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Dell World 2015: DocuSign consolidates, automates applications in the cloud

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By Brian T. Horowitz, Editor and Contributing Writer

For DocuSign, a provider of electronic signature technology, too many applications on the back end can cause delays in issuing customer refunds and bring errors and inconsistencies.

“As [DocuSign] was growing, it ended up with application sprawl,” Michael Dell, the chairman and CEO of the tech giant, said in his opening Dell World 2015 keynote on Oct. 21 in Austin, Texas.

The e-signature company, which has more than 50 million users in 188 countries, uses several cloud platforms such NetSuite for accounting and Zuora for accepting payments. Zuora offers software as a service (SaaS) applications that automate billing, commerce and finance.

Companies “DocuSign” more than 775,000 documents containing more than 3.6 million pages each day. The service lets people make decisions and formalize approvals digitally in a secure way.

Automating business processes in the cloud

To solve the problem of a growing number of applications and establish a successful cloud governance strategy, DocuSign deployed Dell’s Boomi integration platform as a service (iPaaS) called AtomSphere, which automates a company’s business processes and integrates data across multiple business units and applications.

With Boomi, DocuSign customers now get refunds in hours instead of weeks, Michael Dell noted.

Boomi delivers 1.6 billion cloud integration processes per month, he said.

By monitoring business processes in Boomi, DocuSign can ensure security and compliance and enable efficiency of scale.

“I think the key IT challenge was making sure we were building an IT strategy that can scale,” Long Lam, director of enterprise architecture for DocuSign, told Power More following his Dell World session, called “Data Movement, Management and Governance in the Cloud.”

“Boomi delivers 1.6 billion cloud integration processes per month.” – MICHAEL DELL

The company uses Boomi to make sure access procedures are followed as well as to check profile logs, Lam said.

The stages of the transformation of business processes in Boomi included enterprise resource planning data migration from Microsoft Dynamics to NetSuite, Lam told the audience. Dell is an investor in DocuSign through Dell Ventures, a division of the IT giant that invests in businesses that align with Dell’s expertise and strategic direction.

This transformation increased the speed of data sharing between business platforms and established an audit process for data migration, said Lam, who used DocuSign when he was going through the digital “paperwork” of buying a condo.

Consolidating cloud applications

DocuSign worked on an integrated IT strategy to consolidate management of cloud applications. The company previously had a manual process of extracting and loading data from a series of spreadsheets, which brought errors and inconsistencies, according to Lam.

An integrated strategy leads to business success, Lam said, noting the importance of ensuring that the right data is accessible in the right systems.

“From a data management perspective, it’s making sure that the platforms you have keep data where they need to be and in which system, making sure only those systems that can see it, see it,” Lam said.

Consolidating data significantly reduced the time needed to process customer refunds, Dell noted.

“They had end-to-end cancellation and refund processes, and financial forecasting and modeling that were difficult,” he said.

By using a platform such as Boomi, DocuSign was able to scale its applications more efficiently and have a smaller infrastructure.

“What we were able to do was consolidate the resources, have specific people that we use to do the actual integration jobs and help solve the resourcing problem, help solve the scalability problem, all those types of things you need to solve when you’re growing,” Lam said.

The cloud services must comply with certifications from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRamp).

By using a platform such as Boomi, DocuSign is able to get future-ready by simplifying connectivity between applications and segmenting data based on security and criticality.

Boomi provides DocuSign with the agility to support various business requirements, Lam said.

In addition, automation was a critical tool needed to support DocuSign’s customers, noted Kevin L. Jackson, founder and CEO of GovCloud Network, a consultancy that offers solutions that meet critical commercial and government operational requirements.

“It needed to leverage the cloud,” Jackson explained to Power More. “It needed to leverage a hybrid IT environment. Clearly Dell taking the lead and understanding the operational aspects of the enterprise and technical and security aspects of cloud was able to deliver the operational aspects, the governance aspects and technology aspects together to give DocuSign the platform it needed to grow and provide the services in a secure manner.”

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