Incorporating digital signatures into Business Process Applications

Electronic Signatures, or eSignatures, are increasingly being adopted by businesses worldwide in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint, streamline business processes, improve security and record-keeping and reduce costs. eSignatures are recognised under Australian law as legally equivalent to a wet signature, and can be used to sign almost any document 1.

What exactly is an eSignature?

A simple definition is that it is a signature used on an electronic document or transmission which is recognised legally has having the same effect as a handwritten signature. Importantly the eSignature must identify the person who is signing the document and indicate that they approve of the content of the electronic document signed 2.

The most obvious benefit of using eSignatures is that there is no need to print a document out, add a wet signature, scan and return the signed document. This of course saves time, money and paper. There are other benefits, such as compliance, auditing, tracking and security that eSignatures offer. eSignatures can be used in any business scenario where one or more signatures are required on a document. Some typical use cases include 3:

  • HR documents such as employment contracts and employee onboarding
  • Commercial agreements, such as non-disclosure agreements and sales agreements
  • Real estate documents such as lease agreements and purchase and sales contracts

eSignatures are a natural fit for many K2 applications, such as an employee onboarding process. How good would it be to manage your onboarding with a K2 workflow that generates an employment contract document, sends it to your new recruit for electronic signature, waits until it is signed, and then notifies you and carries on with the rest of the process (e.g. creating IT accounts, etc)?

So how can you start using eSignatures in your business with K2?

Firstly, you will need to select an eSignature provider and create an account. Two of the leading Electronic Signature technologies in the market are DocuSign and Adobe Sign, but a quick google search will reveal many others to choose from. Each of the providers offers different features, but at their core, they all offer the ability for you to send documents to one or more recipients, have them electronically sign the documents, and then have that signed document returned to you. Most providers will automatically archive the signed documents so you can retrieve them later, and provide you with audit trails so you can see what has happened to your document. Some other features to look for are the ability to embed documents in your own web forms (e.g. K2 smartforms) for signing.

Once you have selected a provider, you will need to integrate it with K2. This can be as simple as turning on a feature in K2 Management (e.g. DocuSign) or it might involve some more complex work integrating with the providers API (look for more info on how to do this in a later blog).

So, you have chosen a provider, and integrated with K2, how can you now incorporate eSignatures into your K2 solutions?

The basic process for obtaining eSignatures for document/s is:

  1. Select one or more documents to sign. These documents can come from your Document Management System, local file system or the cloud
  2. Select one or more recipients to sign the document/s
  3. Send the document/s to be signed
  4. Wait for the document/s to be signed
  5. Receive and store the signed document
  6. Continue with your business process

Using K2 workflows, SmartObjects and SmartForms you can build solutions that incorporate this document signing process in conjunction with your business process, such as employee onboarding.

Let’s have a look at a couple of simple demos using DocuSign.

The first demo will allow you to select a document, enter one or more recipients, and then send the document out for signing. Signers will get an email with a link to sign the document. The link will open the document for signing using the DocuSign website. Once the document is signed by all recipients an email will be sent to the originator with the signed document.




The second demo will show how the recipients can be allocated a task from a K2 workflow, rather than sent an email by the eSignature provider, and directed to a K2 smartform to sign the document (by embedding the document in the form) and complete the task.


eSignatures and K2 offer the opportunity to make your business processes faster, compliant and more seamless for your end users – not to mention reducing the amount of paper you use! Give some thought to how you could use eSignatures and K2 to improve your business processes.

Andrew Blinco – Technical Evangelist, K2

On Demand: Get the most from your Records Management platform investment with Dynamics 365 & K2 Cloud



Are you finding it difficult to manage digital record keeping whilst trying to support users to adopt the practices?

Applying retention policies to content in Office 365 remains a massive headache for records managers.

Imagine the benefits of being able to expose a digital form inside the easy to use Dynamics CRM or Office 365, whereby having the ability to capture data and attach documents in real time, save the data directly to HP Records Manager in order to comply with all record keeping practices?

Too good to be true? Think again.

This is a not to miss webinar with John Pouliezos showcasing K2’s newest wave of cloud technology and how a K2 can generate PDF’s and save documents directly to HPRM (TRIM) from Dynamics 365.

AI in the Workplace

AI Is Everywhere, Even in the Workplace

Today the phrase Artificial Intelligence (AI) still conjures up images of robots that look and talk like humans and the notion of using an optical scanner to start your car instead of a key or button. In reality, AI is a technology we all interact with at some level every single day.

View this infographic to see how businesses like yours use AI to help make critical decisions and solve problems.

Prepare Today to Transform Your Business Processes with Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is often considered to be the future of computing and possibly the greatest driver of innovation in the next decade. Already it is showing up in autonomous vehicles, voice-controlled digital assistants and devices with facial recognition. But this is only the beginning. AI’s power to support human knowledge and ingenuity and change our perception of business challenges is game-changing when we look at how it can be applied to processes throughout an organization.

In many ways, AI is a natural partner for business process management efforts. AI can help automate routine tasks, improve user interfaces and analyze huge amounts of data. McKinsey & Company estimates that AI can automate as much as 45 percent or more of any particular job – allowing workers to focus on higher level, mission-critical activities.

Let’s look at two examples already in use. AI-driven natural language interfaces make interacting with applications easier and speed up many of the individual steps within a process just by understanding the words spoken and the context of the request. For example, natural language processing can allow doctors to dictate clinical notes into a device, which then automatically populates appropriate forms, lab orders, and prescriptions. Or it can summarise long blocks of text from medical journal articles or studies by identifying key concepts and phrases.

Machine learning, a component of AI, analyses and identifies patterns within vast amounts of data by iterating through the data to identify relationships between data and the resulting decisions made from the data. With each iteration, the system acquires a deeper understanding of why decisions within an organisation are made and apply statistical analysis to develop rules around these decisions. In the case of a complex area of business activity, supply chain management, machine learning can do things like predicting when stock will run out or recommend which products are at a surplus and automatically reduce their price to clear inventory.

As you can see, AI is starting to play a significant role in process automation and optimisation efforts. More importantly, as the adoption of AI technologies become even more widespread, they will become easier to implement and have more applications within business process management.

Looking to determine where on the spectrum your company falls and how to make sure you are best poised to transform business process management with emerging technologies? Read the white paper, Prepare Today to Transform Your Business Processes with Artificial Intelligence.


Australian industrial services company overcome inefficiencies incurred by using manual processes

This industrial services company tried to automate their processes and workflows using traditional .NET development. Instead of showing improvement, however, the existing processes proved to be problematic and time-consuming. Thousands of employees had to submit training requests, which meant chasing approvals and additional supporting information for each step.

“Even though we had digitised our hardware request forms and system access form requests, modifications could not be handled in the system. We would need to change the original document, create the PDF and publish it on our intranet. Our employees would download, print, fill out, get them signed, then scan them to send to the service desk,” said the IT applications and development group manager.

In short, the existing systems were labor-intensive, slow to develop, prone to errors and difficult to troubleshoot. The company abandoned their .NET attempt after six months with no progress — and decided that there had to be a better way.

“After seeing what K2 can do, we knew this is what we were looking for,” continued the IT applications and development group manager.

Download the full case study here

On Demand: K2 Cloud + K2 Five Overview


Late last year we launched the K2 Five and K2 Cloud platform.

The rate of updates to the K2 Cloud has been impressive with new enhancements and features added every 3 to 6 weeks. ​​​​​​​ In order to help keep up-to-date with the new enhancements, we would like to start a bi-monthly webinar to overview these new capabilities and enhancements.

This video will provide an in-depth overview of the capabilities of the new K2 Five and K2 Cloud.

During this video we will focus on:

Highlight the key feature changes and updates from K2 4.7 Demo the new simple K2 drag and drop designer Differences between the on-premises and cloud versions of K2 How to integrate both of these into Power BI using the new OData providers.

SmartStarters and Application Wizard for K2 Cloud

The latest update of K2 Cloud includes a couple of new features that make creating new K2 apps as simple as few mouse clicks! Empower your business users by allowing them to create their own apps by taking advantage of these great new features.

K2 SmartStarters are ready-to-use applications for common use cases like IT Service Requests, Job Postings, and Task Management. SmartStarters are fully built solutions that you can deploy and have up and running in minutes. These solutions are fully customisable, so you can run them as is, or update to suit your needs.

The K2 Application Wizard allows you to quickly create K2 applications via a wizard that will generate the application for you. You can build customised applications like a Marketing Collateral Approval process or a Customer Satisfaction Survey in just 4 simple steps.   The Application Wizard is the perfect solution for the business user who just wants to create a solution without having to know how to build SmartObjects, views, forms, and workflows.

Both the SmartStarters and Application Wizard are available from the new Apps page in the K2 Workspace. Let’s have a look at each option in more depth.



At the time of posting there are 26 different SmartStarters available for install, including for common business processes like IT Service Request, Training Request, and Travel Approval (see Creating Applications with SmartStarters for a full list and detailed instructions on deploying).

Use the “Install” button on the “All Apps” page to select a SmartStarter application

A list of available SmartStarters will be displayed.

Click the “Details” button to view the SmartStarter application. Here you can see what the application form and workflow looks like

Click the “Install” button to start the install process. A popup will appear showing you the app download and install progress. Allow a minute or 2 for the application package to be downloaded and installed. After the application has finished installing, you will be given options to configure the application.

Each SmartStarter comes with its own landing and administration pages.  The administration page will allow you to modify any lookup data or user groups used by the application forms and workflow.

Once your SmartStarter is installed and configured it is ready to go!

From the landing page, you can submit a new form and start the workflow process. But what if the form fields are not exactly what you want, or the workflow does not match your own businesses process? The great thing is that these apps are fully customisable. Simply find the app in the designer (Under Apps->K2->SmartStarters) and you can edit the SmartObjects, Views, Forms, and Workflow to suit your requirements.


Application Wizard

You can use the Application Wizard to generate a new application from a pre-defined template or select the option to create your own custom app. The application templates currently available are categorised under the application types Submit for Approval, Send a Survey and Create and Edit Lists (see Creating Applications with Application Wizards).

To create a new application using the Application Wizard we open the Apps workspace and click on the “New” button in the “All Apps” or “My Apps” page.  This starts the Application Wizard to step us through the application creation process.

Give your app a name and select to create an app from an existing template, or build a fully custom application. To use a template, select the Application Type to see a list of available templates.

To see more info about the template click the “More Details…” link.

Once you have selected a template you can make any changes you need to it, such as adding new a question to a survey. Once you have done this you can click “Preview and Finalise” to start the app creation or click “Next (Additional Options)” to configure any application-specific options.

Once you click “Preview and Finalize” a workflow will start to get administrator approval and create the application. Once this is complete you will get an email advising your app is ready to go! As with the SmartStarters you can also modify your app after it has been created by finding the related artifacts in the K2 Designer (Apps->K2).

Written by Andrew Blinco, Technical Evangelist – K2

On Demand: Manage your document control and lifecycle process with Office 365



Nobody has visibility of the process internally, documents are everywhere; all this costs time and money!

Business processes are not always clear or adequately communicated to staff. Processes that require approval from multiple areas are often manual, paper-based and dependant on a user to action items in a timely manner.

During this live webinar, we will be demonstrating how easy it is to improve employee experience with quality document control and lifecycle management.

Watch the video, to see how to:

• Collaborate with your SharePoint environment with tasks, reminders, and notifications via email and text messages
• Manage document compliance with rule-based naming conventions
• Document workflows that require multi-touch approvals which are often manual and time-consuming
• Auto-generate documents based on controlled business data
• Eliminate the need for multi (SharePoint) content types

Document control Workflow is often more complex than you think. Learn how K2 BPM can support your complex business scenarios with ease.

On Demand: Business Process Contract Management – Where Process, Collaboration, and Contract Management meet to fill the technology gaps.



Reviewing and negotiating a complex contract often requires input from various internal advisors / stakeholders. Each internal reviewer may in turn have their own unique review and comment process depending on the type and value of the contract.

During this video, we will be demonstrating how easy it is to improve employee experience with a combination of Process and document collaboration.

Watch now see how to:

  • Leverage technology to scan contracts for key high-risk clauses
  • Assign tasks based on business rules, workload and other business parameters.
  • Manage parallel and ad hoc process requirements.
  • Leverage best of breed technologies like SharePoint, Microsoft Word Co-Authoring, DocuSign to provide a collaborative experience.
  • Make informed decisions on where to apply expert resources based on risk profiling and ratings.