Information Management for Professionals
Specialists in document production and management solutions, Ascertus offer a full range of professional services and software solutions, which allow professional knowledge workers across all sectors to demonstrate and justify their value to their company, effectively manage their costs, mitigate their risks, and enhance their efficiency and productivity.
Ascertus featured in LSN News "In the 21st Century, ‘corporate policy’ must change in favour of digital signatures"
Ascertus featured in LSN News “In the 21st Century, ‘corporate policy’ must change in favour of digital signatures” originally published on the 12th July 2016 on the Ascertus blog.By Jon Wainwright, Sales Director, Ascertus Limited
I’m often asked by lawyers, especially working for an in-house legal team, to send them a physical copy of the newly agreed contract for a deal with a ‘wet ink’ signature. I’m informed that it’s corporate policy and it baffles me! I can send the document with a digital signature via email within minutes, but to send the same via post, I need to scan the 30-40 pages, print, sign and then post. On receiving the document, the lawyer likely follows the same process to send a signed copy back.
Aside from it being a highly inefficient and cumbersome process, in today’s technology-driven world, there’s a business rationale behind digital signatures:
- Legally admissible – Foremost, they are legally admissible globally. In the UK, the Electronics Communication Act came into effect in 2000 and makes electronic signatures admissible in legal proceedings. Similarly, they are legally admissible and enforceable in the European Union and even in the rest of the world.
- Security – Digital signatures are more secure than wet ink signatures. There is no way of knowing if a hand-written signature has indeed been signed by the designated individual. On the other hand, digital signature technology is developed based on industry security certification standards, ensures privacy of data by fully encrypting the documents and provides excellent authentication options to restrict access to unauthorised individuals. Also, the technology provides a ‘tamper seal’ to documents, which ensures that it’s not tampered with in any way after it has been downloaded.
- Audit trail – There is an audit trail with digital signatures. Users can track the document through every step of the process until it is securely stored. Also, there is complete visibility including who has viewed the document, who printed it, who signed it, did anyone decline to sign the contract and so on. This supports compliance.
- Mobility - For those who work out of the office a lot, the advanced digital signature software providers offer mobile apps that allow users to prepare and send documents for signatures from their devices. Users can also sign via their smartphone or tablet. How often does it happen that the key signatory of a major deal is holding up contract closure because he or she is travelling on work?
- Storage and availability – Given that in a typical organisation, signed documents and contracts can run into the hundreds, allocating physical space for their storage is costly and honestly unnecessary. A hard copy of a document tucked away in a storage facility inside the office or externally isn’t as easily accessible as it would be if it sat in the organisation’s document management system. One frequently hears stories of how certain contracts weren’t adhered to because they simply couldn’t be located for review!
A wet ink signature approach to documentation is a legacy of the past. With technology underpinning business operation, digital signatures are a quick win for efficiency and productivity. It’s simple to institute and is hassle-free to use. It’s worth considering!
New UK office, new partners, growing customer base, expanded support and technical services teams
London, U.K. – 06 July 2016 – Ascertus Limited, a provider of information and document lifecycle management solutions to professional services organisations and corporate legal departments, has grown its new customer base by 15%; organically increased business with existing customers by 25%;, opened a new sales office in Bournemouth; increased the size of its sales, support services and technical teams; and entered into new partnership agreements with technology suppliers – all in the first half of 2016.
The new customers acquired include law firms; and corporate departments such as legal, HR, compliance and finance within the engineering, retail, manufacturing, real estate and financial industry sectors. Additionally, a number of existing customers have signed up for ongoing support and upgrades to existing versions of their iManage Work software.
The common reasons cited by organisations for selecting Ascertus are the company’s extensive experience in devising and delivering tailored document management solutions (on-premises, hosted and hybrid models); an in-depth understanding of iManage Work alongside complementary solutions for end-to-end information management; and high quality support services.
“This is an exciting time for Ascertus and we are most certainly on an upward trajectory. Organisations of all sizes and across industry sectors are recognising that document management is core to many of their larger business initiatives such as digital transformation, collaboration, storage and cloud technology adoption,” explained Jon Wainwright, Sales and Marketing Director of Ascertus Limited. “Also, organisations are comparing the various document management system options available on the market to find that the existing functionality of iManage Work is extremely well-suited to their needs today, but that the new products and modules on the horizon will prove valuable to their business in the future – especially in the cloud and mobility areas.”
With many technology suppliers diversifying, Ascertus’ steadfast focus on the iManage Work product set is delivering success. The company has reached a critical mass, making Ascertus a reliable and viable alternative for iManage customers considering another support or services partner.
Steve Dalgleish, Applications Manager at Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, commented, “Migrating from NetDocuments to iManage Work and centralising the solution’s support with Ascertus was a timely and astute decision. We not only have a reliable system that meets all the industry standard SLA requirements (downtime is very damaging to our business), the solution itself is flexible and is keeping pace with new business and technological requirements. It is vital that our investment delivers an optimal ROI for the long term.”
To support the growing customer-base, Ascertus has brought on board experienced technical sales professionals and support staff to maintain the quality of its renowned after-sales maintenance and customer services in the UK and internationally.
The company has also broadened its product offering by formally partnering with digital signatures software provider, DocuSign; template management solutions provider, Iphelion; and e-billing and legal spend management software provider, BusyLamp. These relationships will enable Ascertus to deliver the most comprehensive document management functionality to customers.
About Ascertus Limited
Ascertus provides information and document lifecycle management consultancy, software solutions and IT support services to law firms and corporate legal departments. Based in Central London, the company offers a full range of professional services – from consultancy, business analysis and project management; to software implementation, training, documentation and technical support – delivering bespoke email, contract and document management solutions in on-premises and privately hosted environments. The company has successfully delivered and managed some of the largest iManage Work installations at customer sites in the UK. For more information, visit: www.ascertus.com