Home / Definitions / DocuSign


Kaiti Norton
Last Updated August 5, 2022 9:05 am

The docusign logo.

What is DocuSign?

DocuSign is an agreement management application that enables businesses to create, send, and automate a wide variety of forms and contracts and enables signees to sign documents electronically, thereby eliminating the need for hard copies of documents. Businesses of all sizes and all industries use DocuSign to manage their entire agreement process. Similarly, DocuSign can be adapted to fit a wide range of departmental needs, including those for finance, human resources, IT/operations, legal, marketing, and sales.

What products does DocuSign offer?

DocuSign offers a wide range of products that can be adopted individually or as a bundle with the DocuSign Agreement Cloud. This all-in-one solution includes 12+ applications and 350+ integrations with the most commonly used business software. Customers who opt to adopt individual applications can choose from a wide selection:

  • eSignature: Allows users to send and sign agreements
  • Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM): Allows users to automate the contract lifecycle¬†
  • Insight: Allows users to analyze agreement contents and identify risks/opportunities
  • Salesforce workflows: Gen and Negotiate products allow users to automate agreement generation in Salesforce
  • Payments: Allows users to sign and pay invoices during the signing process
  • Analyzer: Allows users to leverage artificial intelligence to analyze contracts during negotiations
  • Click: Allows users to simplify standard agreement terms
  • Guided forms: Allows users to create step-by-step guided forms
  • Monitor: Allows users to track agreement activity tracking
  • Standards-based signatures: Allows users to use digital certificates
  • Notary: Allows users to send, sign, and notarize documents remotely
  • Identify: Allows users to add a layer of email authentication for specific signers
  • Hybrid cloud appliances: Allows users to add signatures and security to a data center

DocuSign history

DocuSign was founded in 2003, a time when the patent for internet-based signatures was held by a tech startup called DocuTouch. After the DocuSign founders were able to purchase the patent, the company started generating revenue from its integration with zipLogix, a digital real estate forms provider.

In 2010, the company added support for Apple’s iOS devices. By the end of that year, DocuSign was handling nearly three quarters of the SaaS-based electronic signature market. The current DocuSign global headquarters opened in SanFrancisco in 2011.

Between 2012 and 2020, DocuSign announced a wide range of agreements, partnerships, and acquisitions:

  • 2012: Agreement with Google Drive allowing users to capture signatures directory from Google Drive platform
  • 2012: Agreement with PayPal allowing users to capture payments and signatures from the same platform with DocuSign Payments
  • 2013: Partnership with Equifax to simplify processes related to tax and loan forms
  • 2018: Acquisition of SpringCM to add contract lifecycle management capabilities
  • 2020: Acquisition of Seal Software to add AI capabilities