Interview with Adam Bullion, general manager of marketing & product at InfoTrack.
Why is changing technology important?
It has become clear that advances in technology, such as the advent of the internet and the smartphone have changed human behaviour. From our professional lives, where we work longer hours due to remote technology, to the behaviour in our personal lives, where we expect to have access to information instantly and be able to perform many tasks wherever we are, whenever. Consumer behaviour also has changed, and ecommerce has become king, so we no longer need to ever leave our homes to buy goods. These daily efficiencies are also expected by staff, and as a business owner it is our duty to implement the appropriate technology to meet these changing needs, particularly when, regardless of technological advances, many business processes remain stagnant.
In terms of the conveyancing process where do you foresee the potential for change?
I believe that the conveyancing industry is a legal sector that is overdue for change. Aside from searches, many parts of the process have already become electronic and are hosted online, such as the submission process for the SDLT and AP1 forms. However, no provider has taken advantage of this ability, until now. At InfoTrack, we look at the most cumbersome and form heavy sections of conveyancing and turn these into electronic versions that are easier to complete and enjoyable to use. Upon review, we identified the contract pack as the next segment of the process where administrative processes can be reduced and optimised. With this in mind, we have created eCOS (electronic Contract of Sale) which combats the time consuming process of copying information into a contract, as well as dealing with the slow and unsecured way in which these documents (including the TA6 and TA10) are handled. eCOS is a fully electronic process that conveyancers can take now advantage of and be seen by their clients as truly forward thinking.
Tell us more about eCOS, what does this do?
We created eCOS (electronic Contract of Sale) to be a paperless solution that gives conveyancers the ability to compile the full contract pack electronically, including the TA6, TA10, contract, title and plan. Our smart eCOS portal also allows the contract pack to be easily sent and received by both the conveyancer and the client within InfoTrack, so you can rely on it being a fast, paper-free and completely secure process that requires no printing scanning, posting or faxing. These contract packs can also be signed electronically by all parties involved, using the latest in e-signature technology. At InfoTrack, our mission to build the end to end conveyancing process online is being enacted one process at a time, and eCOS is the next step.
Are electronic signatures acceptable forms of signing legal documents?
With a growth rate of over 53% annually, e-signatures are rapidly being adopted in many industries and at different levels of transactions. The Law Society recently released a practice note on the use of electronic signatures in law, and with secure, stringent measures put in to maintain the highest level of security, electronic signatures are highly regarded and are an efficient way of signing documents. The technology we use is by DocuSign, the global industry leader in e-signing.
Would you offer any advice to conveyancers looking to adopt new technology?
InfoTrack aspires to create technology that is not only incredibly efficient and simple to use, but also makes day-to-day processes more enjoyable. I believe that good technology should be a joy to use, as well as providing clear operational benefit. So when adopting new technology for your firm, I always suggest that a series of questions are asked; does it add value to the customer? Does it reduce operating costs? Is it relevant? Will it help us excel in our core competencies? Will it reduce cost/improve quality/provide a set of functions that did not exist before? Those technologies that will be most valuable should respond ‘yes’ to all those questions.