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Many processes require digital signature integration, for approvals, document signing and to manage the authenticity and integrity of documents. Examples include HR, Legal, Purchasing, Audit, Quality Assurance and Government business process approvals and document signatures. K2 has partnered with CoSign by ARX, the leading digital signature supplier, to seamlessly integrate CoSign digital signatures with K2 workflows and SmartForms. In preparation for our upcoming partner webinar, K2 spoke with Larry Kluger, Integrations Marketing Manager at CoSign, about why digital signatures are an important tool for businesses.
Tell us about your background.
I have an electrical engineering degree, but my focus has always been computer software. Over the past twenty years, I’ve worked at different high-tech companies, including Xerox, Sun Microsystems and other smaller startups. I've been working at ARX, where our most popular product is CoSign for ARX, for about a year and a half.
Tell us more about Cosign by ARX.
CoSign was first introduced ten years ago, and it continues to be a breakthrough product because the alternative for using digital signatures is smart cards. People have all heard of smart cards, and they've been around for quite some time, but they are expensive and difficult to implement. Smart cards haven't really caught on because people are worrying about tangible items - you need to keep track of issuing them, losing them and managing them.
The benefit of CoSign digital signatures is that everything is centralized and secure. Just as it's more convenient to have your email managed and centralized in the cloud, the CoSign appliance automatically takes care of managing your certificates and keys. It also handles the signing requests within the organization.
Digital signatures are used not just for signing documents, but also for indicating that you've done something - signing off on a step or aspect of business processes. There is a huge need for digital signatures in regulated industries - including transportation, health care, pharmaceuticals, health care manufacturing, aerospace, legal and more.
What's the difference between e-signatures and digital signatures? E-Signatures have a number of issues - most importantly, they are not standardized. With digital signatures, the recipient of a digitally signed document can use their own technology to verify the signature—they do not use the signer’s technology. So, if a Word document is signed with CoSign, the recipient uses just Word to verify the signatures. E-signatures can only be verified by connecting to the vendor’s website. Plus, when E-signing, you have to send them the whole document - it's a security issue, since you're sending it over the internet where people have access to it.
In addition to independent verification, digital signatures also guarantee that the document was not changed since it was signed. They also provide evidence of the signer’s intent when signing. Digital signatures are the open, international standard. That's why, when you have a digital CoSign signature, you can verify it using software from anyone else.
How does CoSign provide a better product compared to other digital signature companies? CoSign has connectors that integrate the product seamlessly with SharePoint, K2 - one of our important connectors that we're particularly happy about - as well as OpenText, Alfresco, SAP, Oracle and more - and these make it even easier to use CoSign across the company.
CoSign also features automatic synchronization with Active Directory. This lowers total cost of ownership since the IT department does not have to keep the CoSign system up to date with your organization’s list of signers—it happens automatically. CoSign includes multiple APIs that enable easy integration with other software apps.
To learn more about CoSign by ARX and how well CoSign integrates with K2, join us for a webinar on February 20th.