Doing Homework: What Does SaaS-Based e-Signature Software Cost?

Online Survey SoftwareWe were intrigued by a comparison chart a competitor put together that a prospective client shared with us. We cannot share the actual chart, but we feel justified in exposing what we feel are skewed assumptions that the company used to make their own solution more attractive. In short, it inflated our total cost of ownership (TCO) unfairly.

(For reference, open our pricing page.)

Before we begin, we should acknowledge that we agree with this competitor on the basics: The implementation of an e-signature software that supports digital signatures (strong security and signer ID features, et al.):

  • Speeds up important business processes
  • Secures these business operations better than old paper-based methods
  • Reduces costs dramatically in a lot of cases
  • Gives the organization a competitive advantage over competitors who have not yet adopted the new technology.

Challenging Competitive Cost Assumptions

Traditionally, there are two ways to achieve the benefits listed above: An internally placed and managed software solution, or an outsourced solution delivered as SaaS. This competitor is pushing a hybrid: Embed an ?outsourced solution? on a server within your system.

Here are our areas of disagreement:

Their Assumption about SaaS

Our Rebuttal

Set-up costs $10,000 minimum (for 100 users) Higher for larger user populations. We have never charged as much as $10,000 to set up a user.
User Fees $50 annually per user for 100 users
$33 annually per user for 1000 users
This may underestimate what we see in competitive pricing for larger accounts.
Service Fees $25,000 per year We charge no annual service fees.

In addition, they declare software tokens ?risky,? which justifies them adding up to $260 per user annually for hardware tokens. Well-designed software tokens like those embedded in SutiSign are not risky, and we consider them safer than hardware tokens that could literally get lost or stolen!

Their Results vs. Our Results (assume 500 users):

Three-Year Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
for their hybrid system (Their estimate)

Under $120,000

SaaS-based system Three-Year TCO (Their estimate)

Over? $300,000

Our actual average SutiSign Three-Year TCO for 500 users ??

Under $100,000

The bottom line:?Challenge assumptions behind calculations,?suspend judgment while running your investigations, and ask hard questions about all the costs involved in the multiple types of electronic signature solutions available to you.

You may not choose SutiSign in the end, but as long as we had a fair review, using numbers and testimonials that truly reflect TCO and our service levels, we cannot complain!


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