Table of Contents
While some pandemic trends have since experienced significant retractions, the e-signature solution space continues to show sustained and accelerated demand across virtually every industry. Document execution processes are a core component of most businesses, and supporting traditional physical processes for high volume use cases is too costly and inefficient to justify them. Businesses are no longer asking if an e-signature solution should be adopted, but instead they are asking which solution to choose as more players enter the market.
E-signature solutions have been available for decades and have matured into a robust domain that is well-prepared to meet increases in market demand. Leaders and challengers continue to invest in more extensive jurisdictional support, enabling direct integration with numerous country-specific eID services. Qualified digital signatures (QES, shown in Figure 1) were once considered an advanced functionality but are now more commonplace, with leading solutions offering five or more integrated trusted service providers (TSPs) in addition to supporting the ESIGN Act and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) in the US.
Figure 1. Requirements for Legally Binding Signatures: Simple, Advanced, and Qualified
Similarly, identity authentication methods have expanded as well, with many solutions offering advanced features to verify signees, including video, document verification, and biometric functionality. Aside from documents that are still legally not in scope for electronic execution (for example, wills and court orders), even the most complex international use cases can be supported by multiple vendor offerings.
Beyond core compliance, almost the entire market has started or continued to invest in end-to-end document management software. Commonly referred to as contract lifecycle management (CLM), this investment expands e-signature functionality to other document functions, such as creation, negotiation, and post-execution processing. This represents a shift in how businesses view e-signatures: no longer as a point solution but as part of a broader transformation strategy that aims to drive automation and digitization across all document activities.
As a result, broader platforms have started integrating other workflow capabilities within e-signature products, blurring the line between document management and this solution space. Often e-signatures are the entry point, but quickly become part of a multiple-product package whose components work together within an ecosystem to produce more comprehensive transformation. Feature-focused offerings are investing in similar expansion as well, though they’re more heavily reliant on native functionality paired with expanded third-party integration options. One example is data field configuration, which now commonly enables automated population and extraction into domain systems, thus supporting requirements before and after the e-signature function.
To be a significant player in this space, an e-signature solution must support the core e-signature process (preparation, distribution, execution), and also offer extensive compliance support, scalability for high-volume use cases, and flexibility across a range of countries, languages, and interfaces. Functionality that simply allows a user to draw a signature on a document is not sufficient to be considered in this report. Recent entrants Microsoft and Google are excluded for this reason, but expect them to be more significant alternatives in the near future.
This GigaOm Radar report highlights key e-signature vendors and equips IT decision-makers with the information needed to select the best fit for their business and use case requirements. In the corresponding GigaOm report “Key Criteria for Evaluating E-Signature Solutions,” we describe in more detail the key features and metrics that are used to evaluate vendors in this market.
How to Read this Report
This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:
Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.
GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.
Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.
2. Market Categories and Deployment Types
To better understand the market and vendor positioning (Table 1), we assess how well e-signature solutions are positioned to serve specific market segments and deployment models.
For this report, we recognize the following market segments:
- Small-to-medium business (SMB): In this category we assess solutions on their ability to meet the needs of organizations ranging from small businesses to medium-sized companies. Also assessed are departmental use cases in large enterprises, where ease of use and deployment are more important than extensive management functionality, data mobility, and feature set.
- Large enterprise: Here offerings are assessed on their ability to support large and business-critical projects. Optimal solutions in this category have a strong focus on extensive compliance, flexibility, and advanced customization features paired with enterprise-grade role-based access control. Security is another big differentiator, supporting more advanced provisions, encryption services, and specialized certifications for complex use cases.
In addition, we recognize three deployment models for solutions in this report: SaaS, on-premises and hybrid.
- SaaS: These solutions are available only in the cloud. Often designed, deployed, and managed by the service provider, they are available only from that specific provider. A big advantage of a SaaS solution for e-signatures is simple integration with other services offered by the service provider (document storage, for example).
- On-premises: These solutions can be installed on self-managed servers secured within enterprise infrastructure. This approach offers more control over update releases, resource allocation, and customization. Data security is another common priority when selecting this option. Often these implementations are more costly to deploy and maintain compared to SaaS.
- Hybrid: A combination of cloud and on-premises deployments, these solutions allow businesses to select which components should be secured by self-managed servers and which ones can be streamlined via cloud integration.
Table 1. Vendor Positioning
|Adobe Acrobat Sign
|Exceptional: Outstanding focus and execution
|Capable: Good but with room for improvement
|Limited: Lacking in execution and use cases
|Not applicable or absent
3. Key Criteria Comparison
Building on the findings from the GigaOm report, “Key Criteria for Evaluating E-Signature Solutions,” Table 2 summarizes how each vendor included in this research performs in the areas we consider differentiating and critical in this sector. Table 3 follows this summary with insight into each product’s evaluation metrics—the top-line characteristics that define the impact each will have on the organization.
The objective is to give the reader a snapshot of the technical capabilities of available solutions, define the perimeter of the market landscape, and gauge the potential impact on the business.
Table 2. Key Criteria Comparison
|Advanced Digital Signature
|Data Fields & Templates
|Reporting & Analytics
|Adobe Acrobat Sign
|Exceptional: Outstanding focus and execution
|Capable: Good but with room for improvement
|Limited: Lacking in execution and use cases
|Not applicable or absent
Table 3. Evaluation Metrics Comparison
|Ease of Use
|Security & Compliance
|Adobe Acrobat Sign
|Exceptional: Outstanding focus and execution
|Capable: Good but with room for improvement
|Limited: Lacking in execution and use cases
|Not applicable or absent
By combining the information provided in the tables above, the reader can develop a clear understanding of the technical solutions available in the market.
4. GigaOm Radar
This report synthesizes the analysis of key criteria and their impact on evaluation metrics to inform the GigaOm Radar graphic in Figure 1. The resulting chart is a forward-looking perspective on all the vendors in this report, based on their products’ technical capabilities and feature sets.
The GigaOm Radar plots vendor solutions across a series of concentric rings, with those set closer to the center judged to be of higher overall value. The chart characterizes each vendor on two axes—balancing Maturity versus Innovation, and Feature Play versus Platform Play—while providing an arrow that projects each solution’s evolution over the coming 12 to 18 months.
Figure 2. GigaOm Radar for E-Signatures
As you can see in the Radar chart in Figure 2, the e-signature domain continues to offer a range of solutions for every type of use case. Increased investment in broader CLM capabilities is evident with more vendors moving rightward towards the Platform Play side compared to last year. Additionally, most vendor arrows are now pointed more vertically rather than directly toward the center. This indicates a continued focus on building out related functionality (portfolio), rather than core e-signature features, in the next few years. Innovation is mostly driven within workflow and data configuration criteria, as more automation is available for users supported by extensive no-code functionality.
DocuSign continues to lead this market with the greatest breadth of compliance coverage, along with rich customization in most core e-signature features. Adobe Acrobat Sign and Nitro Sign closely follow in the Leader category, offering similarly extensive sets of e-signature coverage paired with feature-rich PDF functionality. Finally, Zoho Sign is a new entrant to the Leaders circle, offering core e-signature functionality within a vast business software suite and supporting highly innovative features through Zoho Flow, Zoho Analytics, and other native products.
Platform PlayChallengers include Dropbox Sign and Box Sign, solutions driven by recent acquisitions that offer standard e-signature functionality paired with advanced capabilities as part of broader cloud file management suites. Foxit Sign takes a similar approach as Nitro and Adobe through PDF editing expertise, offering a well-rounded e-signature capability that will expand coverage in the coming years. Finally, Citrix continues to offer a simple signature solution through RightSignature as part of its broader networking platform.
Challengers in the Innovation/Platform Play quadrant include OneSpan Sign and SignNow. OneSpan Sign offers a market leading security and compliance platform with advanced functionality for enhanced fraud detection, white-labeling and data analysis. Alternatively, SignNow provides a fully integrated robotics automation solution for highly advanced workflow requirements. Other innovative Challengers include platform players PandaDoc and GetAccept, both focusing on novel content creation and libraries to support specific use cases, such as sales and marketing.
Despite an overall vendor focus on platform investments, Feature Play offerings for smaller use cases are well supported by Signeasy and eversign. Signeasy is a leading provider of simple signatures that has expanded into advanced compliance and additional workflow support, while eversign was recently acquired by PDFTron and is expected to make a leap into end-to-end workflow automation in the coming years.
For all vendors evaluated as part of this Radar, pricing remains competitive and flexible with pay-as-you-go options, free forever small use case support, and enterprise packages with advanced functionality. Scalability is sufficient for all vendors, as are well-known security certifications provided with every solution on this list. Deployment options lean heavily toward SaaS implementations, with a few vendors (DocuSign, Nitro, OneSpan, Zoho) offering on-premises support as well.
Inside the GigaOm Radar
The GigaOm Radar weighs each vendor’s execution, roadmap, and ability to innovate to plot solutions along two axes, each set as opposing pairs. On the Y axis, Maturity recognizes solution stability, strength of ecosystem, and a conservative stance, while Innovation highlights technical innovation and a more aggressive approach. On the X axis, Feature Play connotes a narrow focus on niche or cutting-edge functionality, while Platform Play displays a broader platform focus and commitment to a comprehensive feature set.
The closer to center a solution sits, the better its execution and value, with top performers occupying the inner Leaders circle. The centermost circle is almost always empty, reserved for highly mature and consolidated markets that lack space for further innovation.
The GigaOm Radar offers a forward-looking assessment, plotting the current and projected position of each solution over a 12- to 18-month window. Arrows indicate travel based on strategy and pace of innovation, with vendors designated as Forward Movers, Fast Movers, or Outperformers based on their rate of progression.
Note that the Radar excludes vendor market share as a metric. The focus is on forward-looking analysis that emphasizes the value of innovation and differentiation over incumbent market position.
5. Vendor Insights
Adobe Acrobat Sign
Since acquiring EchoSign in 2011, Adobe Acrobat has steadily invested in its e-signature offering and has become one of the leading solutions through its broad Adobe Document Cloud. Paired with well-known deep PDF functionality, Adobe Acrobat Sign offers a feature-rich solution with extensive compliance across almost any jurisdiction worldwide. Adobe is headquartered in California, US, with offices around the world and more than 28,000 employees.
Adobe Acrobat Sign scored high on the key criteria of advanced digital signatures and identity authentication, with a truly global e-signature capability. Simple and advanced digital signatures are available, with over 30 TSPs offering QES in virtually every jurisdiction globally (up from over 20 TSPs last year). Further bolstering support for compliant signatures, Adobe Acrobat Sign continues to offer a leading set of identity authentication options including multifactor authentication or MFA (passwords, email, SMS), knowledge-based authentication (KBA), and video and ID document verification. A newly released digital identity gateway integrates over 10 authentication partners (including IDNow and ID.me), allowing users to seamlessly choose the appropriate method per request.
Given this breadth of e-signature support, Adobe Acrobat Sign scores high on flexibility, combining its leading identity authentication options with continued support for over 30 languages and any document file type and interface. Compliance and security criteria receive a high score as well, with a leading list of certifications and provisions including ISO 27001, SOC 2, GDPR, and specializations such as HIPAA, FedRAMP, and PCI. As a result, Adobe Acrobat Sign can be leveraged by even the most global of institutions.
Adobe Acrobat Sign continues to benefit from extensive PDF functionality, scoring high on the data field and template criteria. Users can drag-and-drop fields from a broad list of options using a no-code interface. Templates can be created either from scratch or via document upload and offer extensive configuration options for conditional logic and pre- or post-execution automation for data extraction. Furthermore, document generation application programming interfaces (APIs) are available to create custom documents from other applications such as Salesforce.
Beyond document preparation, Adobe Acrobat Sign offers a standard set of workflow configuration options, including multiple recipients, sequencing, specified actions, and attachments. Pricing is also typical for this domain, offering an affordable per user, per month subscription but without a long-term freeware option for smaller use cases (simple signatures are available however as part of paid tiers).
The Adobe Document Cloud gives users a broad platform around the e-signature solution, with hundreds of third-party apps available for off-the-shelf integration at no extra cost. It also offers advanced analytics support through the Adobe Sensei application, providing enhanced functionality for document reporting, PDF content extraction, accessibility tagging, dashboarding and analysis. These platform features, along with data centers available worldwide, help Adobe Acrobat Sign achieve high scores for the criteria of scalability, third-party integrations, and reporting and analytics criteria.
Strengths: Adobe Acrobat Sign is a leading e-signature solution with extensive global support for advanced digital signatures, identity authentication, and data field configuration. The solution is paired with a broad platform that offers users leading options for third-party integration and reporting and analytics.
Challenges: While leading in core e-signature compliance, Adobe Acrobat Sign is less differentiated in areas such as advanced distribution and bulk invite. Enhanced workflow customization and specialized mass send functionality would drive further leadership within this space.
Founded in 2005, Box is a leading SaaS provider of content and collaboration solutions. Since its acquisition of SignRequest in 2021, Box has rapidly expanded its e-signature offering by leveraging the strengths of its broader cloud platform. Box Sign is now a fully integrated capability that specializes in advanced distribution, third-party integration, and value-driven subscriptions complete with rich functionality. Box is headquartered in California, US, with 13 offices around the world and has 68% of the Fortune 500 as customers.
Box Sign offers industry-standard electronic signature functionality and workflows that provide compliance support for a number of e-signature laws. This includes the ESIGN Act and UETA in the US and standard electronic signatures as defined by eIDAS in the EU. Documents signed through Box Sign and stored in Box may also benefit from a range of leading security features and compliance provisions, including HIPAA, PCI, SOC 1 & 2 Type II, ISO 27001, 27017, 27018, and 27701 certification integration with Box Shield policies, FedRAMP, and StateRAMP. This results in a high score for the security and compliance criterion. QES, however, is not yet supported. Box Sign offers optional identity authentication such as password, SMS and Box account login. However, Box Sign does not yet include video, ID verification, and TSP integration, resulting in a lower score for this key criterion.
Nevertheless, Box Sign is rapidly becoming a broader Platform Play vendor and continues to specialize in adjacent functionality along with core e-signature support. Thirteen data fields and unlimited templates offer basic configuration options, but also include automation opportunities through post-sign processing via an integration with Box Relay. The Box Relay capability continues to enable extensive workflow configuration through business process management (BPM)-style no-code interfaces. This solution receives a high score for the advanced distribution criterion because virtually any type of sequence can be automated through this capability, across different requests and domain systems. This capability is also bolstered by a marketplace of over 1,500 off-the-shelf applications for Box, resulting in a high score for the third-party integration key criterion.
Other aspects of Box Sign include a batch send (or bulk invite) function via CSV files and self-serve web form signing, custom branding capabilities and API and webhook support. Flexibility is in line with market standards in terms of interface support, file types, and languages. Box also includes some metrics support through simple dashboarding and exporting functionality.
Box Sign is offered as a no-cost addition to all Box subscription plans with unlimited native signatures included in business plans and above. This, together with its seamless integration of other features through Box Shield, Box Relay, and Box Governance, helps this e-signature solution to get high scores on the key criteria of cost and scalability. Finally, Box Sign also receives a high score on ease of use because it offers highly rated features in a simple-to-learn package that includes a rich mobile offering and customer support available 24/7 with an additional fee.
Strengths: Box Sign benefits from a leading cloud content platform, driving specialization in advanced distribution through Box Relay and a vast third-party marketplace. This platform support also helps deliver e-signatures with leading scalability, security, and ease of use all with an affordable pricing structure.
Challenges: While improved from last year, advanced functionality for QES and identity authentication is limited, thus narrowing Box Sign’s ability to support some complex use cases. Reporting and analytics should also be expanded to offer more specific e-signature metrics.
Citrix, a leading provider of remote networking software, offers an embedded e-signature solution through its acquisition of RightSignature in 2014. A simple signature focused on ESIGN support is provided, along with advanced features via platform products such as Citrix Podio, Citrix ShareFile, and Citrix Content Collaboration. Citrix was founded in 1989 and is now located in Florida, US, with more than 10 offices across the country.
Citrix RightSignature specializes in simple signature use cases with ESIGN and UETA compliance; advanced or qualified signatures are not offered yet although they’re on the roadmap for the near future. Also lacking is international compliance with regulations such as eIDAS, which drives lower scores for advanced digital signature and flexibility. Simple signatures, however, are enhanced with multiple identity authentication options including biometric capture, KBA, and MFA (SMS, password).
Despite offering only simple signatures, Citrix RightSignature supports advanced features by leveraging the broader Citrix platform. Citrix Podio enables a highly customizable workflow solution that allows users to create specialized sequences with no-code functionality. This capability goes well beyond typical recipient configuration and results in a high score on advanced distribution. Citrix Content Collaboration and Citrix FileShare support other functions within document management, but have not yet been optimized to support e-signature requirements. As an example, data fields and templates are still limited to basic field configuration without any complex logic or native document creation, despite collaboration features elsewhere in the platform. This feature receives a lower score for the data field key criterion as a result.
Other standard features are available as part of the e-signature package, including bulk invite supported by a templated file upload. Third-party integrations are available across more than 10 applications in popular collaboration categories. However, while more advanced analytics is available elsewhere in the Citrix platform, e-signature dashboarding is limited to standard summary views and ad hoc report exports.
Citrix RightSignature leverages Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure to deliver e-signatures via well-recognized security provisions and reliable scalability. Ease of use is typical for this domain, with straightforward navigation and sufficient mobile offerings. Pricing includes per user, per month subscription options that help small or large companies customize based on expected usage.
Strengths: Citrix RightSignature specializes in simple signature offerings coupled with enhanced features from the broader Citrix platform. This includes advanced distribution via Citrix Podio, which allows highly customizable workflows to be created via no-code functionality.
Challenges: Despite being part of the Citrix platform, e-signature support is narrowly focused on simple signatures, without advanced signature or international eIDAS support. Additionally, data field configuration is limited to basic field functionality and lacks complex logic or automation capabilities.
DocuSign is a leader in the e-signature space, with functional depth and breadth throughout the broader document management domain. Despite being released over a year ago, the third iteration of its Agreement Cloud continues to deliver leading customization and automation across data configuration, workflow, and identity authentication features. These are then combined with the CLM, Insight, and Gen products, enabling extensive global compliance in virtually any jurisdiction. DocuSign was founded in 2003 and is now headquartered in California, US, with over 20 offices around the world and over one million customers.
DocuSign specializes in core e-signature offerings, as evidenced by its ability to support both simple and advanced signatures—and is one of the few providers to support QES natively as well. In addition, over 30 eIDs are available, along with MFA, KBA, and video and biometric authentication. This breadth of compliance support in almost any country helps DocuSign score well on the key criteria of advanced digital signature and identity authentication. It also scores well on flexibility because even the most complex or broad use cases can be supported with a DocuSign solution.
Along with e-signature compliance, other high-scoring key criteria include data field configuration and advanced distribution. Document preparation comes with a no-code editor for drag-and-drop field functionality including complex logic and pre- or post-execution automation support. Digital documents can also be created natively and templated as needed. For advanced distribution, DocuSign supports a BPM-like editor for highly specific workflow configuration, along with integration for post-sign services such as notary, fax, and payments.
DocuSign continues to broaden its scope as a strong platform player as evidenced by its third-party marketplace and other document management products. Hundreds of applications can be integrated with e-signature workflows across popular collaboration categories. Additionally, DocuSign Insight provides highly advanced analytics and AI algorithms targeting document workflows to help optimize processes and mitigate compliance risk. These platform features result in high scores on third-party integration and reporting and analytics.
E-signature packages are available with standard per user per month pricing, as well as tiering for more advanced features and products. Each subscription comes with leading security provisions such as SOC 2, ISO 27001, and GDPR, and it includes specializations across PCI and HIPAA. DocuSign receives a high score for security and compliance as a result, along with a high score for scalability with a leading geo-dispersed data center strategy.
Strengths: DocuSign continues to be a leader in the e-signature space, with an extensive set of eID and signature type options across virtually every jurisdiction, as well as highly customizable features for data field configuration and advanced distribution. This solution has developed into a broad platform with more advanced analytics and other document management products.
Challenges: While no major feature gaps currently exist, extensive optionality in third-party authentication can create complexity and friction in choosing the right provider per process. More differentiation could be enabled within DocuSign’s bulk invite feature, along with more SMB support through streamlined sets of functionalities to drive ease of use and pricing advantages.
Dropbox Sign reflects a recent rebranding of HelloSign, which was acquired by Dropbox in 2019. This change represents an on-going focus on fully integrating e-signature functionality as a core part of the Dropbox cloud file management platform. As a result, Dropbox Sign offers a well-rounded set of features that now benefit from platform flexibility, scalability, and best-in-class ease of use. Dropbox was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in California, US, with co-working spaces in Austin, Seattle, and Dublin.
Dropbox Sign picks up where HelloSign left off, offering a core e-signature capability that supports simple and advanced signature types. Qualified signatures are supported but limited to a single TSP via Namirial. Similarly, identity authentication is supported across standard options such as MFA and IDnow for document verification and SMS, but the solution lacks comprehensive support across more eID services and jurisdictions. As a result, most use cases can be supported by Dropbox Sign but will be limited if complex jurisdictional requirements exist.
Benefiting from the broader Dropbox platform, the solution receives high scores on the flexibility and scalability evaluation metrics because it is paired with file management, support for more than 20 languages, and a feature-rich mobile offering. And scalability is driven by a well-tested file infrastructure that includes global data centers, dedicated metadata servers, and block storage servers.
Data field and template configuration is delivered through an easy-to-use no-code configurator that enables drag-and-drop editing across standard field types. Advanced field configuration is available, including conditional logic, data validation, and native form creation, through Dropbox Forms (previously HelloWorks).
Other standard features of Dropbox Sign include advanced distribution through a typical no-code interface that supports customization of recipients, actions, and sequences. Bulk invite is available through standard .csv template upload and 16 external third-party applications are available for off-the-shelf integration. It receives a lower score on the key criterion of reporting and analytics, however, because dashboarding is not customizable, has limited metrics support, and is available only to admins.
Dropbox Sign benefits from a highly rated and mobile-friendly user interface (UI) that receives a high score on ease of use. Pricing models include typical tiering and pay-as-you-go options, along with a limited freeware option available for existing Dropbox subscribers. This functionality is provided with standard security provisions, including ISO 27001, SOC 2, GDPR, and HIPAA.
Strengths: Dropbox Sign benefits from the broader Dropbox platform, scoring high on flexibility, scalability, and ease of use. Existing advanced features from HelloSign, including the newly branded Dropbox Forms, help drive a higher score for data field configuration as well.
Challenges: Despite Dropbox being an established platform, it has limited analytics functionality and only an average set of third-party integration options. The existing e-signature product also has limited differentiation, with just a single QES TSP and simple distribution options. Dropbox Sign should continue to improve as product integration of the two solutions continue.
eversign offers an SMB-friendly simple signature solution that is cost effective and easy to onboard with streamlined functionality. This scope is set to broaden, however, as it was acquired by PDFTron at the end of 2022. This acquisition will pair core e-signatures with an extensive document processing capability and should match the market’s overall progression towards end-to-end document management support. eversign was founded in 2017, with headquarters in Vienna and over 500,000 unique registered users.
In its current state, eversign offers only simple signatures and does not offer any digital certificate services for advanced or qualified requirements. Similarly, identity authentication is fit for simple use cases, supporting only PIN or SMS options, and without any advanced measures such as video, eID, or KBA. Given this narrow scope, scores are lower for the advanced signature and identity authentication criteria. Flexibility is also scored lower given the above limitations.
If users require only simple signatures, however, eversign offers a compelling package with a highly rated UI that makes it easy to onboard and ramp up users. Pricing packages are generally affordable with a forever-free option and less than $10 per month, per user for even the most expensive tier. These SMB-friendly characteristics help generate high scores for both cost and ease of use.
eversign also includes standard features for data field configuration and advanced distribution. Typical field types are available within a drag-and-drop UI and support some validation and automation. Workflow configuration supports expected customization options, including recipient details, actions, and sequences. But more advanced features, such as conditional logic, native document creation, or BPM-style workflow management are not currently offered.
External integrations are available through Zapier, and eversign does not support direct integration like other app marketplaces, resulting in a lower score for third-party integration. An API for custom integration is available, however, for developer-driven integration to embed document processes as needed. And while some dashboarding is available, no customization of visuals or metrics and limited reporting result in a lower score for the reporting and analytics criterion as well. Bulk invite is supported, however, with standard templated file upload functionality.
eversign offers standard scalability with hundreds of thousands of users supported, along with standard security provisions including SOC 2, and GDPR. Given the focus on simple signatures with affordable pricing, eversign is best suited for SMBs but can also support enterprises through role-based access control (RBAC) and admin configurability.
Strengths: eversign is an SMB-friendly simple signature provider that specializes in ease of use and affordable pricing. Expect this scope to broaden as PDFTron (recent acquirer of eversign) integrates this e-signature solution into a larger document-processing capability.
Challenges: Outside of SMB support, use cases applicable to eversign will be limited as advanced signatures or advanced identity authentication options are not available. Analytics and third-party integrations are also limited, reducing the overall flexibility of this solution.
Foxit’s eSign product (rebranded from an acquisition of eSign Genie in 2021) represents a continued focus on expanding long-standing PDF functionality with broader document management capabilities. This e-signature solution benefits from leading document editing functionality, and offers well-rounded compliance support for a wide range of use cases. Foxit Software is headquartered in California, US, with offices in Europe, Asia, and Australia supporting millions of customers worldwide.
Foxit eSign provides a robust advanced signature solution with compliance features across many jurisdictions globally. Leveraging its PDF expertise, the vendor makes digital certificates available within PDF documents themselves. Qualified signatures are now supported but available through only one TSP (ZealiD), thus limiting use case support for the most complex requirement sets. Identity authentication is comprehensive, with options encompassing MFA (SMS, email, password), KBA, and some eID services in the EU. More advanced features such as video or document verification are not yet supported, however, nor are country-specific ID service integrations.
Benefiting from a leading PDF editor, Foxit eSign receives a high score on data field configuration and templates. A leading list of field types can be added to uploaded documents using no-code drag-and-drop functionality, along with more advanced features such as custom field types, conditional logic, data validation, and pre-population automation. Native document creation is also supported as an alternative to document upload. Foxit eSign receives a high score on bulk invite, which is rare for this criterion, by offering a unique dashboard and management view for mass invite use cases.
Advanced distribution is supported by standard workflow configuration features, allowing users to specify recipient details, actions, and custom sequences. Additionally, users can self-sign a PDF within the application to streamline use cases for which the document creator is also the signee. Other standard features include a summary dashboard with some metrics customization and detailed reporting functionality. Third-party integration is available for more than 10 applications within common collaboration categories, with more options on the roadmap for 2023.
Foxit eSign scores high on flexibility and scalability, benefiting from its longstanding PDF platform that is available worldwide and used by millions. Standard security provisions such as SOC 2, GDPR, and HIPAA are paired with a modern UI offering typical ease of use for enterprise and SMB users. Finally, while pricing does not include a freeware option, tiers are highly customizable and support pay-as-you-go packages.
Strengths: Foxit eSign is a promising challenger with a robust e-signature solution encompassing simple, advanced, and qualified signatures. Its longstanding PDF platform helps offer advanced functionality for data field configuration and bulk invite and drives an overall highly flexible solution set.
Challenges: More differentiation could be pursued across identity authentication, workflow customization, and analytics as Foxit eSign looks to break into the Leader category with more advanced features. Roadmap investments intended to broaden document management support and available integrations will drive improvements on these criteria.
GetAccept is a specialized e-signature solution offering targeted workflow support for sales use cases. This innovative solution is tailored to SMBs, though it offers advanced signatures along with a sales autopilot workflow solution, a digital sales room, and unique content-creation functionality. GetAccept was founded in 2015, with headquarters in Sweden and offices across Europe and the US.
Although qualified signatures are not a focus of this solution, GetAccept offers comprehensive advanced signature support across more than 50 countries. This support is paired with good identity authentication options, including MFA (via SMS, password, or BankID) and KBA, and verification via ID upload. More advanced services such as eID via TSPs or video verification are not available. As a result, GetAccept is flexible enough to support most use cases but will be limited if more complex jurisdictional or QES requirements are present.
Data field configuration allows users to customize a standard set of data fields, apply conditional logic, and create templates. Advanced distribution is supported by a typical no-code interface with customization capabilities regarding recipient details, actions, and sequences. These functions are paired with novel content creation tooling that allows users to customize each request with videos and messaging. Requests are also trackable within a dealboard that helps summarize sales-specific metrics across typical e-signature processes.
This dealboard functionality also helps with reporting and analytics requirements, as a customizable dashboard is available along with typical canned reporting. Sales use cases are also supported through more than 40 off-the-shelf integrations that are available in relevant categories such as customer relationship management (CRM). One functional gap, however, is bulk invite, which is available only through an API and results in a lower score for this key criterion.
GetAccept has average flexibility for this domain, given the breadth of its advanced signature compliance combined with a narrower sales specialty. Scalability is also standard, and there’s an easy-to-use UI that requires typical onboarding effort. However, this solution scores well on cost, because a free-forever tier is available, along with packages priced up to $49 per user for the most extensive feature sets with unlimited requests.
Strengths: GetAccept is an innovative and well-rounded e-signature solution that enables advanced signatures across more than 50 countries, and it comes with novel content creation and deal analytics capabilities. Pricing is very affordable, enabling SMBs to access all features without request volume limits.
Challenges: Use case support is well-suited for SMB sales requirements but would be limited for more complex requirements such as QES. Bulk invite functionality should offer a no-code solution for mass invites, along with more differentiation across advanced distribution and data field categories.
Nitro is a global leader in PDF productivity and continues to expand its compliance-focused e-signature capability across the document management domain and as a part of its Nitro Productivity Platform. Nitro Sign specializes in comprehensive compliance support via a dedicated Identity Hub, along with advanced features within the data field configuration and analytics categories. Nitro Sign plans are offered within affordably priced packages with minimal add-on fees. Nitro was founded in 2005, and is now headquartered in California, US and has nine hubs globally; with over 3 million users and more than 13,000 business customers across 157 countries.
Nitro Sign is a leader in core e-signature compliance, supporting simple, advanced, and qualified signatures in almost any jurisdiction. Nitro Sign can support even the most complex use cases. More TSPs have been added within the last year, expanding eID availability. A dedicated Identity Hub provides users with a best-in-class set of authentication options including more than 30 direct integrations with government eID services, MFA, KBA, and video verification via IDNow. These factors contribute to high scores for flexibility, advanced digital signatures, and identity authentication.
This solution benefits from Nitro’s expertise in PDF management, resulting in a high score on the data field configuration criterion. There’s a no-code interface with drag-and-drop functionality, a comprehensive set of field types, and users have the ability to specify conditional logic and visibility rules. Substantial automation is available for both pre- and post-execution phases supporting data transmission to common domain applications, such as CRM suites. A document-generation product supports native digital document creation to further optimize workflows.
The Nitro Platform also helps drive high scores on the scalability and security evaluation metrics, with a global data center strategy, extensive security provisions, and tamper seals available at the signature level rather than the envelope.
Advanced distribution is supported through familiar workflow interfaces that allow users to specify recipient details, actions, and sequences. Bulk invite is also available through typical templated upload functionality. Additionally, there are more than 50 third-party applications available for integration, with more partners on the roadmap for later in 2023.
Nitro Sign also scores well on the reporting and analytics key criterion, with an extensive array of AI/ML-powered insights, dashboard summaries, and exportable reports. The analytics product helps with personally identifiable information (PII) detection, recognizes embedded tables, and routes processes to the appropriate signature type based on the document and jurisdiction involved.
Finally, Nitro scored well in our cost evaluation metric. Despite lacking a freemium version, pricing remains competitive especially for individual users. Additionally, each package includes advanced features that are commonly offered only as add-ons, such as advanced analytics functionality and identity authentication.
Strengths: Nitro Sign is a leading provider of e-signatures, with extensive compliance support offering direct eID integration with over 30 jurisdictions. This comes with leading functionality in the data field configuration and analytics categories, all available within affordable pricing tiers with minimal add-on fees.
Challenges: Continued investment in broadening this e-signature solution will help Nitro retain its leadership status, specifically related to more differentiated workflow functionality and a larger set of third-party integrations. Expected progress toward CLM support will help in both of these categories.
OneSpan Sign is an innovative e-signature solution that specializes in global compliance, identity authentication, and security. OneSpan couples core functionality with broader risk management services that have been provided for decades, thus benefiting core signature features with ML-powered insights that result in adaptive and efficient processing. OneSpan, founded in 1991, is headquartered in Chicago, US, with more than 15 offices and 4 billion user authentications supported each year.
Simple, advanced, and qualified signatures are all supported with seven TSPs available for extensive global coverage. Along with this coverage is an innovative adaptive authentication solution that uses AI to automatically suggest what type of signee verification is required for each document request. Authentication options are extensive and include MFA, biometrics, document verification, and even physical authentication via a digipass solution. These features combine to create a solution that can support complex financial use cases and drive high scores on flexibility, advanced signatures, and identity authentication.
Beyond its compliance specialization, OneSpan Sign provides users with standard functionality to configure data fields and distribute requests. Documents can be uploaded or created natively, and users can use a no-code, drag-and-drop configurator for common data fields with some conditional logic and automation. Workflows can then be customized across typical parameters, such as recipient details, sequencing or parallel tasks, and specific action types per individual. An extension of this functionality is a video-based signing room that helps execute notarization remotely.
Other standard features include bulk invite functionality through a familiar .csv file upload feature and a set of more than 10 third-party applications available via off-the-shelf integration. While the OneSpan platform specializes in fraud detection and risk analysis, analytics for e-signatures are limited to typical dashboard visuals that have some customization and standard reporting functionality.
OneSpan Sign leverages its longstanding platform and offers solutions with sufficient scalability for even global use cases. Ease of use is typical for this market, with modern UI elements and average ramp-up effort expected. Security is excellent, driving a high score for this key criterion due to its adaptive authentication solution as well as provisions such as SOC 2, ISO 27001, and GDPR. This also includes white-labeling to maintain integrity of client brands. Pricing includes standard pay-as-you-go options, with additional add-ons for enhanced developer support.
Strengths: OneSpan Sign benefits from its longstanding risk management platform, offering users an e-signature solution that supports the most complex QES requirements across an extensive range of jurisdictions. An intelligent adaptive authentication solution determines optimal verification methods, helping to reduce risk and streamline requests.
Challenges: While OneSpan Sign has no major functionality gaps, more differentiation would help push this solution to Leader status. This might include more customization within the advanced distribution and data field categories, along with analytics tailored to e-signature use cases.
PandaDoc is an SMB-friendly e-signature solution that offers well-rounded compliance coverage and innovative features for data field and template configuration. Core functionality is packaged with an interface that is highly rated for ease of use, and available through affordable and unlimited pricing tiers. PandaDoc was founded in California, US, in 2014 and now serves over 40,000 customers daily.
PandaDoc offers both simple and advanced digital signature types, and has now expanded into qualified signature delivery through a few TSP partnerships. While limited in terms of jurisdictional coverage, this feature greatly increases the types of use cases this solution can support. Identity authentication, however, is limited to only password or SMS verification options, and lacks advanced options around video, KBA, and document identification. This results in a lower score for identity authentication.
Along with the core e-signature coverage is an innovative data field configuration capability that receives a high score on this key criterion. Users have access to a no-code interface supporting drag-and-drop functionality across many standard and custom field types. This includes advanced features such as embedded calculations, conditional logic, and some automated field population. PandaDoc also supports novel content creation with a comprehensive template library that includes video, interactive tables, and native document creation capabilities.
Standard distribution features are available that allow users to configure recipients, actions, and sequences in a familiar editor. Notary services are also available through this solution. Bulk invite can be accomplished through standard .csv file upload, and more than 30 applications are available for off-the-shelf integration. Finally, reporting and analytics are accessible via typical dashboard summary views that support some customization of metrics, filtering, and ad hoc exportable reports.
With support for qualified signatures, in seven languages, and a feature-rich mobile offering, PandaDoc provides good flexibility. Scalability is also sufficient for this market, with standard uptime percentages. A high score was achieved for ease of use because each interface is optimized for quick onboarding and continued use, with modern elements that are highly rated by users. Similarly, cost is also rated well as typical pay-as-you-go tiering is available in addition to an unlimited freeware option that is an excellent entry point for smaller businesses. Standard security measures are also available, including SOC 2, GDPR, RBAC, and HIPAA.
Strengths: PandaDoc is an SMB-friendly e-signature solution that supports all signature types and specializes in highly customizable and interactive content creation. This solution also offers a UI that’s highly rated with regard to ease of use, and affordable pricing tiers for even the smallest of use cases.
Challenges: More differentiation in other core functionality areas such as advanced distribution and analytics would help push this solution to leadership status. Identity authentication should also be expanded beyond basic verification options, along with additional TSPs for more expansive global coverage.
Signeasy is a well-known simple e-signature offering that has gained a significant global presence via partnerships with the iOS App Store and Google Workspace. Focusing on ease of use and affordability, this solution provides even the smallest use cases a viable e-signature capability that is mobile-friendly and now also offers advanced digital signatures. Signeasy, founded in 2010, is headquartered in Texas, US, and currently supports millions of users worldwide.
Signeasy continues to be a feature-focused player by optimizing its simple signature functionality, but it has also started to expand to broader compliance support and document workflows. As an example, advanced signatures are now offered through document certificate and audit services, along with a good set of identity authentication options, including biometrics and MFA. Mobile-friendly authentication is also available, with the ability to use Face ID to instantly verify identity on personal devices. This feature expands its use case support and brings Signeasy to parity with standard coverage in this market.
Standard workflow configuration is supported through familiar customization parameters, including recipient details and action sequences. Data field configuration is limited to standard drag-and-drop fields without advanced conditional logic features, resulting in a lower score for this key criterion. Bulk invite also gets a lower score as it is not supported at this time.
Signeasy offers a sufficient set of third-party applications for off-the-shelf integration. This includes being a recommended e-signature provider within Google Workspace and the default service for iOS App Store transactions. Additionally, some analytics functionality is available natively with dashboard visuals and typical exportable reporting.
Scalability and flexibility are both sufficient for this market but are poised to improve as Signeasy invests in broader use case support through more complex compliance coverage. Workflows will also expand via template automation and end-to-end document support for simple contracts in the near future. Security provisions will also be expanded, with SOC 2, GDPR, and RBAC currently available.
Signeasy scores high on ease of use and cost as this product continues to cater to small businesses. A rich mobile offering along with straightforward functionality sets help reduce onboarding effort significantly. Pricing is available through typical pay-as-you-go tiering but with unlimited volume offerings, along with a basic tier for single user requirements. This helps offer a solution that is accessible for SMBs while providing broader functionality as businesses expand upmarket.
Strengths: Signeasy is a feature-focused provider of simple e-signatures that specializes in ease of use through rich mobile offerings and straightforward functionality sets. Pricing is affordable, with packages that include unlimited document volumes. Additional investment in end-to-end contract workflows will help this solution expand with SMBs as they go upmarket.
Challenges: Signeasy caters to SMB requirements and therefore does not support more complex enterprise use cases requiring qualified signatures or advanced authentication options. Data configuration and bulk invite features are also limitations of this tool as the solution focuses on streamlined features rather than extensive customization.
SignNow, part of the airSlate business platform, pairs a well-rounded e-signature solution with innovative and extensive features supporting advanced distribution and data field configuration. This includes a unique integrated robotics process automation (RPA) capability that enables no-code creation of highly specific and automated document processes. SignNow, founded in 2011, is headquartered in California, US, with five offices around the globe and over 20 million registered users.
Core e-signature compliance is available for simple and advanced signatures, with limited support for qualified types as well. While this coverage will support most use case requirements, identity authentication is limited to only MFA options (SMS, call, or password). It lacks more advanced functionality for document verification and video and biometric functionality, resulting in a lower score for identity authentication.
As with other broad business platforms, SignNow benefits from airSlate’s extensive set of capabilities. Data field configuration offers users a leading set of field types, with the ability to configure conditional logic and specify pre- or post-execution automation with integrated domain systems. Unique to this e-signature solution is a fully integrated RPA capability that allows users to create highly customized workflows and automate almost any process. SignNow’s Flow Creator delivers a BPM-style, no-code interface to enable easy specification of triggers, tasks, and system automation. As a result, SignNow achieved high scores on data field configuration and advanced distribution.
Beyond these advanced data and workflow features, SignNow includes a standard bulk invite feature using Excel’s upload functionality. Reporting and analytics are typical for this domain, allowing users to customize dashboard widgets and export reports as needed. It receives a high score on the third-party integrations criterion, however, as hundreds of applications are available for easy incorporation through the broader airSlate suite.
Ease of use is another high-scoring key criterion, as SignNow enables users to access feature-rich customization across workflows and data configuration, via modern UI elements and easy-to-learn feature-sets. Flexibility and scalability are typical for this market, offering a range of use case support and global coverage but missing more extensive jurisdictional coverage and multiple TSPs.
Finally, pricing ranges from standard package tiers that include a basic unlimited option with hundreds of RPA bots to higher levels with add-on fees for more advanced features. Available security provisions include familiar standards, such as SOC 2, HIPAA, GDPR, and PCI.
Strengths: SignNow is an innovative e-signature offering that includes core compliance support for both simple and advanced signatures, along with robust functionality for data field configuration and advanced distribution. Especially notable is an integrated RPA capability that allows users to configure highly specific workflows across a leading list of third-party applications.
Challenges: While SignNow benefits from airSlate’s broader platform, core e-signature support should be expanded to cover more qualified signature requirements and identity authentication options. This would also drive more flexibility in terms of the range of use cases supportable globally.
Zoho Sign is a broad yet SMB-friendly e-signature solution that specializes in affordability, flexibility, and local jurisdictional compliance. Offered as part of an expansive Zoho business software platform, this solution benefits from additional capabilities, such as Zoho Flow for comprehensive workflow automation. Zoho, headquartered in Chennai, India, was founded more than 25 years ago and supports over 80 million users and 55 distinct products.
Zoho Sign is compliant with major e-signature policies including E-SIGN and eIDAS covering simple, advanced, and qualified signatures. A robust set of TSPs are available for QES support, including integration with local identity services such as Aadhaar (India), Singpass (Singapore), and TrustFactory (South Africa). This coverage results in high scores for flexibility and advanced digital signature, and comes with multiple identity authentication options, including eID and MFA (SMS, password, and so forth).
This e-signature solution benefits from a vast Zoho platform of applications that are often purchased together as highly integrated bundles. Zoho Forms enables digital document creation and standard upload functionality. An extensive set of field types are available with some automation supported, but the solution does not currently offer more comprehensive conditional logic and visibility options. Zoho Flow significantly enhances workflow customization for e-signature processes. Users also have access to a BPM-style, no-code configurator to create highly custom workflows across many different applications. This integrated product helps drive a high score on advanced distribution as a result.
Other standard features include bulk invite through typical Excel upload functionality. Third-party integrations are available for more than 10 external apps, but integrations also include over 55 products available natively within the Zoho suite. Additionally, scalability is typical for this domain with data centers available in 12 global locations.
Zoho Analytics is another platform product that helps this e-signature solution achieve a high score on reporting and analytics. Zia is an AI-driven assistant that supports analytics across customizable metrics and cross-platform data sets. An extensive range of visuals, predictive analytics, and automated insights are offered, along with standard signature dashboarding and report export functionality.
Zoho Sign receives a high score on the security and compliance criterion, due to support for an extensive set of credentials including QES, HIPAA, GDPR, ISO27001, SOC 2, and PCI, among others, and imminent support for FedRAMP as well. Finally, it also scores well on cost, with SMB-friendly, pay-as-you-go tiers and unlimited document volumes that can also be bundled with many other business applications (such as Zoho One) for greater savings.
Strengths: Zoho Sign delivers a wide range of e-signature compliance across a robust list of local eID services, at an SMB-friendly price point. As part of the Zoho platform, this solution benefits from advanced workflow capabilities through Zoho Flow and an AI-driven analytics solution through Zoho Analytics (Zia).
Challenges: While no major gaps are evident, more advanced identity authentication options could be supported, including video and biometric verification. Data field configuration could be enhanced as well, with more comprehensive logic and automation opportunities.
6. Analyst’s Take
While the e-signature market continues to benefit from sustained demand and mature vendor offerings, it appears that it is also becoming something of a paradox. Almost every vendor is eyeing broader document management capabilities, as investment is shifting from core e-signature features to related but peripheral functions. This could result in historically high demand but little change to actual e-signature functionality in the coming few years.
Consumers and vendors both are driving this change. From a user perspective, digital transformation of document processes is now an expected aspect of most investment strategies. As a result, businesses are looking for end-to-end process capabilities rather than standalone solutions. In other words, e-signatures are viewed as a core component of broader document management suites, potentially not something an enterprise would purchase on its own. SMBs will shift more gradually to this strategy but will follow a similar path because even the narrowest of vendor offerings are preparing to expand workflow support in the coming cycle.
From a vendor perspective, core functionality has been maturing for many years and may have reached an inflection point. E-signatures are valid in virtually every jurisdiction, as regulatory support continues to expand, with direct integration of national identity providers now commonplace. Users have deep sets of customization options across the entire document execution process, all available within no-code and easy-to-use tooling. As a result, there may be diminishing returns from tweaking this existing set of functionality rather than shifting focus to what enterprises are starting to look for anyway. Additionally, Platform Play vendors enable more upselling opportunities as more products can be bundled into a single package, driving more revenue and consumer stickiness. This isn’t immediately possible with any narrow e-signature solution, thus further incentivizing vendors to adopt this platform strategy.
Despite this scenario, advancements are still available that would improve core e-signature solutions. Analytics has been only minimally integrated thus far, with only a few vendors offering AI-driven insights specifically catering to document processes. Bulk invite is untapped as well, with only basic template upload functionality representing the vast majority of what is available. And while some automation is supported, a true no-code configurator for defining data sources and automating field population is yet to be tackled in this market.
It will be interesting to see how this evolution continues, especially as big players such as Microsoft and Google enter the market with their own offerings. E-signatures may become another feature bundled into well-known workplace suites, in the same way document editors and spreadsheets are. Regardless, enterprises and SMBs alike must continue to evaluate their own use cases to ensure the appropriate type of solution is chosen based on jurisdictional support, team skill set, and investment budget. It is clear that core e-signature functionality will always be in demand, but the packages in which it’s offered will be determined by these similarly evolving business strategies.
For more information about our research process for Key Criteria and Radar reports, please visit our Methodology.
7. About Bill Witter
Bill is a technical analyst at GigaOm, focusing on the applications domain and covering a wide range of business-facing and configurable offerings. He’s driven large-scale digital transformation efforts across financial services, information technology, and operations enterprises; held senior technical product and program management roles; and led teams and consulted on high-profile projects involving fintech integration, workflow automation, and SaaS low-code configuration.
Bill has built and managed diverse teams across the US, UK, Poland, India, and Singapore. He’s a passionate innovation practitioner, empowering teams to continuously improve via Lean, Six Sigma, and OKR frameworks.
8. About GigaOm
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