Intercontinental Exchange modernizes documentation for the global market

ICE with a man looking at a computer in the background.

Information has long been considered the lifeblood of global financial markets and exchanges. For more than two decades, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has transformed the way that markets are operated, providing greater transparency and efficiency to keep the wheels of the global economy spinning. ICE currently operates more than a dozen exchanges and marketplaces, including the New York Stock Exchange.

Technology is critical to ICE and plays a crucial role in how it transforms its own operations. Luke Xiehuan, director of information technology at ICE, is always looking for technologies that will make operations faster and more efficient, including e-signatures and digital document workflows.

“E-signatures are the way of the future for all documents,” says Xiehuan. “Customers expect the ease of e-signatures. In a global environment, e-signatures are the fastest way of reaching customers everywhere. With traditional signatures on paper, you risk people not signing because they don’t want to deal with the time and hassle.”

ICE switched to Adobe Acrobat Sign, the e-signature solution within Adobe Document Cloud from their previous e-signature vendor, and have seen significant positive changes to their business processes.

“Adobe Acrobat Sign met all three of our biggest requirements: competitive cost, high security, and a faster onboarding time,” says Xiehuan. “The integrations with other applications were an added bonus, making workflows even faster and easier. We have cut a significant amount of paper from our processes.”

From contracts to NDAs, more secure, rapid document workflows

ICE worked closely with Adobe to make the migration to Acrobat Sign as seamless as possible. During that time, Xiehuan also worked directly with several Adobe teams to ensure a successful roll-out of the solution, participating in multiple short training sessions to get teams up-to-speed. As a result, ICE migrated all systems to Adobe Acrobat Sign in just three months. “Adobe checked in with us frequently during and after the migration; everything went smoothly,” says Xiehuan.

ICE also actively participates on the Adobe Customer Advisory Board, participating and sharing feedback on potential enhancements on future versions of the solution. The company has since implemented Acrobat Sign to support all elements of its business, from sales to operations, to human resources.


One of the top priorities for ICE is to help sales teams generate new deals and quickly respond to client requests. Working with digital contracts allows the sales team to deliver experiences to clients that are easy to sign, convenient, and secure.

The sales team uses Acrobat Sign integrated with Salesforce to manage contracts, sales activation forms, and other customer-facing sales documents. The sales teams can manage their contracts entirely within Salesforce, without needing to switch between multiple apps resulting in a seamless sales user experience, a key ingredient for keeping business running efficiently.

“The streamlined Salesforce integration is a major benefit with Adobe Acrobat Sign,” says Xiehuan. “It was simple to set up and keeps sales representatives focused on customers rather than needing to manage paperwork.”

For regulatory reasons, ICE integrated Acrobat Sign with an enterprise contract repository built on Microsoft SharePoint so that executed contracts automatically sync back into the repository. “With the integration between Adobe Acrobat Sign and Microsoft SharePoint, we don’t need to worry about manually copying documents over,” says Xiehuan. “We know that our contracts are there when we need them.”


The operations department also works closely with contracts. It pulls all types of contracts — including sales and procurement — into a contract database. With Acrobat Sign, managing that database has become even easier. Acrobat Sign connects all completed contracts with the ServiceNow platform, which extracts applicable information and pulls it into a searchable database.

From contracts to non-disclosure agreements, the ICE legal team deals with a large volume of documents in need of signature and approval every day. The legal team typically sends documents directly through Acrobat Sign, using the app to set up signature fields, send documents, and monitor the document status. Working with fully digital workflows minimizes the risk of documents getting changed, lost, or being seen by the wrong person, keeping legal documents even more secure than typical paper processes.

“Secure signature authentication is extremely important to legal and finance fields,” says Xiehuan. “Adobe has demonstrated the highest commitment to security, giving us the confidence we need to use Adobe Acrobat Sign for any type of document.”

Human resources

ICE knows that its most valuable resource is its employees, and Acrobat Sign helps the human resources team deliver top experiences to employees. The 100 percent digital workflows make it more convenient to reach the company’s 5,000 worldwide employees when signing documents such as consent forms and non-disclosure agreements.

“Adobe Acrobat Sign allows us to work with people anywhere in the world within minutes,” says Xiehuan. “Whether we’re dealing with customers or employees, people appreciate the ease and speed of Adobe Acrobat Sign. They don’t need to register an account or remember passwords. They just open their email and with a few clicks, documents are signed and submitted.”

In the two years since starting to work with Acrobat Sign, ICE has processed more than 60,000 documents. Contracts are processed in an average of just seven minutes, even when working with global customers.

“We’re still looking at ways that we can expand our use of Adobe Acrobat Sign, particularly by taking advantage of integrations with Microsoft Office 365 and Teams to further improve efficiencies for employees,” says Xiehuan. “Like many companies, ICE has adapted to increased reliance on hybrid and remote working models over the past year. Adobe Acrobat Sign helps us keep our customers and employees connected.”