It’s not every day that you get to announce a deep strategic partnership with one of the world’s largest technology brands – a partnership that will help you scale your business around the world even faster, more securely and with more agility.

But today is that day. And at Build 2017 in Seattle earlier this morning, we announced that DocuSign had chosen Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud services platform to drive its Canadian growth and its future international expansion.

The announcement comes as DocuSign launches its ‘Invest for Canada’ initiative to drive a deeper focus on serving the needs of the Canadian public and private sector. It also came alongside DocuSign chief architect Eric Fleischman being showcased on stage at Build in a video around the testing work that DocuSign had done with new elements of the Azure platform.

The partnership leverages Microsoft Azure to enable the international scaling of DocuSign’s platform and service – and, in Canada, to serve the data residency requirements of public and private sector organizations across the country. And it comes on the heels of our announcement last week that DocuSign has grown its user base 135% year-over-year, and now has more than 300,000 customers and more than 200 million users across 188 countries.

In a press release that went out today, DocuSign CEO Dan Springer explained that the company was in the business of bringing people to agreement digitally, then helping them honor and deliver on those agreements.

“To do that in as many countries as possible for as many users as possible, we need the agility to ramp up our cloud services quickly and efficiently to meet varying demands,” he said. 

“We already have a strong carrier-grade private cloud infrastructure in place in many markets. But in choosing Microsoft Azure we have access to a highly secure, global cloud that offers data redundancy in multiple in-country locations for business continuity – something that’s an absolute prerequisite for us given we operate a high-availability business.”

For its part, Microsoft gave support for the partnership at the highest level. The company’s EVP of the cloud and enterprise group, Scott Guthrie, recognized the deep partnership with DocuSign, and the collaboration in helping to develop, test and deploy a Managed Instance option within the Azure SQL Database service.

“The advanced features and the scaling requirements of the DocuSign platform help to bolster Azure’s enterprise-proven scale, availability, security and performance even further for our mutual customers,” said Guthrie.

DocuSign chose to focus this partnership on Canada first given the country’s renewed focus on innovation, and the enormous potential for digital transformation. That potential can only be unlocked if the personally-identifiable information (PII) used in digital transactions is kept resident in Canada – both while in transmission and at rest – in accordance with the stringent requirements outlined by companies in relation to Canadian law.

“Thanks to the Azure partnership, DocuSign will now have data centers across two locations in Canada – thereby keeping PII data resident in the country. When the services come online in late fall this year, we are literally opening the floodgates for eSignature and digital transformation across the public and private sector here,” explained Dan Kagan, GM for the Canadian business at DocuSign.

This is a sentiment echoed by customers and partners alike. Kevin O’Leary – the chairman of O’Shares ETFs, celebrity entrepreneur on CBS’s Dragon’s Den and ABC’s Shark Tank, and member of the DocuSign Advisory Board – said today that the move toward becoming a fully digital business is an absolute imperative for Canadian organizations of every size and industry.

“I have worked to go digital across as many areas of my various businesses as possible,” said O’Leary. “With DocuSign I can now get to agreement faster, and deliver on those agreements with speed and agility. That has been a game-changer for me, and I have no doubt it will do the same for the public and private sector across Canada.”

Manulife Financial, one of Canada’s leading financial services companies, already runs its business on the Microsoft Cloud. When Microsoft launched its Azure services in Canada last year, the company said the move had given it access to a reliable, scalable and secure infrastructure environment. With DocuSign’s deep partnership with Microsoft, that opens even more doors.

“We are working with DocuSign on the deployment of electronic signature capabilities. Its cloud solution with Microsoft allows us to accelerate our digital transformation in support of our goal of being customer centric. DocuSign provides a fast and convenient way for our customers to transact business electronically through a secure and easy to use process,” said Greg Houston, director of integration technology services at Manulife.

The interest and excitement extends to the financial services sector too. ATB Financial, one of Alberta’s largest banking institutions, believes that having data now resident in Canada is a major boon for DocuSign’s customers and partners.

“Our legislation is vastly different from that of the US, and having international providers recognize that and invest accordingly is welcome news,” said Karina Spark at ATB Financial. “We have been wanting to drive eSignatures across our organization for years now, but to date have had limited options. Today’s news means we can now work with the world leader in the space – and that’s great news for us and our customers.”

In terms of the company’s broader international expansion plans, DocuSign’s Springer says those details are still being finalized, but that Microsoft Azure will provide flexibility to meet the growing demand around the world.

“There is incredible potential for digital transformation across Australia and New Zealand, Japan and greater Asia, Europe and many parts of Latin America. And we’re looking forward to our new-found flexibility to meet customer, partner and developer need in those markets thanks to Microsoft Azure,” said Springer.

For more information on Microsoft Azure in Canada, visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/sites/datacentre/default.aspx. DocuSign can be found at www.docusign.ca.

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