Arcot Systems (Sunnyvale, Calif.), a provider of multifactor authentication and digital signature solutions, has entered into an alliance with EMC (Hopkinton, Mass.). The companies will integrate Arcot's universal digital signing capabilities with the EMC Documentum enterprise content management platform. "The ongoing integration of Arcot's digital signing technology with the EMC Documentum platform paves the way for businesses in many different industries to increase efficiency and their competitive advantage through rapid extension in the use of digital signatures and e-documents," said Keith Goldstein, Arcot's VP of worldwide channel development, in a release.
According to Guy Tallent, a partner with Maplewood, N.J.-based Strategic Identity Group (SIG), a consultancy focused on identity and access management, the integrated solution will allow banks to get signature approval of electronic documents without removing them from the secure system. For example, a bank can send a mortgage electronically to a realtor or lawyer for the borrower to sign digitally. "The benefit of the EMC integration from a regulated industry's perspective is that it allows the document owner to provide the user with the documents while they are still in the workflow," he says. "It creates a higher degree of straight-through workflow processing."
"Customers don't want to take [a document] out of the system and put it back again," says Andrew Chapman, group product manager, compliance software products, for the EMC software group. "We're pushing the content out ... for signing and it's coming back in a closed system." The new solution integrates into existing frameworks easily, has the ability to absorb future standards and provides much greater control of the signing process, he adds.
"From a compliance perspective, you really want to make sure that the document you sent out is really the same one you get back -- apart from the signature," SIG's Tallent says. "The new solution will eliminate a quality assurance step." He stresses that the technology created by the Arcot-EMC agreement will allow for a minimal footprint on the client side.
Prescription for Secure Signatures
A large-scale test deployment of the solution is under way in the pharmaceutical industry, with general release slated for sometime later this quarter, according to EMC's Chapman. The integrated solution will be SAFE (Signatures and Authentication for Everyone)-compliant, meaning that it meets the legal and technological requirements governing the use of digital signatures in the bio-pharm community.
The solution also will meet digital signature standards from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. "What we see [in the pharmaceutical industry], I am 100 percent certain is a precursor to events we are going to see in the financial services industry," Chapman says. *