By Scott Trudeau
Early in the year I received an unsolicited email from a customer that works for a large Texas independent school district touting the benefits of their EchoSign purchase.
“Today I did a MegaSign of about 1,000 Letters of Reasonable Assurance to our at-will, non-contract employees who don’t work during the summer (we send about 3,000 total). A process that used to take a team of people months to complete (printing letters, stuffing envelopes, mailing, tracking, receiving, logging, scanning….), with EchoSign, I was able to do this myself. I had about 40% back before I left work (with an average processing time of 21 minutes). Incredible!”
Mike went on to explain that receiving signed Letters of Reasonable Assurance is extremely important in that it protects schools from paying unemployment during the summer break. Without the letter, districts would “pay enormous sums in unemployment.”
So…what is EchoSign?
Adobe EchoSign provides an extremely easy-to-use electronic signature solution.
EchoSign can work with all kinds of documents. The most common documents formats used with EchoSign are:
- Word Documents
- Common image formats
With EchoSign there is no need for your customers (or students, faculty, and parents) to download or signup for anything. They can use their mouse, stylus, or finger to sign the document (heck, they can even type their name into a field and have EchoSign create a signature for them), and you don’t have to worry about what device or browser is supported. EchoSign works on all browsers, across all devices.
As a parent, I would love for my child’s school to offer me a digital signature option. For example, say my daughter’s teacher is charged with collecting fieldtrip permission slips from the entire 7th grade. She could use EchoSign to complete this task. The teacher would simply upload the form into EchoSign, adds a signature field (drag and drop simple), and send the digital permission slip to the parents via email.
I would receive the email on my mobile phone, open the email, click a link and sign my daughter’s permission slip with my finger (touch devices are amazing)! For those parents that do not have a touch device they can use their mouse or a stylus. I submit the permission slip and receive a signed copy within seconds. The teacher also receives a signed copy (everyone is happy).
For those that don’t immediately sign, the teacher can setup reminder emails that reoccur on a set schedule. The teacher no longer has to deal with last minute phone calls with parents scrambling to find and return important school documents.
“But how do I know that it truly was the parent that signed the permission slip?”
That is a great question! If you think about it, e-signatures provide more security than the paper-based permission slips that the students are returning. The teacher has no idea that the paper-based document truly reflects the parent’s signature or a forgery. However, with an e-signed document, the parent must log into their email account (presumably using a password) to view the document. An email-based delivery mechanism provides a layer of security that the student’s backpack does not.
I’ve also viewed more than a few documents that require complex signature routing. For example, a change of course document may require a signature from the student, professor, student advisor, and the dean of the college. If each person takes a day it can easily take a document almost a week to process. EchoSign can handle that kind of complex routing as well, and greatly reduce the time it take to process multi-signature documents.
Below are examples of common documents that require a signature.
- HR Documents
- Permission Slips
- Parent/Teacher/Administrator documents
- Progress Reports
- University change-of-course forms
- Student Parking Forms
- Student Housing Forms
…and the list goes on!
Fantastic! How can I get it?
There are a few ways to purchase EchoSign.
- Signup Online by going to www.echosign.adobe.com (great for individuals or small teams)
- Speak to your Adobe Account manager (best for larger departmental and institutional purchases). I highly recommend speaking to your Adobe account manager, as they can make recommendations based on your organization’s needs and also provide you with the best pricing options.
When you think of your organization’s document workflow think of the headaches you experience when trying to get paperwork signed and returned on a TIMELY basis.
Bottom-line… EchoSign has huge potential to save your institution time and money (while saving you from a huge document-induced migraine)!
Senior Solutions Consultant, Adobe Inc.
For more Adobe Tips, Tricks, and Information Follow me on Twitter @scott_trudeau