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Innovative solutions for a sustainable future: the partnership between sproof sign and Energie AG Oberösterreich

Vanessa Frühbeiss
Updated on 10.04.2024

Energie AG Oberösterreich is a leading energy and services group that has played a key role in shaping the regional energy supply since 1892. With a broad portfolio of electricity, gas, heat, water, waste disposal and ICT services, the company stands for quality and reliability for customers, suppliers, employees and the public. With an extensive network and its own power plants, Energie AG guarantees a sustainable and reliable supply of electricity for more than 450,000 customers. As a partner to over 1,000 municipalities, it is also active in the water sector. All of this is always carried out to the highest ecological standards.

Portrait

Company name: Energie AG Oberösterreich

Brief description of the project:
Implementation of a digital signature solution to support efficient, flexible business processes and fulfill data protection requirements.

Why sproof sign:
"We already have several different solutions in-house, which has taught us which functions are particularly important to us and which cannot offer us the flexibility we need. When evaluating potential providers, we therefore defined specific requirements (...) sproof sign was able to provide us with these."

Dr. Franz Burger, Consultant for Content Management & Collaboration

How did the decision to introduce the digital signature come about?

Burger: "We decided to implement a digital signature solution to address two key challenges. Firstly, we realized that we often encountered a media discontinuity in our processes with end customers. A lot of information was submitted in paper form, which led to time-consuming manual processes for recording, archiving and further processing. This media disruption slowed down our processes considerably. By digitizing these processes and introducing digital signatures, we were able to eliminate this bottleneck and increase efficiency

In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to adapt our internal processes. The traditional method of physically signing documents was no longer practical due to travel restrictions and home office regulations. The need to implement a digital solution became apparent in order to maintain business operations. In this context, we were looking for a solution that could provide us with the necessary flexibility."

For which applications is the digital signature used?

Burger: "We use digital signatures for various applications. On the one hand, we use it in customer contact, for example when a customer wants to conclude a contract or needs to confirm a service provided. Another use case is internal use, especially in situations such as the rapid implementation of new regulations, such as the home office regulation. In one such case, we had to quickly process documents for 1500 employees, which would not have been possible with conventional paper-based processes. To handle this process, we used internal solutions that are integrated via a specially developed app. An approval process was implemented in which the documents were first approved by the direct supervisors before being sent to the employees using the predefined signature placeholders."

Why did you opt for a European signature solution and what role does the GDPR play?

Burger: "As an energy supplier with critical infrastructure, we operate in a highly regulated area. Data protection is of the utmost importance to us, as we are constantly working with personal data. It was therefore crucial to find a provider in the immediate vicinity, preferably in Austria or at least in Europe. An American provider would have been associated with too many uncertainties and challenges, as we cannot take any risks. Our policy therefore places a clear focus on European providers to ensure that we meet the requirements of the GDPR and minimize data protection risks."

What data security and compliance standards must a software solution in your company meet?

Burger: "In addition to the GDPR, other standards are of great importance to us, such as ISO 271001, which is particularly important to us as we are certified ourselves and expect our suppliers to be able to meet the same security standards as we do. We also carry out regular security audits to ensure that our infrastructure is always protected. These audits are carried out annually to identify potential vulnerabilities in good time and rectify them before security incidents occur, which can be very costly."

"A lot of information was submitted in paper form, which led to time-consuming manual processes [...]. This media disruption slowed down our processes considerably. By digitizing these processes and introducing digital signatures, we were able to eliminate this bottleneck and increase efficiency."

Dr. Franz Burger
Consultant Content Management and Collaboration

What is the evaluation process for digital signature solutions in a company of your size?

Burger: "We already have several different solutions in-house, which has taught us which functions are particularly important to us and which cannot offer us the flexibility we need. When evaluating potential providers, we therefore defined specific requirements, including the ability to move the signature placeholder as required and adjust the scaling, as well as the option for users to flexibly configure their signature role. We didn't find that everywhere. We also prioritized the ability to integrate into existing processes, especially via the REST API, to ensure seamless integration into our workflows. "

What do you particularly like about sproof sign?

Burger: "Following a survey of our key users, who use the product frequently, the usability aspect was particularly positively emphasized. The user interface is intuitively designed, which simplifies the signing process for users. It also works smoothly on mobile devices, which is highly appreciated by our employees. In addition, they needed little or no training to use the product. This minimized the training effort considerably and was a great advantage for us. Another positive aspect is the ability to freely configure signature stamps. This allows us to cover different requirements and support individual processes. Other signature solutions simply failed to meet this challenge."

Are there already ideas for future use cases for sproof sign?

Burger: "We are currently in the test phase of an integration with SAP for the quotation process. This is where quotations are created, approved and signed before they are sent to the customer. This integration has already been set up and will be rolled out gradually from the summer. Something that would probably also have potential is our internal HR area. We have around 4,500 employees who need to be supported. Of course, anything that works digitally and moves away from paper is a huge lever."

Why sproof sign?Highest security and compliance paired with an "all-in-one" functionality make sproof sign the top European alternative on the e-signature platform market. 100% developed and hosted in Europe.
sproof sign is the highest-rated provider in the e-signature category on the independent evaluation platform OMR Reviews for Q3 and Q4 2023, as well as Q1 2024.