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State of Vermont Transforms Business Operations with Cloud Technology from IBM and Silanis


ARMONK, N.Y. and MONTREAL - 21 Jul 2011: IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Silanis Technology today announced that the State of Vermont is using cloud computing to transform its business operations to improve efficiencies, boost profits and more cost effectively collaborate with vendors.

In keeping with its cost cutting initiative, the State of Vermont is lowering costs, reducing paper consumption and increasing efficiency in its Department of Information and Innovation (DII). The DII is transforming the way it processes vendor contracts with IBM cloud services and Silanis' electronic signature technology.

"Our department signs as many as 80 vendor contracts a month. A Cloud-based business process using Silanis and IBM technology helped us keep up with Vermont's commitment to the environment and our plans to adopt productivity-enhancing technologies. Hand-signing also meant many of our people were spending valuable time chasing down multiple signatures or correcting errors," said Kris Rowley, DII's Chief Information Security Officer.

The integration of Silanis' subscription-based, secure online e-signing service, e-SignLive, with IBM's LotusLive cloud-based collaboration service allows Vermont's DII to gather, approve and process signatures and contracts in an efficient, environmentally friendly, paperless manner.

DII Contracts Move Vermont's Business Forward

DII contracts range in value from thousands to over a million dollars and often require signatures from officials located in other office buildings before being submitted for final sign-off for example by the State's Attorney General.

While many of its contracts and relevant forms are downloadable from its website, the need to sign them by hand meant added potential for errors, extra work for staff, long wait times, and high processing costs. To address this problem, DII is using a Web-based service that doesn't require any software downloads. The service captures strong electronic evidence during the signing process which makes it extremely difficult for signers to repudiate their signatures should there ever be a dispute.

DII's use of a cloud-based, electronic signing service provides a cost-effective, easy to use and set up alternative to enterprise licensed solutions.

"Silanis e-SignLive provided us with an extremely cost-effective, yet secure means to relieve the signing bottleneck. Contracts only got printed so they could be signed and then were routed via interdepartmental mail, snail mail, to different cities, and offices. Employing the software also encouraged us to re-evaluate our business process and signing procedures and we ended up achieving efficiencies we hadn't even expected. Not only have we reduced paper, but we have cut courier costs and the turnaround time for a typical contract approval has dropped from weeks to minutes."

Due to the success of this solution, this organization is considering using additional IBM cloud collaboration capabilities in the future. IBM LotusLive's cloud collaboration service includes a range of tools such as project tracking, web meetings and instant messaging, all of which serve to promote team work, help quickly find expertise needed to get projects done, and create effective partnerships.

e-SignLive enables organizations and individuals to invite their customers, partners, and suppliers to instantly sign documents over the web, while harnessing the power of online collaboration and social networking during the negotiation and pre-signing process. Silanis' e-SignLive e-signature service allows multiple users to review, modify and sign a single document in a secure and compliant extranet environment.

Presented to the legislature in 2009, the government of Vermont's responded to an anticipated $154 million fiscal gap in its 2011 budget. Rather than simply slashing services regardless of the impact on the residents of Vermont, the State gave its departments the mandate to place outcomes first. This places the emphasis on improving operational efficiencies within departments and maintaining services for citizens and reducing operating costs.

"This initiative is our way of taking a positive approach to the downturn in the economy," says Rowley, DII's Chief Information Security Officer. "It's a challenge that has led us to seek out ground-breaking technologies like the combination of e-SignLive and LotusLive, which is improving the way we do business while costing us less."

Silanis Technology Inc. is the leading provider of electronic signature software to government organizations and agencies. The world's largest deployment of e-signatures and forms was deployed by the U.S. Army in 2004. More than 1.4 million Army personnel use Silanis' e-signatures and IBM Forms to sign thousands of documents, saving the government a projected $1.3 billion annually. The federal government's General Services Agency standardized on Silanis' e-signature solution in 2003 as part of its e-Offer and e-Mod systems to electronically manage its contract agreements and amendments with over 13,000 suppliers. The world's largest insurance and financial services companies, integrators and service providers also depend on Silanis to accelerate business transactions and reduce costs while improving compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. Visit Silanis on the web at http://esignlive.silanis.com/

About IBM Cloud Computing:

IBM has helped thousands of clients adopt cloud models and manages millions of cloud based transactions every day. IBM assists clients in areas as diverse as banking, communications, healthcare and government to build their own clouds or securely tap into IBM cloud-based business and infrastructure services. IBM is unique in bringing together key cloud technologies, deep process knowledge, a broad portfolio of cloud solutions, and a network of global delivery centers. For more information about IBM cloud solutions, visit www.ibm.com/smartcloud.

Contact(s) information

Hanna Smigala
IBM Media Relations
+1-720-342-5343
smigala@us.ibm.com

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