In May 2019, Oodrive announced it had acquired LegalBox, a workflow automation and electronic signing system specialist. The new acquisition adds another building block to the group’s range of digital trust solutions, helping you to manage the electronic signature process. So, what is an electronic signing system? And how does it benefit companies and public authorities?

An electronic signing system is actually defined in law, in the French government decree of March 22, 2019 on signing public procurement contracts electronically. It is a tool that allows a group of documents to be validated or signed by several signatories – whether in person or online – without altering their integrity. The decree states that each signature need to be independently verified by the other parties.

Save time and improve document traceability

An electronic signing system is a collaboration tool. It is used to send documents for validation and signing by the people involved in the documents’ life cycle, as part of one or more business processes. It’s easy to see how this kind of solution can be beneficial. You save time on processing documents by automating the document submission and return process, and improve traceability by making it easier to track documents.

Initially, electronic signing systems were used in the public sector alone. The aim was to share documents between different departments of an administration, so they could be signed. This marked the beginning of the end of the traditional daily document signing chain. With an electronic signing system, an elected official can sign documents at any time of day – between two appointments and even remotely – while allowing colleagues to track the life cycle of the documents.

The document is then distributed completely digitally, so it can be signed or stamped electronically by designated users, following a pre-defined, flowchart-based process. Every action is traced and recorded. You know exactly where the document is located within the validation process, who has already seen or signed it, and who has yet to see or sign it, at all times.

But now, the electronic signing system isn’t just restricted to the public sector. The tool is suitable for a wide variety of users. Public administrations can use it to send documents to check their legality or send payment orders to the Treasury, while companies can use it to manage incoming and outgoing mail, organize internal documents, and settle invoices.

Responding to business needs

LegalBox is an electronic signing system that uses Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). A user, a partner, or a signatory can be issued with an electronic certificate to view, validate, or sign the documents included in the package. Actions such as storing, modifying, signing, stamping, or sending documents are recorded, which guarantees traceability and probative value. Thanks to this new acquisition, Oodrive is bringing more flexibility to the signature processes it offers, responding to its clients’ business needs.

Another building block with the electronic signing system

Through its subsidiary CertEurope, Oodrive offers electronic identification and digital trust services, meeting the technical requirements developed by the French National Cybersecurity Agency (ANSSI), RGS (RGS*** certificate authority), and the European eIDAS regulation. With the acquisition of LegalBox, Oodrive has added another string to its bow when it comes to workflow management – from document validation to electronic signature – ensuring each action has probative value.

“We’re delighted to have acquired LegalBox, which is part of the Oodrive Group’s strategic growth plan. This move will allow us to position ourselves amongst the key players in the strategic market of electronic signatures and digital trust. Oodrive’s CertSign electronic signature range has now firmly established itself as the best alternative to American solutions,” said Cédric Mermilliod, Co-founder and Senior VP of Oodrive.

Hélène Toutchkov

Hélène Toutchkov
Content Manager

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