The “Customer Spotlight” series shines a light on the customers that are accelerating their business processes with DocuSign’s electronic signature platform.

Owning and operating several of the most popular and award-winning brands in cable television, AMC Networks consists of both global brands as well as locally-recognised channels.

Andrew Fox, Business Analyst at AMC Networks, tells us how DocuSign is automating multiple use cases across the business.

Andrew, can you tell us about AMC Networks and your role?

AMC Networks is a global media company headquartered in New York. I’m part of the international business with our main activities being channel and content distribution. We run a number of channels across Europe, South America, and Asia.

My role is to establish new business functions and go across this recently integrated set of companies to set up international processes. The aim is to facilitate digital transformation in an organisation that is quite far behind in terms of the technology it utilises.

We’ve implemented a portfolio of solutions since I joined. We now have a suite of systems for different areas of the business. Systems for HR, legal, finance, communications, marketing, and sales. We’ve implemented low-cost, tactical SaaS systems and we’re trying to garner more value out of those systems.

How does DocuSign fit into this technology stack?

We implemented DocuSign specifically to work with our document generation system – that’s the primary use case. Once a contract is approved and ready for signature, the contract owner is notified. They go into the document generation solution, begin the DocuSign process and then, once the document is signed, it automatically comes back into the document generation solution. It’s seamlessly built-in and very straightforward.

We have also been using DocuSign independently for signing statements of work, HR agreements and signing policies with third parties regarding access to our systems. Now that DocuSign has proven its value, we’re looking at additional use cases. We’re having meetings with stakeholders across the business and I’m working out how DocuSign can be used as a tool for other use cases requiring workflows and signatures.

What motivated you to implement an e-signature solution?

We’re an international business and we handle many inter-country and multi-country contracts. Agreements were previously executed on paper and each business unit had different processes and ways of obtaining approval. It was a painful process for people to get agreements approved, particularly if a party was travelling or based in a different country.

The goal of implementing DocuSign was to remove delays – which often amounted to days or weeks – by reducing waiting times, admin and paperwork. With e-signatures, documents can be signed within a day.

During your search for a solution, what made DocuSign the best fit for AMC Networks?

We’re always trying to use industry-standard and industry-leading technologies. It’s just safer, frankly; less risky for the business. DocuSign stood out in that regard and was also the preferred integration tool with our document generations solution.

What has the feedback been like from those at AMC Networks sending documents for signature?  

It’s been very good. When we provided training, we identified the users that might be resistant to change and involved them in the DocuSign demo. We’d send a document to their work smartphone and have them sign it, so they could see how straightforward it is. People generally note that DocuSign is smart and intelligent.

We used DocuSign as a psychological lever. It’s a visible, user-friendly example of how to remove paper and transform processes. DocuSign is one of our flagship tools that demonstrates how much better business works when strong systems and processes are utilised. It’s a showcase for digital transformation.

Are there any aspects of DocuSign that have been particularly useful?

When we’ve used DocuSign independently, the Bulk Send feature has been useful in sending policies to sign in bulk. Being able to assign a signing workflow is also very useful for us.

Then, having the option to decide who signs, acknowledge receipts or receives a copy reduces the historical duplication of effort, keeping people informed when agreements have been completed.

With the new GDPR regulations, how are you approaching compliance?

I’m seeing how our existing technology suite, including DocuSign, can help with our compliance processes. We’re doing the inventory, speaking with our external counsel, looking at the re-contracting and standardising clauses and how to get formal consent, and generally figuring out how we stay compliant as we implement new systems and data on an ongoing basis.

What advice would you offer to other firms considering digital solutions?

Find solutions that are credible and simple. We always try and work with the industry-leading, tried and tested systems so that, when you get resistance and concerns from legal, IT or finance teams, you have a better case from the get-go.

On the simple point, few people like change and some people see technology as a threat, so demonstrating how the solution makes their daily life easier has been beneficial to its adoption. By sitting down with user groups and showing them how this tool can help them, it reduces the concerns of it changing their job or slowing the business down.

Thanks, Andrew!