28 June, 2012
“In a networked world, trust is the most important currency.” Eric Schmidt
Cloud computing represents a major transformation in the way companies leverage information and appeals with its offer of a one-stop-shop, cost-effective, hassle-free, and efficient business environment. Acting Deputy Director General of Information Society and Media for the European Commission, Megan Richards, emphasised during her speech at the Cloud Computing World Forum conference in London (15 June 2012) the sizable market and ever growing trend that is expected to reach 11 billion in revenue by 2014, representing 3.6 percent of the total IT market.
Nevertheless, the cloud’s birth and existence has challenged, and still does, one of the crucial components in any type of relationship – trust! From a ‘face-to-face’, on-premise, product-based, controlled IT business environment, to externally service-based sourced operations. In his book The Big Switch, Nicholas Carr shows an historic analogy that brilliantly reflects the effects of a similar significant shift that took place in the 19th Century: the evolution of power plants. At the time, companies who usually generated their own power from in-house steam engines and dynamos, have gradually plugged into the cheap power that was generated from newly built, professionally run, centralised electric grid of electric utilities.
Trust in cloud computing, or concerns over it, refer to the characteristics of the technology (reliability, security) as much as to legislation, governance, and organisational issues. While some aspects can be overcome only by government legislations and regulations, or are associated to the psychological, behavioural, and technical customer’s ‘time-of-adaption’, others are directly linked to practices and steps taken by the cloud provider.
- Security - When communicating sensitive documents for signing purposes in the Cloud, comprehensive security measures have exceptional importance. The Secured Signing’s user-based PKI digital signature technology provides each user with a unique digital ID (signing key) that is accessible only to that user. The system instantly seals the signed document, and any changes made invalidate the signatures. Furthermore, users have the ability to verify their signatures offline any time at their desktop / mobile device, or at the Secured Signing’s Free Verification Service.
- Reliability - Business reliability is an essential indicator of the attitude, actions, and results derived from a service. Continuous setting of goals, ongoing development, and regular quality evaluation and monitoring are at the heart of the Secured Signing digital signature cloud service. Constant online signing performance assessments and follow-through processes ensure customers’ satisfaction: “The Secured Signing solution impressed us instantly with its high level of security, capabilities, and seamless implementation” Gadi Hadar, Managing Director at Asia Pacific Easy-Forex.
- Open communication – The fundamental shift in human communication behaviour requires cloud services to acknowledge and respond to their digitally aware clients. Successful communication is associated with trust and influences brand loyalty that will guarantee commitment of even geographically dispersed customers. With the apparent value of multiple ways for communicating (via e-mail or direct phone with the service provider), it’s the prompt, approachable, and responsive service that creates the difference: “Secured Signing was very fast and responsive whenever we asked for something. Their customer service is amazing.” Kym Volp, Queensland State Manager, Evolve Scientific Recruitment.
Till next time,
24 April, 2012
In a virtual world that offers a handful of options for online applications, and an increasing number of companies and individuals who are adopting new technologies, some potential users still face technical, organisational, and psychological barriers that prevent them from experiencing the exceptional benefits of the new electronic era.
Related recent research findings are mixed: Bank of Montreal study of Canadian business owners (April 9, 2012) revealed that only 10% plan to use Cloud computing with a remaining 40% that indicated they have no immediate plans to use it, while research findings of eMarketer (March 22, 2012) show strong growth of online use with expectations that US e-commerce retail will reach $224.2 billion in 2012 (up 15% from 2011).
Whether you are one of the slow adaptors or a savvy one, selecting the right online service provider that suits your business or personal needs could be a daunting task. The following five tips may brighten the process.
Always look for a thorough, expertly designed, customer-focused online solution that offers:
- Security – configured, deployed, and managed to meet security controls and privacy requirements
- Compliance – with laws, regulations, and relevant organisational policies
- Flexibility – on-demand scalability, product variation, payment based on usage
- Availability – highly reachable from anywhere, anytime
- Simple to use solution – easy logic workflow, minimal management effort
Secured Signing’s digital signature Cloud based service fulfils the above requirements with its scalability, payment flexibility, and product variety (including mobile devices and customised options), 24/7 global availability, highest level of user-based PKI digital signature security that seals and protects the online signed documents, worldwide legal compliance, and a short and simple process (register, upload document, and eSign) that takes mere minutes to complete.
And as Jose Silva once said: “Success is not for the timid. It is for those who seek guidance, make decisions, and take decisive action.”
Till next time,
25 November, 2011
Today, most companies are using online communication (websites, iPad, iPhone, etc.) as their first point of contact with their customers or clients. Actually, businesses from a variety of industries will testify that numbers are increasing by the day. Whether it is part of their marketing and sales strategy, or business operations, this represents a new and challenging market reality, particularly for small businesses and practitioners such as health professionals.
In this area alone, recent research (19 October 2011) done by the pharmaceutical and healthcare market research company Manhattan Research, showcases the outcome of this significant digital transformation: among 8,745 adults surveyed in the U.S., 26 percent have used their mobile phone to communicate and manage their health care or treatment. This has more than doubled since 2010 (was 12 percent).
The result of this study points to the ever-growing expectation and prevalence of usage of advanced technology between clients and their healthcare providers. We can include in this the legally compliant and secured digital signature solution that allows for the substantial and integral signing process of documents online. It enables patients with browser-based PC or MAC, iPad, iPhone, or Android devices to fill-in and sign their registration forms, medical history forms, payment cancellation policies, and many others from anywhere, anytime, prior to their medical appointment.
The benefits for the health providers are equally significant: they save time, cut operational and processing costs, improve efficiency, and most importantly, are able to focus their professional attention where it is needed the most, on the wellbeing and healthcare of their patients.
Till next time,
18 November, 2011
In today’s fast-paced digital world a quick transition to eliminate the paper trail is essential. City Councils invest time and money in technology to migrate to a paper-free working environment, yet continue to break the electronic chain and find themselves immersed in paper because of a requirement for handwritten signatures to accompany any transaction.
Signing documents online using the legally compliant digital signature solution changes it all with just the click of a mouse! City Councils who use the advanced service shorten and streamline their work processes, slash costs, speed up and enhance business communication, increase staff efficiency, and significantly improve customer service to their local residents.
An example of a successful implementation lies within a Council’s procurement department. Council officers and suppliers can sign their contracts promptly and easily online and eliminate the need to handle a large number of pages and documents.
The crucial user-based PKI digital signature property that provides each user with an exclusive signing key that seals the document, safeguards the signatory’s authenticity and integrity, creates a non-repudiation transaction, and allows Council management to rest assured they are meeting all local Government standards.
And, did I mention the Green factor?!
Till next time,
9 November, 2011
“An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.” Victor Hugo
The fast growing worldwide implementation of digital signature technology among industries and businesses of all types and sizes exemplifies Victor Hugo’s words. Yet, reaching tangible great success requires not just a good idea, but also excellent execution.
Secured Signing’s cloud computing, user–based, PKI digital signature compliant service combines the two, and offers five simple choices:
I Sign: Add document to the service, position signature field on the selected page/s and sign.
We Sign: Add document to the service, position signature field on selected page/s then invite others to sign. Broadcasting feature allows inviting mass invitees with just the click of a mouse.
Form Filler: Create a Form, save as a template and then drag and drop Form fields such as Company Name, Full Address, and others, for your invitee to fill in and sign.
- Fill in and promptly sign an electronic Form on the web or your desktop (with PDF reader, browser – PC, Mac, and Mobile devices).
- Publish Forms in PDF format for invitee to Fill In and sign online.
- Embedded online Forms in your website for invitees to fill in and sign with link to Secured Signing.
- API integration to your system.
- Thorough customisation of Secured Signing to fit your needs, with full private labelling option.
And a final reaffirming (yet, not surprising) note: latest publication by Quest Software (7 Nov, 2011) states that due to increasing need for mobility and collaboration, cloud-based solutions “are among the top technologies tipped to take off in 2012.”
Till next time,