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Global ZorroSign
(Originally published on LinkedIn by Shamsh Hadi, CEO and Co-Founder of ZorroSign)

Last year, I shared how ZorroSign’s early roots in Dubai, UAE, helped us grow into an international company. I want to update that theme today and talk about ZorroSign’s role as a global company providing global solutions that improve data democratization, privacy, and security.

As CEO and co-founder of ZorroSign, I have dedicated my career to advancing technology while simultaneously advancing sustainability:  Ensuring the new technologies we bring to market elevate information privacy, data security, and data democratization while not coming at the expense of future generations.

At ZorroSign, we saw very early a market need to push past web2 solutions for digital signatures and digital transactions—escaping centralized information architectures that consolidate data with a provider (and expose that data to the risks of single-point-of-failure cyber-attacks) while simultaneously pulling data ownership away from users (to be housed and monetized by the web2 provider). Alternatively, ZorroSign empowers our users by deploying web3 solutions that decentralize data and ensure users will always own their documents and transaction metadata—even after their subscriptions with us end.

Dubai Start, Dubai Strong

As a long-time resident of Dubai, I was greatly inspired by the Digital City Vision—Smart Dubai of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. ZorroSign’s technology very purposefully supports Dubai’s paperless initiatives for Digital Dubai and helps to advance Dubai’s leadership in digital operations, specifically focused on:

  • Security—providing superior digital privacy and security by leveraging a private, permissioned blockchain technology
  • Digital Signatures—a platform that is easy-to-use and legally compliant to global standards
  • Chain of Custody—delivering immutable records of every step of every digital transaction: Authenticating users, securing data, and verifying documents for legal enforceability
  • Advancing UAE’s 10 Principles for the Next 50 Years—specifically helping Dubai to build the best and most dynamic economy in the world; defining new UAE development with digital, technical, and scientific excellence; and promoting a value system based on openness and tolerance

Initially, our company served government departments in UAE but soon grew into an international business—helping people to build, sign, store, and track mission-critical documents on the blockchain in Sri Lanka, India, and the United States.

Last year, ZorroSign was named Blockchain SaaS Innovator of the Year at the UAE Business Awards 2021, then at the turn of the year, Unlock News Desk showcased a story on UAE Based ZorroSign introducing six new features to our blockchain platform.

This spring, Tech Channel wrote a great article on ZorroSign making waves in digital signature space using blockchain technology, and TahawulTech.com interviewed me on how ZorroSign helps tackle identity theft on our now multi-chain blockchain platform.

And most recently, ZorroSign was highlighted in a Zawya article for UAE businesses and a TECHx article on ZorroSign’s mission to provide businesses across the Middle East with seamless integration of document management and secure digital signature solutions.

I am incredibly proud of our continued success in my home town, and while ZorroSign expands our global presence, the UAE and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries will be a strategic market for us.

Success in South Asia

From the start, ZorroSign has had close ties with the south Asia countries of India and Sri Lanka. While operations started in Dubai, our development center of excellence has always been in Colombo!

Our blockchain architecture was conceived, coded, and cultivated entirely in Sri Lanka with a vision to provide global customers with the ability to securely transform paper-based workflows to digital operations. I could not be prouder of our Sri Lanka team, and though they are struggling through that beautiful country’s difficult political and economic crisis, they have proven again and again the resilience and tenacity of their engineering genius.

Recently, APAC Business Headlines recognized the ZorroSign team as the “Most Innovative Blockchain Company from Sri Lanka” for 2022! The award validates the hard work of our center of excellence team, and further proves blockchain’s prominence on the global stage.

This recognition followed our 2021 success where the International Business Awards® named ZorroSign a Gold Stevie® Award Winner for Blockchain Solutions. The Stevie’s are the world’s premier business awards program, where in 2021 more than 3,700 nominations from organizations across 63 nations and territories—of all sizes and in virtually every industry—were submitted for recognition. We were delighted to be awarded a gold Stevie for our blockchain solution and to be recognized as a Company of the Year, and Most Innovative Tech Company of the Year. Most flattering, the judges were quick to note that ZorroSign is “one of the few companies that are able to use blockchain technology to solve a real business problem” . . . a strong endorsement of our digital signature technology, built on blockchain, and paired with identity-as-a-service (IDaaS) and patented fraud detection, to authenticate users and verify documents across digital transactions.

Tackling North American Markets

As a U.S. citizen who has lived in Canada, China, and the UAE at various times over the past forty years, my goal was always to return home and bring ZorroSign’s blockchain solutions to North American users.

In August 2020, we opened our global operations hub in Phoenix, Arizona—ushering in a new phase of business growth. We quickly established local partnerships with Arizona State University, Grand Canyon State University, the Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Technology Council, City of Phoenix, Global Chamber®, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, and many other incredible organizations!

And we’ve engaged government agencies, financial services providers, IT businesses (and departments), legal services firms, real estate companies, and several other verticals to prove the value of a paperless life and the most private, secure, compliant digital transactions hosted on blockchain. Early adopters of our web3 solutions are excited to embrace ZorroSign’s robust platform to advance their digital operations and gain a competitive advantage in a market place still dominated by legacy, web2 technologies.

Global Privacy and Security Compliance

Our unique combination of blockchain architecture, web3 technologies, artificial intelligence/machine learning, and patented fraud prevention grants ZorroSign compliance across many international standards for privacy and security.

The list continues to grow as we expand our markets, but already includes:

  • Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
  • Canada’s Uniform Electronic Commerce Act (UECA)
  • The European Union’s Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for data privacy and security
  • EU’s electronic IDentification, Authentication and trust Services (eIDAS) regulation
  • India’s Information Technology Act 2000 (IT Act of India)
  • International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) No. 3402, Type II audited
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 27001 certified
  • PDF Advanced Electronic Signatures (PAdES) is a set of restrictions and extensions to PDF and ISO 32000-1
  • The UAE’s Federal Law No. 1 of 2006 regarding Electronic Transactions and E-Commerce granting electronic signatures legal force and effect
  • The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) SOC 2 Type I audit
  • USA’s California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
  • USA’s Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) encryption standards
  • USA’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
  • USA’s Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign Act)
  • USA’s FDA Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations; Electronic Records; Electronic Signatures
  • USA’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • USA’s Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA)

I am proud of all ZorroSign has achieved for our international customers and incredibly excited about some big announcements later this summer! ZorroSign is truly a global company delivering global solutions, and we are not resting on our laurels—the best is yet to come.

Contact us to learn more . . . or start your free trial to put our digital signature software to the test!

Whether you work in education, finance, government, healthcare, IT, legal, real estate, or other industries, you often need repetitive but complex forms completed and submitted.

It might be your team filling out the information—or clients, constituents, customers, parents, parties, patients, partners, or students—but getting through the forms accurately and completely is critical to performing a key operation.  And often capturing and managing the information on those forms falls under privacy and/or security compliance regulations as well!

As more and more information capture forms move to digital formats, ZorroSign can help!

The Power of AI

We realized early in our platform development that many repetitive processes can be streamlined with the help of machine learning. A subset of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning is an application of AI that allows digital systems to learn and improve processes through repetition without being explicitly programmed. 

Machine learning “can be loosely interpreted to mean empowering computer systems with the ability to ‘learn,’” explains Towards Data Science.  “The intention of ML is to enable machines to learn by themselves using the provided data and make accurate predictions.”

Within ZorroSign’s multi-chain blockchain platform, we’ve nested a machine learning engine that enables our platform users to digitize documentation, eliminate the paperchase and improve efficiency, while speeding up the process of filling out forms for employees and customers alike—all with increased accuracy.

We call this intelligent form-fill feature, Z-Fill.

Bringing Intelligent Forms to Your Organization

No matter your industry, if you are capturing detailed and privileged/private/secure information on multiple forms, ZorroSign’s intelligent form-fill can speed your process and improve compliance with international privacy and security standards.

Our Z-Fill feature brings immediate benefits to any organization, including:

  • Helping users fill forms with ease by anticipating entries with AI and machine learning
  • Speeding document uploads and conversions in a semi-automated process
  • Allowing signees to upload forms, which are converted to digital with autofill options via profile information
  • Reducing errors by matching profile information to a form-fill option
  • Anticipating entries with use as our machine-learning engine learns your processes over time
  • Saving time with auto-fill learning at every point in a document’s journey!

If you’re ready to try ZorroSign’s multi-chain blockchain platform for yourself—for digital signatures, workflows, or form-fill—start a Free Trial for 14 days.  No credit card required, just an email address!

Sustainable technology
Originally published by Shamsh Hadi on LinkedIn

In an earlier article, I briefly introduced sustainability in advancing technology—specifically urging innovators to be aware of the impact of their new technologies on the environment and human sustainability.

In advance of Earth Day 2022, I reiterate that while it is easy to laud the potential of new technologies, we must also be wary of their effects on the environment . . . specifically the depletion of natural resources which may disrupt ecological balance. This is not to say innovation must be stymied, but that the true price of innovation must be measured in more than purely economic terms.

Defining Sustainability for Business

My quick definition of sustainability—from the Brundtland Report, drafted by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) in 1987—is simply “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”

Bigger picture, the idea of sustainability is “often broken down into three pillars: economic, environmental, and social—also known informally as profits, planet, and people.” For me, new technologies tend to span all three: Driven by economic goals, but often extracting environmental and social costs.

For example, it has been a long-running criticism of bitcoin that the proof-of-work data mining required to produce coins consumes an astonishing amount of electricity. With many public blockchains used for cryptocurrencies, mining coins requires complicated mathematical processing on high-end graphic processing units (GPUs), consuming energy both for calculation processing and cooling those GPUs down under heavy load.

“Scientists from the University of Cambridge Judge Business School recently built an interactive analysis tool to calculate the real energy cost of bitcoin cryptocurrency,” explains Caroline Delbert in Popular Mechanics. “Using their energy use model, the researchers found that bitcoin mining uses more energy each year (130.00 terawatt-hours [TWh]) than the entire country of Argentina (125.03 TWh).”

Another example might emphasize social sustainability. “Social sustainability is about identifying and managing business impacts, both positive and negative, on people,” notes UN Global Compact.

Recall how Facebook’s social network technologies were taken to task by The Social Dilemma—a documentary highlighting the dangerous impact of social networking, which represents a sustainability challenge to human societies.

The film shows that while social networks’ cost is not environmental per se, social media’s “design nurtures an addiction, manipulates people’s views, emotions, and behavior, and spreads conspiracy theories and disinformation . . . [plus an] effect on mental health (including the mental health of adolescents and rising teen suicide rates).” Such social costs put existing social media in direct conflict with sustainable practices.

Balancing Innovation and Sustainability

So how can innovators build and create without jeopardizing the “ability of future generations to meet their needs”?

Such effort requires vision beyond immediate solutions and an eye for real-world consequences . . . even those completely unintended or unexpected in the deployment and adoption of new technology.

“The Industrial Revolution brought forth extraordinary gains in financial prosperity. Between 1870 and 1910, per capita income in the United States rose almost 40 percent, and the value of manufacturing output increased sevenfold. Yet rapid industrialization left in its wake darkened noontime skies, noisy and unsafe machinery, and severely compromised living conditions,” write David Austin and Molly K. Macauley in a classic article from Brookings. “Technology is a double-edged sword—one capable both of doing and undoing damage to environmental quality.”

“Technology has the ability to significantly impact the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” says Jeff Fromm in a Forbes article on sustainability and innovation. “As well as improve work/life balance, enable commerce and so much more.”

Here, environmental technologies have a chance to remedy the historical efforts of Industrial Revolution technologies that brought pollution and ecological disruption, as well as massively depleting natural resources.

“We are currently living in a period of rapid change, where technological developments are revolutionizing the way we live, at the same time as leading us further into the depths of catastrophe in the form of climate change and resource scarcity,” adds a great piece by Edinburgh Sensors. “While the impact of technology on the environment has been highly negative, the concept of environmental technology could save our planet from the harm that has been done.”

Even those technologies that simply avert environmental damage, without perhaps directly rebuilding or restoring natural resources, can have a tremendously positive effect on sustainability.

ZorroSign’s Example

Circling back to my company, ZorroSign’s platform was originally built on private, permissioned Hyperledger Fabric.

Starting with this economic pillar, we constructed a blockchain platform unlike bitcoin and the proof-of-work cryptocurrency models, instead leveraging Hyperledger Fabric as a next-generation enterprise blockchain architecture with lower electricity costs and a smaller carbon footprint. Hyperledger Fabric is a next-generation enterprise blockchain architecture “with even lower electricity costs and attendant carbon footprints,” writes Michael Barnard in a CleanTechnica report.

Hyperledger Fabric’s architecture is so completely different from the mining and broadly distributed model of bitcoin, that the enterprise blockchain can operate faster with far, far lower energy consumption rates. This combination of speed and energy-efficiency made Hyperledger Fabric the sustainable choice to launch ZorroSign’s digital platform.

For the environmental pillar, ZorroSign’s vision includes a commitment to saving trees and having a positive impact on the environment through sustainable practices. With our Save-a-Tree, Plant-a-Tree program, ZorroSign plants a tree on behalf of our customers every time they save 8,000 pages of copy paper! As one tree produces roughly 8,000 pages of copy paper, this amounts to a double incentive:  Reducing the destruction of trees via reduced paper use and increasing the number of trees as reward for reducing paper use. Again, our efforts aspire to realize significant environmental benefits such as conserving water, reducing carbon emissions, improving air quality, and reducing deforestation.

At ZorroSign, we use blockchain to help individuals, businesses, and governments to achieve a paperless life. Here we embrace the social pillar: Understanding that switching to digital records is not only a smart business decision, but it is also good for the environment and society.

Every time someone uses ZorroSign to digitally sign agreements, contracts, and other documents—instead of printing, faxing, scanning, and couriering documents to collect signatures—we all save trees, save water, and reduce carbon emissions. By moving social costs from paper consumption, logistics, and storage to digital signatures, digital archiving, and digital chains-of-custody, we advance a technology that similarly advances sustainability.

I am eager to engage technology innovators in advancing their solutions while also advancing sustainability goals!  Connect with me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/shamsh-hadi/

ZorroSign’s multi-chain blockchain platform is a mobile-first solution with Android and Apple apps designed to run on any mobile device such as smart phones and tablets.

Our technologies help governments, organizations, businesses, and individuals sign digital documents and execute transactions securely from anywhere, at any time, including:

Quickly execute digital documents and transactions from any mobile device with ZorroSign’s blockchain-based platform, ensuring superior privacy, security, and legal enforceability.

Verify exactly who signed what and when, with full validation of every document’s authenticity and immutability, from any mobile device with ZorroSign’s mobile app.

Ensure compliance with internal, regulatory, and security workflows for document approval, using ZorroSign’s automation engine from any mobile device.

Make your critical documentation form-fill completion process smarter, faster, and more accurate from any mobile device using ZorroSign’s AI/ML engine.

Block it down! Ensure regulatory compliance and the immutability of your signed documents from any mobile device by storing your documents on ZorroSign’s blockchain platform.

Create an immutable audit trail and complete chain-of-custody validation from any mobile device with ZorroSign’s patented 4n6 (forensics) token.

Mobile Supported by Public/Private/Hybrid Cloud Deployments

ZorroSign’s mobile solutions can be deployed in various configurations to meet your organization’s data security requirements. For example . . .

  • Public Cloud Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

Our standard deployment is on Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud computing network. This configuration benefits from AWS data centers and a network architected to protect your information, identities, applications, and devices. Built with the highest standards for privacy and data security, AWS is designed to help ZorroSign deliver secure, high-performing, resilient, and efficient infrastructure for our applications.

  • Private Cloud SaaS

In ZorroSign’s private cloud configuration, all your data and the ZorroSign application run in a private and secure cloud network dedicated to your organization. This fully managed service is ideal for financial services institutions or any organization requiring that your data resides only in servers where you have full control.

  • Hybrid (Public/Private) Cloud SaaS

Sitting between fully-public and fully-private cloud deployments is the option for a hybrid cloud configuration. Here, storing your data on our private, permissioned blockchain can occur on either ZorroSign data centers or in the private cloud, while the ZorroSign platform and applications run on their standard public cloud configurations. We collaborate with your organization to configure the right mix of public self-service, scalability, and elasticity with private control and customization available with dedicated hardware.

  • On-Premise Configurations

Finally, for those customers who require both the ZorroSign platform and their data reside behind their own firewall or demilitarized zone (DMZ)—where a physical or logical sub network contains and exposes your organization’s external-facing services such as ZorroSign digital signatures, workflow management, and identity-as-a-service (IDaaS) applications—we support on-premise deployments.

Get the Mobile App Today

Download our mobile app today on:

Or sign up for your Free Trial of ZorroSign’s multi-chain blockchain solution for digital signatures, documents, and transactions—no credit card or payment required!

The first Thursday of May is World Password Day. Since 2013, the day promotes better password habits, as secure passwords are a critical piece of today’s cybersecurity.

 

While many people observe World Password Day by changing their passwords; moving to longer, complex passwords; turning on two-factor authentication; and other steps to improve individual password security, ZorroSign is working to remove the risk of passwords all together!

 

  • According to last year’s Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, over 80% of hacking breaches involve brute-forced credentials or the use of lost or stolen credentials.
  • In an article from last year’s World Password Day, CPO Magazine proposed that the best password is no password at all, as “passwords alone are not enough to protect products and users would be foolish to think otherwise.”
  • A recent Information Age article claims the time is right for passwordless authentication, as “passwordless authentication makes users’ lives easier” and removes the human factor from cybersecurity—where “people just can’t be trusted to set reliable passwords, to change them frequently, to make sure they are strong, and to keep them secure.”
  • Philip Black at Techradar.com published an April 2021 article dispelling the myths around passwordless authentication. Black suggests “a paradigm shift is on the horizon as new passwordless solutions and technologies gain in popularity, such as biometrics, laying the foundation for a more secure standard for accessing information in the digital world.” And he removes the mythical obstacles around multifactor authentication, the risks of biometrics, and how expensive it is to escape passwords for cybersecurity.

 

Looking to overcome these risks, we partnered with Trusona, the pioneering leader in passwordless identity solutions. Our shared goal is to authenticate user identities in digital environments without needing passwords.

 

ZorroSign’s identity-as-a-service (IDaaS) solution now includes identity proofing capabilities—uniquely combining Trusona’s authentication architecture with ZorroSign’s digital signature and a document management system.

 

Trusona’s solution uses passwordless identity proofing that is available in 38 states and provides the ability to scan a government-issued REAL ID Act identification—like a driver’s license—and then verify the identity with the state’s department of motor vehicle. ZorroSign’s integration with Trusona will elevate the user authentication capabilities of digital signatures, digital document workflows, contract lifecycle management (CLM), and potentially eVoting.

 

“Blockchain is here; remote identity proofing is here,” says Ori Eisen, founder and CEO of Trusona. “Trusona helps us protect our high-valued documents like sensitive financial assets and voting records, providing us with the confidence to execute documents securely and from any location.” Over 200 organizations, including some of the world’s largest financial services and health care companies, rely on Trusona’s identity proofing solutions.

 

Plus, with our mobile app, ZorroSign leverages the biometric security of Apple and Android devices to secure privacy and data with biometrics such as fingerprints and iris scans—facilitating passwordless user authentication at the device-level for digital signatures and document management.

 

To learn more about passwordless user authentication, and how ZorroSign provides superior privacy and data security with our blockchain technology, contact us today.

April 22 is Earth Day—an annual event to demonstrate support for environmental protection. At ZorroSign, however, we aspire to protect the environment and conserve natural resources every day.

 

How?

 

Environmental conservation is part of our corporate social responsibility and intrinsic to our mission, our values, and even our technology.

 

  • Our Mission
    At ZorroSign, we help individuals, businesses, organizations, and even government entities to achieve a paperless life. We all understand that switching from doing business using paper to digital records is not only a smart business decision, but it is also good for the environment. Each time you use ZorroSign to digitally transact agreements, contracts, and other documents—instead of printing, faxing, scanning, shipping documents overnight to collect signatures—you save trees and water, plus reduce carbon emissions.

And with ZorroSign’s SAVE A TREE – PLANT A TREE initiative, for every 8000 pages you save using our digital platform, we will plant a tree on your behalf!

 

  • Our Values
    ZorroSign is committed to democratizing user privacy and data security by bringing digital signatures and a paperless life to everyone around the world. Not only can you save operating costs by moving away from paper, printing, copying, conveying, and storing hard copy documents, but you also decrease your environmental consumption by digitizing your communications and operations.

Achieving a paperless life helps you and your organization to have a positive impact on the environment through sustainable practices. Visit our environmental savings calculator to quickly see how you can save trees, wood, water, CO2 emissions, and time by “going digital” with ZorroSign.

 

  • Our Technology
    It has been a long-running criticism of cryptocurrencies that the data mining required to produce coins consumes an astonishing amount of electricity. With the public blockchains used for cryptocurrencies, mining coins requires complicated mathematical processing on high-end graphic processing units (GPUs), consuming energy both for calculation processing and cooling those GPUs down under heavy load.

 

However, ZorroSign was not built on a public blockchain architecture.

 

Instead, we are built on private, permissioned Hyperledger Fabric. Unlike Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency models for blockchain, Hyperledger Fabric is a next-generation enterprise blockchain architecture “with even lower electricity costs and attendant carbon footprints,” writes Michael Barnard in a CleanTechnica report.

 

Hyperledger Fabric’s architecture is so completely different than the mining and broadly distributed model of bitcoin that the enterprise blockchain can operate faster with far, far lower energy consumption.

 

This combination of speed and energy-efficiency made Hyperledger Fabric the ideal technology for ZorroSign’s digital platform.

 

“We are proud to use Hyperledger Fabric as our blockchain architecture,” says ZorroSign CEO and co-founder, Shamsh Hadi. “Not only does this private, permissioned approach bring greater privacy and security to our users, but the environmental costs of operating a private enterprise blockchain—like Hyperledger Fabric—is magnitudes lower than the high energy consumption required of public blockchains like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.”

 

To learn more about ZorroSign’s commitment to environmental conservation, our corporate social responsibilities, and how we deliver greater privacy and security for digital signatures and documents, contact us.

Blockchain technology to protect digital transactions.

 

The Value of Paperless Operations

Credit unions are always exploring ways to improve their communities and better serve their members. One strategy that can do both is moving away from paper documents and storage towards digital records and paperless operations.

 

For credit unions themselves, paperless operations save time and costs (alleviating the need to fill out and store paper documents) plus “going green” lightens the environment toll of business. But for members, the benefits are even more dramatic:

  • Gaining greater speed and convenience in financial transactions,
  • Improving security against fraud and transaction errors,
  • Leveraging more efficient audit trails for records and reporting, and
  • Eliminating the risk of sensitive financial details found on paper in offices, drawers, even the garbage.

“If every American household viewed and paid bills online, it could reduce solid waste by more than 800,000 tons a year and save about 18.5 million trees,” notes Aspire Federal Credit Union.

 

Digital transactions provide higher accuracy with fewer errors, improved controls, and greater member satisfaction resulting from simplified process. In addition to cost-savings, perhaps the biggest benefit of credit unions going digital is the increase of productivity and the ability to track the progress of digital signature transactions at every step and in real time.

 

There are three simple and easy steps to transacting documents digitally:

  1. Document Preparation: Creating and preparing the digital documents that will control the transaction, for example: Something as simple as filling out a form by hand or in digital format, or something as complex as something that needs a formal document collaboration or document preparation service such as the one offered by legal staff.
  2. Document Execution: Here documents, contracts, attachments, supporting documents, etc. are signed by one or more authorized parties in a particular sequence (workflow), submitting critical information. Security provisions are enforced and meta data is associated with signatory to ensure the authenticity and validity of each step of the digital documents’ transaction.
  3. Post-Execution Processes: The post-execution process includes securely storing the document, protecting it against tampering, alteration, and theft. In case of a dispute, the record must contain a detailed audit trail and chain of custody of the transaction for its legality and validity to be proven.

Leveraging such processes, paperless operations can be an effective way for credit unions to differentiate their financial services and provide greater value to their members.

 

The Need for Superior Digital Security

Moving to a paperless environment requires a commitment to digital security. The newspapers announce one data breach or another almost every day, and the Great Supply Chain Hack of 2020 may haunt government data systems for years: “This is looking like it’s the worst hacking case in the history of America,” says one U.S. official. “They got into everything.”

 

In this environment of fear and reaction, the promise of distributed ledger technologies offers an appealing new approach to digital security. For example, blockchains have quickly been embraced as a solution for improving supply-chain security for data, communications, and logistics.

 

Unlike any other digital signature solution, ZorroSign was built from the ground-up on Hyperledger Fabric blockchain architecture. Hyperledger Fabric blockchains are permissions-based and requires all users to authenticate themselves before making requests to read or write into the distributed ledger (i.e., the “blocks” on the “chain”) or taking any action that adds to the blocks on the distributed ledger.

 

As a private blockchain, ZorroSign can ensure privacy is always maintained as only approved nodes (endpoint users) can write to ZorroSign’s blockchain. This is opposed to public blockchains—like Bitcoin and Ethereum—where anyone can be an endpoint and write to the blocks.

 

As a result, ZorroSign’s architecture has even tighter privacy and security measures than other blockchains. The key benefits of ZorroSign’s blockchain architecture include:

  • Immutability—A chronological record (with date and time stamps) of all transactions in multiple copies on the ledger are maintained to avoid any doubt or ambiguity. This chronological chain provides a robust chain of custody and audit trail capabilities. Blocks cannot be rewritten, edited, or deleted—only added to the ledge—and so ensure document immutability.
  • Privacy—Permissions-based private blockchain security and privacy of the members’ information by only allowing permissioned individuals to have access to the transaction.
  • Fraud Prevention—ZorroSign’s proprietary 4n6 (“forensics”) token can readily detect any document fraud, document tampering, or signature forgery as a tamper seal that runs on the blockchain.
  • Lifetime Escrow—While other digital signature platforms often use third-party digital security certificates that expire every two years, ZorroSign issues its own certificates that never expire for lifetime document escrow.

As credit unions move to more and more digital transactions, ZorroSign’s digital signature and document management platform can decrease costs, reduce errors, and increase productivity. Unlike other electronic signature solutions, ZorroSign’s platform is built on a private, permissioned Hyperledger Fabric blockchain architecture to secure digital assets and deliver security certificates with robust audit trails and lifetime document escrow.

 

“Blockchain technology can help make credit union transactions more secure, faster and less expensive,” says Shamsh Hadi, CEO and co-founder of ZorroSign.

 

Learn how your credit union can tap the benefits of paperless and operations and more securely manage your members’ digital signatures and documents . . . contact ZorroSign today!

ZorroSign Software Architect, Ruwan Dissanayake, recently answered some questions on his career path, goals, and insights on business and technology.

 

At ZorroSign, Ruwan is responsible for providing technical leadership to our development team; producing architectural blueprints for development; evaluating and assessing tools, technologies, and processes for improved security and functionality; ensuring software security; troubleshooting issues in code and design; creating product specifications and design documents, and meeting aggressive schedules for product development, quality assurance, and launch.

 

Question: How did you get to where you are professionally?

Answer: I have a Bachelor of Science degree (with Honors) from the University of Ruhuna in Sri Lanka, and postgraduate diploma in Computer Science from the University of Colombo School of Computing. I am hard working and dedicated to software development, passionate about what technology can do for people and businesses, and believe the incredible value blockchain can bring to the global economy.

 

Question: What attributes do you look for when hiring developers and other technical staff?

Answer: Knowledge, skills, and the right attitude are all key in hiring developers. Their ability to stay focused is important—software development can take a toll on you as challenges and deadlines rush at you.

 

Question: Why did you choose to work for ZorroSign?

Answer: Before I joined ZorroSign, I worked for a few multinational companies. I was looking for a company that was doing something innovative and developing a technology which could disrupt the world in a good way with its product. ZorroSign develops technology for tomorrow and I found ZorroSign to be the right place for me. I like the friendly working environment and opportunities to create exciting solutions.

 

Question: What are you most passionate about regarding technology?

Answer: I like that technology is evolving and helping people live better lives and conserve our environment. Everyone is paying greater attention to the limited resources we have in the world, and how to protect them, technology can play a major role. ZorroSign’s ability to reduce paper, printing, hard copy storage, and even courier logistics makes a significant impact on our environment.

 

Question: Give me one word that describes you best.

Answer: Supportive. I work for my team to achieve our technical accomplishments together.

 

Question: What are your long-term professional goals?

Answer: To make ZorroSign the number one solution in digital transaction management, while contributing to a green technology (digital signatures on blockchain) that will help make a safer, better, brighter world for generations to follow.

 

Question: What area of technology do you think will have the most growth in the next five years?

Answer: There are so many technologies poised to grow, I could not pick just one! Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are sure to continue growing, as are big data and augmented analytics. The Internet of Things (IoT) is still booming, quantum computing is stepping onto the world stage, and blockchain has a chance to become widely adopted across many industries.

 

Question: Business is often an adventure, what is your favorite life adventure?

Answer: I managed to escape from a few motorbike accidents over the years. When I thought it was the end, somehow I survived! During white-water rafting the vessel I was in flipped over, causing me to turn cycles in the water. I didn’t know what to do, so I held my breath and waited until my life jacket push me up to the surface, I was thankful to be alive.

 

Question: How do you spend your time outside of work?

Answer: I spend my time with my family. I love nature, specifically rain forests. In my leisure time I go on safaris and trekking.

 

Question: What is one thing you want everyone reading this to know about you?

Answer: My life’s journey has not always been smooth—it has had a lot of ups and downs. I kept my faith, stayed responsible, stayed accountable, and I always take ownership of all situations.

ZorroSign Chief Technology Officer, Priyal Walpita, recently sat down to discuss insight into who he is and how he got to where he is today, in both business and his personal life. Priyal, true to his technology background, was calculated and thoughtful in his answers. Check out this insightful interview of how passion can be the perfect motivator to success. Read on to discover the makings of a CTO.

 

Question: How did you get to where you are professionally?

Answer: As the Chief Technology Officer at ZorroSign one of the core concepts that I live by in my professional life is, “do what you love.” If you have passion for what you do it will catapult you to accomplish more. When you combine passion, hard work and dedication, anything is possible. I wake up each day excited about life and the work that I do. Identifying and following my passion from a very young age helped set the path for my current accomplishments. My professional career is my life’s passion.

 

Question: What attributes do you look for when hiring developers and other technical staff?

Answer: First, as technical knowledge workers, I expect all my employees to be just as passionate about their respective technological area of expertise as I am about AI and ML. I can teach knowledge and skill, but I can’t teach passion. Secondly, I look for employees that are constant learners, specifically, in Information Technology. As an industry that changes rapidly employees should proactively seek knowledge in order to stay up to date with trends and advancements. When employees are providing a solution to a problem, they should know about the latest and greatest technology and/or methodology that can solve that problem. Finally, I look for out of the box, innovative intellects that are capable of effectively working as part of a technical team, as many problems we need to solve take creative and dynamic thought. Prospective employees should be smart enough to critically analyze each situation and give a quick solid solution.

 

Question: Why did you choose to work for ZorroSign?

Answer: ZorroSign represents the technology of tomorrow. The current COVID-19 pandemic reinforced this as the technology seamlessly filled a critical need of a remote workforce. As a technology evangelist I firmly believe we are heading into a more connected world within cyberspace; one where people have little physical interaction among each other. For example, when I was a child, we frequently sent mail through the postal service. Innovation of SMS made sending a message instant, reducing the need for physical mail and the cost of communication. Soon it will become standard for people not to sign contracts, documents and agreements with wet ink. Instead they will use a Digital Transaction Management platform such as ZorroSign. I wanted to be at the forefront of this mass advancement where technology supports a global business environment, while also creating a best in class solution that saves trees, saves time, saves money, all while being the most secure solution on the market. This is the reason why I chose to work at ZorroSign.

 

Question: What are you most passionate about regarding technology?

Answer: Technology drives humankind to reaching their greatest potential. If you analyze human history, technology is the constant that has driven humankind forward. From innovation of making fire on demand to innovation of artificial intelligence, technology plays a major role in our evolution.

 

Question: Give me one word that describes you best.

Answer: Technocrat is the word that best describes me. I emphatically advocate for using technically skilled individuals to solve the world’s biggest problems.

 

Question: What are your long-term professional goals?

Answer: My long-term professional goal is to contribute to humankind with technological innovation that improves the lives of all people. Ultimately, I strive to have a positive impact on society with technological innovation that encourages and supports environmental sustainability that will make the environment healthier and more comfortable for generations of children to come.

 

Question: What professional skill do you need to improve most?

Answer: Public speaking was always difficult for me. Recently, I have diligently sought out opportunities to improve my public speaking and teaching ability by gaining more experience. Now I can better convey my message about new technologies and trends when speaking to small and large groups of people. If anyone is interested in attending any of my speaking engagements I often post them to LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/priyalwalpita/.

 

Question: What business leaders do you look up to?

Answer: Mr. Shamsh Hadi, CEO of ZorroSign is my most admired and inspirational leader. I have learned a lot from Shamsh’s thought process and superior decision-making ability. Apart from Shamsh, I am intrigued by Mr. Jeff Bezos and Mr. Bill Gates as people who have made great impact on the world with technology.

 

Question: Business is often an adventure, what is your favorite life adventure?

Answer: To date, my biggest life adventure was in my first year of university. I went on a jungle camping trip with a few of my friends. On this trip we managed to get lost inside the jungle. We did not have access to cell phones, GPS etc., and we had to adapt to utilize basic navigational skills to find our way out of the jungle. This experience taught me the importance of working as a team and how to adapt in a crisis while still maintaining presence of mind.

 

Question: How do you spend your time outside of work?

Answer: Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my children and family. When time permits, I like to learn more about new and emerging technology.

Question: What is one thing you want everyone reading this to know about you?

Answer: I started out on the ground level. I took a grassroots approach and started with the basics. I built my educational and professional foundation out of my passion for technology, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. I want young professionals to look at me as an example of what is achievable with hard work, sacrifice, passion and dedication. The journey to CTO was never easy, but it was always worth it.

Digital Transaction Management (DTM) helps to increase efficiency and productivity by simplifying paper-based processes and making them digital. The result is higher accuracy with fewer errors, improved controls, and customer satisfaction resulting from simplified process. When paper-based business transactions are converted into digital processes, we enjoy the benefits of efficiency, cost and time saving, and helping to save the environment by reducing the use of paper. Perhaps the biggest business benefit of going digital is the increase of productivity and the ability to monitor and track the progress of digital signature transactions at every step and in real time. There are three simple and easy steps to transacting a document digitally.

 

Document Preparation: This is the creation and preparation of digital documents that will control the transaction. In this first step, the process of preparing a document for signature could be as simple as filling out a form by hand or in digital format, or as complex as something that needs a formal document collaboration and compilation solution or document preparation service such as the one offered by paralegal staff. Once the document has been prepared, the second step in a digital document transaction is the execution of the document.

 

Document Execution: In the second step the documents, contracts, attachments, supporting documents, etc. are signed by one or more authorized parties in a particular sequence (workflow), filling in critical information. Security provisions are enforced and meta data is associated with signatory to ensure the authenticity and validity of each step of the digital documents’ transaction. Once a document set is completed by all parties, step three, is where the post execution process can begin.

 

Post Execution Processes: The post execution process includes securely storing the document, protecting it from tamper, alteration, and theft. In case of a dispute, the record must contain a detailed audit trail and chain of custody of the transaction for its legality and validity to be proven. Finally, only the authorized person should have access to and visibility into the document set. Post execution processes apply to both digital and printed versions of the documents.

 

Now that you understand the three steps of a digital document transaction it is important to understand why ZorroSign is the gold standard in post execution processes. ZorroSign’s patent pending 4n6 (forensics) token uses a private permissions-based blockchain to deliver verification, security, audit trail, chain of custody, along with other features. Users who access a ZorroSign’ed document through appropriate permissions can scan the 4n6 token and request access to view the documents history. With the 4n6 token, the parties in the workflow always have access to the document. Access to any external parties is limited to viewing the content of the document, its attachment, and audit trail and is based on permissions approved by the originator of the transaction.

ZorroSign CEO, Shamsh Hadi recently sat down to provide an insight into who he is and how he got to where he is today, in both business and his personal life. Shamsh didn’t hold back in this dynamic interview, allowing us a front-row seat into the makings of a technology pioneer and self-made business leader. Read on to discover the man behind the brand.

 

Question: You have had a very dynamic career, spanning multiple industries, how did you get to where you are professionally?

Answer: Sheer determination to succeed, passion to learn, clear and concise goal setting, and family support all contributed to my professional success.

 

Question: You have proven yourself as an effective leader, what attributes do you look for when hiring?

Answer: When hiring human resources, I look for six very specific attributes:

  1. Leadership skills
  2. Organizational skills
  3. Communication skills
  4. Intelligence
  5. Active listening skills
  6. Honesty, Ambition and a Strong Work Ethic

From experience, when a team member has these six attributes, they become a valuable member of team. If there are knowledge gaps or deficiencies, having the preceding attributes allows the team member to gain the skills on the job to continue to contribute to the company in a meaningful way.

 

Question: What is ZorroSign’s employee culture?

Answer: I believe we have a talented, driven, dedicated, innovative and ambitious employee culture at ZorroSign. The company work culture encourages employees to behave like a family and care about each other, their work and their family. The company strives to keep the culture strong by focusing on employee wellness, creating goals (work and personal), encouraging positivity, fostering corporate social responsibility, clear and concise communication and provides transparency from top down.

 

Question: What is one word that describes you the best?

Answer: Perseverant – In all aspects of my life, professional and personally, I go after what I want and am persistent until I reach the goal I have set.

 

Question: You have accomplished so much at a fairly young age, what are your future professional goals?

Answer: Professionally I have set out three goals for myself:

  1. Identifying and fostering leadership in others
  2. Building resilience
  3. Learning to fail gracefully

 

Question: What are your three biggest accomplishments?

Answer: Wow, that is a difficult question to answer, as accomplishment often advances as one develops and refines themselves. Being recognized as a subject matter expert in the Tech Industry is something I am proud of. Saving the planet – one page at a time with ZorroSign’s Digital Signature solution gives me purpose. Being accepted to the Presidents Program (A Harvard Business School and YPO initiative) has given me a sense of accomplishment. While none of these accomplishments define me, they are each things that I worked hard to achieve and they provide me intrinsic reward.

 

Question: It’s often said that great CEO’s have even greater mentors. What CEOs do you look up to?

Answer: There are so many CEOs who I look up to for various reasons. A short list of some of these business leaders are: Sara Blakely, Jeff Bezos, Satya Nadella, Bob Iger, Warren Buffet, Ken Chenault, Lisa Su, and Tony Hsieh. Each CEO on this list has qualities I admire, tenacity I respect, and accomplishment I lionize.

 

Question: Outside of growing ZorroSign into a best-in-class organization, what are you most passionate about, outside of your family?
Answer: I am passionate about traveling. I am a very curious person, so I am constantly wanting to learn or experience something new; traveling helps me check off these boxes. With travel comes an innate sense of adventure. Over the years I have found adventure allows me to remove myself from my comfort zone, which facilitates additional personal and professional growth.

Question: Business is often an adventure, tell me about your favorite life adventure.

Answer: I make sure every day is an adventure for me, otherwise life gets boring.

 

Question: What do you enjoy most outside of work?

Answer: A quiet and simple family man, outside of work I focus my time on family. They are the backbone, the support and motivation I have to get up every day and accomplish great things.

 

Question: What is one thing you want everyone reading this to know about you?

Answer: I am driven to ensure ZorroSign continues to be a world class company. Don’t underestimate my vision and plan for the company and the direction I am driving the organization. I love a good debate and encourage anyone, team members, customers, interested business professionals to reach out, roll up your sleeves and work towards a common goal!

Today, April 22, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary since the acknowledgement of Earth Day in 1970. Unlike previous years where you may have participated in events to clean-up your local parks/beaches, or activities focused on reduce, reuse, recycle, this year will be different with social distancing and stay-at-home orders. However, ZorroSign wants to remind you of the importance of living a paperless life and doing your part to reduce the use of paper. Check out our Environmental Savings Calculator and see what impact your organization could have on the environment by living a paperless life with ZorroSign.

 

Paperless Life with ZorroSign

 

ZorroSign is committed to having a positive impact on the environment through sustainable practices. Switching from doing business using paper to digital is not only a smart business decision but it is also good for the environment. Each time you use ZorroSign to digitally transact instead of printing, faxing, scanning, shipping documents to collect signatures, you save trees and water, reduce Carbon emission, while your business saves time and money.

 

Not convinced you should lead a paperless life? It is estimated that one tree produces roughly 8,000 regular sheets of copy paper. A study by the Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance determined that the typical office consumes about 10,000 sheets of paper per worker every year. Assuming 8,000 pages per tree, a small office of 50 employees would use about 62 trees worth of paper each year. Further, it is estimated that it takes 3 gallons of water to produce a single sheet of copy paper. Using the example above, a small office of 50 employees would be responsible for using about 1.5 million gallons of water per year to produce the amount of office paper typically used.

 

To further the cause of Paperless Life, ZorroSign encourages all businesses to go digital, go Paperless, and save trees. Save A Tree – Plant A Tree is ZorroSign’s answer to how we can do our part to help the environment on Earth Day and everyday. For every 8,000 pages of paper you save by using ZorroSign, we plant a tree on your behalf.

 

Take Action

 

Many countries are still experiencing the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic. In response, the official Earth Day organization has decided to go digital. If you are looking for virtual Earth Day activities, visit: https://www.earthday.org/. Studies show that by just eliminating or reducing use of paper, we can realize significant environmental benefits like conserving water, reducing Carbon emission, improving air quality, and reducing deforestation. Companies also realize large productivity gains and significant cost reduction. If you are looking to make a lasting impact and do your part to protect the world’s forests, don’t forget you can celebrate Earth Day every day with ZorroSign. Using ZorroSign Digital Signature solution and DTM, you can save trees, reduce your carbon footprint, all while saving some green. Ready to make a difference? Sign-up today and receive a free three-month trial.

 

Questions? Send an email to [email protected].

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.

 

 

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

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

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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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.

 

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.

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.

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

Last month, when ZorroSign launched its Green initiative called Paperless Life, I wrote an article about the environmental impact of using office paper. The impact on the environment is significant in terms of conservation of water, energy, and trees as well as reduction of Carbon footprint. For the organizations adopting #PaperlessLife strategy, there are tangible and intangible benefits for the company and its employees. In this article I will analyze the business impact of using office paper for business transactions, specifically the financial impact.

 

Challenges and Cost Factors

Almost every business process that involves document signatures is either fully manual or partially digital. The use case in this context is a combination of: Print-Sign-Scan-Email or FedEx. (Choose your favorite courier service). If it’s a document for a loan of any kind with co-signers, repeat the use case above for every signatory.

 

Because no two businesses are the same, it is better to provide a framework for cost calculation. We will consider each component of this use case for our framework for cost analysis.

 

Cost Analysis Framework

 

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.

 

Applying the Cost Analysis Framework

Costs of using paper may vary from one company to another. However, it is very clear that the cost is significant relative to the size of the company. The overall business impact of using office paper is tremendous. We highly recommend to apply the above framework to your business situation and calculate cost as accurately as you can. Then compare that cost to purchasing and using an eSignature and Digital Transaction Management system. Click here to check out ZorroSign Plans & Pricing.

 

References