User Review( votes)
Most people immediately associate blockchain with Bitcoin. It is true that blockchain was initially mainly used in the context of digital currencies exchange.
Today, Blockchain technology has much broader applications. It has specific characteristics that make it ideal for improving the reliability of business workflows that involve sensitive information like invoices, quotes, or contracts.
The exchange of these sensitive digital assets needs to happen in a way that ensures all stakeholders that those assets have not been tampered with. This is where blockchain can come in. You can an invoice digital signature or, better said, an invoice that is digitally sealed with blockchain.
In this article, we go through an application that is already available, and that allows you to use blockchain to make invoices easier to authenticate and exchange with other stakeholders.
Let’s first have a look at an example and then consider some practical aspects.
Breaking new ground – an example on invoices & blockchain digital seals
In our example we will follow Alicia Thomber, Chief Financial Officer of AdventureWorks.
She has just opened CB Digital Seal for SharePoint for the first time.
As a financial officer, she has dealt with invoices, receipts and other financial documents all her professional life. She is also very familiar with using Microsoft SharePoint for document management.
She wants to explore what she can do with CB Digital Seal for SharePoint, with the help of Greg Winston from the IT department.
Greg explains you can set up CB Digital Seal for SharePoint so that all the files are sealed automatically, but for now, it is set up for in demand. So, Greg shows how she can go about sealing a file. You pick up a SharePoint document library or a folder within a library, choose the file type you want to seal, and click a button to make it underway.
Alicia can later verify any document she sealed:
The second option gives her great flexibility, as it means she can do it from anywhere and also that any other stakeholder can verify the document from anywhere.
For now, she will explore more of what she can do in terms of the first option, that is Inside CB Digital Seal for SharePoint. Greg points out that she can verify a whole folder, no matter the number of documents she has inside it, or a single file.
If all goes well, i.e. no one tampered with the file, a quick feedback will show so. If the application is checking a folder, you see an indication of the number of files verified.
What if I have a broken digital seal on my document?
Greg then makes use of his IT skills to demonstrate to Alicia why this tool is useful. He picks up a contract document (Contract.pdf), seals it and verifies it. At first, he gets the expected “green signal” that indicates the contract is good, no one manipulated it.
He then goes behind the scene, acting as if he is a hacker (don’t tell anyone!).
He changes the date of the contract, a sensitive piece of information he should not be able to change. But he does change it just to demonstrate what a hacker could easily do. After the contract is change, everything looks normal in SharePoint. The version history does not show any changes, and the last updated date is still as it was.
Fortunately, you cannot fool CB Digital Seal for SharePoint! When Greg clicks verify, he can clearly see the file has been altered.
Alicia is very impressed with this demonstration!
If it was not for CB Digital Seal for SharePoint, she could have been fooled into trusting a forged contract.
What a great fraud detection warning!
This is the core functionality of CB Digital Seal for SharePoint, but Alicia finds she can do a lot more with it:
- View detailed logs
- View statistics of sealing and verification
Greg also explains that CB Digital Seal for SharePoint can connect to more than one SharePoint if needed.
- User friendly
My Sensitive Information Going to the Blockchain?
Alicia still has one concern. She knows that CB Digital Seal for SharePoint uses Blockchain. She likes using state-of-the-art technology, but she does not like the idea of having financial sensitive information going around in the web.
Alicia learns from Greg that is not the case: only a digital fingerprint of each sealed file leaves the network, never the file itself. The file always remains within the safety of their original environment.
Pricing, costs and ROI
Using an out-of-the box solution such as CB Digital Seal for SharePoint makes this state-of-the-art technology available at a fraction of the cost Alicia had anticipated when she heard about it. She is also happy that using this technology has a low transaction cost, as that is a running cost. With transaction costs of less than 1 cent, it is not much of a problem.
For Alicia, her favorite thing about CB Digital Seal for SharePoint is that she can now prove invoices and other financial information are authentic and identical to how they were on the sealing date.
She can anticipate how valuable that will be for her upcoming audits.
For the auditors, having a digital on an invoice will as if it was an invoice digital signature but one that cannot be forged. And the same goes for receipts, quotes, contracts and all other sensitive financial information.
Would you like to see for yourself what CB Digital Seals can do for you?
Why don’t you talk to our experts? They will be glad to provide you with a free demo or answer any questions you might have.
You can also call us at +1 (720)-577-3030!
By Ana Neto, Connecting Software.
Connecting Software is a 15-year-old company the produces software for integration and synchronization. Currently with 40 employees, Connecting Software spreads through 4 different countries and truly is a global company.
We are also a proud “Top Member 2019” at CRMSoftwareBlog.