Benefits of the European SaaS opportunity

European SaaS opportunity

By Eduardo Martinez – Head of Enterprise Solutions EMEA at Docusign

There’s a boom in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), the business model that rents Software Applications rather than buying them. This leaves the worry of installation, maintenance, security and updating to a third party.

Instead of ‘sell and run’, the approach from software vendors is now ‘land and expand’, as providers look to form lasting partnerships with their customers. Indeed, the SaaS acronym could easily be translated as “Success-as-a-Service”; after all, an unhappy customer is unlikely to renew a licence, so customer and vendor success are closely bound together.

SaaS is bringing the benefits of cost saving and, more importantly, control, into every area of European corporate life. What began in the fields of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is now expanding into the management of contracts and agreements. An efficient and automated system to prepare, sign, act on and manage a contract will impress a customer; but many European companies are not using a tool that covers the management of contracts over its entire lifecycle.

Instead of taking advantage of new ways of agreeing, signing and managing deals, businesses maintain outdated systems of agreement to create and manage the contracts that are the foundation of business success.

Creating agreements

Yet SaaS offerings such as the Docusign Agreement Cloud bring huge benefits. Our industry-leading suite of solutions covers everything from preparing to maintaining an agreement; a library of industry and department specific clauses from which companies can pick and choose to create an agreement automatically and in much less time.

Contracts are completed in just one day for 82 per cent of Docusign agreements, increasing contract turnaround time by an average of nine days.

Preparing agreements

Digitally advanced firms can prepare agreements from templates, automatically integrating customer information from CRM Systems. They can leverage legal clause libraries to minimise review cycles and get contracts signed off much faster, thus saving money (on average 36EUR per document) and becoming more environmentally friendly in the process (Docusign solutions have replaced almost 20bn sheets of paper around the world).

But it’s not just the process up to signing that matters; storing, managing and retiring agreements is still routinely carried out via unsophisticated, manual processes that would benefit from digitalisation.

Organisations using the Docusign Agreement Cloud

One company that has embraced the advantages of the Docusign Agreement Cloud is Swedish law firm Cederquist, which lobbied the Swedish government to adapt forms to take eSignatures and demonstrated the legal integrity of eSignature technology. Electronic signatures that meet European regulations on electronic transactions have increased security, productivity and environmental benefits as well as cutting costs.

Another Nordic law firm, Synch, found that introducing BankID verification into its client contracts via our Docusign Identify Solution gave it a distinct and marketable advantage. Standard letters of engagement were turned around in hours instead of days, which meant the firm was able to offer fast, secure processes, whether to bring onboard a new employee or to conclude a deal with a new customer.

As SaaS moves from niche to mainstream, more and more companies are reaping the benefits of cost savings, speed of the process and greater efficiency. But perhaps the greatest benefit of digitising a system of agreement is to provide an edge over the competition. In today’s crowded marketplace, such a benefit cannot be overestimated.

Eduardo Martinez – Head of Enterprise Solutions EMEA at Docusign