Reducing risk, completion time, and costs.
Adobe legal and government relations team streamlines document workflows with Adobe Document Cloud.
Employees: More than 22,000 worldwide
San Jose, California www.adobe.com
Less contract workflow for faster contract completion
Improve speed and accuracy with an end-to-end document workflow
Encourage use of self-service contracts to reduce the workload on the legal team
Control changes and modifications to signed legal documents
73% less end-to-end contract workflow supports faster and more accurate contract completion
Prevents contract modification by signers, lowering risk and eliminating additional review cycles
Templates and secure digital workflows empower team to create and deliver contracts without legal assistance
Utilized document audit trails to monitor signatory status and e-signature authenticity
“This lets us spend more time focusing on providing value to our clients—rather than paperwork.”
Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, Adobe
Facing paperwork head on
Legal professionals often spend their days surrounded by paperwork with agreements going through multiple stages of revisions and reviews. And while software like Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Word created new standards for creating and sharing electronic documents, managing and processing documents still can take a significant amount of time and effort. Even when legal professionals create and review contracts digitally, closing the deal often involves printing, signing, scanning, faxing, and even mailing documents.
With Adobe Document Cloud, Adobe builds upon its trusted Adobe Acrobat platform to deliver an end-to-end digital document process, including secure electronic signatures delivered through Adobe Sign.
“While some of these features and services have been available before, now they are integrated in a single platform with a beautiful, intuitive interface that reflects Adobe’s history of design and focus on innovating with the customer in mind,” says Mike Dillon, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary at Adobe. “This lets us spend more time focusing on providing value to our clients—rather than paperwork.”
Exploring new digital workflows
Using Adobe Acrobat DC, the legal team at Adobe creates pre-approved contract templates with signature fields tagged for Adobe Sign. Contracts are then sent through a content management system for a single digital workflow. Adobe Sign can password protect documents and automatically route them to signers’ inboxes, where they can view and sign contracts with just a few clicks, from any device.
“No one today sits around waiting for a fax machine. They’re working at home, checking in from the airport, or sitting in meetings,” says Dan Puterbaugh, Attorney and Evangelist at Adobe. “If you want a response from someone, fast, you need to contact them electronically. Electronic signatures are simply the most efficient means to do business today.”
Adobe Sign not only handles routing, but tracks documents in real time. The dashboard shows who has viewed a contract, whether they have signed it, and where the contract is in the workflow. The system even notifies all parties when the document is completed, sending a clean, approved copy of the signed contract—no more struggling to deal with illegible contracts that have been scanned multiple times.
“Many lawyers are still reluctant to accept anything but a handwritten signature,” says Dillon. “But with electronic signature technology, there’s actually more evidence of a signature being authentic than with traditional signatures. You know when something was sent, when it was opened, when it was returned, and when an e-signature was applied.”
“By using standard templates through Adobe Sign, we know that our NDAs cannot be altered by any party. Therefore, pre-signing an NDA before it is sent to a third party doesn’t place Adobe at risk.”
Senior Director, Legal Operations, Adobe
Scale and efficiency through self-sufficiency
Adobe is building upon the efficient digital workflows gained through Adobe Document Cloud to improve productivity through self-sufficiency. Currently, the Adobe legal team processes about 10,000 contracts per quarter. “From our perspective, one of the greatest ways that we can improve productivity across Adobe is for individuals to issue agreements without direct involvement of the legal team,” says Lisa Konie, Senior Director, Legal Operations at Adobe.
Adobe legal used Adobe Acrobat DC to implement about 300 standard templates for contracts, each of which is tagged for use within Adobe Sign. For many of these templates, any individual can access them from the contract management system, fill out the necessary information, and send out the agreement without needing to consult with the legal team. This saves time for the individual sending the agreement, who no longer needs to wait for a response from legal, while helping the legal team focus more energy on more business critical contracts.
One example of how self-sufficiency benefits departments across Adobe is through non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Rather than attorneys spending valuable time writing up a new NDA for every sales meeting or event, the legal team uploaded a standard NDA that can be distributed by anyone at Adobe. The legal team further removed barriers to NDA usage by pre-signing the NDA.
“By using standard templates through Adobe Sign, we know that our NDAs cannot be altered by any party. Therefore, pre-signing an NDA before it is sent to a third party doesn’t place Adobe at risk,” explains Konie. “Using a pre-signed NDA not only makes it easier and faster for employees to send an NDA, but it also encourages third parties to efficiently sign without trying to change terms and conditions.” Since there’s no risk of documents being modified during the signature cycle, legal no longer needs to review incoming signed documents, which further improves productivity.
“With Adobe Document Cloud, we’re empowering teams across Adobe to take control of their contracts for faster, more secure, and efficient operations.”
Attorney and Evangelist, Adobe
The legal team worked with the procurement department to improve self-sufficiency by consolidating procurement processes for contract and legal approval. By training the procurement team to assess and manage low risk procurement contracts directly, it frees up the legal team to focus on mitigating contracts with more complex terms and conditions. Consolidating workflows and implementing Adobe Sign helped the procurement team reduce the time needed to complete a contract by 73%.
Through Adobe Document Cloud, the legal operations team reduces the hassle and clutter of dealing with paper through an end-to-end workflow that’s built to manage document-intensive work. “Adobe Document Cloud is an easy win for legal operations. Attorneys are more focused on complex legal agreements instead of repetitive and administrative tasks,” says Puterbaugh. “With Adobe Document Cloud, we’re empowering teams across Adobe to take control of their contracts for faster, more secure, and efficient operations.”
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