Jul 01 2020

Review: Adobe Sign Cuts Costs and Improves Workflow

At a time when universities are facing steep budget cuts, Adobe Sign can help colleges cut costs by digitizing and automating the workflow.

It is clear remote work will remain a significant fixture in higher education for years to come. To support a remote workforce without compromising transparency and accountability, organizations that used short-term workarounds for paper-based workflows now need sustainable solutions.

At a time when universities are facing steep budget cuts, Adobe Sign automation is here to help higher ed institutions cut costs and increase efficiency. To accomplish this, electronic workflow, routing and e-signature must become a part of institutional IT capabilities.

Adobe Sign gives colleges and universities the cloud-based capability to request, route and record electronic signatures that meet legal and compliance requirements. The e-signature service’s workflow, integration and AI capabilities enable organizations to automate these existing processes. This means creating secure, auditable transactions that can be executed anywhere and at any time.

More than ever before, universities need accelerated approval workflows that can be remotely accessed via phones, web browsers and applications. Adobe enables this by offering Sign mobile for Android and iOS devices. The mobile companion allows users to send and sign documents, view workflows and audit trails, and work with files in cloud storage services such as Dropbox and Google Drive. As users receive notifications of pending workflow items, they can easily sign and approve tasks from their mobile devices.

To smooth out the abrupt transition to remote work, Adobe’s prebuilt integrations with familiar collaboration platforms such as Box, Salesforce, Workday, SharePoint and Google make it easy for users who are not tech savvy to use e-signatures.

LEARN MORE: See what Adobe can do for your university's technology needs.

How to Ensure E-Signatures Are Legal

Done right, e-signatures can carry the same legal weight as actual signatures. When the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) and Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) established a legal framework for e-signatures in the United States, it also required identity verification. By the same token, the European Union’s Electronic Identification, Authentication and Trust Services (eIDAS) legislation also legally enforced digital signatures, requiring certificate-based signatures to be considered the same as handwritten ones.

To save you the headache, Adobe Sign offers several identity proofing and authentication options that comply with ESIGN, UETA and eIDAS requirements. For example, universities and colleges can use institutional accounts, social security numbers, phone PINs and government IDs to authenticate identities through Adobe Sign.

Equally important, Adobe’s e-signatures use certificates to not only digitally sign documents, but also protect them from tampering. It achieves this through Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), which integrates with institutional single sign-on systems such as Active Directory, Okta, OneLogin and Shibboleth.

MORE ON EDTECH: Learn how to prepare for campus readiness while cutting costs.

Customizing Forms Is Easy with Adobe

Adobe Sign’s workflow capabilities can create custom forms and predefined routing rules for institutions. This automates business processes while ensuring consistent execution each time. Meanwhile, the Workflow Designer tool creates prefilled form fields and can generate predefined recipient roles such as signer, approver, acceptor and delegator.

If you need alternate approvals for certain types of records, you can use Workflow Designer to set up approvals with conditional logic. For example, a purchase over a certain amount might need an additional signature. Likewise, a document could be set to expire or reroute if no one takes action by a particular date.

What’s more, Adobe’s AI and machine learning technology — Adobe Sensei — identifies strategic automation solutions that allow colleges to smoothly transition to digital, document-based processes.

The AI provides intelligent document search, prefill and routing recommendations. It also offers document capture features such as boundary detection, autoclean and automated form field recognition. When combined with Adobe’s other cloud products, such as Document Cloud and Creative Cloud, Sensei allows users to spend less time searching and editing and more time on higher-value work.

No more time-consuming, paper-and-ink signatures. As colleges form remote working strategies for the long haul, the digitizing of paper-based workflows is no longer optional — it’s essential.

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