In some cases, it's best to build your own. In other cases, it's best to just partner with the market leader. Microsoft
is leaning towards that latter option this week as it pertains to the latest Office 365 addition, with a new DocuSign partnership destined to bring eSignature support to its flagship cloud product. It's a long-term deal that should make the process of signing documents shuffled around in the Office world that much easier. And, instead of having to leave the Office 365 ecosystem, you'll be able to submit authorized signatures right from within.
The app will be tightly integrated into Word, SharePoint Online, SharePoint Server 2013, and Outlook. All of the processed documents will be stored on OneDrive for Business
. It's a major coup for Microsoft. As many companies weigh their document options (and even newfangled competitors such as Google Docs), having DocuSign support makes it easier to convince major businesses to stay put. In the business realm, DocuSign is the gold standard for digital signatures, with everything from basic contracts to multi-million dollar real estate deals inked digitally using its suite of products.
As we move forward, it'll be these types of partnerships that make or break document suites. Everyone's well aware of free alternatives, but those premium services are going to become the new bargaining chips in this realm.