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DocuSign Is Like Bacon

By wwwtc In Uncategorized

Posted March 13th, 2014

@will_price – Will Price

I wish I could say that this blog title is my own, but I shamelessly stole that quote from Dan Reid, the Director of Partner Integrations at DocuSign. Dan’s session at DocuSign Momentum was one of many I took in last week while visiting San Francisco for DocuSign’s annual Momentum Conference. DocuSign has been a trusted partner to Appirio and topcoder for a couple years now; so getting out there and seeing all the upcoming platform features was a great opportunity that I just had to jump on.

Before I jump into the cool features announced at the conference, I figure I should give some context to Dan’s excellent quote. DocuSign is like bacon; because it just makes everything better. You may be a bit skeptical about how eSignature makes everything better, but I encourage you to step away from that focus on eSignature and think about DocuSign as a transaction management platform. It quickly became clear to conference attendees that DocuSign wasn’t just for signing contracts. It doubles as a workflow engine! Need a quick way to manage your next big software release and the slew of approvals and sign-offs needed before releasing into production? Why not create a quick document and stick it in DocuSign, set up the signoffs in there and send it off? With sign-in-order you can even structure who signs and when, to make sure all the development managers sign off before your CTO.

Speaking of transaction management, DocuSign is aiming to become the world leader in Digital Transaction Management (DTM). My favorite announcement last week was the establishment of the xDTM standard for digital transaction management. DocuSign aims to build a global standard for DTM where they hope they do for transaction management what the PCI standard did for credit cards. The board of governors for the new standard boasts a lot of strong leaders and it should be exciting to see where they go with it.

During the first day the amount of content was almost overwhelming at times. The opening keynote, delivered by DocuSign CEO Keith Krach, was where xDTM was announced, and where Keith shared my favorite “DocuSign story” that I have heard to date. I looked for a video to share, but wasn’t able to hunt one down. Let’s just say it involved robbery, vigilantism, and DocuSign. After Keith wrapped up we were treated to a technical showcase from Grant Peterson, the CTO of DocuSign. Grant talked us through the upgrades to DocuSign platform to make them “Carrier Grade”. With their new platform they now will require no scheduled maintenance! To show us how resilient the platform could be Grant started taking down server centers (in their test environment of course). Even with 60% of DocuSigns servers offline, the DocuSign experience remained unaffected. I even sat there on my tablet accessing the demo environments myself to see if I noticed any performance degradation. I didn’t. Grant then walked us through the new DocuSign interface, which was nice looking and should improve the user experience.

I am a little biased, but my favorite talk came next. Alexis Ohanian, cofounder of reddit.com, came on stage to give us a speech. I’ve been a redditor for a long time, so getting to see Alexis speak was a real treat. He gave a rousing talk about how we all need to question ‘Why?’ whenever we are told something. Never accept status quo and always innovate. Alexis complimented his talk with some cool facts and even cooler memes. Even grumpy cat made an appearance. After Alexis wrapped up his talk I had the pleasure of meeting him, albeit briefly. I was totally starstruck and probably babbled about the power of the crowd incoherently. He did sign a book for me though!

The rest of Day 1 was spent in breakout sessions learning more about the power of the DocuSign API, and getting a sneak peek at their upcoming Mobile SDK. Our community has done some great things with the API and has had some involvement in the SDK, so it was really exciting to see these sessions.

Day 2 gave us plenty more breakout sessions and some additional big talks. Appirio CEO Chris Barbin made an appearance during a live C-Suite panel with Bloomberg TV host Jeffrey Hayzlett. Also on the panel were executives from Comcast and T-Mobile. Barbin made a compelling argument not only for using DocuSign in your business, but also for moving your business to the cloud. There were multiple topcoder shoutouts during the panel, which always brought a smile to my face!

I spent some time on Day 2 meeting with DocuSign stakeholders and looking for more and more we can bring to the community. They have always been strong supporters of this community and I am hopeful that the relationship will grow and we will see more and more DocuSign specific challenges making their way onto topcoder in the coming months.

Momentum was a great experience and I really appreciated the opportunity to meet with the people who have been supporters of our community for the past couple years. I am excited for the future not only of DocuSign, but also for topcoder and the great things we can do with them. Already looking forward to Momentum 2015!