Technology is making the world smaller. In our personal lives, we can speak face-to-face with people on the other side of the planet, we can share data and files with friends and partners, and we can buy products from all over the globe. In business, the world is shrinking even faster.
Contracts are an integral part of business, but a tricky aspect to factor into the digital world. That is the reason why DocuSign, the San Francisco-based digital transactions company, has grown so quickly. The company’s digital signature systems started the ball rolling, and it has now become a behemoth of business, enabling transactions all over the world. Even five years from now, the idea of not being able to sign something digitally will be preposterous.
Keith Krach, Chairman and former CEO of DocuSign for 7 years, believes the reason for the company’s staggering growth is due to the changing nature of the business. “All companies see the digital transformation as a strategic imperative. DocuSign has become the catalyst for that transformation,” Krach says.
Krach believes there are three reasons why DocuSign is such a catalyst for the Global Digital Transformation.
First, DocuSign replaces paper and old processes which make it an essential first step before being able to apply Business Intelligence. It actually creates high fidelity data that the customers never had before, which can now be applied to e-commerce and Artificial Intelligence.
The second fact is an unprecedented and proven value proposition along three dimensions: the quantifiable impact on the top and bottom line; the improved simplicity and speed in the customer experience; and the reduction of risk in compliance and security due to its encrypted technology, multiple levels of authentication, and automatically generated audit trail.
The third, and often underestimated reason, is the impact on the cultural challenges associated with change. In this case the change is not only in business processes and models, but also the corporate mindset. The fact that the DocuSign solution is easy to implement and gives quick results provides an organization the momentum it needs to overcome resistance to change.
Digital Signatures need to be easy to use, simple to understand, but most importantly, trusted. Through reliability and security, DocuSign has built a much-valued product that every business in the world can use, and many have come to rely on.
“We deal with people’s most important documents,” says Krach. “At the end of the day, it’s all about trust, which is the basis for every business relationship. At DocuSign, Trust is sacrosanct. We provide a trusted service on the DocuSign Global Trust Network that is fast, frictionless, universal and secure.”
For some companies, global expansion is an option. For others, it’s an opportunity. For companies like DocuSign, it’s a necessity. DocuSign’s global reach not only benefits its own bottom line, but also provides a key ecosystem that is invaluable for all the businesses and individuals that use its services.
That is the reason DocuSign has so many partnership deals with major companies all over the world. In March, Keith Krach and Deutsche Telekom CEO, Tim Höttges, announced a multi-pronged partnership at CeBit in Hannover, Germany.
The German telecom giant was already a customer and investor of DocuSign prior to the deal, and now sees the German company extend DocuSign’s Digital Transaction Management platform and eSignature service across its enterprise.
Deutsche Telecom also became a DocuSign reseller, meaning both the DTM and eSignature services can be offered to its own customers around the world. Deutsche Telekom will provide data centers in Germany and France as part of the deal, ensuring the customer data from the E.U. is kept protected and private.
“As the pioneer and global standard for Digital Transaction Management, DocuSign helped Deutsche Telecom become a more efficient, competitive digital business,” Höttges said recently at CeBIT. “Based on the success we’ve seen at T-Mobile USA where DocuSign delivered $200 million of annual value by eliminating more than 600 million pieces of paper and reducing the average in store sign up time from 60 minutes down to ten, we invested in DocuSign and are now expanding our deployment across our global enterprise.”
This deal shows how crucial a role DocuSign plays within major companies in Europe, but only tells part of the story of the scale the company has reached. Clearly, Krach’s partnership strategy has helped turbo-charge this network. They have multi-pronged strategies with many of the most powerful companies on the planet including; SAP, Microsoft, Google, Salesforce, Visa, Dell, Intel, Samsung, NTT, Mitsui, Telstra, Comcast, FedEx and the Country of Singapore. Krach defines a global strategic partner: “We look at it as a four-legged stool – enterprise customer, equity investor, product integrations, and go-to-market partner.”
At its Global User Conference in May, DocuSign revealed that now on the DocuSign Global Trust Network there are 300,000 companies, 200 million unique users in 188 countries and they are putting on over 300,000 unique users a day.
Companies, of course, are not the only ones seeking digital transformation. Many countries have digitization high on their agendas, and electronic signatures is a huge step along that path.
At Cebit, Chancellor Merkel emphasized this exact point on stage by saying, “We have to increase the rate of implementation of electronic signatures in Germany. Japan is probably 10 times faster than ours.”
In addition to Germany, Japan has recognized that Digital Transformation is a National Imperative. At the request of Nikkei and the Government of Japan, Krach recently keynoted at the Global Digital Summit in Tokyo and presented a case study on DocuSign as a catalyst for accelerating the country’s digital transformation.
The company’s potential reach is staggering. As it’s only real competition is legacy technology, the addressable market is any company or individual who needs to sign documents. That’s an almost incalculable number of potential clients.
One of the questions Krach is asked most often is when the company will go public, and it is easy to see why. A DocuSign IPO would be huge, and would likely raise the appetite for technology IPOs across the board. Krach won’t give any estimation on when an IPO could come, but explains that not being a public company has allowed DocuSign to focus on their value proposition for their customers, expanding the product breadth and depth, as well as expanding global reach by strategically capitalizing on the exponential effect of multi-pronged equity partnerships. “It’s a land grab – our competition is paper. It’s everywhere,” he concludes.