Go ink- and paper-free with electronic signatures, and watch your savings, revenue, and productivity grow.


You put a lot of effort into developing each trading partner deal, and into the contract that will seal it. You've also put a lot on the line by relying on wet-ink signatures for execution. Any delay can put even the best deal in jeopardy. Copying, distributing, and overnighting cost time and money. And signing
mistakes can really slow things down, or cause problems later on if not caught now.

Incorporating electronic signatures into your contract management process is a step toward more control and a completely paperless contract lifecycle. Copying and shipping costs will be a thing of the past. You'll cut the time it takes to execute a contract from days - or weeks - to mere minutes. And the
process easily meets audit and regulatory requirements.

The results you can achieve are compelling: A 50% higher probability of closing a deal. Up to 90% greater workflow efficiency. Lower paper costs of more than $170 per transaction. And by eliminating all that paper, toner, packaging, and shipping, just think how much greener you'll be.


Definition of an electronic signature
The legality of an electronic signature
An electronic signature is a fast, secure, and easy way to sign a contract. It can be defined as a process that attaches an encoded signature to an electronic document, verifying the identity of the signer and signifying an approval to terms. An electronic signature needn't resemble what would commonly be recognized as a signature. It can be any sound, symbol, or process adopted with the intent to sign a document.Yes. They carry the same legal effect as physical signatures while raising the standard for authentication and security. The enforceability of e-signatures in the U.S. was ensured in 2000. That's when the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) was signed into law, establishing that the use of electronic means to create and sign documents would not jeopardize their validity or enforceability.
*Ariba has partnered with electronic signature leader DocuSign to design a low-touch, high-value solution.


How do electronic signatures work?

It's easy. First, each system user is identified and provided with a unique and secure electronic signature. Then, when you're a requestor, you use a simple drag-and-drop tool to identify the signers needed on a given contract, and where they need to sign. With one more click, you send the contract and signer list to Ariba's partner, DocuSign. DocuSign sends emails to ask signers for their signatures. Automated triggers, set to the update interval of your choice, keep you informed about process status. Once everyone has signed, a final PDF version of the contract is secured, returned, and uploaded.

When you're a signer, you open the DocuSign email, review the contract, and follow the guides to see where you need to sign. Just click on each location to e-sign your name. When finished, click "done" to send the contract back to the requestor. Fully executed copies are automatically stored in the Ariba system, and a tamper-proof master copy is stored in DocuSign's SAS70-compliant datacenter. Each signer receives a notification and a link to the signed document, as well as a Certificate of Signing as evidence of the process.


But….what about security?


Yes, electronic signatures are far more secure than any paper-based process. Leveraging the latest application security, infrastructure protection, and DocuSign's unique contract execution process, you have the peace of mind that documents and customer data are secure and safe during and after the signing process. Documents are digitally sealed and all communication is transmitted over SSL 128 bit encryption. Plus, the service includes a 100% audit trail of the entire process, ensuring compliance and reducing the risk of fraud or lost records.


50% higher probablility of closing a deal

Up to 90% greater workflow efficiency

See what all the excitement is about...

Ken Miklos, Ariba Contracts Sr. Solutions Marketing Manager says on Ariba Exchange:

I had an interesting conversation this week with Bob DeSantis, the VP of Sales at DocuSign. His company has now executed just short of 50 million signature events electronically on behalf of their customers which include many large, global organizations like Cisco Systems, BP, and Expedia. Of these, exactly zero have been successfully challenged (or challenged at all for that matter) in court. Bob went on to explain that eSignatures are actually more safe and secure than traditionally wet ink signatures since the signature process takes place in a completely secure environment vs. by fax, mail or email...all of which are very much not secure channels.


Yet, while all acknowledge the value, legality and the response that, "our legal group won't accept an electronic signature" is still the most common retort when I talk to folks about eSignatures...although this is changing.


What is your company's viewpoint? Educate stakeholders with the white papers, case studies, and a savings calculator at


Part 2 of eSignatures:

Ariba Knowledge Nuggets: eSignatures Part 2 of 2 - Benefits & Who should use it



This has been another Knowledge Nugget post brought to you by Beverly Dunn.

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