Accelerating digitization to help fight cancer.

Varian streamlines workflows with Adobe Acrobat Sign to focus on what really matters — helping doctors treat patients.




Employees: 10,000

Palo Alto, California


e-signature transactions expected per year


Adobe Document Cloud ›

Adobe Acrobat Sign ›


Drive digital transformation to continually improve customer experiences and patient care

Minimize time spent on administrative tasks to allow employees to focus on their core jobs

Streamline service, contracts and other interactions with cancer treatment centers


Migrated smoothly to Adobe Acrobat Sign, rolling out 10,000 user accounts with single sign-on

Enabled 10,000 employees to work remotely and onboarded 250 more in 2 months

Expecting to ramp up yearly e-signature transactions from 8,000 to 300,000

Digital transformation with a strong sense of purpose

A world without fear of cancer — that’s the vision at Varian Medical Systems. With its sophisticated radiation treatment solutions, the company gives oncologists the power to save lives.

For Robert Xu, the vision is meaningful in a personal way. Xu works as Enterprise Application Solutions Manager at Varian, but he comes from a family of doctors and nurses, and a family with more than its fair share of cancer survivors. So it’s easy for him to make a connection between the work he does every day and the experience of a doctor or a cancer patient undergoing treatment.

“A cancer diagnosis puts tremendous stress on patients and their families. As a company, we’re always innovating to make the treatment process less stressful and produce better outcomes,” says Xu. “In IT, my job is to support that innovation by making Varian employees more productive and effective, so they can help caregivers create better patient experiences, with less administrative overhead.”

Xu’s work is part of a larger digital transformation at Varian. For the past few years, the company has been pushing hard to increase its impact on patient care. It’s growing rapidly and reinvesting in groundbreaking treatments such as Ethos Therapy — an AI-powered platform that can help oncologists personalize cancer care for each patient. At the heart of its success is a commitment to customer satisfaction and employee engagement.

“Our customers and patients are the center of our universe, and we are razor-focused on customer satisfaction,” says Snehashish Sarkar, VP of Business Transformation at Varian. “We’re looking to increase our Net Promoter Score (NPS) from 55 to 70 and earn an employee engagement score of 79 or higher. Those are world-class numbers.”

Achieving those numbers means tackling a big challenge — paperwork. As a medical device provider, Varian is subject to heavy regulation. There’s a paper trail for virtually everything, from product design and quality assurance to customer contracts and equipment service visits. Xu and the IT team are finding ways to make these processes smoother and easier for employees — and for the doctors, clinics, and hospitals Varian works with.

“The goal is to minimize routine tasks and make the whole experience friendlier, less painful, so people can spend more time on making a difference in patients’ lives,” Xu says.

Varian has long relied on e-signatures to streamline workflows, but until recently, it hadn’t found the right solution to support its digital transformation. Recently, the company decided to move from DocuSign to Adobe Acrobat Sign, looking for more of a strategic partnership to help grow its business with responsive customer support.

“We’ve worked with many different e-signature vendors, but Adobe Acrobat Sign provides the most impressive experience, with the best customer consulting and onboarding services,” says Xu. “Without Adobe’s help, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve such a smooth transition, in just two months. That is an unbelievable achievement.”

With automatic provisioning, Xu and his team were able to install Acrobat Sign quickly, enabling single sign-on with Okta for 10,000 user accounts. They also took advantage of Adobe’s extensive how-to videos, providing links internally to help employees learn the new tool. It’s important that Acrobat Sign is easy to use. With little to no learning curve, Varian can easily work with hospitals to finalize engagement documents, which minimizes delays as the company works to sell, install, and repair equipment — and treat patients without interruption.

“We’ve worked with many different e-signature vendors, but Adobe Acrobat Sign provides the most impressive experience, with the best customer consulting and onboarding services.”

Robert Xu

Enterprise Application Solutions Manager, Varian

Keeping customer interactions quick and simple

Just a few months after deployment, Varian has integrated Acrobat Sign into many critical document workflows. The e-signature tool has gone a long way toward greater efficiency and a better customer experience.

“We operate in 162 countries, with more than 8,000 installations, so the ability to request e-signatures in any language is a big help,” says Xu. “Plus, Adobe Acrobat Sign enables people to set automatic reminders, so they can dedicate more time to their core jobs rather than administration.”

The teams involved in the field service report process were one of the first to latch on to Acrobat Sign. Whenever Varian engineers visit a cancer treatment center — whether to install a machine, replace a part, upgrade a system, or perform any other service on the radiotherapy equipment — they need to get sign-off from the customer. It’s in everyone’s best interest to make these interactions as quick and easy as possible, so machines are ready for the next patient and doctors can get back to work.

“We integrated Adobe Acrobat Sign with Salesforce Service Cloud to enable engineers to generate field service report automatically within Salesforce and trigger an e-signature request at the same time,” says Xu. “With up to tens of thousands of field service report transactions every year, it saves a lot time when they can handle everything in an automated digital workflow.”

Varian also uses Acrobat Sign to manage the contract lifecycle, including sales contracts and legal-related non-disclosure agreements, with integration into a contract lifecycle management (CLM) system and Salesforce. Employees can spin up contracts in CLM and push them through Acrobat Sign for signature, storing the documents in Salesforce. That not only saves hours and days internally, it creates a better experience for Varian’s research partners, speakers, and customers, including leading-edge institutions such as Stanford Medical Center.

“We never want paperwork to slow down the process of getting life-saving technology into the hands of doctors,” says Xu. “With Adobe Acrobat Sign, the cancer treatment centers we work with can sign contracts faster to get the equipment they need.”

“With Adobe Acrobat Sign, we’re looking at 300,000 transactions annually — a quantum leap in the digitization of paper-based processes.”

Snehashish Sarkar

VP of Business Transformation, Varian

E-signatures support a smooth transition to working from home

The migration to Acrobat Sign paid off when 65% of Varian’s workforce had to start working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. E-signatures played a big role in keeping employees productive during the transition, especially HR.

Even under normal circumstances, the HR department stays busy with hiring processes, generating employment documents and getting them signed by new hires. Improvements in efficiency and speed go a long way toward making HR more effective and allowing the company to execute faster. As Varian discovered, that’s even more critical during a pandemic.

“Adobe Acrobat Sign has been a welcome improvement to the Varian new hire process,” says Kent Blackmon, VP, Global People Operations & Shared Services at Varian. “Since January 2020, we’ve been able to deliver an improved offer letter signing process to over 500 new hires, making the experience much easier to execute.”

By integrating Acrobat Sign with Workday to process hiring documents, the HR department was able to hire hundreds of people during the COVID-19 pandemic, all remotely. And the company expects the digital workflow trend to skyrocket as its transformation journey continues.

“When we started using e-signatures several years ago, we expected a volume of 8,000 transactions every year,” says Sarkar. “Today, with Adobe Acrobat Sign, we’re looking at 300,000 transactions annually — a quantum leap in the digitization of paper-based processes.”

A healthy outlook for the business

The company looks to expand its use of e-signatures even further. Xu is exploring more opportunities to integrate Acrobat Sign with more software such as Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Teams.

No matter where Xu turns his attention next, he knows all those thousands of e-signature transactions add up to something much bigger — more productive employees, a better experience for cancer treatment, and patients getting the quality care they depend on.

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