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Adobe Sign for small businesses supports SMB digitization

To offer a simpler e-signature software, Adobe introduced Adobe Sign for small businesses and a free version for Adobe Reader.

Adobe introduced an e-signature software designed specifically for small businesses to the Adobe Document Cloud lineup. Adobe Sign intends to help small businesses digitize when used in conjunction with other Adobe document technologies.

Adobe Sign is directed at pen-and-paper processes that slow down business like contracts and approvals, payments and invoices, and customer onboarding. In addition, a limited version of Adobe Sign is also offered through Adobe Reader at no additional cost.

According to research from Adobe, paper-based processes are the No. 1 impediment to business operations for small businesses, and 75% still use pen and paper to sign documents.

Adobe Sign for small businesses intends to simplify these processes with just enough features for SMB operations without the bulk and cost of Adobe Document Cloud for Enterprise. The small business offering brings the following capabilities:

  • Convert any PDF form to an online web form, enabling businesses to collect customer information and signature directly from their site in one step.
  • Support signing and payment for services in one step, instead of redirecting customers to another webpage to complete a purchase, via integration with PayPal's Braintree service.
  • Send a single form out in bulk for multiple recipients to review and sign the same form, as well as track completed and outstanding signatures.

Small business Adobe users reported that they did not need many features offered in the enterprise edition, such as some PDF services, automated workflows and prebuilt integrations, among others. According to the vendor, Adobe Sign has just enough capabilities to help SMBs digitize at a lower cost and less commitment.

The free Adobe Sign integration with Adobe Reader enables anyone with Reader to send up to two documents out for e-signing per month. This feature is ideal for personal use or for new businesses that may not need the bandwidth of Adobe Sign. If a user attempts to send out more than two documents in a month for signing, Reader will provide the option to upgrade to Adobe Sign for small businesses or Adobe Document Cloud for Enterprise.

According to Gartner, digitization is crucial for growth and to remain competitive, and Adobe Sign might be that first step for SMBs, according to the vendor. In an Adobe survey, 84% of small businesses agreed that going digital is important, but only 3% have begun to digitize.

Other commonly used e-signature software such as DocuSign, SignNow and SignRequest offer many of the same sign-request capabilities as Adobe, but the vendor claims its suite of document software -- such as Reader and Scan -- and its research on and targeted development for small businesses distinguishes itself from competitors.

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