In a Twist of Irony, Inking a Deal with DocuSign Is Becoming More Complicated

By Gregg Spivack

Director of Client Services, NPI

February 01, 2017

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For a company whose electronic signature technology has simplified contracts for thousands of customers around the globe, DocuSign appears to be making its own customer contracts a little more complicated. If you’re a DocuSign customer approaching a renewal, or making an initial purchase, here are some things to consider:

There are two kinds of Premier Support; know the difference. There's both Premier Support and Enterprise Premier Support. Ensure you understand the differences in pricing (typically a % of the subscription) and functionality. The main differences between the two support levels are response times, an Administrator Certification class that comes with Enterprise Premier, and the level of Technical Customer Support Manager assigned to your account. Understand your unique support requirements and avoid overbuying.

The vendor is testing support cost increases. DocuSign is currently testing market acceptance of double-digit cost increases for both levels of support, so bring your negotiation chops to the table. Additionally, remember that the support percentages used cover support for the vendor’s typical three-year term. In other words, that XX% of your net subscription in support fees delivers three years of support – not one.

Break down the bundle. DocuSign often likes to sell an initial contract with the subscription and support bundled together. Customers should push to separate these components to get a true view of their support and subscription costs (which is often a cost per envelope/transaction). Deconstructing the bundle can be especially helpful during renewal negotiations.

Demand transparency. Compared to some IT vendors, DocuSign exhibits a fair degree of pricing transparency – but that doesn’t mean customers should allow themselves to become complacent. Establish reasonable cost increase caps from the onset to prevent surprises during renewal. Also, keep an open dialogue about DocuSign’s contract models. NPI has seen some evidence of certain services being repackaged and made available only if clients upgrade.