Validated ID is the United VARs solution partner for electronic signature. The company provides e-signature services and creates apps and add-ons to extend SAP solutions and provide the advanced functionality that United VARs considers important for SAP global rollouts.
Before the pandemic, electronic signature was mostly used by large enterprises in their supply chain, procurement and finance departments. Due to the increase in remote working over the last 18 months, many other core functions such as HR have also started to use electronic signature.
Small and midmarket organizations are also beginning to adopt e-signature solutions across all of their core business functions. Fortune Business Insights forecast that the electronic signature market will grow by 30% in the next five years and the highest rate of growth will be in SMEs.
What exactly is electronic signature?
The concept of electronic signatures seems quite simple: they are a digital representation of an individual’s agreement, which is intended to be the equivalent of a “wet” signature. When we think about the need for the electronic signatures to be legally binding, and the range of methods that can be applied to capture intent to sign, we realise how complex and business-critical electronic signatures are.
The methodology includes gathering metadata related to all signing events and creating an audit trail that is cryptographically sealed to ensure document integrity. This audit trail may also contain various supporting evidence of the individuals signing the document, such as qualified digital certificates, biometry of handwritten signature, email addresses, identity proofing and authentication steps. Evidence can vary in each circumstance, but the audit trail must support the legal value of the document.
Further complexity is added by the fact that the electronic signatures have to meet the requirements of the specific region under which they were created.
Why is electronic signature so important?
Even in companies which have digitalized most of their business processes, capturing a signature is often still paper-based. This is extremely inefficient, not just because the process is manual but also because collecting the signatures from various people can be cumbersome. This is especially the case when the signatories are in different locations.
Electronic signature makes the process much quicker and easier, which in turn can save a lot of time and increase productivity. There are cost savings too — in physical storage and archiving, postage and courier expenses, and in the cost of administrative tasks such as scanning documents and managing paper.
E-signatures can help to decrease customer churn and improve satisfaction because they find it so much easier to complete contracts. We have seen many examples of customers cancelling and going to a competitor because of the time and effort required to complete and return paper forms.
Use-cases for electronic signature include:
- Business to business (B2B) — Nondisclosure agreements, procurement documents, and sales and service agreements
- Business to consumer (B2C) — New account opening documents, loan applications, and sales and service terms
- Business to employee (B2E) — Employment contracts, benefits paperwork and other employee onboarding processes
What to consider when choosing an electronic signature solution
There are many electronic signature solutions available and at first glance they can look quite similar. However, they don’t always offer the same legal robustness. This is the most crucial aspect of any e-signature, so make sure that the solution provider you chose has the appropriate certifications. For example, eIDAS in the European Union and NIST-DSS in the USA .The evidence they gather in the signature process adheres to the regulations relevant in each country you operate in, and ensures they are acceptable in court for a judge to attribute evidence to a signer.
It must be easy to send documents to sign using the electronic process. To achieve this, it’s essential that the e-signature solution integrates well with your core business systems and applications. In SAP implementations, we ensure that the end-user can complete the entire workflow without needing to change between the SAP system and an electronic signature platform. It must also be easy for the signer to sign the documents, so we need to provide different signature mechanisms to adapt to the signer situation and technology environment.
Even if the electronic signature integration into SAP is relatively ‘plug and play’, because it will impact a lot of business-critical processes, make sure that you chose a solution provider with a deep understanding of SAP and all of the processes which the e-signature will affect.
Introducing Validated ID’s VIDsigner
VIDsigner is an electronic signature Saas (software-as-a-service) which is suitable for both face-to-face and remote situations. It combines cryptography and biometrics to offer a secure way to electronically sign documents and contracts with full legal validity.
Validated ID's VIDsigner electronic signature services allow the entire process of signing and the custody of the signed documents to take place within SAP systems. Flexible APIs create a seamless integration with SAP systems so VIDsigner feels completely native, and users don’t need any additional training. VIDsigner provides:
- Legal robustness as Validated ID is a qualified Trusted Service Provider according to Regulation (EU) 910/2014 (eIDAS)
- A wide range of signature types and it stores documents automatically within SAP's own document management system
- The ability to observe the signing process from within SAP and receive a notification when it is complete
Implementing VIDsigner for Guillen Group
Validated ID and Seidor have collaborated successfully for a long time. Most recently, we worked together for Seidor’s client, Guillen Group, which is a logistics company headquartered in Spain. Seidor implemented SAP ERP and SAP SuccessFactors systems, along with environmental and health and safety solutions.
As part of their huge digital transformation program to make their business paperless, Guillen Group needed to incorporate electronic signature into all their processes. Validated ID’s VIDsigner enables them to dramatically speed up their processes. It also is reducing the disruption and cost from Covid restrictions as their customers and employees can now digitally check-in and check-out of their offices.
Listen to Jaume Fuentes (Validated ID) and Daniel Abancens (Seidor) discuss this topic further on Spotify (Improving electronic signature) or watch their conversation on YouTube in this electronic signature video.
About Validated ID
Based in Barcelona, Validated ID is the electronic signature solution partner for United VARs, the leading global alliance of SAP providers for the mid-market. It was created in 2012 by several enthusiasts from the world of digital ID and electronic signatures. Validated ID operates worldwide and currently has customers in over 46 countries. By offering a wide range of digital signatures to fit every need, it enables small and midsize organizations to have better control of their documents and to reduce costs.
Seidor is a founding member of the United VARs global alliance and an SAP Platinum Partner. It provides a wide range of SAP solutions and services, including consulting, infrastructure services, implementation, development and maintenance of applications, and outsourcing. Seidor has a direct presence on five continents: Europe, Latin America, the United States, the Middle East, and Africa. Seidor is also a major service partner of SAP, IBM, Microsoft and Adobe.
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