File Sharing and Sync provider Dropbox announced it will acquire eSignature vendor HelloSign.
Dropbox is a popular light-weight collaboration service with capabilities for file sharing and sync across multiple devices. HelloSign is an eSignature service provider that allows enterprises to automate (mainly) paper-based signature-oriented tasks. Think of a document that goes to multiple people for their signature. Once everyone signs it, it becomes a binding contract. HelloSign enables this.
eSignatures, File Sharing and more..
In addition to eSignature, HelloSign also has HelloFax for online faxing and HelloWorks (for workflows, more about it later)
Other eSignature vendors that Dropbox integrates with are Adobe, Docusign, SignEasy, SignNow and Nitro.
HelloSign integrates with Google and Salesforce.
It will be interesting to see what is the impact of this acquisition on Dropbox’s and HelloSign’s partner integrations with similar products. As per the press release, HelloSign will operate as an independent unit within Dropbox and these partnership will remain for now.
Dropbox and Enterprises
Dropbox has mostly been consumer focused. Sure, it has added some enterprise-oriented features but it has primarily been a consumer focused file sharing and sync service (as opposed to e.g., Box, which is much more enterprise centric). File sharing and sync capabilities, as we know, are now a feature rather than a stand-alone offering.
In addition to HelloSign’s eSignature product, this acquisition also brings in workflow capabilities to Dropbox. HelloSign has a product called HelloWorks. HelloWorks provides workflow capabilities to documents. At first glance, it would seem that this will add workflow capabilities to Dropbox and help it take baby steps to become a broader document management (if not ECM) platform.
However, note that, out-of-the-box workflows of HelloWorks are really focused on processes related to document signing (e.g., contracts, NDAs) or form completion (see screenshot). They are not really focused on more general purpose process-oriented workflows or collaborative document authoring workflows provided by typical ECM or Document Management tools.
But the product HelloWorks offers several APIs and there is no reason why it could not be extended to be a broader workflow tool. In fact, Dropbox and HelloWorks are already integrated, so it’ll be interesting to see what direction Dropbox takes with workflows.