Read more about SaaS optimization: How to Stop Being a Target of Vendor Upsizing

Slashing the Cost of Adobe Sign and DocuSign

5 min read Mansoor Ahmed

In a world where remote work is an ever-increasing part of business, electronic signatures have become an operational cornerstone for many kinds of companies. At the same time, it can be hard to assess how much you’re getting out of an eSignature platform, such as Adobe Sign or DocuSign. Are you maxing out your feature use? Are you getting good value for the price?

Or are you paying a premium for software that just sits there, only used on rare occasions?

Finding the right way to save money on these services can be tricky, but we’re here to help you navigate the contracts and billing practices and find the best ways to increase the value you get. 

(And, while we’re primarily focusing on Adobe Sign and DocuSign, many of the ideas and strategies we discuss can apply to any eSignature platform).

DocuSign and Adobe Sign optimization

Optimizing Electronic Signature Software for Business

To keep things simple, we’ve broken down the best method for optimizing your eSignature software purchase into the following steps:

  1. Explore Your eSignature Usage
  2. Rightsize the Licenses Needed
  3. Rightsize the Features You Pay For

Explore Your eSignature Usage

One of the key elements of any eSignature software usage is that it’s part of a larger process, and rarely a standalone service.

For example, a common use of this software is to provide the signatures on contracts you send to your company’s clients. However, others kinds of contracts need signatures, too. This could include your employment contracts or those signed by your vendors. Because the latter two categories (and any others that use eSignatures) generally make up a smaller percentage of your overall use of the system, making changes to your subscription can have disastrous results in this area if you’re not taking them into account.  

If you want to avoid accidentally undermining operations in your business, you need to have a good idea of how the system is used before you start to tinker with the plan. For Adobe Sign, the best way to gather some of this information is to log into your Admin Console, which allows you to monitor your monthly usage. Based on your license, this information is broken down either by seat or by the total pool of remaining signatures. Note that this tool will only show you how many signatures you’ve requested in the current billing cycle.

Adobe Sign activity report

Likewise, you can track your usage in DocuSign by heading to the Reports tab. There, you can generate a user activity report, which will list the number of envelopes sent and templates created, which are both useful proxy stats for overall usage that you can use to monitor how much your team uses the tool. Once you’ve created your first report, you can have it emailed to you at regular intervals, keeping you in the loop at all times. 

DocuSign Dashboard

These methods work fine for smaller teams. However, if you’re managing a larger organization, this information can get both overwhelming and inscrutable as the size of the dataset rises. When that happens, it is worth investing in a SaaS Management tool that gathers this data for you, letting you drill down into the data when needed.

Rightsize the Licenses Needed

Once you have some idea of how much your organization uses your eSignature tools, you can start to make decisions about the licenses you need. One reality of eSignatures is that companies frequently overestimate how many signatures they’ll need, and thus tend to purchase more capacity than needed. DocuSign itself estimates that most users request 100 signatures or less each year.

Consequently, your data may show that your employees only use a fraction of their allowable plan limits. However, if you’re already on the lowest plan, you may not be able to get a better deal.

A way of working around this problem is to centralize your signature requests to a single account. Most organizations require that a central authority approves contracts before they’re sent to be signed, and you can take advantage of this by turning that authority into the group that sends the contracts as well. By centralizing the sending process, you can reduce the number of eSignature accounts to as few as one. Plus, you’d gain further forecasting ability as the randomness of individual use is often smoothed out in the aggregate, and you can use this information to fine-tune your plan.

Pro Tip:

You can request special pricing from your Adobe rep when you purchase more than 100 licenses at a time

If you’re using Adobe Sign, you may be dealing with Adobe’s complicated and sometimes confusing pricing systems. While the right steps to take will vary based on business size and your exact needs, many companies can save money on Adobe products by committing to a multi-year contract. You can also request special pricing from your Adobe rep when you purchase more than 100 licenses at a time, which is a great option for larger companies.

Rightsize the Features You Pay For

With eSignature platforms, the advanced features generally aren’t as make-or-break as they are with other SaaS platforms. There’s one major question here, and it’s the most important: Are you using the features you thought you needed when you signed up? Maybe you thought you needed a more expensive plan that allowed you to collect eSignatures from websites, create form templates with conditional logic, or that integrated with your API. Now that you’re using the platform, do you know which of these your employees take advantage of and which ones they don’t even touch?

"There’s one major question here, and it’s the most important: Are you using the features you thought you needed when you signed up?" Click To Tweet

Answering this question is difficult for any organization because it asks for data that goes beyond the simple analytics that eSignature platforms provide. And, while you might be able to get this information on your own, it can be a time-intensive task. Luckily, there’s a better way.

Using Quolum to Rightsize Adobe Sign or other Electronic Signature Software

Quolum helps companies understand how they’re using SaaS platforms, so they can make better decisions about how many licenses they need. 

For example, Quolum can help you see who in your organization uses each kind of software you pay for, how much they use it, what time of day they use it, and with advanced plans, which features they most need to get the job done. 

With that information, you’ll be able to better rightsize the licenses you have and more closely match your paid-for capacity with what you use. With Quolum, you can also:

  • Visualize spend on SaaS software over time
  • See detailed license and account information
  • See feature use statistics
  • Manage SaaS subscription renewals
  • Tag shadow IT

If you’re ready to make the most of your SaaS tools, you can sign up for Quolum for free today and get the insight you need to take control of your eSignature spend.

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