How to Use Electronic Signatures in Microsoft SharePoint
Organizations of all sizes have thousands of agreements to manage. Many of these agreements are stored in systems like SharePoint, and many of them require formal signatures from internal or external parties. This can be a complex and time-consuming ordeal.
Let’s take a look at how to accelerate the process by using SharePoint with DocuSign.
The challenges of electronic signatures and SharePoint
One of the main challenges of using electronic signatures in SharePoint is that it can be difficult to manually route documents for signatures and track their progress. Once a document leaves SharePoint, it can be hard to track.
To complicate things further, many organizations use electronic signatures in conjunction with other systems, such as Teams and Outlook. Bouncing a document between systems can create additional uncertainty about the location or status of the document.
Consider the scenario of a pharmaceutical company that manages SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) documents for drug manufacturing. These are long, detailed documents that are reviewed by multiple stakeholders within the company, such as clinical teams, legal and compliance departments, operations, safety groups, product leaders, R&D teams, and more. Once the SOP is fully negotiated, each party needs to sign the document to indicate their approval of the plan.
The challenges of wet signatures and SharePoint
In a fractured, multi-system workflow, the program manager has a heavy lift to collect all the necessary signatures. First, they must find who from each department needs to approve the document. Then they have to download the document from SharePoint and print a physical copy, which they then have to take around to each person to collect a wet signature.
Once all signatures are collected, the program manager then has to make copies of the document and distribute them to all the department representatives who signed it. They must then find a place for the physical document to be stored securely.
This manual routing of printed documents for wet signatures can be inefficient and error-prone. There is no tracking once documents leave SharePoint, and it can be difficult to find executed copies in folders. This is not just an isolated use case; it is common across processes including vendor onboarding, invoice processing, HR onboarding, and more.
The power of integrating DocuSign eSignature and SharePoint
Integrating DocuSign and SharePoint can simplify and streamline the approval process with electronic signature technology. With this integration, you can:
- Send documents for signature directly from SharePoint
- Capture signatures and route documents with automated workflows
- Automatically store signed documents in the correct SharePoint folders
Contrast the fractured workflow from earlier with one that integrates DocuSign and SharePoint. Once all department signers have been identified, the program manager can simply click a button in SharePoint to send an SOP document for signature to multiple stakeholders, in a specific order if needed.
Those stakeholders can then quickly add their signature using DocuSign directly in SharePoint, at which point it will be automatically sent to the next stakeholder for signature. Once the final signature is collected, the completed copy is automatically stored back in the same SharePoint folder. You can also check the status of the document, who has signed and not, and where the document is stuck, all within SharePoint.
Part of a bigger picture
SharePoint is often just one part of a larger business process. By integrating DocuSign with SharePoint and other Microsoft products, you can save even more time and effort.
For example, you could use the DocuSign for Teams integration to notify team members about signatures on their Teams app as they are reviewing the document. Or, you could use the DocuSign for Outlook integration to allow stakeholders to sign documents directly from Outlook. And you could use the DocuSign connector for Power Automate to automate the entire process of triggering signatures on the SOP document, eliminating the need for the program manager to even click a button on SharePoint.
Benefits of using eSignature with SharePoint
The advantages of integrating SharePoint and DocuSign are not limited to saving time collecting signatures. Here are a few other key advantages:
- Increased security: DocuSign uses industry-leading security measures to protect your documents and signatures.
- Improved compliance: DocuSign can help you meet compliance requirements by providing a tamper-proof audit trail of all signatures and transactions.
- Enhanced collaboration: DocuSign makes it easy to collaborate with internal and external signers, regardless of where they are located.
Integrate SharePoint and eSignature today
Integrating DocuSign and SharePoint can help organizations of all sizes save time and money by streamlining the signature process. With DocuSign, you can send documents for signature directly from SharePoint, automatically capture signatures and route documents, and return signed documents to the correct SharePoint folders.
For more information on how to set up and use the DocuSign eSignature for Sharepoint integration, visit our support site.
To get started with electronic signatures in SharePoint, download the DocuSign for SharePoint app.