Novatus uses a three-stage process to obtain electronic signatures on a contract document. The first stage involves the Document Package Wizard and/or the eSignature Package Wizard. The second and third stages involve DocuSign or Adobe Sign, which are Digital Transaction Management solutions that allow you to insert Signature fields into the contract so that signatories know where to provide their electronic signatures.
The first stage is accomplished using two different methods, based on the status of your contract:
- If your contract has been finalized and is ready for signature, use the eSignature Package Wizard to select the contract document you want to submit for electronic signature, as well as identify the signatories and any recipients for the email message that is sent, requesting the eSignature of one, or both, parties to the contract. The eSignature Package Wizard also allows you to add individuals who can act as administrators during the electronic signing process. The eSignature Wizard can be run using an Administrator-defined template, or without a template. In DocuSign, running the wizard without a template allows a signatory to be assigned as a witness in the electronic signing process.
- If your contract needs to be negotiated, use the Document Package Wizard and the eSignature Package Wizard. The Document Package Wizard is used to create a document package, which allows the contract to be uploaded and negotiated in the package, where it can be checked out and revised by the members of the document package, and then checked back in, allowing several revisions to be made before the final version is submitted for eSignature to one or both parties. The eSignature Package Wizard is then run to identify the document, signatories, and any recipients for the electronic signing ceremony.
The second stage occurs in the eSignature Portal where Signature fields must be inserted into the contract to identify the locations where each signatory must provide their electronic signature. The contract containing the Signature fields becomes the body of the email message that is sent to the signatories, and is referred to as the "envelope." Before submitting the contract for electronic signature, the envelope can be revised in the Portal as many times as needed.
- For Adobe Sign users, the document used in the eSignature Package Wizard can be tagged prior to running the Wizard so that users do not have to manually add signature and other tags to the document in the eSignature Portal.
- For those companies that require a witness to the electronic signing process, the eSignature Package Wizard allows you to add a witness by duplicating a signatory's email address. The signatory signs the document electronically upon receiving the first email request for their eSignature. When the signatory receives the second request for their eSignature, he/she reassigns the responsibility to the individual who will be witnessing the signatory's eSignature. However, the ability to add duplicate recipient email addresses in the "envelope" has applications other than witnessing a contract.
The third stage involves signing the contract document, which is accomplished from two different locations, depending on the version of the eSignature solution that is used by your company:
- If your company is using the native version of the eSignature solution, you will be able to access all the DocuSign/Adobe Sign features since the solution is available in the "cloud." For DocuSign users, there are advanced actions that can be performed using Agent-Managed Envelopes.
- If your company is using the embedded version of the eSignature solution, you will be able to access some of the DocuSign/Adobe Sign features since the solution is working within the constraints of Novatus.
After the envelope is submitted, a Novatus user can still revise the envelope, and then resubmit it for signature.
It is recommended that you track the contract once it has been submitted for eSignature to ensure both signatories have signed the document. During the eSignature process, it may become necessary to resend the email request for electronic signature or to reassign a signatory for the contract. It may even be necessary to halt the electronic signing processes by voiding the "envelope."