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 create 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 Blockchain Seal (previously known as 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
Greg explains you can set up
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, which is inside
If all goes well, i.e. no one tampered with the file, a quick feedback message 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 scenes, 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 changed, 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
Alicia is very impressed with this demonstration!
If it was not for
What a great fraud detection warning!
This is the core functionality of
- View detailed logs
- View statistics of sealing and verification
Greg also explains that
- User friendly
My Sensitive Information Going to the Blockchain?
Alicia still has one concern. She knows that
Alicia learns from Greg that this 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 its original environment.
Pricing, costs, and ROI
Using an out-of-the-box solution such as
For Alicia, her favorite thing about
She can anticipate how valuable that will be for her upcoming audits.
For the auditors, having a digital seal on an invoice will be as if there 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
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.