Adobe Releases New Document Cloud to Transform E-Signatures

Adobe today released its Document Cloud solution, designed to minimize the use of paper in offices and maximize the efficiency of salespeople when they are interacting with customers.

"Businesses are stuck in document-based processes that are slow, wasteful, and fragmented," Bryan Lamkin, senior vice president of technology and corporate development at Adobe, said in a statement. "Adobe Document Cloud will revolutionize and simplify how people get work done with critical documents."

Document Cloud is a set of integrated services that allows users to create a consistent, cloud-based storage hub for all of their sensitive documents. Integral to it is Adobe Acrobat DC, which will make it easier for users to manage their signed forms.

The product will be mobile-friendly. The "Mobile Link" capability is designed to smooth the transition many people experience between desktop and handheld devices. ESign services, previously known as Adobe EchoSign, will make the documents accessible from any device. Users will also be able to track their documents to see who has opened them and when. The mobile version will feature two apps, Acrobat Mobile and Fill and Sign, which will enable users to sign documents from their cellphones and tablets. Likewise, cameras in portable devices can be used to scan paper documents and convert them to a form. If a person receives a contract in the mail, for instance, she no longer has to go through the process of signing, scanning, and emailing it to the designated recipient. Since she can create a profile in the document cloud, she can also automate the process of filling out forms with her pertinent information.

Document Cloud will integrate with Adobe Creative Cloud and Marketing Cloud, so users will be able to leverage both platforms for photos or images to incorporate into the forms, invoices, and contracts they want to create.

"Anyone who does a lot of document processing will see increased efficiencies, and the product will make it easier for them to get contracts negotiated and signed," Brent Leary, cofounder and partner at CRM Essentials, says. "I think that's the key benefit."

Leary points out that for Adobe, the release represents further commitment to the subscription-based model it began offering customers in 2013. The product can be bought on a one-time basis, but subscribers who pay monthly will be granted access to the new programs.

Leary also states that Adobe needs to better address the potential security concerns of customers. More conservative, cautious buyers might be turned off by the growing amount of sensitive information that they're being asked to place in the cloud. "It's not as big a hurdle to cross as it was five years ago, but [Adobe still has] to address it," he says.

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