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DocuSign vs. Adobe Sign vs. HelloSign vs. PandaDoc

Which is right for your business and how do they compare to Ironclad?
man researching DocuSign vs. Adobe Sign vs. HelloSign vs. PandaDoc

With so many choices of contract management software out on the market, it can sometimes be hard to decide which one is best for your business. After doing a bit of research, DocuSign, Adobe Sign, HelloSign, and PandaDoc may stand out to you as some of the most powerful contract management solutions, with their easy-to-use user interfaces and templates that make contract execution and management simpler than ever.

However, if you want an efficient way of organizing, editing, and managing contracts, consider getting Ironclad Editor. Designed specifically for digital collaboration, Ironclad comes with premier features such as a DocX native platform, Workflow Designer, Data Repository, a bustling community, and more. Ironclad is particularly great if you’re working in a large company that requires collaboration between different departments.

Read on to learn whether Ironclad, DocuSign, Adobe Sign, HelloSign, or PandaDoc is best for your business.

Ironclad: Perfect for digital collaboration

Ironclad is one of the leading contract lifecycle management (CLM) tools in the industry. Like DocuSign, AdobeSign, HelloSign, and PandaDoc, Ironclad comes with templates that you can customize to create your own contracts.

What makes it stand out, however, is its other features. Unlike the others, Ironclad comes with a variety of tools that will help you balance efficiency with compliance. With an intuitive DocX native platform, a powerful Workflow Designer, a comprehensive Dynamic Repository for your data, and other features, Ironclad enables you to work with other parties to ensure that your contract negotiation process is as streamlined as possible.

Although Ironclad may be a tool catered primarily to lawyers and in-house counsel, anyone can use it. Due to its standout features below, Ironclad is a great choice for professionals working at big companies that require collaboration between different departments, from legal to sales to procurement to finance.

DocX Native Platform

Unlike many other CLM apps, Ironclad features a DocX native platform, which means you don’t have to choose between basic in-browser editing like Google Docs and desktop tools such as Microsoft Word. 

With Ironclad Editor, you can directly edit, redline, comment on, and collaborate with others on DocX files. As in Google Docs, you can also use @mentions to loop in your colleagues with just a few clicks of your mouse. This streamlines the editing and collaboration process, since you won’t have to email your contracts copies of contracts anymore. All you have to do is chat with your colleagues to confirm changes, accept and reject tracked changes made by counterparties, and email a DocX copy to the counterparty by clicking a button within Ironclad.

Workflow Designer

Another standout feature of Ironclad is Workflow Designer. An easy-to-use tool that uses a drag-and-drop user interface, users can use Workflow Designer to create contracts and contract approval processes.

By setting up a centralized location to process all contracting requests, Workflow Designer can make contract management much easier than before. You will also be able to create a contract workflow by simply uploading a template, tagging required fields, and adding signers and approvers. Workflow Designer comes with up-to-date clauses, which you can customize and include on your contracts to ensure 100% automatic compliance with relevant laws and policies.

Dynamic Repository

Contracts often end up on hard drives, clouds, and in different meeting rooms, leading to delayed deadlines, missed opportunities, and in some cases, litigation.

With Ironclad’s Dynamic Repository, you’ll be able to store all of your contracts in one place. Once everything is in the Repository, you will be able to search through your contract metadata to answer questions in seconds. For instance, if you want to know what the renewal date for a particular contract is, all you have to do is type in the keywords for that contract. You’ll then be able to locate the contract and see what it contains.

Dynamic Repository also allows you to create intelligent alerts, cross-system integrations, and process automation based on the data contained within the contracts. For instance, you can send emails according to the dates established in a particular contract, or enable weekly updates about a certain event specified in another contract.

Collaborate with Legal Engineers

Ironclad also stands out from its competitors for the services it provides. A subscription to Ironclad doesn’t only give you the software, but it also gives you access to our Legal Engineers.

As legal operations subject matter and implementation experts, our Legal Engineers will help you with any issue you come across when using Ironclad. With experience and knowledge of best practices from hundreds of deployments, they will help you identify and put into practice the most cost-effective and efficient approach for your particular situation and business.

A thriving community

Finally, Ironclad offers you a chance to network and rub shoulders with other specialists in digital contracting. 

An Ironclad deployment gives you access to the Ironclad community, which consists of forward-looking entrepreneurs and leaders. By participating in virtual and in-person events, you’ll be able to build and strengthen your existing network and learn more about how you can use Ironclad to further your contracting career.

DocuSign or Ironclad?

Since buying SpringCM, DocuSign has introduced DocuSign CLM as the rebranded version of SpringCM. This rebranding, however, has done nothing to resolve the program’s issues, which have driven many users of SpringCM and DocuSign CLM to switch to Ironclad for our ability to accommodate different contract types and collaborative partnership with legal engineers.

Ironclad accommodates different contract types

DocuSign comes with many templates that you can customize and edit. It was designed for procurement and sales contracts, which means they don’t work very well for other contract types such as marketing and HR. In fact, DocuSign may create department-specific contract silos, making it hard for different departments to collaborate on contracts and get on the same page. This can lead to a lot of information slipping through cracks, resulting in delays, miscommunication, and litigation.

A leading financial technology company decided to switch from DocuSign to Ironclad and was thoroughly impressed by Ironclad’s Workflow Designer, particularly by its ability to manage and automate all contract types. 

As this company’s General Counsel said: ”Ironclad is heavily embedded in our culture. We’ve automated over 25 contract types in Workflow Designer and are always thinking of how else we can use Ironclad to streamline contracts across our business.”

Ironclad encourages collaboration with Legal Engineers

Unlike Ironclad, DocuSign does not have Legal Engineers who can help you determine best practices for your business.

A leading A/B testing software company used DocuSign for four years but felt like it wasn’t implemented properly. When it told DocuSign that it didn’t feel like it got a lot out of the contract management system, DocuSign told them that any system changes would require a six-figure bill. After switching to Ironclad, the business has been impressed by our Legal Engineers’ thoughtfulness. Most importantly, they were struck by how Ironclad valued them as a business partner.

Adobe Sign or Ironclad?

Adobe Sign is another commonly-cited solution for contract management. Like DocuSign, it is well-suited for certain industries, such as healthcare and finance, but less for others. Unlike DocuSign and Ironclad, Adobe Sign is primarily for signing and approving documents, which means it comes with fewer features than many of the other apps in this article.

Ironclad comes with pre-built templates

Adobe Sign gives you a hassle-free way to sign and manage your existing contracts, but it doesn’t come with pre-built templates. While you can create templates with Adobe Sign, you will have to create them from scratch or import them into the program, making for a less streamlined experience.

In contrast, Ironclad comes with pre-built templates that you can customize and edit with your colleagues in real-time. Templates are a great way to kickstart your contract creation process and make sure your contract complies with relevant laws and regulations.

Ironclad allows you to edit contracts in real-time

Many users of Adobe Sign have also noted that files are no longer editable once they are sent out. As a result, you will have to send a finalized, edited copy after sending the first copy. This can lead to delays, miscommunication, and even litigation since your colleagues could mix up the first copy with the finalized version.

On the other hand, Ironclad allows you to loop in your colleagues with @mentions so everyone is on the same page, streamlining the editing and collaboration process. After all the parties have confirmed everything, you can email a DocX copy to the counterparty through Ironclad.

HelloSign or Ironclad?

HelloSign stands out from the rest for being a mobile-first form-filling tool. Like Ironclad, it has a powerful and intuitive user interface and user-friendly templates. However, like DocuSign and Adobe Sign, it’s somewhat limited in its applications. 

Ironclad works for all contract types

While HelloSign is a great choice for HR, sales, mortgage and escrow, and finance, it doesn’t work as well for other types of contracts. As such, as with DocuSign, using HelloSign can lead to contract silos, data loss, and miscommunication.

Ironclad has a searchable repository

Like Adobe Sign, HelloSign is primarily an e-signature tool that comes with templates. This means that it lacks a lot of the features that a full-feature app like Ironclad has, such as a searchable repository.

Without a repository to store all contracts, users of HelloSign may find it more difficult to keep track of all their contracts, particularly if they are a mid- to large-size company. Accordingly, HelloSign may be an adequate choice if you are a small company or start-up, but consider subscribing to Ironclad if you are looking for something more streamlined and powerful.

PandaDoc or Ironclad?

Finally, let’s take a look at PandaDoc. While it’s best known for its varied templates, PandaDoc also offers a document workflow management tool. With this tool, you can create contracts fast with pre-approved templates, create error-free quotes, and save time with eSignatures. 

Like Ironclad, PandaDoc also comes with a unique repository system, which allows you to assert control over your ever-expanding number of documents. You also get to enjoy an intuitive search function, which lets you hunt down important information.

Ironclad empowers contract management specialists

Unlike Ironclad, however, PandaDoc wasn’t created with legal counsel or in-house counsel in mind. As previously mentioned, while Ironclad is a great tool for everyone, it’s particularly great for contract management specialists. 

By combining a thorough knowledge of legal workflows and Google Cloud AI, Ironclad provides users a suite of smart contracting tools. This enables in-house counsel and other contract management specialists to:

  • craft contracts faster and more accurately
  • automate everyday contracting as needed, so you will have more time to address other legal issues

In addition, Ironclad gives you the opportunity to network with a community of like-minded contract management specialists. While PandaDoc also comes with a thriving community of entrepreneurs, PandaDoc users are much more varied in their goals and business approaches, since they run the gamut of industries.

Get the CLM that does it all

All in all, Ironclad is the best choice for your business. While DocuSign, Adobe Sign, HelloSign, and PandaDoc all have their respective strengths, they don’t offer the streamlined and collaborative experience that Ironclad does.

With Ironclad, you can make sure that all parties, whether internal or external, are on the same page by working together in real-time on Ironclad’s DocX native platform. With Ironclad’s Workflow Designer and Dynamic Repository, you can also save a lot of time you would’ve ordinarily spent on redlining, negotiating, and getting all the parties to sign your contract. 

Reach out for a trial of Ironclad today.

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