Sunrise Telecommunications customers give digital signatures on Wacom’s STU-500 signature pad

“Please sign here.” Sunrise-shop manager Zvoni Kesten shows the customer where she can sign her new mobile telephone contract. What is special in this case is that, rather than countless signatures on paper, the customer only has to sign once – digitally on Wacom’s STU-500 LCD signature pad. By the time she gets home she will have received all the contract documents in her e-mail inbox.

Sunrise AG, the second biggest telecommunications company in Switzerland, has been using a digital signature solution since September 2008. The solution was developed jointly by Wacom and Softpro, and the following primary goals were defined at the beginning of the project: firstly, the processes running in the Sunrise back office were to be digitised and optimised; secondly, Sunrise wanted to reduce the administrative effort for the POS and thereby create more time for the sales process. This would result in procedures being simplified and speeded up for customers. Formerly, order procedures involved three copies of a contract being created, scanned, copied and then printed a number of times. The subsequent route through the relevant departments resulted in the loss of a considerable amount of time; the quality of printed or scanned output was also often not especially good, thus resulting in queries arising, with an associated further loss of time: time which could have been better spent on fulfilling the customer’s order.

It was an ambitious goal, as stated by project manager Peter Flückiger: “We had to find a solution that fulfilled all our requirements, but we also had to handle the internal readjustment.” This meant that, for example, the customer identification process and all contractual documents had to be adapted so that the new procedures could be realised. After comparing similar products at other companies and conducting a test phase, in which various providers were examined and put through their paces, the decision was made to go with the Wacom-Softpro solution.

“One of our requirements for the signature pad was that it should be possible for the contents of a contract to be viewable from both sides of the counter, so that there is no need to rotate the device to allow the customer to sign and the salesperson to countersign. This functionality could only be provided by Wacom.” The reason for this quite specific requirement is the configuration of the Sunrise shops. Following a complete redesign of the shops, the sales counters are now significantly narrower. This gives the impression of more space in the shops, and everything appears more open and friendly. In practical terms, however, it’s difficult to find space for everything needed on the counter. Sunrise has therefore built the signature pads into the counters – they slot neatly into their own specific place and are perfectly in keeping with the new design. In order to ensure that the pen is always in the right place it has been attached to the pad with a sort of “security line”. The upshot of this, however, is that the salesperson is unable to rotate the display. The display is therefore programmed in such a way that the content faces the customer when the customer’s digital signature is required. Once the signature has been recorded, the software rotates the contents of the display so that the salesperson can countersign the contract. The freely programmable display also allows the customer and the salesperson to view different texts. A further advantage is that small advertising slots or the Sunrise logo can be shown when the displays are not being used for direct sales purposes. Thus, the STU-500 LCD signature pad can also assume a general marketing role.

In addition to the Wacom pads, swivel touch display screens are also available in the Sunrise shops. Customers can see the complete contract and their own e-signature on these screens, in parallel to the display on the signature pad. This has the advantage for the salesperson that all the steps required for conclusion of the contract can be retained in view. The optical configuration of the customer interface has been arranged and coordinated specifically to make the complete procedure as simple and clear as possible. For example, the order display only changes to green, and can thus be finalised, when all the necessary steps have been properly carried out i.e. the signature has been correctly recorded on the Wacom pad and the contract has been successfully dispatched.

There is also a mobile solution available for external promoters. This configuration involves the connection of the LCD signature pads to laptop computers. This solution is also available for offline use so that all the functionality can be used even in places where no wireless network or mobile connection is available.

The integrated solution has a number of advantages for Sunrise customers. As well as the rapid handling of orders, the contractual documents no longer have to be physically archived in the shops. In the event of queries in the shop, the staff can immediately access a copy of the contract in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System. The ability to send contracts directly by e-mail is also appreciated by customers and helps Sunrise to contribute to environmental protection in terms of a reduced number of printouts.

Sunrise will be equipping all existing and new shops with this solution (or has partly done this in some shops already). Customised versions of this e-signature system have been and will be investigated with specialist traders and electronics outlet chains across Switzerland, the primary aim being to enable the automated electronic filing of contracts and the resulting optimisation of processes. The level of acceptance by customers and salespeople at such outlets is very high too.

The decision to choose Wacom’s LCD signature pads and the Softpro solution was based on a number of factors. In addition to the programmable display and the comfortable and user friendly interface, the two companies also provided a convincing argument with their beneficial price/performance ratio. It goes without saying that both partners were also able to cater for all the necessary security issues with respect to digital signatures. Above all, however, it was essential that the solution could be easily integrated into the existing system; at some smaller specialist retailers, the IT environment is not always particularly modern. But the Wacom-Softpro solution could be integrated into a range of system environments without any compatibility problems.

In addition, the precision of the STU-500 was also an aspect that gave a favourable impression. The high resolution of the LCD pad means that it is easy to sign on the device – the quality of the digital signature is as good as it is on paper, which gives the customer a positive feeling about this method of signing documents.

“Ultimately, the crucial factor in such projects is their acceptance by users. It was already apparent at the first internal training session that our staff soon became familiar with this solution. And, since its introduction at the POS, we have noted that customers are very happy with it too. Thanks to Wacom and Softpro we have a solution that is both quick and simple“, summarises Peter Flückiger with regard to his experiences.

Sunrise AG in Switzerland chose Wacom’s LCD signature pad and the Softpro software solution because:

  1. The solution could be rapidly and easily integrated into existing systems.
  2. The display is programmable and thus fulfils Sunrise requirements.
  3. The level of acceptance amongst staff and customers is high.

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