I’ve been using HelloSign’s products for many years. Back in the early days their initial offering, HelloFax, was a way to fax (remember those) directly from one’s laptop. Since then the platform has extended to be far broader and HelloSign is really focused on helping organizations more readily implement digital across what they do. As an aside, this “democratizing digital” angle is one which created the impetus for HelloSign to support in the creation of the Digital Strength program which is aimed at helping individuals and organizations on their digital journey.

Anyway, that aside, last year HelloSign rolled out a new platform, HelloWorks, which was its first step in the direction of citizen development. HelloWorks was, back then, an API on top of the core HelloSign offering. While it was useful, the fact that it required users to integrate into an API to use it limited just how democratizing it could be.

Instacart automating shopper onboarding

Using the 2017 version of the platform, companies such as Instacart integrated their platforms with HelloWorks to increase process speed. In Instacart’s case, it was around on-boarding for contract shoppers. Using the integration, employees at Instacart can log onto HelloWorks and design a workflow involving any government/tax forms, employee handbooks etc. They can apply data validation to specific fields to eliminate errors for the form recipients, can plug in any public APIs (for example Google Maps for an address field) and all associated fields that need to be filled out with a drag and drop WYSIWYG editor.

For the shopper, it means a system that is easy to use and quick. Perhaps more importantly, however, for Instacart it means that data, formerly locked into PDF forms and the like, is freed and can be routed into any backend system or application where that data would be useful.

The next big thing

Fast forward to today and the company is upping the ante and making document workflow automation accessible to all. It is doing so via the next iteration of the platform that includes a no-code form building portal. Using the portal, even the most technophobic of users can use the drag and drop solution to automate workflows around their document-centric processes.

HelloSign is seriously keen to get people on board the platform and to this end are going down a freemium route. Their new free plan allows users to automate 100 transactions a month – plenty to get a good feel for what the platform can do.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words and that’s, even more, the case when the picture is actually an animated GIF. To understand what HelloWorks enables, it helps to think about traditional processes and their digital equivalents. A relatively simple, but still time-rich process can go from this:

To this:

Leveraging the HelloWorks Portal:

From the horses’ mouth – HelloSIgn’s key propositions

Just in case you were wondering, e-signing is not a space with only one player – there are an increasing number of people all trying to solve the same problems. To this end, I as interested to hear specifically where HelloSign believes its differentiation lies. Per Whitney Bouck, the COO of HelloSign, they’re pinning their hopes on the following assertions:

HelloWorks is easy to use: An intuitive portal where customers can build (drag-and-drop) and launch workflows in a matter of minutes. No learning curve required.

HelloWorks is mobile first: Signers never have to leave their phones when completing forms. They never see complicated PDFs, they only see the fields and documents in a workflow relevant to them.

HelloWorks is intelligent: HelloWorks workflows adjust based on previous inputs and never ask for the same information twice. Also includes real-time data validation to increase the accuracy of completed forms.

HelloWorks Free Plan: A robust free plan with no strings attached giving the masses access to a solution reserved for large-scale enterprises.


Really the success, or otherwise, of HelloWorks rests on the market reality around businesses’ desire to automate their formerly paper-based processes. At a conceptual level, the ability to finally give up on all those stupid paper forms and filing makes total sense, add to that the ability to integrate data into other back-office applications and you have a compelling proposition.

The small business guy in me really likes that the new HelloWorks means that even the smallest of organizations, with no development resource available, can still digitize its processes. While I would imagine that HelloSign as a company is focused on the bigger end of town and that the freemium model is more around getting people in large organizations wedded to the idea of digitization, I would suggest that even more impactful gains can be made inside small and mid-sized enterprises.

I’ve spent years banging my head against the table over just how backward many organizations’ approaches to information gathering are – maybe the launch of HelloWorks will change that once and for all…

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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