Adobe buys electronic signature vendor EchoSign

Adobe has said that it has acquired EchoSign, a web-based provider of electronic signatures and signature automation, for an undisclosed amount.

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Adobe has said that it has acquired EchoSign, a web-based provider of electronic signatures and signature automation, for an undisclosed amount.

Adobe plans to add EchoSign's electronic signature technology to its document exchange services platform, to reduce the time, cost and complexity associated with having a document signed, the company said.

The company plans to discontinue a cloud-based electronic signature service called eSignatures or eSign, that it released in May last year. The service is currently in beta and will be targeted for end-of-life, a company spokeswoman said.

With the acquisition of EchoSign, existing users of Adobe eSign beta service will "benefit from a much richer and complete product offering for their electronic signature needs", she added.

The EchoSign technology, which is currently used by over 3 million users worldwide, will be integrated with other Adobe document services including SendNow for managed file transfer, FormsCentral for form creation and CreatePDF for online PDF creation.

The founders of EchoSign and all full-time employees will join Adobe, the company said. "Together, our aim is to make electronic signatures the standard way for people to sign documents and automate contracting," Jason Lemkin, CEO of EchoSign, said.

The opportunity for Adobe is large as hundreds of thousands of overnight envelopes are currently sent for signature every day, the Adobe spokeswoman said. FedEx's revenue from overnight envelopes, for example, was $1.64 billion (£1 billion) in 2010.

EchoSign provides a subscription-based service to individuals, small to medium-size businesses and enterprise customers. The software assists the signature process and automatically stores and manages all signed documents, Adobe said.

The EchoSign service includes a set of APIs (application programming interfaces) for integration with company-specific solutions to improve the process of sending, tracking and signing digital documents, it added. The technology is already integrated with services from vendors like Salesforce.com and NetSuite, a vendor of cloud computing business management software suites.

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