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David Gingell
David joined Seal in February 2017 after 25 years of experience in hi-tech sales and marketing. His most recent position was as CMO of TeamViewer GmbH, the remote access and control software specialist. Prior to that role he was the VP Marketing for EMEA for major tech brands EMC, Adobe and NetApp over a ten-year period. Gingell was also an early employee of Documentum which was later acquired by EMC. He was a key player in the formation of the Enterprise Content Management market, and helped Documentum reach the number 1 vendor position prior to its acquisition. Early in his career, he held technical and sales roles at Ingres and Oracle. He holds an honors degree from the University of Wales and an MBA from Henley Business School, UK.

Momentum - What's in a Word

David Gingell | Jun 28, 2018

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word “momentum” thus:

momentum. noun: the strength or force that something has when it is moving: the strength or force that allows something to continue or to grow stronger or faster as time passes.

It is a very active noun, one evoking power and positivity. It is, therefore, unsurprising that it is regularly co-opted by organizations all the time as a tagline, event name, project title or a host of other marketing uses.

Last week, DocuSign hosted its 2018 user conference in San Francisco, aptly named Momentum. In their case, a name that is entirely justified. With a recent IPO behind them, 37% year-over-year quarterly revenue growth and now with over 400,000 customers, they are clearly experiencing significant momentum.

At the conference, DocuSign announced an expanded company vision and new product innovations that deliver on that vision. As DocuSign said on its blog:

“The expanded vision is to modernize the world’s Systems of Agreement: the technologies and processes companies use to prepare, sign, act on and manage agreements. This vision builds on the foundation of our leading e-signature technology, broadening the DocuSign platform to automate and connect what happens before, during and after an e-signature is executed. So, if you like what we did with e-signature, you’ll love what we’re doing for the rest of the agreement process.”

Systems of Agreement - The Jam in the Systems Sandwich

Every business needs Systems of Record. Most companies need Systems of Engagement (largely facilitated by the digital transformation revolution). What businesses are crying out for today, though, are Systems of Agreement.

Systems of Record have been developing into very mature enterprise applications since the early 1990s. These have principally been focused around structured databases and systems often described as the “sources of truth”. These have encompassed Enterprise Resource Planning, Supply Chain Management, Human Capital Management and Customer Relationship Management amongst other core business applications. These are authoritative sources for various types of business data such as customer records, employee records, and inventory.

Systems of Engagement have developed mainly over the last decade to focus on how end users engage with the organization and their systems. These include Customer Experience Management systems, Social Media Management systems, eCommerce systems and Omni-channel Management systems.

What has been missing to this point has been a platform for the end-to-end creation through to the on-going management and analysis of agreements. The steps to create an agreement are usually well-known, but many are manual; the steps are not joined-up and not connected into the other systems – those Systems of Record and Systems of Engagement outlined above. Agreements are the very foundation of business – formal contracts, finance documents, purchase orders, invoices, marketing agreements and so on. DocuSign has identified over 70 common business agreements. A System of Agreement platform needs to take care of the preparation of the agreement – the authoring process, the digital signing (obviously DocuSign’s core competency), and the integration with other business systems to fulfill the terms and the management component, which is how agreements are stored, analysed and reported on.

Last week, DocuSign laid out how a System of Agreement (SofA) platform will help accelerate digital transformation and the modernization of business-critical document processes. That is, modernizing the way businesses prepare, sign, leverage and manage contracts.

They acknowledge that this will require an ecosystem to deliver effectively and this is where their platform extension partner program comes in. The DocuSign Platform Extension program for connected apps will be vital to accelerating this transformation. By enabling DocuSign partners to plug directly into the DocuSign SofA ecosystem, DocuSign Platform Extensions advance current capabilities for a seamless user experience.

So, among the announcements at Momentum was Seal Software’s press release revealing that DocuSign will resell Seal’s content discovery and analytics technology under the product names of Total Search, powered by Seal, and Intelligent Insights, powered by Seal. Where does this fit into the SofA strategy?

It is clear that Seal’s market-leading content analytics technology fits squarely into the ‘Manage” phase of the SofA platform.

These platform extensions by Seal Software add 360-degree visibility into what is inside your agreements, regardless of source location. Here is a breakdown of our new platform extension capabilities:

Total Search, Powered by Seal: Single Search – Total Results

  • Search all documents, in all envelopes, across all DocuSign instances
  • Simple, automated import, and OCR as necessary, non-envelope documents into DocuSign, providing a simple unified search across the entire system of agreement portfolio and related documents
  • Global search and filtering by the DocuSign envelope metadata speeds locating and categorizing envelopes for reporting and further processing

Intelligent Insights, powered by Seal, includes all Total Search capabilities plus AI-powered Search, Extraction, and Intelligence.

  • Automatically extract terms and clauses from all envelopes and documents - including those imported from other repositories
  • Quickly create custom extraction policies or add pre-defined extraction packs for specialized use cases like GDPR, M&A, lease compliance and procurement
  • Built-in BI reporting and dashboard capabilities that eliminate the traditional silos separating contract repositories, enabling rapid response to ad-hoc and complex requests

Our partnership, coupled with our additional funding from Toba (announced last week as well), confirms our commitment to a new era of intelligent content analytics (ICA) and expands our reach into the enterprise. Product innovation and actionable insight are at the forefront of business strategy as Seal continues to drive digital transformation.

Having been named a Cool Vendor by Gartner in the Cool Vendors, Content Services, 2018 report and acknowledged in the Spend Matters “50 Providers to Know” in Procurement list for the third year in a row, Seal is creating digital technology to stay top of mind in our markets.

Our partnership with DocuSign highlights the commitment, passion, and innovation that has reaffirmed Seal’s undisputed market-leader status. DocuSign’s System of Agreement strategy transforms one of the foundational elements of business—the agreement process—and that aligns with our vision for the extraction of insights from content using artificial intelligence.

Momentum is an abstract noun, but there is nothing abstract about the momentum being experienced by both Seal and DocuSign. Although it isn’t exactly a concrete noun by pure definition, as in something physical that can be touched, it can be seen in the growth rates of both companies. And it is something which both companies would like our joint customers to experience in their digital transformations.