Investing in strategic, long-term partner relationships.
Adobe simplifies and expedites its contract signing process with Platinum Partners using Adobe Sign integrated with Salesforce and Microsoft Outlook.
San Jose, California
in contract-related email traffic
Simplify the contract amendment and renewal process for Platinum Partners
Reduce the time and costs associated with administering partner contracts
Enable APC representatives to deliver a better contract and overall service experience to its Platinum Partners
Speeds contract signing process, giving resellers more time to close deals and support customers
Contracts completed in 2 hours vs. 20 days, freeing Adobe to spend more time on its partner program
Enables resellers to view and sign agreements on mobile devices, reducing delays due to travel
75% reduction in contract-related email traffic
Recognizing sales excellence
Adobe customers around the world rely on resellers to provide them not only with products, but also with informed advice on features and benefits and their suitability to resolve business challenges. The Adobe Partner Connection (APC) Reseller Program is designed to recognize the expertise of its resellers, provide them with benefits and tools to help them become more proficient, and reward their commitment to proposing Adobe technologies and solutions to customers.
Adobe resellers achieving the highest levels of sales performance and customer penetration are granted Platinum Partner status, which provides them with a wide range of rewards and benefits, along with dedicated support from the APC team. Given their importance to Adobe’s commercial success, the company aims to create a positive, long-term relationship, beginning with a smooth contractual onboarding experience.
As Platinum Partners, resellers have a deeper level of engagement with Adobe, which is outlined in a detailed contract averaging 21 pages. In the past, completing these contracts was a lengthy, labor-intensive process that could take up to 20 days.
To create a Platinum Partner contract, an APC representative had to first raise a request within the Salesforce enterprise content management (ECM) system for Adobe’s legal department, which drafted and published the contract in the ECM. The APC team then sent a PDF of the contract to the partner for review and signing. Partners had to download, review, print, and sign the contract, and then scan and email it back to Adobe.
Completion of these contracts was often delayed because partner signees, who typically include company principals or sales personnel, were frequently on the road visiting customers. Once returned, signed contracts were submitted to Adobe’s Contract Coordination team—through another series of time-consuming, internal manual steps—for final review, approval, and processing in Salesforce.
“Completing Platinum Partner contracts was often a slow and lengthy process for us and our partners,” says Indu Jarial, Senior Manager, APAC Partner Strategy & Programs, APAC Consumer & Business at Adobe. “However, we knew that if we could digitalize the workflow, we could boost operational and cost efficiencies while improving the service experience for our partners.”
“Adobe Sign transformed our turnover times. Today, contracts flow automatically and seamlessly between Adobe departments and the partner until they are completed, with no manual intervention necessary.”
Program Manager, Adobe Partner Connection Reseller Program, Adobe
Piloting an online contract signing process
To create a digital workflow for Platinum Partner contracts, the APC team implemented Adobe Sign, the e-signature solution within Adobe Document Cloud, integrated with Salesforce and Microsoft Outlook. The solution was piloted in the Asia Pacific region on three-page reseller agreement amendments, which are typically sent to partners at the time of annual contract renewal.
The integrated solutions made an immediate impact, reducing the 20-day contract return rate average to just two hours, with no escalations. Additionally, once the contract is returned to Adobe, the internal processing time has gone from three days to less than one day.
“Adobe Sign transformed our turnover times,” says Megha Gaikwad, Program Manager, Adobe Partner Connection Reseller Program at Adobe. “Today, contracts flow automatically and seamlessly between Adobe departments and the partner until they are completed, with no manual intervention necessary.”
Automated workflow speeds contract completion time
The elimination of manual steps means that Adobe’s APC and legal teams save significant time getting agreements signed. The Adobe legal team simply drafts an amendment as a Microsoft Word document and uploads it to Salesforce. From there, it is converted to PDF and then sent to the partner from Salesforce via Adobe Sign for electronic signature. Partners can review, forward the amendment to their legal teams, and electronically sign it using Adobe Sign. The completed amendment is then returned through the workflow—along with a full audit trail—to the Adobe Salesforce CRM, with a copy automatically sent to the Contract Coordination team.
“We previously spent up to three days internally between the APC and Contract Coordination teams finalizing contracts once they were signed and returned,” says Megha Gaikwad. “With the Adobe Sign, Salesforce, and Microsoft Outlook workflow it takes less than a day.”
Adobe Sign also helped reduce email traffic by 75% per contract, which is particularly appreciated at year-end contract renewal time, when partners are often busy trying to close deals with their customers.
“Reviewing agreements takes time and last year, between our manual process and busy reseller schedules, the completion of some agreements missed our targeted deadline,” notes Fiona Chan, Legal Specialist, Asia Pacific at Adobe. “This year, with Adobe Sign, all amendments to reseller agreements were completed on time.”
Adobe Sign and Microsoft Outlook integration, meanwhile, simplifies the distribution and tracking of contracts in process. APC representatives are not always in Salesforce, but they do spend most of their day with their Microsoft Outlook application open. With the Adobe Sign plug-in for Outlook, APC reps use the Send for Signature feature of Adobe Sign to distribute an agreement to a partner for signature directly from their Outlook application. Whether in Salesforce or in Microsoft Outlook, they can also quickly view the agreement status, including who has viewed it, who has signed it, and exactly where it is in the signature workflow. Similarly, partners can use the Fill and Sign feature of Adobe Sign to view, sign, and return the agreement from within Outlook. If necessary, daily notifications can be set up by the APC team to remind a partner to sign.
Adobe personnel can access reports showing the detailed status of every partner contract, which helps them determine if any action needs to be taken. Adobe account managers and regional heads can also be copied on notifications, allowing them to follow up if there is a delay in a partner’s response. Finally, relevant stakeholders are notified once an amendment is signed.
“The visibility we get from Adobe Sign and Microsoft Outlook notifications keeps everyone on the same page,” explains Indu Jarial. “This helps our account managers, who no longer need to worry about pushing amendment agreements through the process and lets them focus on closing deals.”
The mobile signature capability in Adobe Sign also speeds and simplifies the signing process for partners who are travelling. “Partner executives or sales personnel no longer need to worry about finding a printer or a scanner while they’re traveling,” says Megha Gaikwad. “They can simply review and sign amendment agreements on their mobile devices from wherever they are.”
“The Adobe Sign, Salesforce, and Microsoft Outlook integration provides a streamlined contract management solution and allows us to deliver better, more responsive services to our Platinum Partners.”
Senior Manager, APAC Partner Strategy & Programs, APAC Consumer & Business, Adobe
Improved partnership experience leads to better results
Freed from administrative burden, the APC team is now better able to support and sharpen the competitive edge of Platinum Partners in Asia Pacific. In addition, they have more time to focus on compliance procedures when an amendment agreement is finalized, such as raising a partner registration number, uploading documents, and making sure partners complete Code of Conduct training.
The success of the Adobe Sign trial in Asia Pacific means that other groups and regions are looking to implement the solution for reseller agreements, amendments, and other Platinum Partner-related documents requiring signatures.
“The Adobe Sign, Salesforce, and Microsoft Outlook integration provides a streamlined contract management solution and allows us to deliver better, more responsive services to our Platinum Partners,” says Indu Jarial. “As a result, we’re spending more time collaborating to close vital deals and build revenue.”
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