eversign is a cloud-based electronic signature solution which provides businesses with possibility to send, manage and sign documents or to automate electronic signature workflows using open Rest API. I contributed to this project both as a Senior Software Engineer and as an Enterprise Architect.
I was involved in many interesting activities, but I will highlight the ones I believe made a highest impact or provided a biggest learning opportunities.
Table of Contents
- Signer Authentication via SMS – Two Factor Authentication
- Documents Bulk Sending – Automated Documents Generation
- 50-80% speed optimization for eversign API endpoints
- High-scale migration of email delivery provider for complete eversign user base
- Implementing minimalist in-house BI system for KPI management
- Zapier integrations for eversign project
- Integration between eversign and Zendesk to improve end user communication
- By-weekly cross-teams brainstorming sessions
Signer Authentication via SMS – Two Factor Authentication
Before we introduced this feature, eversign document signers could validate their identity via email or PIN code provided by document owner. There was no way to provide strong identity verification. Goal was to improve quality of signature.
Challenge was to find optimal software architecture to combine requirements for new feature; integrate that solution with existing software and also provide the best way to handle and deliver SMS messages. We had to work with sales and marketing teams as well. Estimate potential costs across different users and subscriptions. Furthermore, we needed to extend payment models to support new feature. Finally, we made metrics to measure feature impact and adoption during and after roll-out phase.
Impact of this feature was increased trust for customers who used signer authentication via SMS. Marketing teams were able to onboard new customers.
Feature details can be found here.
Documents Bulk Sending – Automated Documents Generation
The Bulk Sending feature was intended for sending a large number of documents. Eversign already had a feature called Templates. This feature enabled customers to generate documents where most of the structure is already prepared. However, templates had a downside of being able to create only one document at time. This shortcoming caused time consuming manual and repetitive tasks for our enterprise customers who wanted to send hundreds or thousands of documents instantly.
This feature had many challenges, both business requirements and technical implementation related. Related to business requirements we had to find an optimal way to intersect template workflows with possibility to send in bulk. We had to define accepted formats and contract under which customers need to provide bulk data. By the nature, different templates would have different structures of bulk data. Different number of signers would need to have different structure. Different fields in documents would need different bulk sending definitions, and so on.
Technical challenges were by nature related to scalability and integration with existing security and billing services. Scalability challenge was to ensure that large amount of documents can be generated, without services being overloaded, signer emails being delivered in time and without mixing various documents. Proper validation and error handling was crucial, as well as policies what to do if single or multiple documents would fail within the bulk.
Impact and results of this feature were fantastic! We saw instant adoption of this feature, new customers started using our product. Furthermore, this feature is additionally charged as premium feature, generating income as a side effect.
Feature details can be found here.
50-80% speed optimization for eversign API endpoints
Speed optimization was a side project for our backend team. Commonly, teams would have “pet projects” while waiting for feedback related to formal roadmap features. In short, we refactored legacy code where needed, improved DB connectivity, and introduced various caching mechanisms where we agreed it made sense.
As a result, we accomplished 50-80% optimization for selected endpoints!
This optimization was a massive success for our team, significantly reducing application servers and RDB loads. Most importantly, blazing fast API responses for our API customers and a swifter UI experience.
High-scale migration of email delivery provider for complete eversign user base
In this project, we aimed to replace our existing email delivery provider with a new one. Our primary goal was to increase stability because the current email provider needed to perform and scale better than we did. Therefore, I am not disclosing brands of replaced and replacement providers.
This project was challenging because we needed to ensure our new delivery IP address pools performed well. Ensure that all email delivery records are correctly in place. Ensure increased quality of our endless emails as well. If we failed to deliver any of these, we could have been marked as spam or with completely blocked email delivery. It would have enormous consequences on the product and income streams.
We approached this project with careful analysis, firstly understanding the core differences between our old and new email delivery providers. Email sending is heavily standardized, but different vendors have different “flavors” when implementing features. These differences are enough to cause severe implementation issues if they are not recognized in time.
Implementation was an absolute success! Without a single incident, we gradually migrated the email delivery for all customer accounts. We carefully built a delivery reputation for our new IP pool while keeping minimum bounce and complaint rates. As a side effect, we even accomplished significant savings, which was not a primary goal. It happened because we made architectural decisions that utilized our existing infrastructure in a better way than it did before.
Altogether, a fantastic project with a super capable team. Great learning and even better results.
Implementing minimalist in-house BI system for KPI management
I had the pleasure of working with our CFO to design and introduce a minimalistic in-house BI system. It was also fantastic learning because he was very competent and explained various financial rules, forms, and impacts on our product. This knowledge was logical because I already had a financial understanding background from previous projects. Still, I learned a lot and we delivered a great project.
In short, we completely accomplished the desired result of measuring KPIs such as MRR, YRR, signup sources, daily sales statistics, integrations consumption sources, customer lifetime values, customer subscription lifetimes, etc. KPIs were then incorporated into everyday processes and adopted by sales and customer success teams.
Furthermore, this resulted in cross-team knowledge sharing and increased general awareness of our possibilities for data-driven decisions. This project was accepted so good that it initiated same projects for Invoicely KPIs and ZeroSSL KPIs.
Zapier integrations for eversign project
Zapier is a platform allowing users to integrate their web applications and automate workflows. Being part of the Zapier platform is essential for SaaS products because it gives them access to a new market. For example, for the eversign project, being on Zapier provided us with new customers and increased conversions.
My contribution here was building new integrations and integration routines for Zapier. Understandably, the more integration opportunities we provide, the more customers will be interested in our product.
Integrations were also super interesting in testing the market. One of the best examples is “Bulk Sending integration,” which was so popular that it resulted in a decision to integrate such a feature into our core product. It resulted in the already mentioned Documents Bulk Sending – Automated Documents Generation and all the benefits it provided.
Integration between eversign and Zendesk to improve end user communication
By-weekly cross-teams brainstorming sessions
While working together on new features, we recognized the importance of cross-team communication. Sales and marketing teams had exciting ideas and inputs, representing the voice of the customer. The customer success team gave us a reality check; they pointed to existing issues and pains our customers might have. Finally, the technical team was always there to comment on our capabilities and the technical feasibility of our initiatives.
I also initiated by-weekly cross-team brainstorming sessions between sales, marketing, customer success, and technical teams in the previous companies. It was always fruitful, sometimes in the most unexpected ways.
In eversign, these meetings resulted in fantastic initiatives for new features. People felt heard and appreciated; they were eager to share ideas and comment on existing ones. We recognized quick wins and long-term projects, committed to and delivered them on time.
I enjoyed these sessions; the results were incredible, and I will always recommend them in similar environments.
2020 - Present
eversign is a software as a service (SaaS), a cloud-based electronic signature solution with public API.
My roles: Senior Software Engineer; Enterprise Architect
Impact: New features; Improved Security; Increased income; Improved Scalability; Legacy code improvement; Email Delivery Stability; Improved Technical Processes; Maintenance; KPIs design, measurement and evaluation;