For digital transformation to be successful, engagement and adoption must be achieved. If a positive user experience cannot be developed, it is highly unlikely that this would be accomplished. Especially when new technology or software is being introduced, ease of use will play a critical role, effectively determining whether or not the implementation is a triumph.
To Carrie Peter, Solution Owner at Impression Signatures, making your mark digitally requires more than innovation – it demands a dedication to excellence. “From an electronic signature (eSignature) perspective, the focus should be to make sending and signing documents convenient, legal, and safe. Modern digital document delivery and signature solutions should be easily embedded into existing web and mobile applications for a seamless, friction-free customer experience across channels.”
According to Sonja von Brucken, Head of Digital Workplace, EOH Group, the user experience offered by Impression Signatures ensured its eSignature solutions were effortlessly rolled out across the Group. As a part of iOCO, an EOH Company, Impressions was a natural choice for the Group – but not an automatic one. “Although we wanted to use a product available from within the Group, we did our due diligence and found Impression’s solution to be far more cost-effective and efficient than other eSignature and document management solutions,” confirms von Brucken.
With a professional and accommodating approach, the Impressions team developed a solution specifically for EOH, meeting its unique needs. An essential feature includes the ability to send documents for signing from Microsoft Word. The team also optimised document send/receive cycle time down from around 30 minutes to less than a minute for enhanced efficiency.
“The user experience side was critical. Thankfully we had started this process prior to the first Covid lockdown, so when the pandemic started, we could hit the ground running with all staff quickly being mobilised on eSignatures. Not only does this empower our staff to sign documents from anywhere, using any device – either personally or via separate legal entities within EOH – but it also offers excellent security. Holding international security certification and accreditation, we knew we could trust the solution,” adds von Brucken.
While this offers immense benefits while work-from-home remains a reality for many employees across the globe, EOH also enjoyed ancillary benefits. Prior to switching to eSignatures, the Group carried significant costs around print. “After analysis, it became clear that staff would print, sign, scan, and then throw the paper away. This was wasteful and expensive. Since implementing eSignatures, we’ve had a 75% saving on our printing over just 24 months,” confirms von Brucken. “This implementation effectively brought the FY19 printing (and related) cost of R4.6m down to R1.15m in FY21.”
With the ease of adoption, the solution is now widely used across certain business units within EOH. “In April 2020 there was zero usage of Impression Signatures’ solutions at EOH. Today the organisation is signing over 5 000 documents per month with Impression’s secure eSignatures,” states Peter. “As we continue to grow the Impression footprint and adoption within EOH, we anticipate increasing this number, while offering the organisation even greater saving potential.”
Von Brucken adds that the platform’s integration with various authentication environments ensures users can authenticate with Microsoft and Google, with a single sign-on. “As a value add, our employees can also use the solution for their personal documents.”
From a legal perspective, von Brucken confirms that the platform also drives compliance. “When considering POPIA and GDPR, the reduction of print means EOH has one, electronic version of data in a secure environment. Without paper, security risks and data leak issues are minimised, as there are no printed documents being disposed of in the dustbin. This digital approach is a key benefit, securing our customer and employee data and personal information.”
These eSignatures also offer advanced audit trails to determine the chain of custody. Users can determine a specific order for documents to be signed in, according to the authority hierarchy. When dealing with board packs and contracts, very often you have three or four different versions which need to be collated and delivered to different people. Sending these electronically offers additional cost savings while getting one version of the truth as far as contracting is concerned.
EOH confirms that, after extensive user acceptance testing, the solution was found to be very user friendly. “From legal to governance and compliance teams, to business unit and executive heads, we really made sure that we catered for all the specific environments that the platform has to comply with,” says von Brucken. “It is very straightforward to sign the document within the platform and offers unique features and automation.”
In conclusion, von Brucken says that change management was also very easy. “Essentially, we only sent out an email on how to use Impression eSignatures – that was it. Once employees knew that this was the signature tool of choice and how easy it is to use, adoption followed.”