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11 December 2018

Are your business documents protected against breaches?



You may have heard about the data breaches hitting big enterprises, but small and medium sized businesses are at risk too.

SMEs are dealing with:

●     Increased hacks; hackers see SMEs with little security as easy targets,

●     Poor data security is a business risk: hacked SMEs soon go out of business.

Document security doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.

In this post we will discuss three ways you can start securing your business documents today.


1.  Have a document management plan

Seventeen percent of businesses admit to storing paperwork in a shed; a further 16% keep business documents in a garage.

These were some of the most shocking findings from a Cleardata study.

Most of the businesses surveyed kept documents in costly filing cabinets, drawers and cupboards.

While these are better choices than a shed, they’re still expensive and inefficient options.

A good document management system would include the following:

●     Destroying dated client documents,

●     Ensuring you have easy access to documents,

●     Indexing and labelling documents.

An easy way to get the job done is to digitize your document storage.
There’re a few reasons this might be the better option in the long-term:

●     In the U.S, 98% of data breaches in one government division involved paper records, majority of document security breaches come with paper,

●     Over 60% of business who suffer a breach will go out of business within six months,

●     Managing paper documents cost U.S. businesses $8bn annually. 

Going digital means less storage costs, improved security and increased productivity as staff spend less time searching and refiling documents through filing cabinets.


2.  Use Digital Signatures

On top of making it easier and safer to store your digital documents, a digital signing platform makes it easier to do business and protects your firm against fraud.

A  couple, from Canada, leased a BMW but then stopped making payments. The BMW dealership seized the vehicle and ended up selling it at a loss on the open market. The car dealership opened up a case to reclaim their losses from the couple. The couple then alleged BMW had forged their signatures onto the lease applications.  Eventually BMW won, but only after a court battle that tested the evidence.

Let’s consider how digital signatures – which come with an audit trail – might reduce your vulnerability to potential fraud.

While electronic signatures come with its own risks, and can be easily falsified, digital signatures offer unique protection.

When you use a digital signature tool, a Certificate Authority binds your identity to a PKI-based Digital Certificate. Users end up with a unique digital fingerprint.
PKI technology is the only technology in the world that makes it impossible to forge signatures.

Using a tool like Secured Signing also lets everyone who has signed the document know when any changes have been made. All documents come with a complete digital trail.

3.  Password-Protect Your Files

Password protecting your client data is a simple way to start securing your documents today.

This is one of the practical tips from the Federal Trade Commission in the United States of America.

To mark National Cyber Security Awareness Month, the FTC launched a new resource to help 32 million businesses across the US protect themselves against hacks.

It doesn’t have to be hard.

In Microsoft Word and Excel, click:

  1. File
  2. Info
  3. Protect document
  4. Encrypt with password

Add an additional form of security by introducing different access levels for staff. It may not be necessary for all employees to have access to client’s personal information.


Conclusion

Securing your business data – and private customer information - has never been more important. The digital age has given rise to affordable technologies to keeping your business documents safe.

By protecting your customers’ data, you’re investing in protecting the future of your company.


Till next time,
John Webster


General

11 October 2008

Automation is one of those popular business buzzwords.

And it makes sense why.

Who wants to spend all day seeing to repetitive tasks that can easily automated?

Technologies like digital signing give organisations better ways to engage with employees, finalise contracts and build customer relations.

These tools bring benefits across all industries.


Manage your Documents Digitally to Save Time and Money

 Functions like digital signatures and other automated workflows can largely be grouped under Digital Transaction Management – cloud-based applications to manage document-based transactions.

These solutions are quickly gaining traction:

     Research shows more than 65% of businesses are moving towards ditching paper in favor of digital processes.

     Aragon Research also estimated this market would grow to $US300m by 2020.

 In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most practical ways this type of technology can help teams work better.

1.  Improve Productivity with Automated Workflows

Process makes perfect.

It’s a fact: businesses with clearly defined processes perform better.

The thing with technology-based applications is this: digital tools streamline processes that are already working well.

According to a Forrester survey, more than 40% of business leaders adopt digital tools to improve efficiencies.

So, if you’ve got a well-structured workflow, implement automations on the routine, repetitive tasks.

Salesforce, cloud computing software and CRM, helped McKinley Equipment to generate 42% additional revenue by automating workflows.

Using its Customer Success Platform, sales team work on a lead, convert the prospect and generate a customer quote from one system. Once the order is placed, an email is automatically generated detailing the next steps and thanking the customer.

2.  Automate Follow Ups to Avoid Costly Contract Delays

How much time do you spend finalising a contract?

Add on the time it takes to chase down a signature, and you’re looking at days – even weeks - wasted.

Not only that, but poor contract management  - including missed deadlines  - can end up costing you up to 40% more for supplied services, according to estimates from KPMG.

The beauty of a digital-based platform is that it will send out the reminders for you, so you never miss a due date again.

If you need to get a document signed, state your due date and the system automatically sends out reminders for you until the task is complete.

3.  Reduce Delays with Data Accuracy

One of the biggest problems with the paper-based processes is the potential for human error.

Incomplete documents or incorrect information can add weeks onto the process, and they can be costly. More than 30% of the costs related to contacts can be reduced if you eliminate contract inaccuracies.

Here’s how to use Digital Signing to Meet Business Deadlines


Evolve Scientific Recruitment, an Australian-based recruitment agency, has offices nationwide.

Documents often have to travel from candidates to Evolve offices around the country.

Several pages need to be completed before the candidate can even step on site.

The challenge with paper-based contracts was that incorrect or incomplete contacts delayed employment.

They approached Secured Signing to reduce the time it took to finalise the contract to better serve candidates and employers.

With digital signing software in place, Evolve Scientific Recruitment added a business rule validation prompting candidates to fill in all fields before the document can be sent on.

Candidates can also upload all their relevant documentation to the pack and complete the process anywhere, from any device.

The result?

A signing process that can take as quickly as one hour.

Read the full case study on Secured Signing’s website.

4.  Easy Integration for the Best Customer Experience

There’re two important things you need to consider when selecting a digital signing solution:

     Security

     Integrations

To gain a better idea of what’s on offer, you can have a look at the platform’s API (application user interface).

Leading digital signing solutions will make use of advanced personalised X509 PKI Digital Signature technology, increasing compliance and reducing business risk.

It should also be easy to integrate your existing system with the platform.

An open API eliminates the need for your customer to sign into yet another login interface.

In practical terms, it means your client doesn’t even know they’re being routed via the digital signing software.

You can read more about Secured Signing’s API here.

5.  Additional Party Notifications with Real-Time Updates

The contract lifecycle has several stages.

Once a document has been signed, this usually triggers a new process with a different team.

Additional part notifications are useful in the following cases:

     A copy of the signed contract might need to be archived with the records team.

     Payroll may need to start its own procedures once an employment agreement has been finalised.

     Maybe you have to keep your manager posted on the progress of signing.

You can have the digital signing platform send real-time notifications to any number of additional parties throughout the signing process.

If you configure these notifications, it’s one less step for you to manage manually.

Conclusion

Document management can be a time-consuming process. But it’s the backbone of your business.

Organisations that don’t embrace digital tools may get left behind with outdated processes that block growth.

Finding the right digital signing solution lets you automate routine, resource-intensive tasks, so you can focus on adding value and pushing the business forward.


Till next time,

John Webster


General

9 August 2018

You may have heard about digital signatures, but you’re not sure whether it has any practical benefit for your business.

The case for digital signing is compelling.

     Eighty-percent of companies who implemented digital signatures saw a return on investment in the first year.

     Twenty-five percent saw ROI within three months.

But the most immediate impact is the massive boost to productivity companies have seen on the back of digital signatures.

We’ll discuss some of the most valuable uses for digital signatures using real-world examples.

Faster Turnarounds to Complete Sales Contracts

Saleforce ditched wet ink for digital signatures, and immediately reduced the time it takes to complete sales contracts.

Key outcomes:

     Turnaround decreased from an average two days, to as fast as one hour

     Over 90% of contracts completed on the same day

     Less manual work for staff – freeing sales to focus on generating revenue

Salesforce is expanding the use of digital signatures to its procurement department, where digital signatures allow teams to track and manage the contracts throughout the process.

A Simple Process to Finalising Legal Agreements

The legal industry generates a vast amount of paper.

And along with the flood of paperwork, comes hours of document prep: scanning, signing, printing and storing volumes of documents.

There’s a campaign to change this approach, arguing that digital signatures can save “countless hours, even days and weeks”.

 The uses of digital signing in law provides:

     Enhanced security: each document comes with a visual audit trail

     No room to alter terms, conditions or dates of signatures

The practical benefits include reducing the number of hard copies the legal department needs to manage and cutting down on storage costs.

Improved HR Processes

Like the legal sector, human resources consume reams of paperwork in its core functions.

Recognising this, a tax company set out to find a way to streamline its hiring process.

The Australian operation of H&R Block hires hundreds of new agents around tax time each year. Time went into preparing the documents, tracking which had been signed and storing the final contracts.

H&R Block opted for Secured Signing’s digital signing solution. Now District Managers can send up to a thousand employment contracts in one sitting, with new hires  and managers signing from wherever they are across the country.

H&R Block realised an immediate return on investment. There was a reduction in turnaround times, and staff praised the more convenient option.

Better Customer Experience

There’s a surge of growth in the global digital signature market.

Along with the rise of digital signatures, smartphone penetration is already at 90% in some parts of the world. Customers expect to do everything online, and they’ll look for businesses who can extend this electronic experience.

Most customers don’t have access to printers at home, and the need for a physical signature may end up costing you the deal as customers opt for digital tools.

Companies who rely on paper-based processes risk frustrating customers due to delays caused by errors and unsigned documents.

More companies are allowing customers to complete the following actions using digital tools:

      Information forms for new customers

     Quote approval

     Statement of work

Conclusion

Companies across industries are answering the call and meeting the customer’s need for a simple and quick electronic experience.

Internally, companies recognise digital signatures remove the hassle of many routine administrative tasks to make way for firms to focus on the work of growing the business.

Digital signatures help companies to craft more competitive offerings, and better workspaces: building businesses who can prosper in the new economy.

Till next time,

John Webster


General

21 June, 2018

In the last decade there has been much change in the tech world. One of those changes is the increase in popularity for systems integrations. Many customers are looking for system integrations, and rightly so, there are many benefits that come from an integration.

So what is integration?

This is the process of linking together different computing systems and software applications physically or functionally, to act as a coordinated whole. Essential building your own ecosystem of solutions and platforms to meet the needs of your business.

Many software providers have seen the opportunity to build a community or ecosystem for its users – commonly known as a ‘Marketplace’. Here you can choose which solutions you need and build them into your own ecosystem.   

What are the 4 reasons you should consider use integrations?

1.    It makes things easy – one system for everything. The user experience is much simpler with what appears like one system with all the functionality you need. This removes the need to manage multiple sites/logins for different solutions part of one business process.

2.    Automation will save you time and increase your teams productivity. They will no longer need to manually copy and paste data from one system to another. An integration allows for data to automatically flow and be shares across systems. For example, information of a new staff member during their onboarding process can be automatically sent to you payroll provider.  

3.    Standardise your processes – with a system integration you have oversight over the complete process, allowing you to implement best practice methodology, especially when your team is spread in multiple offices.

4.    Have more fun – by eliminating administrative tasks, which are now completed through the integration. Your team will have more time for value adding tasks. Doesn’t that sound fun?  

With Secured Signing’s API, you can add e-Signature tool to any process! We can integrate with any system. 

Contact us for a chat today.

Check out some of our current integrations and keep an eye out for new integration solutions coming soon.

Till next time,

John Wbster


General