DocuSign Expands Integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

DocuSign, a provider of digital transaction management programs, Wednesday announced further integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM to offer an improved version of its current offerings, originally made available in March 2014.

DocuSign is designed to help companies of all sizes, industries, and locations eliminate the need for paper in business transactions, enabling cloud-based storage of electronic signatures. Prior to this update, the company was offering its services as stand-alone apps that could be added to a number of Microsoft programs. This advanced integration embeds DocuSign's e-signature technology into the commonly used Microsoft Office Suite (which includes Word, Outlook, and Sharepoint), and can be accessed on mobile or stationary devices that support those applications. For its newest version, DocuSign has leveraged the Windows Azure Active Directory to grant customers a simplified and secure sign-on process that enables a clear path to their accounts. Customers will also have more means to control the administration process to align work flows with their company policies.

For DocuSign, which also integrates with SugarCRM, the development is a step further in cementing its partnership with Microsoft. In a statement, DocuSign's vice president of business development, Glenn Griffin, expressed satisfaction with the partnership, as well as plans to continue using the larger company's name to drive adoption and increase exposure. "We're pleased to expand our product offerings," he said. "Now businesses of all sizes can realize the advantages of going fully digital with their customer engagements. With DocuSign for Dynamics CRM, users can securely send and electronically sign contracts...from within Dynamics."

The company also aims to make storage of sensitive documents in the cloud more secure. "It's our business and our first business to protect your data," DocuSign CMO Brad Brooks says. Brooks says the company has invested half a billion dollars in security measures, and claims it does a better job in protecting information than many companies would do if left to their own devices.

Holger Mueller, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research, says such moves to enable electronic transactions are a beneficial step for the enterprise. "Partnerships like the one between Microsoft and DocuSign are key in gaining enterprises efficiencies in their business processes," he says. He looks forward to seeing how quickly users will update their business practices to take advantage of the integration, but suggests that it will be a matter of time before it becomes clear how useful it can actually be to adopters.

One customer has already spoken positively about the product. Michael Drake, vice president of the Legends of Global Sales for the Atlanta Falcons New Stadium Project, said in a statement that the integration has "transformed [the company's] sales process and added a high level of efficiency and security to [its] contract signing process."

Microsoft and DocuSign's plans aren't expected to end here. "We're going to continue to work with Microsoft to make the cloud [the best option] for our customers," Brooks says.

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