18 May, 2012
The use of electronic technology in the legal profession is not new. Large and small law practices are using computers for legal research, management of client cases, and tracking of working hours, as well as exchange of relevant disclosed information including police / medical / financial reports. Nevertheless, even today, dealings with legal representatives require a large amount of paper handling for all parties involved.
Georgina Dent’s article in the Financial Review (10 May, 2012) explored the transition to electronic processes with legal corporate practitioners who identified and acknowledged the additional advantages of using the advanced technology, among them the streamlining of transactions, improved communication, accessibility, and simpler and shorter business processes. However, they also identified the need for more formal reforms by regulators and governments, and most importantly, a shift in mindset.
While regulations for the signing of electronic documents were established in most countries worldwide during the last decade (Electronic Transactions Act in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, China, and the European Union), it is sectors such as real estate, recruitment, finance, healthcare, and local government rather than legal firms that regularly incorporate the use of electronic signatures and signing of documents online, and enjoy the benefits described above. This happens mainly due to their security worries, particularly with the Public Cloud environment.
A solution that satisfies their concerns lies with the User-Based PKI digital signature technology. The technology provides each user with a unique signing key (Digital ID) that is accessible only to that user. The signed document is sealed, and any changes made to the document invalidate the signatures. With the Secured Signing solution, the signed document can be verified either on the free Verification Service, or offline, for long-term archiving, anytime at the user’s Desktop.
“As an owner of two law offices 700 kilometres apart, Secured Signing enables me to keep our files flowing in real time – quickly, securely, and efficiently, whether I happen to be in one office or the other.” Robert Riopelle, Lawyer, Managing Partner, Riopelle Griener, Professional Corporation
Till next time,
4 May, 2012
A recent article (22 April, 2012) by Brandon Bailey discussed the 2011 performance of businesses in Silicon Valley. Not surprisingly, Apple led the 150 large companies with $128 billion in annual sales, and astonishingly, nearly $33 billion profit. However, the picture across the board revealed mixed results, particularly when compared to 2010 figures. Slow financial recovery in the US, economic chaos in Europe, and Asia’s natural disasters, are all legitimate contributors according to Bailey. Nevertheless, there are a few exceptions that mainly come from “related trends- such as the explosive growth of social networking, cloud computing, and big data.”
Any conclusion? While keeping in mind the ever-changing scenario of technological trends, it is obviously best to be on the side of current proven winning technology, whether as a manufacturer, consumer, or user. A recent KPMG report on the impact of cloud computing in Australia states: “it is clear from KPMG’s analysis that, should Australian organisations adopt cloud platforms as expected across their ICT requirements – as more mature markets such as the US suggest is likely – then the benefits at both the enterprise and aggregate economy level could be substantial.” It continues to say: “These include lowering ICT operation and capital expenditure by up to 25 percent and 50 percent respectively.” (The Australian, 2 May, 2012)
Whilst a conservative approach for handling budget and expenses would always require a careful review (of both), and a ‘stick to budget’ attitude, the ‘upgrade your technology’ rule should never be neglected, especially in the current business environment. Secured Signing’s digital signature cloud-based solution is no exception; businesses that choose to sign documents online with the Secured Signing service eliminate the printing, scanning, document storage, delivery, and handling of paper all together. Implementing eSignature service saves time, cuts operational and processing costs, expedites the entire business workflow, and frees up staff, budget, and other resources for their core business.
Sophie Beers, Yarra Ranges Council’s Procurement Officer concluded her exceptionally positive experience with the advanced electronic signature solution: “Time frames for signature on Evaluation Reports and Contracts have reduced from 1-2 weeks to a matter of an afternoon. Cost and time saving is literally immeasurable, and has paved the way for us to move wholly into paperless office.”
I rest my case.
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,
4 April, 2012
In a business environment of rapid technological developments and ever-changing market circumstances, small businesses and large corporations alike need to keep up with business conditions and to promptly adapt and implement new tools and advanced systems. Even the hesitant can’t avoid it and will often make the shift in response to their customers’ expectations and demands.
A small business has a number of significant, related advantages including the ability to respond faster with a more personal customer service, a simpler management structure and decision-making processes, and an ease with which to identify, change, and adopt new technologies.
According to Microsoft’s research of SMB Business in the Cloud 2012 (conducted by Wayland, Massachusetts-based research firm, Edge Strategies), small businesses are quick to embrace Cloud Computing technology and the number of SMBs that are using it is expected to triple in the next three years. Leading motivators identified in the study include cost savings, increased productivity, flexibility, and market competitive advantage.
Secured Signing’s Cloud-based PKI digital signature pay-as-you-go solution allows small businesses to access highly innovative IT implementation that in the past was available only to larger and richer organisations. The secure and legally compliant system provides its users with a comprehensive range of electronic signing capabilities that enable them to fill in any type of form and sign it, or invite others to sign online via browsers on desktop PC, Mac, iPad, and many other mobile and smart phone devices.
The latter, directly fulfil the requirement of 71% of research participants who look for “technology that enables their staff to work anywhere, at any time.”
And as Lee Cockerell once said: “It’s not the magic that makes it work; it’s the way we work that makes it magic.”
Till next time,
29 March, 2012
For recruitment agencies, meeting their clients’ recruitment deadlines is considered mission critical!
When Evolve Scientific Recruitment, a leading Australian technical recruitment company with offices around the country, had to place a large number of mine labourers on very short notice, they looked for an innovative solution that would allow them to promptly get candidates’ signatures on the dozens of forms required to meet legislative and occupational health conditions.
Kym Volp, Queensland State Manager at Evolve Scientific Recruitment explains that her clients’ need to see their candidates’ onsite as fast as possible, but with all essential paperwork fully and adequately completed so they could begin work. “With the mail system, people would inevitably forget to send back all the documents or they would accidently omit a signature somewhere. Even when we tried e-mail, candidates would need to print and then post back because people don’t generally have access to scanners.”
Secured Signing’s Form Direct solution provided Evolve with an efficient, cost-saving, and professionally branded (logo and colours) recruitment electronic workflow and process. The user-based PKI digital signature technology ensures integrity and authenticity of the online signing forms, while the system’s compliance with worldwide electronic signature laws guarantees validity and legal enforceability.
Evolve’s consultants are able to sign and invite candidates and employers to fill-in electronic forms and sign, manage and oversee the signing process, and view progress reports online and in real-time. Additional features such as the automatic e-mail reminder are priceless, and Ms Volp adds: “this invaluable feature has reduced time and frustration for all concerned. We just set the deadline for each candidate, and the system takes care of the reminders for us.” According to Ms. Volp, candidates, clients, and the Evolve Recruitment Scientific team are extremely happy with the outcome of implementing the Secured Signing solution: “The technology is totally embedded in our business now.”
Sam Walton once said: “The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary,” and the Secured Signing’s solution achieved exactly that for Evolve!
Till next time,