Adobe buys online authentication firm to ‘revolutionize’ digital authentication

Web graphics and multimedia company, Adobe Systems, has acquired EchoSign, provider of a web-based electronic signature service — a move that may have far reaching consequences for how electronic documents are authenticated and certified.

Digital signatures, though invented several years ago, have not quite taken off due to the cumbersome nature of creating and checking them. EchoSign, on the other hand, uses the power of the Cloud model to make its solution easy and quick.

“EchoSign’s pioneering electronic signature solution will be a key component of Adobe’s document exchange services platform for reliably exchanging documents for universal access, review and approval,” the US firm, with substantial presence in India, said.

It plans to offer EchoSign’s solution, which currently supports more than three million users worldwide, as part of its online document exchange services platform. Adobe’s online document services include SendNow for managed file transfer, FormsCentral for form creation and CreatePDF for online PDF creation.

“By reducing the time and costs of having documents signed with traditional methods, such as fax and overnight envelopes, the EchoSign solution can enable customers to significantly accelerate sales cycles, improve tracking and centralize the management of signed agreements through a simple to use cloud service,” Adobe said.

The move is seen as a major one for Adobe, which aims at ‘replacing paper’ in documentation. The unavailability of easy and foolproof authentication (signature) mechanism is one of the key challenges of online documentation services.

“The EchoSign solution provides a secure subscription-based service to individuals, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and enterprise customers, enabling real-time visibility into the signature process and automatically storing and managing all signed documents,” Adobe pointed out.

“Bringing together EchoSign’s ease of use for contracting on the Web with Adobe’s brand, reach and trust in the document space, I fully expect that electronic signatures will soon become the common way for people to sign documents,” said Jason Lemkin, chief executive officer, EchoSign. “With nothing to download, learn or install, there is simply no faster or more secure way for organizations to sign, track or file contracts – and close more business quickly.”

EchoSign is based in Palo Alto, Calif. with a sales presence in the U.K. and Germany. The founders of EchoSign and all full-time employees will join Adobe, bringing with them a wealth of knowledge and experience in electronic signature solutions