Conga Adds eSignatures and Buys Octiv – The New Race for Workflow and Content Automation
by Jim Lundy
Summary: In two recent moves, Conga added eSignatures to its Content Automation Platform, effectively ending its partnerships with DocuSign and Adobe. It also announced the intent to buy Octiv, which offers similar functionality.
Event: On February 13th 2018, Conga announced Conga Sign, its new DTM offering that supports eSignatures, Word, and PDF files. On March 7th, Conga announced that it was buying Indianapolis-based Octiv for an undisclosed price.
Conga’s entrance into the Digital Transaction Management market is a sign of the market’s formidable growth and is part of a growing trend of new providers entering this space. That said, the move may cost Conga its partner relationships with DocuSign and Adobe. Conga has been looking to expand its addressable market, so instead of partnering with DTM providers, it is now planning to offer Electronic Signatures itself.
Octiv, formerly TinderBox, tried to compete in Sales Engagement and then focused more on the automation of Sales Documents. Octiv took investments from GE recently and we expect that the sale also had to do with funding needs. We’re not sure that Conga really needed Octiv’s functionality, but it does gain expertise in the overall Sales arena.
Why DTM for Conga?
Document Generation is Conga’s heritage, but the market for DTM includes far more than the composition of documents, or what we now refer to as Workflow and Content Automation (WCA). The DTM market has expanded to include the last critical part of a transaction—the Signature Process.
Conga’s move into Electronic Signatures makes sense given the shift away from paper and increased demand for DTM. It also isn’t a surprise due to the current management team at Conga.
Conga Executive Team Originates from DocuSign
The current Conga executive team was brought in after a major funding round. It includes three former DocuSign executives: CEO Matthew Schiltz, COO Bob DeSantis, and Chief Product Officer Doug Rybacki. It is clear that this team is knowledgeable about eSignatures, and it is also evident that the partnership with DocuSign could be in jeopardy.
End of the Road for Conga and DocuSign
Partnership isn’t just about product overlap—it is about trusted relationships. Aragon predicts that Conga’s relationships with DocuSign and Adobe will sour because Conga has just become a direct competitor to both firms. We would also note that DocuSign has relationships with other WCA providers like Nintex and Intelledox. This move for Conga will most likely strengthen these ties.
If the partnership between Conga and DocuSign sours as we expect it will, Conga will lose access to DocuSign’s formidable sales force. Right now, Conga has few partners, as it has primarily gained its SMB base via the Salesforce AppExchange.
The Security Aspects of DTM: Tamper-Proof Documents
Ensuring fully secure and tamper-proof eSignatures is no easy feat. DocuSign accomplished this years ago when it acquired ARX. Conga indicated in its release that it will use Salesforce’s security model but made no mention of the extent to which signed documents will be tamper-proof.
Conga and Workflow and Content Automation
Conga has been very focused on expanding from its core base of Document Generation. Over the last two years, it has added Contracts and increased its capabilities in reporting and data cleansing. This all bodes well for the company. Conga will need to evaluate its ability to accommodate increased workflow and document mobility to stand as a large enterprise competitor. It will face formidable competition from WCA providers, including Intelledox, HelloSign, Kofax, Nintex, and ThinkSmart.
- Given Conga’s decision to move into Digital Transaction Management, existing customers may want to evaluate its new offerings.
- Enterprises need to evaluate DTM providers for both electronic Signatures and digital Signatures if their needs are on global basis.
- Additionally, enterprises should ask Conga for a detailed roadmap of its Conga Signature Product and compare that to other options on the market. Clients can review the Aragon Research Globe for Digital Transaction Management, 2018 for more information on other providers.
The DTM market continues to grow and new entrants like Conga are providing more than just eSignatures. Enterprises should assess their most critical customer and employee documents and leverage DTM to speed up the time to the business outcome. Aragon expects that more providers will be entering the market over the next three years. Workflow and Content Automation is expected to be the next battle ground for Advanced DTM providers.