Brais Méndez, Docuten: “the pandemic caused companies to realize the importance of digitization”
While some organizations were quick to adopt new digital solutions, others are still struggling to transition into this new environment.
For many, having to sign paper documents is a hassle. There’s always the possibility of sensitive documents getting misplaced, stolen, or just your printer having a bad day when you need it the most, not to mention the environmental cost just to produce a piece of paper. But what if there was not only an easier but also a more secure way to manage and sign company documents?
Our guest today is Brais Méndez, the CEO of Docuten – a company on a mission to simplify administrative processes by providing secure digital signature solutions.
Let's go back to the very beginning. How did Docuten evolve over the years?
We started this project back in 2019, over 10 years ago. At that time, Ángel and I founded what is now Docuten, then called Enxendra, with the aim of simplifying administrative processes such as electronic invoicing. Due to our previous work experience, we saw that these administrative processes were complex and cumbersome, and we detected a business opportunity.
In 2010, we created the first Enxendra product, HazteUnaFacturaE, an electronic invoicing platform. In addition, we opened our offices in Madrid and A Coruña. A few years later, in 2013, we reached milestones as important as getting our first IBEX 35 client and executing our first international project. Also, in that same year, we launched Enxendra's first digital signature platform, Signedoc, onto the market.
In 2018, HazteUnaFacturaE and Signedoc converge in the first online platform that combines digital signature and electronic invoice, Docuten. In 2019, we closed a financing round of 1.5 million euros to accelerate growth.
In recent years, we have focused on strengthening the company's security, obtaining the ISO 27001 certification, or the European Union Qualified Trust Services Provider certification, in order to offer the best possible service to our clients.
Currently, Docuten is made up of a team of more than 30 employees and we have a broad portfolio of clients, including leading companies listed on the IBEX35, MAB, and Continuous Market.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do? What are your main fields of focus?
Docuten focuses on the administrative digitization of companies, specifically in the management of the signing of documents and the issuance and receipt of electronic invoices. Our goal is to transition our clients into "paperless" companies through the digitization and simplification of their administrative processes.
Our digital signature solution allows you to sign all kinds of documents safely and easily through a computer, tablet, or mobile. In addition, our solutions are fully legal, as they are umbrellaed under the EU eIDAS Regulation. Whether it is to manage documents from sales or Human Resources or any other department that can send documentation to be signed, we have different types of signature solutions depending on the usability and security that our clients need. Recently, in addition, we have been recognized as a Qualified Provider of Trusted Services by the EU.
On the other hand, with our electronic invoicing solution, companies can both issue and receive, both to the public and private sector. We have a variety of tools, from a free vendor portal so your vendors can invoice you to an OCR reader that reads vendor email invoices and extracts the data from the PDF. We also connect with the FACeB2B channels, at a national level, and Peppol, at a European level.
In addition, all our solutions allow Docuten to be integrated with the company's internal systems through our API, and we have connectors with the main ERPs on the market, such as SAP or Microsoft Business Central.
In your opinion, which industries should be especially concerned with digitizing their administrative processes?
Any industry or sector can digitize its administrative processes. Although there are sectors such as Temporary Employment Agencies (TEAs) that, by their very nature, manage large volumes of documents to be signed, or the hospitality and food sector that also manage a high volume of issued and received invoices and documents.
On the other hand, there is the case of industries that we could consider traditional and, as a consequence, hardly digitized, such as the construction sector. Starting a digital transformation process would allow them to streamline their processes and shorten times by eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy.
Another of the industries that most appreciates change once it begins to digitize its processes is retail. For example, fashion retail has to manage a lot of documentation every day.
Finally, I would highlight large companies that cover the entire business process, from manufacturing to distribution.
Has the pandemic uncovered any flaws or gaps in your field?
On the contrary, we could say that the pandemic caused companies to realize the importance of digitization. The fact of having to suddenly adopt teleworking and adapt to new working methods has been a great obstacle for those companies that still manage paper documents or that do not use digital tools. This, together with the lack of training and digital training of their staff, has caused these companies to be the most affected by the current situation.
Without a doubt, the pandemic has fast-forwarded the digitization of companies by several years. That is why we try to divulge everything we can in favor of digitization. Properly used, it only has advantages.
Companies that have started their digitization processes at this time can now see all the benefits that it brings: improved security and control, greater traceability, cost savings, and even greater employee satisfaction, which saves time on monotonous tasks that can be spent on tasks of higher value.
What risks can an organization be exposed to if the proper document handling and signing solutions are faulty or not in place at all?
From losing a contract with a client or misplacing an important document, to possible litigation for false documentation. Therefore, it is essential to choose the best supplier of digital signature solutions. If the signature is not carried out correctly, following current legislation, and using a robust and secure method, you may face a lawsuit or dispute.
To prevent this type of situation, 100% of our signature solutions are included in Regulation (EU) No. 910 / 2014 regarding electronic identification and trusted services for electronic transactions (eIDAS Regulation). In addition, following this same rule, we are a Qualified Trusted Service Provider.
Why do you think certain companies still hesitate to digitize various processes?
There are several reasons, although fewer and fewer companies have these kinds of doubts. Some companies doubt the security of the solution, others think it is too complex to implement process digitization solutions, and others still cling to the "we've always done it this way" conformity.
For this reason, we like to show real success stories from our clients, who tell how their processes have improved since they have implemented our solutions.
What aspects of companies do you hope to see digitized in the upcoming years?
Almost any area of the company can be digitized, totally or partially – from finance and administration to logistics or manufacturing. I would love to see companies move away from paper and emissions and embrace more sustainable strategies, thanks in part to digitization.
Currently, in addition to administrative processes, I believe that an especially important area that companies must strengthen is information security. Precisely thanks to the improvement of documentation control, companies can improve this aspect, along with other types of solutions.
As technology becomes a significant part of everyday life, what security practices do you think are essential nowadays?
I think the most important aspects are to have been formed and informed. It is no use having the most advanced systems on the market if your employees are not aware of the risks that exist and what they can do to avoid them. Within a company, something as simple as opening a suspicious email can cause chaos. That is why I believe that constant training is essential. At Docuten, we train our employees on cybersecurity and we share with them real world news of situations regarding this subject so that they are aware of the risks.
On top of that, of course, you need to have the right security technology from Cybernews to make sure that all the solutions you employ are secure and reliable. As we have mentioned previously, Docuten, having passed exhaustive audits, has ISO 27001 certification, which guarantees the implementation of its information security management system complies with an international standard of good practice. No one is free from being attacked nowadays. However, being prepared and having a solid contingency plan in place mitigates the consequences.
Share with us, what's next for Docuten?
We believe that 2022 is going to be a very fruitful year for Docuten. Digitalization is gaining incalculable weight in the market and this is already beginning to be seen with state aid and many other measures that favor and encourage companies to implement these types of solutions in their business strategies. As experts in administrative digitization, we want to promote the implementation of tools that favor business growth and competitiveness.
In addition, we are firmly convinced of the robustness of our solutions, which is why we have begun to explore other types of markets to try to understand them and feel their pulse.