Does your Department, Lab, or Center frequently use forms that require signatures - for example, contracts or student waivers? Then a service called DocuSign can ease your paper chase; Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) licenses DocuSign for Business for use by the MIT community.
A new version of DocuSign, released on January 17, improves the user experience. Here's what you need to know.
First, what is DocuSign?
Digital signatures are now commonplace: a typical instance is penning your signature at the supermarket checkout. DocuSign is a variation on that theme, a cloud-based service that provides electronic signature technology for contracts and other documents.
With DocuSign, users are able to send, sign, and track documents. All documents are stored in DocuSign's cloud, providing an audit trail of signatures. For a demonstration, see the DocuSign: How It Works video.
DocuSign supports many document types, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and PDF, and integrates with Dropbox, the MIT-recommended file storage system. It can also be used on the go from an iPad, iPhone, Android, or Windows 8 device.
The new DocuSign experience
The recently updated DocuSign offers a more intuitive and streamlined interface. Improvements include:
- Drag-and-drop file upload
- The ability to use a template with one click
- Bulk-send improvements
- A diagram for better visualization of signing order (when there's more than one recipient)
MIT's DocuSign for Business is Touchstone-enabled. You can create an account by going to http://docusign.mit.edu and logging in with your @mit.edu email address.
You can find detailed activation instructions in the Knowledge Base article: How can I begin to use DocuSign?
MIT maintains strict controls on signing authority: only certain persons at the Institute are allowed and have the authority to sign contracts and other documents that legally bind the Institute. If in the course of your work at MIT you are asked by someone, inside or outside the Institute, to sign a contract or legal document, contact the Office of the General Counsel to determine if you have appropriate authority.
These same rules apply to DocuSign. Check first with the Office of the General Counsel before using DocuSign for contracts or legal documents that purport to be binding on the Institute.