The Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET) is a cooperative Agreement between UMBC and the Earth Science Division of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) to integrate scientists with the academic community. It's no surprise then that JCET employs fully functional digital forms in their internal business processes. Utilizing the electronic signature platform DocuSign, JCET is maximizing efficiency by drastically increasing workflow speed. Internal forms that sometimes took weeks to cycle through all the required signers now can be finished in mere hours.
JCET Assistant Director Margo Young began using DocuSign in September 2016. Before, she says, many internal documents would be emailed from UMBC to Goddard, where they were printed, signed, and put in official envelopes to be transported by truck back to UMBC. Since the forms contained sensitive information, they couldn’t simply be sent back by email. This meant that forms could take anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks to complete. Excited by the prospect of speeding things up a bit, Young started converting forms to DocuSign and trickling them into the office workflow.
Although many JCET faculty and staff had never used this new system of signing documents, they were quick to discover how secure and easily accessible this process is. As more and more people started utilizing digital signatures (often with Margo’s helping hand), the payoffs became more and more clear. All around, there was a noticeable decrease in worry over the status of a particular form and last-minute panic when an important document is nowhere to be found. The workflow as a whole became much smoother.
Since then Young has created 115 digital envelopes and taught three others in her office to create them as well. Recently, Young was able to get a new hire approved by the JCET director right away, even though the director was on vacation in Africa at the time. He simply opened an email on his phone and in moments, the form was approved and already waiting in Young’s inbox for review.
Digital signature technology incorporates advanced security and authentication methods to validate signer identity, resulting in an e-signature that is more legally enforceable than a standard signature. The versatility that comes with being able to create and sign forms on any device, the intuitive user interface, and the secure and efficient transaction process all make e-signature technology an all-purpose tool for any modern business or university.
· Visit the DocuSign myUMBC Group
· Visit UMBC’s FAQ knowledge base