Calendar No. 723. Read the entire bill here.

 

Update on December 22, 2018.

On the 20th of December 2018, the President of the United States signed the “21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act” or the “21st Century IDEA” bill into law. We have written a follow up blog article offering what the bill entails and most importantly what it means in term of its technology, implementation and business and environmental impact.

 

Read more on how ZorroSign Supports the 21st Century IDEA for government agencies here.

For most real estate brokers and agents, long gone are the days where more time was spent paper chasing than with customers. Over the last decade, the real estate market has seen many improvements in the buyer experience, thanks to the use of technology. The industry is now using everything from virtual reality, 3D mapping, aerial drone photography, as well as eSignature and digital transaction management solutions to digitize contracts and the real estate sales and lease process. Whether you are a buyer/seller, broker, real estate agent, home inspector or real estate appraiser, these technologies are probably already impacting how you conduct business.

For those professionals in the real estate space who are already using eSignature/ digital signature software along with a digital transaction management (DTM) solution, you may feel that you are set and you do not need to adopt other technologies. For those who are not currently using an eSignature solution along with a DTM solution, you may be researching the best solution for your business, along with the benefits of a DTM solution. Others just use the eSignature solution provided by their business.

Now, what if you found out that your current solution may not have you covered long term? Specifically, in order to authenticate a signature that has been placed on a document, eSignature solutions often use something called a third party certificate. The third party certificate does not validate the person, his / her signature or if it was done with / without their permission, it only validates the ‘act’ of placing an unverified signature on the document. Digital certificates have a two year validity and eSignature providers using these third party certificates build in the cost of renewing the digital certificates for each of your documents that you have signed in your annual license cost. Essentially, this means that without your knowledge, eSignature solutions are binding you to use only their solutions, otherwise the digital certificates on your documents will expire within two years (or less) after you cease using their service. If for any reason you would need to take that document to court or need to validate it at a government agency, you would have to ensure the digital certificate thus meaning that you would have to go back to the solution you signed the document with and pay the arrears from the time when you stopped using the solution to when you needed your document certified. Needless to say, 10 years into a 30 year mortgage if something were to occur and documents needed to be certified for a pending legal action or civil dispute this would present a very expensive problem. However, ZorroSign solves this problem by issuing our own security certificates with our proprietary patented technology, whereby these certificates remain accessible for life, which we call our ‘lifetime escrow,’ even if you are no longer a customer.

As a digital disruptor, ZorroSign wants to highlight to users where there can be major gaps, specifically in security and service within their current eSignature and DTM solutions. Electronic signature solutions are here to stay and the acceptability and use will only increase over time, however, using the right solution which can validate the signature, authenticate the user and confirm the signature was placed with the knowledge of the authenticated user is what will really matter in the future. As a result, understanding digital security certificates is important, and having an eSign solution with a lifetime document certificate that is included as part of the service is imperative for long term piece of mind and future cost abatement.

Your company may already offer you an eSign solution for free, but with ZorroSign you can feel confident in knowing you are using the real esignature patented technology built into an advanced DTM along with a lifetime digital certificate. This will allow you to close residential and commercial real estate deals faster and more securely. If you are not convinced, sign up here for a free trial and try it yourself.

In our 24/7, mobile, competitive global business environment, being able to conduct business fast is critical. That means executing business documents efficiently and securely is important for businesses in any industry. Along with document execution, having processes that eliminate errors and cut costs are just as important. Adopting a DTM solution for your business is the answer. This means execute all types of documents and get approvals quickly, securely and with legally binding signatures on documents while eliminating errors and cutting costs.

 

There are solutions in the market that simply handle collecting signatures, some capturing digital copies of your signatures and some only capturing intent to sign from multiple parties. Then there are advanced DTM solutions like ZorroSign, that go beyond collecting legally accepted signatures from multiple parties. They handle various document signing ceremonies, help secure approvals, handle complex workflows and routing of these documents using automation like exception handling. Here is what you should look for in an advanced DTM solution.

 

  1. Legally accepted Electronic Signature and Digital Signatures
  2. Post-execution fraud detection of documents
  3. Full audit trail and chain of custody
  4. Document Management System (DMS)
  5. Content Automation, Workflow Management, and Rules Engine
  6. Intelligent Forms
  7. Security, Trust, and Global Compliance
  8. Advanced Security and Biometrics

 

Below we have listed eight ways an advanced DTM can help businesses go digital.

 

1. AutomationFull automation saves time, money and avoids errors.
Using a DTM platform can improve workflows and approval processes by automating document routing and processing. It can also connect one or more systems by providing interfaces between different applications by integrating the workflows using ZorroSign API. Automate your workflow with one click, assign to the correct people, send reminders, collect approvals and signatures without manual work.

 

2. Cost SavingsSave trees, water and office supplies,while reducing carbon emission and potentially even insurance premiums.

With automation comes savings of time, space and money. By specifying conditions and rules in a workflow, you can avoid costly errors that people typically make when executing documents. Outside of immediate cost savings from cutting back or discontinuing the use of consumables like, printers, toner, scanners, ink pens, paper, postage, and file storage, companies also see enormous labor related savings and decrease of insurance premiums from lowering their fire risk by eliminating paper file storage. Automating processes using a DTM solution cuts back on time demands, thus increasing capacity and output.


Interested in better understanding how your company can impact the environment, check out ZorroSign’s Environmental Savings Calculator and estimate savings per year in terms of trees, water, Carbon emission, time, and cost.


Along with positively impacting the environment, your company can save money by adopting a DTM solution. Learn more about the business impact of using office paper for business here.

 

3. Timely ExecutionDecrease process time.

The DTM workflow allows the process owner to view and set time limits on each stage of the signatory process. Track a document from the start of the execution process through to the end with either user specific or document specific workflows and take advantage of automatic reminders.

 

4. Increased EfficiencyTime saved.

Through the use of an Advanced DTM solution, companies are able to save  time spent on retrieving documents, managing the signature process and managing multiple versions of documents and templates.

 

5. Reduce ErrorsDecrease opportunity for human mistakes.

Using a DTM solution can reduce decision fatigue, environmental distractions and pressure to meet deadlines, consequently improving accuracy. Even the best, most experienced employees make errors. However, DTM systems support templates that ensure that the information is captured correctly 100% of the time. A DTM system also enables the user to validate data in real-time, allowing for potential corrections to be made on the spot.

 

6. Checks and Balances – Identify bottlenecks and audit your processes.

The workflow system within ZorroSign DTM allows for a graphical representation of where a document is in a specific workflow, allowing for process controls and monitoring of each document process and chain of custody. With the introduction of a DTM solution into a workflow comes the ability to monitor and track the progress of eSignature transactions at every step, in real time. This will also allow the workflow owner to identify bottlenecks and make appropriate adjustments to the process in order to increase efficiency where possible and ensure accountability throughout the workflow.

 

7. Audit TrailNon-repudiation audit trails and full progress tracking.

With ZorroSign real eSignature solution, ZorroSign users can be 100% confident their documents have been executed with tamper-proof security and enforceability of documents of both digital and printed versions of your documents. . ZorroSigned documents create a non-repudiation audit trail, that include full progress tracking and bank-grade security using the Blockchain.

 

8. ComplianceComply with all regulations, regardless of industry.

A reputable DTM solution will be compliant with international laws & regulations such as, E-Sign Act, UETA, HIPAA and GDPR. Advanced Digital Transaction Management solutions, eSignature solutions and digital signature solutions should also improve a company’s ability to remain compliant with their own industry specific rules and regulations.

 

Be an early adopter of ZorroSign’s DTM solution and take advantage of using a eSignature solution. Global businesses are quickly adopting Digital Transaction Management solutions as these solutions have  already proven the ability to deliver immediate and immense benefits. Get ahead of the crowd, let ZorroSign help you lead your digital transformation, click here to schedule a demo today.

Electronic signature is an “intention to sign or intent to agree to a record” this can be in any form and most people chose an image representation of their signature. The passage of the E-sign Act in 2000 made eSignatures legally enforceable. On a digital document a simple image of a signature in and of itself does not hold water. It requires verification, authentication, and other means before it can be legally binding and provide assurance to parties involved that they are protected. One popular method to provide some peace of mind is to apply a 3rd party digital security certificate, which, expires every so often. That is a solution and a problem in itself. More on that later. To be legally binding, when a business transaction or business document is called to question, one must provide proof, authentication and verification of the signatories, documents, attachments.

 

On the other hand, digital signature refers to digital bits including voice, audio, video, crypto and involves complex mathematical functions and algorithms. Digital signatures through PKI are not commonly used in the United States therefore in this article we will talk about Electronic Signatures.

 

We have written a full article on the difference between electronic signature and digital signature and it provides an in-depth review of the two. Click here to read.

 

So how do you know that your electronic signature solution is legally binding without needing costly third party intervention, expensive insurance, other cumbersome methods, and other manual fees? We provide you with a simple checklist of questions to ask before selecting your eSignature solution. Here are 10 ways to check if your electronic signature solution is 100% legally binding:

 

  1. Is the electronic signature real or just an image of your signature super-imposed on top of a document?
  2. Does it require 3rd party digital security certificate? If so, how often does it expire? How much does it cost?
  3. Do you have to keep paying for the digital security certificate year after year even though you have no real use for that document once it has been signed? If your business does require a 3rd party security certificates for other reason, does your eSignature solution work with that certificate?
  4. What type of metadata is captured along with your signature?
  5. Does your solution provide an audit trail and with what level of details?
  6. What happens if you want to present a document that was signed 10 years ago in court as evidence or if the document is called to question in the court of law?
  7. How do you know that a PDF or printed copy of the document has not been tampered with or signature forged?
  8. How do you know that the person who appears to have signed the document did in fact sign it?
  9. If called to question, how can you be confident that you and your documents are protected? That you or a 3rd party (like a judge) can very easily and quickly verify, authenticate, and confirm the documents and signatures.
  10. What would you do if one of the plaintiff claims that they never signed the document in question?

 

ZorroSign uses proprietary Electronic Signature technology which played an instrumental role in the passage of the eSign Act of USA by President Bill Clinton in June 2000. In fact, ZorroSign adheres to the gold standard of eSign law, like the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) and the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN Act of 2000), as well data privacy laws like HIPAA and GDPR. In addition, the technology is compliant world wide and when challenged or investigated it can be used as evidence without repudiation in a court of law.

 

For more information visit our eSignature product page and Document 4n6 (Forensics) Token page.

As part of their digital transformation, companies are quickly adopting eSignatures and Digital Transaction Management (DTM) to replace their pen-paper-scan-attach-email process. Most organizations stop at eSignature and a handful of them, (more security cautious and risk averse) have gone beyond eSignature and have adopted a Digital Signature into their process. The market in general uses these terms interchangeably but the reality is that they are not the same. These rather complimentary technologies have significant technical differences between them which include how they impact security and process of authentication of your eSign’ed documents and their legal acceptance in courts in case of disputes.

 

In this article we will explain the difference between the two and share a neat infographics for a quick glance.

E-signature: Under legal parlance, an electronic signature refers to “any electronic indication of intent to agree to a record”. The presence of eSignature has dominantly increased with the passing of E-sign Act in 2000 which makes it legally enforceable.  eSignature has its own unique feature and that is its ease of use. Customers get the advantage of signing a document using a verbal signature, like giving consent over the phone, with a simple click on the box, a visual representation of their signature, and any electronically signed authorization. A real electronic signature has four main components:

  1. Method of signing
  2. Data Authentication
  3. User Authentication
  4. Captured Intent to eSign

eSignatures are not fully regulated compared to digital signatures. Because most electronic signature providers simply use an image of your signature super-imposed on a document, the authenticity and integrity of the document is often questioned as it is difficult to identify the real owner of the document as it is not certified.  Just an image of your signature placed on a document cannot be verified especially if someone tampers  with the document after it is signed. With ZorroSign, however, the eSignature is real and not just an image and customers are protected against post execution forgery and tampering using our proprietary document 4n6 (Forensics) technology.

 

Digital Signature:  Uses a cryptographic technique. The digital signature encryption helps in securing the data that is associated with the signed document. The formula of a digital signature is that of a validation, like notaries in the past. The notaries were invented when paper-based documents were forged. Even today, notaries play a key role in ensuring and verifying transaction between parties. The same problem exists with eSignatures and digital signature helps in solving this problem and is the online equivalent of the notary.

 

In the world of digital transactions, the most popular authentication method, Public Key Infrastructures (PKI), is necessary to help ascertain the identity of  people signing documents, devices used to sign documents, and services used. PKI goes way beyond the use of user IDs and passwords. It employs cryptographic technologies such as digital signatures and digital certificates to create unique credentials (using combination of public and private keys) that can be validated beyond reasonable doubt and on a mass scale.

 

The process of applying the digital signature will be explained in the following steps:

  1. The software creates a unique digital fingerprint (called a hash) of the document content using a mathematical algorithm.
  2. The hash is encrypted using the signer’s private key.
  3. The encrypted hash and the signer’s public key will be combined to make a digital signature.
  4. This digital signature will be attached to the document.
  5. The digitally signed document is now fully secured and ready to use.

The evolution of online signature is quite significant as it has moved from simply imposing an image of a signature to a multi-layered encryption process. The benefit of an online signature cannot be deciphered in words.The integration of eSignature into the electronic document workflow has always been a top priority for respected eSignature providers like ZorroSign. It is safe to conclude that it has a strong legal presence to that of a wet ink signature as long as it sticks to the terms and conditions of the contracts drawn by (E-sign Act), 2000. ZorroSign adheres to the gold standard of these eSign laws and ensures quality delivery of their product/services to their customers.

There are a lot of great resources out there that inform and educate business consumers about the direction of the technological revolution. Especially those core business technologies that directly impact how companies run their business transactions. At ZorroSign, one of our favorite blogs to read is written and published by DLA Piper. When lawyers write about technology we take that very seriously.

Recently, DLA Piper published an article called Electronic Signatures: The element of intent in the digital environment. The article addresses the legal enforceability of electronically signed document under the notion of “intent.” To make a person’s signature legal on a digital paper and how the ESIGN act and UETA define a signature similar to the Uniform Commercial Code’s definition of a signature. If you are interested in how a businesses process must explicitly include an action of verifiable intent to sign a contract in order to make an eSignature legally binding, click here to read the full article.

Another article, published this year is, eSignature and ePayment News and Trends. In this article, DLA Piper goes into detail about case law where the use of electronic signatures are upheld over and over when a defendant can produce an electronic record showing that the plaintiff’s unique login and password were used to access and acknowledge an agreement. Click here to read the full article and explore the case law referenced. This article also covers use of Blockchain in business transactions, remote notary and other interesting regulations and use of technology. We find it invigorating to learn that ZorroSign technology is at the forefront of legally acceptable and binding eSignature and DTM solutions.

An interview with Shamsh Hadi, a co-founder and CEO of ZorroSign.

 

Since the mid 1990’s when electronic signature was first invented by one of ZorroSign’s Co-Founders, global commerce has experienced a rapid digital transformation. Businesses soon began to realize that in order to compete on a global scale, implementing processes that allowed for paperless (digital) transactions was imperative for growth. As a result, companies started adopting eSignature solutions.

 

Almost two decades after eSignature became legally recognized through the passage of the ESIGN Act of 2000, many companies are still slow to adopt this transformative technology. ZorroSign has taken the eSignature technology into its next phase of evolution; Digital Transaction Management (DTM) and digital document security. Today, ZorroSign customers are not only using electronic signatures to execute contracts, but they are managing entire business processes using workflow automation. There are several products in the market today that don’t necessary fulfill the promise of DTM. Shamsh Hadi, Co-Founder and CEO of ZorroSign explains the five questions he feels are most important for business leaders to ask before choosing an eSignature and DTM solution.

 

1. What is DTM and how different is it from eSignature?
Digital Transactions Management (DTM) refers to a software system that enables organizations to digitally manage document-based business transactions.  From simple business transactions like non-disclosure agreements and sales contracts to more complex ones such as new hire packet handling and purchase order processing.  ZorroSign customers are managing diagnostic lab workflows, M&A transactions, and real estate deals. A true DTM platform is more than just eSignatures, it also includes verification and authentication, non-repudiation, automation engine, workflow management, and multiple levels of security and privacy controls. There are levels of DTM, from basic to more complex enterprise systems. An advanced DTM solution can include a document management system, rules and policy engine, adherence and compliance to various laws and regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, GDPR, Document Retention Policies, and intelligent forms management. There are also provisions for security, privacy, authenticity, legality, and trust for managing document-based transactions conducted on all types of devices used.

 

In contrast, eSignature is one, but very important, component of a DTM system and refers to “any electronic indication of intent to agree to a record.” eSignature has its own set of characteristics, features, and use cases. Customers get the advantage of signing a document using a verbal signature, like giving consent over the phone, with a simple click on a checkbox or any electronically signed authorization. The four main components of a valid eSignature are: Method of signing, Data Authentication, User Authentication and the ability of the eSignature to capture the intent to eSign.

 

2. What can I use eSignature and DTM solution for?
eSignature and DTM are key to digital transformation for any organization. The grand promise of DTM is that it eliminates physical paper from the office and offers highly secure way to execute business transactions. Specifically, a DTM system can be used to automate business transactions from contracts execution to approval processes, managing digital records, capturing electronic and biometric signatures to secure sensitive documents, content automation, and support for mobile devices. More sophisticated solutions offer protection of documents or digital assets. All industries benefit from adopting an eSignature and a DTM solution, and each industry has its own blend of use cases and applications to use DTM system for.  What DTM is to business transactions; CRM is to contact management.

 

3. How are eSigned documents legally binding and admissible in court?
The US Federal ESIGN Act of 2000 made electronic signatures and eSigned documents legally binding and admissible in court if they meet specific qualifications and constitute, “an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.” Further, the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) provides additional guidance on the validity of eSignatures and how to ensure they are legally binding. In the case of ZorroSign, we go beyond the legal parameters and offer added features to ensure authentication and verification of users, documents, and processes.

 

4. Is pasting an image of a signature on a document same as eSigning a document?
No, what we call, superimposing an image of a signature on a document is not the same as eSigning a document. In short, a legally binding electronic signature must meet specific criteria where the intent to enter into a contract is clear and verifiable and can be traced back to the person who the signature belongs to. Furthermore, a simple image can be simply cut out of a document and replaced with something else. That’s why only real electronic signatures are legally binding and admissible in court.

 

5. Are my eSigned documents secure against document fraud?
With ZorroSign, they are. ZorroSign has a proprietary technology, called Zorrosign 4n6 (Forensics) Token, that helps detect post-execution document fraud and signature forgery. ZorroSign 4n6 encrypted Token is the multipurpose bridge which comprehensively validates both electronic and paper documents. 4n6 Token can help verify that a document has not been tampered, revised, revoked, replaced or canceled. By adopting Zorrosign 4n6 (Forensics) Token Technology in their document transaction process, businesses can have the peace of mind that their documents are secure and always verifiable.

 

Zorrosign 4n6 Token, when challenged or investigated, can be used as evidence without repudiation in a court of law. Users can view audit trail including attachments, signatories, biometrics, time stamp, among many other pieces of information about the users, the documents and process used. Thus, you will never have any trouble with online document verification whenever required.

 

Contact ZorroSign if you are curious and interested to learn more about eSignature, document fraud, and DTM.

Ever wonder how signatures impact both history and the future?

 

The National Archives has created an exhibit that explores the history of signatures. The exhibit shows how people have left their mark on history through signatures, written, electronic and cultural signatures. The video and exhibit explores how signatures represent the power of original records.

 

Learn how the autopen was used to authenticate laws and documents and how technology has changed how we sign our name over the years.

 

President Clinton signed the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act or eSign act also known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act on June 30, 2000. The eSignature and digital signature pad invention of one of the co-founders of ZorroSign was instrumental in the passage of this historic law. President Clinton signed the law document with both wet ink, as a symbolic gesture, and also used a digital signature token. This paved the way for ZorroSign’s patented and legally binding signature application.

 

We found this video very fitting not only from the perspective of the role of electronic signature in our society today, but also the impact of signatures on our society throughout history.

 

Best Practice for Preparing Documents for Digital Processing

 

As organizations go from using paper documents with wet ink for signatures to digital and electronic signatures, many simply re-purpose their old forms and contracts for digital use. This is perfectly fine. However, as some of our customers discovered, versions of documents used for manual or paper processing don’t always transfer well into the digital world. Most common issues include spacing between lines and not enough space to write information in or enter your signature, to name a few.  Naturally, it becomes problematic for parties to read and execute contracts clearly and cleanly.

 

After helping so many customers, ZorroSign has compiled following 11 best practices for preparing documents for digital processing. These tips can be used to convert an existing document or start a new one from scratch.  If you feel we have missed a tip, please let us know in the comment section.

 

  1. Use a Word Processor like Microsoft Word or Apple Pages. You can use other software programs just as long as they provide you tools to better control the spacing, margins, placement of fields to enter data, and letterhead. We do highly recommend that you use your letterhead as your base document.
  2. Margins: Minimum 1″ margin all around is highly recommended.
  3. Document header: Put the title of the document or form (if you want it repeated on every page), your logo, form number, version number and other static information.  On a multi-page document some prefer not to repeat the title on every page to save space, which is perfectly okay.
  4. Document Footer: Put divider bar on top of the footer space, page number, place for initials, contact information that is again static. We learned that our customers prefer their parties to initial on every page especially on legal documents and therefore putting initials in footer is the best solution.
  5. Leave at least one row worth of white space between the header and start of text and end of text and the footer. Also anticipate maximum length of data that can be entered in every field and give sufficient space for that. For example, for address anticipate the longest street and city name.
  6. Set line spacing to 1.5 between lines where you want users to enter data. The rest of the document can have the standard 1″ line spacing. Make sure your document is legible and readable. This is especially important as we become a paperless society, we will be reading documents on screens of laptops, tablets, and mobile devices.
  7. Be generous with pages of your document. As we go digital we will print less and less pages so it does not matter how long your document is. Of course, we can always print back to back if we really must print.
  8. Create a signature section or page and use tables with rows and columns for users to enter their name, company name, title, signature, and date as appropriate for your document. It is very important that there is sufficient space for people to put their signature especially if they prefer to use their finger on a touch screen.
  9. Leave some space on the last page for corporate seals, security tokens like the ZorroSign 4n6 (Forensics) Security Token.
  10. Lastly, remember that your document will be used in a digital transaction (workflow and automation) think how people will be handling the document when it comes to creating a template out of the old paper document, for signing digitally, entering data, and version controlling.
  11. Before you upload a document into ZorroSign, see the document in Print Preview to make sure the page brakes, spacing, alignment is correct. We found Page Break to be the biggest culprit when converting Word Documents into PDF files.

 

We have taken the liberty of creating a sample document using all the tips mentioned in this article. Click here to download the Microsoft Word document in a .zip file.

 

Last Updated: Jan 24, 2019