The thing I love the most about the tech industry is how it tries to wiggle its way into nearly every facet of our lives.
The UPS guy, for example, is responsible for delivering packages. At first glance, it may seem like a pretty simple mission. Yet he carries with him a fairly sophisticated handheld device, recording what was delivered, when it was delivered and to whom.
Or the auto mechanic, who once wielded everyday tools like wrenches, but now uses specialized software to diagnose car problems and to calibrate settings to boost performance.
It’s exciting to see how computerization is helping us do more by doing less – especially when applied to long-standing habits and jettisoning the old-school way in favor of newer, simpler, more elegant solutions.
There are two neat tech tools I’ve been playing with over the last few weeks and I like them both very much. Each is easy to use and hard to give up once you’ve started using them.
The first is a web service Docusign (docusign.com). Now, I must confess: I have a strong aversion to any kind of printed document. I’m not sure why. I just don’t like them. I don’t like reading them, I don’t like signing them, I don’t like filing them and I don’t like looking for them.
But after playing with Docusign, I can say a feel the pull of rekindled romance!
DocuSign is an online tool that lets you send, sign and save documents. Everything is done online, using any device. For example, we just started licensing SuperGeeks (supergeeksusa.com) and will be opening our first mainland operation over the next few weeks. Instead of faxing or mailing contracts back and forth to the licensee, we used DocuSign to route contracts and capture electronic signatures.
It was quick, painless and professional.
How easy was it? In less than 5 minutes, I uploaded the contracts, indicated where I wanted signatures, initials and dates, entered the recipients email address, and I was done. That was it. The software did the rest.
One feature I really like is DocuSign will take your document as-is, regardless of whether it’s a Word file or PDF. All you have to do is upload it.
Who can benefit from DocuSign? Anyone who requires a signature. It could be a rental agreement, a service contract, a nondisclosure form, an employment agreement or just a memo of understanding. And since it works on mobile devices, you can now capture signatures and close deals anytime, anywhere.
The other geeky gadget I’ve been playing with is an inexpensive, easy-to-use, web camera called Dropcam (Dropcam.com). Now, internet cameras have been around for awhile, but what’s cool about this one is how simple it is to setup. All you need is wifi and electrical socket. No computer is required.
It’s got built-in security (so you can keep the video private), night vision, cloud-based storage (so you can remotely playback recorded video) and a special alert feature that lets you know when someone or something has walked in front of the camera.