Science Technology

Electronic signature trapped in digital “fog”

There is a kind of trap that looks bright and convincing on the surface, but only those who step in and sprain their feet know how painful it is.
Even Ma Huateng didn’t escape such a trap.
On December 15, Tencent held an internal staff meeting online. At the meeting, Ma Huateng admitted that Tencent was often threatened by market share and public opinion.
In the past three years, CSIG has done a lot of impulsive things, pursuing front-end integration and big digital revenue. “People always ask, what is your ranking (Tencent Cloud)?” Ma Huateng said. Although the numbers on the surface look good, in fact, many are gross loss and gross loss businesses.
Fortunately, although I stepped on the pit, I still had time to get out.
In Ma Huateng’s view, it is Tencent’s long-term task to make good products and then play the role of being integrated.
Ma Huateng expressed his feelings and revealed problems that were just the tip of the iceberg in the industry.
Those seemingly insignificant small numbers can set off terrible hurricanes.
If this storm is allowed to continue, those enterprises that are seriously developing in the industry will probably suffer incalculable losses.
Recently, Little Wifi noticed that there has been a series of turbulence in the electronic signature industry, and some problems have begun to surface.
The industry has been suffering from “report” for a long time
Behind those contradictory figures
As we all know, numbers are of great significance to Internet companies.
Of course, if the numbers are correct, then we can get the correct information from them.
However, if these figures deviate, it will inevitably cause a series of problems.
This time, the storm that triggered the turbulence in the electronic signature industry began with IDC.
Recently, IDC, an international data company with a reputation as one of the global IT industry analysts, released the Report on Market Share of China’s Electronic Signature Solutions in 2021.
The report shows that China’s e-signature public cloud model ranks first with e-signature, with a market share of 25.1%. Compared with the 2020 China e-signature report released by IDC, e-signature public cloud market has a market share of 2.5%, which has increased by 10 times.
Another content shown in the report is even more shocking – e-Sign’s revenue from the public cloud model in 2021 is 15 times that of 2020.
According to IDC’s “China’s Electronic Signature Solution Market Share Report in 2021” and “China’s Electronic Signature Software Market Share in 2020”, it is not difficult to calculate:
(1) The total revenue of e-Sign in 2020 is 5.78 million dollars/37.68 million yuan (exchange rate: 2020/12/31.65249), and the total revenue in 2021 is 19.58 million dollars/120 million yuan (exchange rate: 2021/12/31.63757).
(2) The revenue of e-Sign public cloud is 840000 US dollars/5.48 million yuan in 2020 (exchange rate: 2020/12/31.65249), and 13.45 million US dollars/85.77 million yuan in 2021 (exchange rate: 2021/12/31.6.3757)
Compared with IDC’s two reports on the market share of China’s electronic signature market, the revenue growth of e-signature public cloud=(1345-84)/84=1501%, a full 15 times.
Is it true?
According to IDC’s “China’s Electronic Signature Software Market Share in 2020”, the revenue of eSignature in 2020 is only $5.78 million, of which the revenue of public cloud is only $840000.
E-Sign once claimed that it was the first to enter the SaaS electronic contract in 2013. After eight years, the revenue of public cloud SaaS in 2020 was only 840000 US dollars?
Of course, if we only look at IDC’s data, the revenue of e-Sign public cloud will be 840000 US dollars/5.48 million yuan in 2020 and 13.45 million US dollars/85.77 million yuan in 2021, which can only be described as a leap.
However, it is puzzling that according to the revenue data previously reported by e-Sign, this change is not only a leap, but also a precipitous decline.
Because e-Sign announced that the revenue in 2018 had exceeded 100 million. On January 1, 2019, Chen Liwei, the investor of e-sign, shared that “e-sign is the first enterprise in China with a revenue of more than 100 million in the e-sign industry.”
(Interestingly, according to the IDC report, the revenue of eSignal in 2018 was 2.8 million US dollars, or only 19.68 million yuan.)
However, according to IDC’s “Market Share of China’s Electronic Signature Software in 2020”, even after two years, the annual revenue of e-Sign is only 5.78 million US dollars/37.68 million yuan, which is still far from 100 million yuan.
What is the truth of such contradictory data? Who is lying? investor? IDC? Or e-sign?
In addition, from the perspective of human efficiency, there are also some puzzling points.
According to the IDC report, the average human efficiency of e-Sign is only 100000 yuan/person. If only the human efficiency of public cloud is calculated, the human efficiency will drop to 70000 yuan/person.
It is ironic that Peter, the existing shareholder of e-Sign and the founding managing partner of Jingya Capital, once issued the official document “Shrink to Win: How can SaaS survive the cold winter and win before the market recovers?” on May 2022. The article gave six suggestions to entrepreneurs. The second suggestion in the article gave a personal efficiency index “below the average of 500000 people, immediately optimize the team and put it in place at one time”.
I don’t know what Peter thinks of e-sign with average human efficiency of only 100000 yuan and public cloud human efficiency of only 70000 yuan?
What’s more strange is that e-Sign Bao, who boasts that his income has already been several hundred million and is doing listing counseling, not only did not express any objection to such denigration of their figures, but also quoted the IDC report on his official account at the first time and announced that he was the first in the industry.
Numbers can speak by themselves, and contradictory numbers are in front of us. One party is always lying, or two or even three parties are all lying. Given contradictory figures, the tripartite relationship is extremely harmonious. It’s really puzzling.
The reason why the IDC report has caused the rebound of many enterprises in the industry is actually that the “Xiti” e-Sign, which has 15 times the performance growth, has a similar “criminal record”.
In May 2021, the relevant conclusions of the “leading market share of e-Sign Bao” in the two reports, “Special Analysis Report 2020 on the E-Sign Market of Human Resources” and “Special Analysis 2019 on the E-Sign Market of China”, the actual data only came from the user survey questionnaire.
According to the investigation, the parties concerned have cooperative relations and economic exchanges with eShangbao, which violates the Anti-Unfair Competition Law. Relevant administrative penalties have been publicized in the national enterprise credit information publicity system.
In the same period, the survey reports made by different industry evaluation agencies have reached completely different conclusions, which is almost no surprise.
Discard false digital vanity
Multi-party cooperation drives the industry to move forward healthily
After the cloud problem of IDC’s report, it makes people wonder why the world-famous IDC is also caught in the storm of report fraud?
But if we look at the current problem from a higher position, we may be able to find out which roles are behind the event from different angles.
The first role to bear the brunt must be the enterprise as a supplier and service provider.
In order to win higher industry evaluation and obtain higher industry status, some manufacturers obtain beautiful data in the report through paying reports and evaluation, thus consciously having more competitiveness.
Chen Guo, a well-known consultant, recently published an article titled “Corruption in IT Industry | Is There a Reliable Industry Research Institution”, and hated this kind of phenomenon. Many industry practitioners have also “complained” in the comment area. For example, in the project competition, some Party B even bought awards from institutions.
Even if Tencent is such a large enterprise, as Ma Huateng said, “Tencent is often threatened by market share and the general trend of public opinion” and has to compromise.
The second role is to find customers of service providers.
As at the beginning, Ma Huateng proved that the reason why he had to compromise was that in many cases, the ranking in the report will affect their decision when customers choose partners as Party A.
Because enterprises can’t understand the industry of suppliers in a short time. At this time, it is indeed a shortcut to rely on the report issued by the so-called credible industry evaluation agency to select the top partners.
However, because of this, customers often become the target of being hunted and unwittingly fall into the “reporting trap” of manufacturers and institutions.
The third role must be the industry evaluation institution that issues the report.
From the perspective of industry evaluation institutions, they are also profit-making institutions. However, there are many ways and means to obtain benefits.
For example, as industry opinion leaders, most of the institutions that are neutral in positioning and value their own authority make profits by charging IT buyers. That is to say, to obtain remuneration by means of report subscription and consulting services. Their reports are relatively reliable. They also rely on neutral and reliable reports to further establish their industry position and seek more market value.
Under the buyer’s payment mode, the quality and credibility of the report need to be marked with a big question mark. As Chen Guo said, “It is not only a common phenomenon that the marketing department of the manufacturer manipulates and seizes the evaluation agency, but also the low level of the buyer lowers the overall level of market research.”
If we understand the IDC report disturbance from this perspective, it will shake people’s image of its industry leader, leader and authority neutrality.
In any case, whatever the reason, the contradictory figures and the conclusions with doubtful points may make some enterprises obtain unfair evaluation.
These evaluations may cause incalculable losses in major events such as corporate financing and access to important customers.
Therefore, the fourth role that cannot be ignored is capital.
Wang Deming, an expert in SaaS industry, said in Ma Huateng’s Internal Speech, the biggest malady of SaaS in China: “China’s SaaS industry is still full of ‘To VC’, ‘no bottom line competition’, ‘data fraud’ and other phenomena. After all, I think it is Ma Huateng who said that it is’ trapped by market share ‘.
For example, the first concern of the capital market is not the quality of SaaS company’s products and services, but its sales revenue and growth rate. As a result, it ‘forces’ entrepreneurs to rush to encircle the market and use a large amount of funds to’ burn money for market ‘without establishing customer stickiness, even though the products are not perfect enough.
This kind of quick success and instant benefit not only delayed the growth of China’s B-end products, but also objectively contributed to the mutual plagiarism and vicious competition in the SaaS industry, which is the biggest drawback of China’s SaaS at present. ”
A small number, like a thread, pulls out the corners of the four characters behind.
Fortunately, even in such a muddy water, there are enterprise leaders with clear awareness like Ma Huateng. It is the most important part of competitiveness when he makes products at the head of his head, and it is also a slap in the face for those enterprises addicted to digital “vanity”. They will finally understand that only products are the core and bottom of an enterprise’s foothold in the industry, the embodiment of its ultimate competitiveness, and the fundamental factor determining its future development.
As a customer, it is easy to fall into the trap and become the final buyer of a report with questionable credibility by simply selecting partners based on the survey report and other figures. Therefore, as long as you spend more time, get to know your interested partners through multiple channels, and understand their real industrial strength, you can avoid stepping on the pit.
As for the industry evaluation institutions, it is the right way to stand as neutral as possible, complete the survey from an objective point of view, conscientiously and rigorously, and provide true and reliable data. If we end up in an untrusted control group at the expense of our own industry reputation, we believe that this is not the expectation of each industry evaluation institution for its own development.
On the other hand, the capital side is less eager for quick success and instant benefit, and is no longer just “market scale theory”. Only in this way can we find excellent and potential enterprises and support the healthy and orderly development of the whole industry.
Zengzi said, “I will examine myself three times a day.”
The wisdom of the Chinese ancients has long shown that only when you have a clear understanding of your own industry can you achieve final success.
The false prosperity of digital construction is like a misty forest. It is difficult for those enterprises in the situation not to be affected by it.
But false is always false, and Li Gui will not become Li Kui after all.
Mark Twain said, “The late truth is like a horseshoe suddenly hitting the head. Alas, it hurts!”
Those people who always don’t want to wake up and pretend to sleep, but they don’t see the big bag on the head, which has already explained everything!