Docusign and the analogy of two lifts

By Charlie Cowan – Strategic Enterprise AE at Docusign

How can Docusign be compared to an elevator? Let’s find out.

The analogy of two lifts invites us to rethink how we approach company needs and anticipate what an organisation will need in the future rather than solely focussing on what it needs now. Let's dive in and discover more.

When you buy a cloud platform you are not buying a static product.  It’s not like buying a car that stays the same unless you bolt on accessories to make it go faster or buy a new one.  

Cloud platforms like Docusign are constantly being developed, with you typically getting three new releases each year, each giving you more functionality than you had when you originally purchased. Some people even refer to the cloud as an appreciating asset because of this!

And yet, when you are considering buying a new cloud solution - whether it is a marketing tool, a CRM system or an Agreement Cloud platform, you will be thinking of the specific use case you have in front of you.  

For many companies that immediate need currently is eSignature. As more teams are working from home there is an urgency to provide executives, managers and individual contributors with the ability to sign, initial and approve documents from home today.

The temptation therefore can be to look at eSignature as the market you are moving into and to compare products that enable that one feature.  But the reality is that you are starting to digitise your entire agreement process. I like to use the analogy of two lift doors to help companies see the decision is much bigger than the one they might think they need to make today.


The analogy of two lifts

Imagine a building with two lift shafts.  Both lift shafts take you up to the first floor which is eSignature. You can solve your immediate need today by jumping in either lift.  

The left lift stops at floor one and can take you no further. The right lift continues to climb, taking you further. 

On the second floor you’ll find Contract Lifecycle Management. This allows you to prepare your agreements by integrating data from other systems, redlining and negotiating with third parties, and gaining final approval internally.

On the third floor you’ll find Artificial Intelligence and contract analytics. Looking inside the content of your agreement estate and enabling you to run real-time searches to find agreements that have specific terms like negotiated limitation of liability or data breach notification.

Further up you’ll find a floor dedicated to Smart Contracts, enabling agreements to be live and to auto execute terms based on inputs from other production systems.  Imagine being able to automatically reduce payments to a supplier because they defaulted on their contracted delivery date?

As a business you might not need what is on floors 2, 3 and beyond today. But, it is important to know they exist and that if in the future you want to press the button to go up a floor you can.

If you had taken the lift on the left, you’ll need to come back down to the ground floor, and start your journey again.

I hope this analogy is helpful. It is applicable to any cloud solution that you are investigating.  As well as the product today you are investing in a vendor’s vision, and their roadmap. Be sure to get in the lift that can take you all the way to the top!

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