5000 of the most prominent Nordic business leaders gather in Helsinki

The biggest and most important business forum in the Nordic countries – the Nordic Business Forum will take place on 9 – 10 October in Helsinki, bringing together ca 5000 of the region’s top business people.  Among the forum’s keynote speakers is actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger and one of world’s top football coaches, Sir Alex Ferguson. For the first time, Estonia is among the event partners.

Tanel Padar Blues Band will perform at the Official Nordic Business Forum After-Party.

Tanel Padar Blues Band will perform at the Official Nordic Business Forum After-Party.

According to the Enterprise Estonia foreign representative in Helsinki, Valdar Liive, the partner status in the forum will help improve Estonia’s reputation and name, and to create contacts with potential and existing foreign investors. „Being a partner will make us more visible and demonstrate our dedication and trustworthiness, and will also support the idea of a Talsinki economic area. Economic co-operation between Estonia and Finland is already efficient, but it could be better in the sense of co-operation between “brains”. In addition, we will have a great opportunity to introduce important international events held in Estonia, for example, the Estonian ICT Week, taking place for the second time in May of the following year,“ Liive said.

Aare Tammemäe, the chairman of the board of FinanceEstonia, the organisation representing the financial sector, believes that the Nordic Business Forum is an important meeting venue for decision-makers of the Nordic Countries. „Finland is one of the export markets closest to Estonia. The presence of our financial sector together with our Nordic neighbours’ will give us the opportunity to present the opportunities of the Estonian financial sector and to show that, in addition to the banking sector, Estonia has many alternative companies active in the financial sector,” Tammemäe explained.

„The most innovative business workshop in the Nordic Countries provides its participants with a chance to meet with real leading entrepreneurs. SignWise will be happy to present a new milestone in their cross-border electronic signature and authenticating service – an option to sign business documents electronically with Belgium,” Tiit Anmann, the CEO of SignWise added.

Enterprise Estonia along SignWise will be hosting the Official After-Party and Networking night on the first day of the forum where the Finnish Minister of Blues Esa Kuloniemi and Estonian Tanel Padar with his Blues Band will guarantee an evening to remember.

Nordic Business Forum 2014, taking place for the fifth time, has become one of the most important business events in the Nordic Countries, bringing together over 5300 leaders and entrepreneurs across the world, including 400 participants from Estonia this year. The participants will be world-famous leaders in entrepreneurship and opinion. Nordic Business Forum 2014 will take place on the 9th and 10th of October, in the Expo and Convention Centre, Helsinki.

We apologize: an error in Certification Centre’s international services prevents e-signing in Latvia

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We would like to let you know and apologize for the fact that at the moment the e-signing of the new digital document file format BDOC is not working properly in Latvia. Disturbances are caused by an error in Estonian Certification Centre’s (legal name AS Sertifitseerimiskeskus) international services.

After investigating the matter, we can assure you that the service has been disrupted only for the Latvian ID-card users who wish to sign BDOC files, the e-signing of PDF-format documents works perfectly in Latvia. Also, all existing document formats can be e-signed without disruptions by Estonians, Finns, Lithuanians, the Swiss and Azerbaijanis.

We are in constant contact with the Certification Centre, but so far we have not been provided information on when the error is eliminated. For our part, we make every effort to resolve the problem as quickly as possible and we’ll keep you informed of the situation.

Update: We are happy to announce that as of today, September 9, everything is working just fine. Thank you for your patience!

Our new portal ups usability and looks amazing*

To mark historical events like the now occurring NATO Summit in Wales, we @SignWise decided to launch our new portal.

All in the name of improving its usability and of course make it even prettier. The portal boasts also some new features like the preview mode of PDF and picture files – permitting you to properly oversee what you are currently e-signing.

Since pictures speak more than a 1000 words, here’s a little teaser from the new portal.

New Portal view PDF preview

It is now officially inaugurated – welcome! And do let us know what you think and how we could improve it even more.

* – in our humble opinion.  

Young international journalists got a glimpse of SignWise

On 3–10 August, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted young journalists and students of journalism from the countries where Estonia has an embassy. During their weeklong stay in Estonia, the young journalists were introduced to various aspects of Estonia. Including an overview of developments in society, e-government, business and science. With the help of our CLO Ms Liisi Jürgen, the journalists also got an overview of SignWise – the first cross-border e-signing and authentication service in the EU.

“Our wish is that what the journalists see in Estonia during this week would make them enthusiastic about coming back and continue communicating with Estonian people and experts, and inspire them to follow what is happening in our country in their international media work,” Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Government Office will bring to Estonia 100 young journalists and students of journalism in four years within the framework of a training programme “100 friends” designed for young journalists and dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia.

The journalists were invited to visit Estonia for a week in cooperation with the Estonian embassies in China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Holland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Photos: Karli Suvisild (e-Estonia Showroom)

SignWise's Chief Legal Officer Ms Liisi Jürgen speaks to the young journalists.

SignWise’s Chief Legal Officer Ms Liisi Jürgen speaks to the young journalists.

CLO Liisi Jürgen introduces SignWise

Young international journalists at the e-Estonia Showroom.

Young international journalists at the e-Estonia Showroom.

SignWise and 111 Estonian Honorary Consuls (gallery)

Estonia may be a small country, but it is well represented all over the world in addition to the Embassies, Permanent representations and consulates general there are 186 Estonian Honorary Consuls in 82 countries in total. In the beginning of July, 111 of them gathered in Tallinn for the VII conference of the Honorary Consuls of the Republic of Estonia. SignWise with its cross-border service co-sponsored and presented at the event.

The sponsorship part meant providing personalized digital ID test-kits along with smart-card readers for each and every Honorary Consul so they could test SignWise e-signing and authentication service as well as i-voting provided by Cybernetica. This came to life thanks to collaboration with Trüb, e-Governance Academy, Aktors and Elion.

One might not know, but the number of countries where electronic or digital ID-s exist is quite big. But there are also quite a few countries where the eID-s have been emitted but where there are almost no existing e-services to use them with. So a digital ID test-kit along with a functioning e-service to test it with sparked curiosity in many Honorary Consuls.

Also attending the conference was the Estonian Minister of Foreign Trade and Entrepreneurship Mrs Anne Sulling who stressed the importance of closer engagement with the Estonian Honorary Consuls – to promote their valuable networks and know-how to the Estonian companies looking for expansion across the borders. Considering that 91% of Estonian GDP consists of export, it only makes sense.

When SignWise’s CEO Mr Tiit Anmann made a demo of the cross-border e-signing to the Honorary Consuls it sparked interest and questions regarding the service – both from countries where the electronic identities already exist and where they still are a foreign concept. Want to know whether SignWise is already available in your country? Click here to find out right now.

Photo gallery (photographers: Terje Parts, Erik Peinar)

In regards of official representations the Republic of Estonia has currently 34 Embassies, 7 Permanent Representations or Consulates Generals and 4 Chancelleries plus 1 Special Mission. In addition to that there are also 186 Honorary Consuls in 82 countries…and still counting.

In regards of official representations the Republic of Estonia has currently 34 Embassies, 7 Permanent Representations or Consulates Generals and 4 Chancelleries plus 1 Special Mission. In addition to that there are also 186 Honorary Consuls in 82 countries…and still counting.

It was already the VII Conference that the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Estonia has held for the Honorary Consuls. The conferences are held every 3 years with the aim to give an overview of Estonia’s recent developments and provide the Consuls also an opportunity to network.

It was already the VII Conference that the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Estonia has held for the Honorary Consuls. The conferences are held every 3 years with the aim to give an overview of Estonia’s recent developments and provide the Consuls also an opportunity to network.

SignWise’s CEO Mr Tiit Anmann during the demo and Undersecretary Legal and Consular Affairs Mr Lauri Bambus.

SignWise’s CEO Mr Tiit Anmann during the demo and Undersecretary Legal and Consular Affairs Mr Lauri Bambus.

There’s been a substantial growth in the Estonian Honorary Consuls’ numbers. In 2011 there were 141, as of this year already 186. In the midst of the Honorary Consuls’ the main organizer of the Honorary Consuls’ Conference Ms Kirsti Anipai from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be seen.

There’s been a substantial growth in the Estonian Honorary Consuls’ numbers. In 2011 there were 141, as of this year already 186. In the midst of the Honorary Consuls’ the main organizer of the Honorary Consuls’ Conference Ms Kirsti Anipai from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be seen.

The main organizer of the Honorary Consuls’ Conference Ms Kirsti Anipai-Peinar from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Technical Expert Helen Naarits, Director of IT department Mr Kristo Kaasan, Counsellor of Government Office Mr Gert Uiboaed

The main organizer of the Honorary Consuls’ Conference Ms Kirsti Anipai from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Technical Expert Helen Naarits, Director of IT department Mr Kristo Kaasan, Counsellor of Government Office Mr Gert Uiboaed

SignWise breakfast meeting with 2nd largest trading partner of Lithuania (gallery)

On May 28th, SignWise held a breakfast meeting with the European Business Network in Vilnius.  The event at the Estonian Embassy brought together various Ambassadors, diplomats, lawyers and other business representatives.

The European Business Network (EBN) is the initiative of the Ambassadors of Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Netherlands and Portugal, bringing together their respective countries’ business communities in Lithuania and supporting them and Lithuanian companies in their efforts to grow their trade and investment activities.

The EBN is a unique organisation; it provides a common platform for building productive relationships with the corporate sector and Lithuanian government through networking via the embassies. EBN countries represent 20% of all FDI in Lithuania, 25% of exports and more than 21% of imports. This makes EBN the 2nd largest trading partner of Lithuania.

The EBN organises regularly scheduled events with speakers on economic, legal and other important and timely developments in Lithuania and Europe which are of interest to members and, of course, to provide an excellent opportunity for networking.

SignWise's Country Manager in Latvia, Mr Mārtiņš Bērziņš, opened the meeting with an introductory presentation on “Cross-border electronic signing and authenticating”.

SignWise’s Country Manager in Latvia, Mr Mārtiņš Bērziņš, opened the meeting with an introductory presentation on “Cross-border electronic signing and authenticating”.

Opening note by H.E., the Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia to Lithuania, Mr Toomas Kukk

Opening note by H.E., the Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia to Lithuania, Mr Toomas Kukk

The event at the Estonian Embassy brought together various Ambassadors, diplomats, lawyers and other business representatives.

The event at the Estonian Embassy brought together various Ambassadors, diplomats, lawyers and other business representatives.

SignWise's Chief Legal Officer, Ms Liisi Jürgen's presentation was on “The legal scope of electronic signatures in the European Union

SignWise’s Chief Legal Officer, Ms Liisi Jürgen’s presentation was on “The legal scope of electronic signatures in the European Union”

Networking after the presentations.

Networking after the presentations.

First Secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of Estonia, Mrs Külliki Linnamägi, SignWise's CLO, Ms Liisi Jürgen and SignWise's CTO, Mr Ott Sarv

First Secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of Estonia, Mrs Külliki Linnamägi, SignWise’s CLO, Ms Liisi Jürgen and SignWise’s CTO, Mr Ott Sarv

SignWise sponsored Estonian ICT Week’s star event

The end of April saw the Estonian capital Tallinn turn into a true e-city due to the Estonian ICT Week, aptly titled “Positively Enlightening”. It brought together entrepreneurs, investors, IT professionals, government leaders and policy makers from all over the world.

SignWise was almost omnipresent – we sponsored or had our stand or, as we like to call it, helpdesk present at three different conferences: Change, Quick!, Nordic Digital Agendas Day and the Freedom Online Conference. The latter being the most high-level of the three. Freedom Online Conference is organized by the The Freedom Online Coalition (FOC). It is an intergovernmental coalition committed to advancing Internet freedom – free expression, association, assembly, and privacy online – worldwide.

FOC also hosts annual multi-stakeholder conferences that aim to deepen the discussion on how freedom of expression on the Internet is helping to promote social, cultural and economic development.

And, the fourth conference of the FOC took place in Tallinn during the ICT Week.

All of the participants of FOC got personalized digital identity test-kits prepared by SignWise in collaboration with the Estonian E-Governance Academy, Trüb, TeliaSonera, Cybernetica and Estonian Ministry of the Interior. During the conference, the participants were presented with a couple of topics for them to e-vote on with their brand new digi-IDs. SignWise also gave a workshop on e-signing, authentication and signature validation – showing even more ways of using the digital identity.

Fast forward a couple of days and the Deputy Secretary General of ICT at Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications for Estonia, Taavi Kotka published an idea called “10 million „e-Estonians“ by 2025!” in this blog post – to sum it up: Estonian government has approved the concept of issuing digital IDs to non-residents. The aim is to make sure that at least 10 million people around the world choose to associate with #Estonia via e-identities. We at SignWise support this idea fully as we’re already taking the benefits of our service across borders to many countries with e-identities. With this new idea, the expansion will be even faster, surely.

Back to the ICT Week though. SignWise also presented the speakers of Change, Quick! with gifts – digital identity test-kits for the foreigners along with a cool little Estonian invention – a stylish smart-card reader called +iD and the Estonian speakers (obviously already seasoned digital residents) got the aforementioned and much coveted smart-card reader.

We did attend numerous other events during the ICT Week, often simultaneously. A very cool startup event with some heavy duty networking opportunities Latitude59 (Google‘s Vint Cerf and TechstarsJonathan Bradford and Draper Uni‘s Tim Draper were there and the highest concentration of VCs we’ve seen in a while), the already legendary Rock IT party where companies in the ICT and telecommunication field come together with their amateur bands to rock through the night and the TransferWise Startup party, to name a few.

Here’s a little re-cap in photos (author: Terje Lepp):

One of SignWise's investors and Estonian IT visionaries, Mr Linnar Viik talks to the President of the Riigikogu, Mr Eiki Nestor at the Freedom Online Conference speakers' dinner.

One of SignWise’s investors and Estonian IT visionaries, Mr Linnar Viik talks to the President of the Riigikogu, Mr Eiki Nestor at the Freedom Online Conference speakers’ dinner.

The President of the Republic of Estonia, Mr Toomas Hendrik Ilves speaks at the Freedom Online Conference

The President of the Republic of Estonia, Mr Toomas Hendrik Ilves speaks at the Freedom Online Conference

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia, Mr Taavi Rõivas talks to SignWise's CTO Mr Ott Sarv during the FOC speakers' dinner.

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia, Mr Taavi Rõivas talks to SignWise’s CTO Mr Ott Sarv during the FOC speakers’ dinner.

The speakers of the e-Governance and e-signing workshop at the Freedom Online Conference.

The speakers of the e-Governance and e-signing workshop at the Freedom Online Conference.

SignWise's CEO Mr Tiit Anmann and CLO Ms Liisi Jürgen at the SignWise help-desk during the Freedom Online Conference.

SignWise’s CEO Mr Tiit Anmann and CLO Ms Liisi Jürgen at the SignWise help-desk during the Freedom Online Conference.

Google's vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist Mr Vint Cerf at the Freedom Online Conference in Tallinn

Google’s vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist Mr Vint Cerf at the Freedom Online Conference in Tallinn

PS. Check out whether SignWise is already available in your country.

SignWise is a Finalist for the 2014 Red Herring Top 100 Europe Award

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Tallinn - March 27, 2014 – SignWise is proud to announce today it has been selected as a Finalist for Red Herring’s Top 100 Europe award, a prestigious list honoring the year’s most promising private technology ventures from the European business region.

The Red Herring editorial team selected the most innovative companies from a pool of hundreds from across Europe. The nominees are evaluated on 20 main quantitative and qualitative criterion: they include disruptive impact, market footprint, proof of concept, financial performance, technology innovation, social value, quality of management, execution of strategy, and integration into their respective industries.

This unique assessment of potential is complemented by a review of the actual track record and standing of a company, which allows Red Herring to see past the “buzz” and make the list a valuable instrument for discovering and advocating the greatest business opportunities in the industry.

“This year was rewarding, beyond all expectations” said Alex Vieux, publisher and CEO of Red Herring. “The global economic situation has abated and there are many great companies producing really innovative and amazing products. We had a very difficult time narrowing the pool and selecting the finalists. SignWise shows great promise and therefore deserves to be among the Finalists. Now we’re faced with the difficult task of selecting the Top 100 winners of Red Herring Europe. We know that the 2014 crop will grow into some amazing companies that are sure to make an impact.”

The finalists for the 2014 edition of the Red Herring 100 Europe award are selected based upon their technological innovation, management strength, market size, investor record, customer acquisition, and financial health. During the months leading up to the announcement, hundreds of companies in the telecommunications, security, Web 2.0, software, hardware, biotech, mobile and other industries completed their submissions to qualify for the award.

“Taking into consideration the meticulous process how the finalists are chosen, we at SignWise are certainly proud that our efforts in the field of cross-border e-signing and authentication are being recognised in such a way,” commented Tiit Anmann, CEO of SignWise, adding: “It is also notable that we are among the eight companies representing security services and also among the three representing Estonia.”

The Finalists will be presenting their winning strategies at the Red Herring Europe Forum in Amsterdam, April 7-9, 2014. The Top 100 winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony the evening of April 9 at the event.

SignWise is a service enabling electronic signing (e-signing) of documents and strong user authentication. The service leverages electronic identities and integrates them into the SignWise service cloud where their in-country and/or cross-border use is possible. SignWise‘s competitive edge lies in the cross-use of various countries’ e-identities and qualified certificates for authentication and electronic signing. Today the service can be used by Swiss, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Azerbaijani state issued e-identity owners. 

The complete list of Red Herring 100 Europe Award Finalists can be found here

Try SignWise for free and see for yourself how it’ll uncomplicate your business and life.

SignWise BDOC support goes live in the Baltic States

SignWise, the cross-border e-signing and authentication service, is the first in Europe to go live with BDOC support aimed at businesses. The new format increases the security of the e-signing of business documents. The service can be easily integrated with service providers’ information systems and online services in all three Baltic States.

Within the next couple of years, BDOC is planned to replace the currently used local in-country formats like DDOC in Estonia, etc. The Estonian Information System Authority recommends that in 2014 all companies that possess systems using e-signatures should upgrade their information systems gradually to BDOC signatures.

For enterprises this obligatory transition means significant time and resource costs and a couple months’ lasting development and implementation period should be taken into account. Using the SignWise service means substantial savings in the above named time and resources spent on both upgrading and maintaining in-house e-signature software.

SignWise BDOC enabled service is already available and can be instantly used to serve customers. The BDOC support offered in the SignWise service is also the first cross-border implementation permitting e-signing of BDOC documents with Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian citizens and companies.

SignWise offers a service which enables e-signing of electronic documents, user authentication and is integrated into companies’ information systems and online services.

Try SignWise for free and see for yourself how it’ll uncomplicate your business and life.

SignWise‘s competitive edge lies in the cross-use of various countries’ e-identities and qualified certificates for authentication and e-signing.Thus the signatures given in the SignWise service are legally binding and equal to handwritten signatures. The use of qualified certificates also guarantees strong user authentication. Today, the service can be used by Swiss, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Azerbaijani national e-identity owners.

BDOC is a format that is based on new-generation cryptographic algorithms, follows ETSI standard and allows international e-signing. Files signed in the new format are smaller as this is a compressed format. BDOC can also be transmitted better by e-mail as e-mail applications recognise the format more easily. And unlike the DDOC-format, BDOC supports the usage of stronger SHA-2 family hashes.

On-premise software vs SignWise cloud-service

On-premise software vs SignWise cloud-service

SignWise, the Estonian-based cross border service of electronic signing, is being used already in six countries

Signwise - Baku 2013Electronic signing service which enables to sign electronic documents digitally, equalizing such a signature to a handwritten signature, is, with a growing pace, being used by companies in addition to Estonia also in Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Switzerland and Azerbaijan. “The electronic signing service, which is unique in the world, has been used in six countries for almost six months now and with the help of it, hundreds of documents have been digitally signed cross border. Internally thousands of documents have been digitally signed.”, says Tiit Anmann, CEO of SignWise, adding, that, hundreds of people use the service on a daily basis. The aim of the company, which has been operating a little more than a year, is to offer a simple and easy, also cross-borderly usable service of digital signing which does not depend on different technologies being used in one country or another. For companies this green ICT-solution enables to spare the environment and to remarkably reduce costs. Anmann brings an example: “Let’s assume that a company’s customer service worker signs, for example, 300 paper documents per month, 10% of which is being sent to clients by post. Signing the same amount of documents digitally and forwarding them to clients securely, would save the company more than 13 000 euros per year. In addition, because of the timestamp, the digital signature is secure and reduces the risks of forgery.” Of the fact that SignWise is on the right path with developing the service of cross border digital signing gives notice the announcement that the company made at the end of October about investors – Mobi Solutions OÜ, which is a leading developer of mobile messaging and mobile billing services, as well as a developer of different apps and software, also most preferred SMS-connectivity partner in Estonia, Tavid AS, which is the largest Northern-European trader of investment gold and IT-visionary Linnar Viik invested in SignWise. SignWise has been using the financing to accelerate further development of the SignWise service, to strengthen the team and to support the usage of the service with ID-cards of next countries. “The trust that this kind of big companies and people have shown through the investment has enabled the SignWise service to develop more rapidly, and next year we will definitely have more good news to share”, says Anmann. SignWise is a web-based easy-use digital signing service and plugin created for companies, enabling digital signing of electronic documents, both internally and cross-border, making such a signature equal to a handwritten signature. The service is directed to companies, and in addition to environmental sustainability, is saving their time and money through automation of processes.