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.

SignWise received investment from Mobi Solutions, Linnar Viik and Tavid

signwise_logoMobi 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 have decided to invest in the rapidly developing Estonian start-up company SignWise. Mobi Solutions OÜ together with its subsidiaries is a developer and provider of  mobile messaging and mobile billing services, as well as a developer of different apps and software. For SignWise the investment of Mobi Solutions also involves the capability to develop mobile software platforms and a network of international developers and partners. Veljo Otsason, member of management board of Mobi Solutions, describes the investment into SignWise as a suitable addition into the investments portfolio of Mobi Solutions. „SignWise is operating in an area with a strong and growing demand and we have the capability, developed over the years, to meet that demand. In the area of digital authentication and signing the competence of Estonia is on world-class level.“ Tavid AS, which operates outside of Estonia under the name of Tavex, is the largest seller of investment gold in Northern Europe. The company also offers services of currency exchange and express transfer. In addition to Estonia the company has offices also in Finland, Sweden and Denmark, therefore being able to offer very quick payment solutions in all the operating countries. According to Kuno Rääk, the CEO of Tavid AS, they have foremost invested into the team of SignWise and in order to make doing cross-border business much more effective, they see big potential in cross-border digital signing. Linnar Viik, an Estonian IT-officer and visionary believes that for the intensive growth of cross-border digital services it is important to implement simple and secure services enabling digital signing. In addition to cross-border services, skilled implementation of digital signing services in internal management of companies and for interaction with the client base significant economical effect can be gained. „SignWise has a great team, they have focused on developing the right service and they are doing it at the right time“, Linnar says. Tiit Anmann, CEO of SignWise, adds that the company is using financing to accelerate further development of the SignWise service, to strengthen the team and to extend the support with European ID-cards and bringing the service to the market in the next countries. SignWise is a web-based electronic signing service for companies, enabling electronic documents digital signing equal to handwritten signature with its patent pending plugin both in country as well across borders.  The service is directed to companies, saving their time and money. The service can be used through SignWise portal or integrated with infosystems through moduls Signlink, Authlink and SignWise API.

SignWise’s unique plugin

We have established a unique web browser plugin that helps a web page to interact with smart card certificates – SignWise plugin. Using SignWise plugin allows to provide internet-based alternative to the electronic signing client softwares offered by countries and developed for in-country use. SignWise services can be used in different channels, like in web services, APIs and in service portal. In order to use SignWise services in different services API or web service class integration must be realized. If the user wants to use the portal only, it is necessary to install the SignWise plugin into the computer.

To use SignWise plugin, you have to sign the electronic document digitally either in SignWise service or in an external service when it is interfaced with SignWise service. The first foreign country in addition to Estonia whose electronic identity owners can give a electronic  signature that is an equivalent to handwritten signature is Finland. Finnish eID allows the user to authenticate themselves as well as sign electronic documents digitally in EDOC, DDOC and PDF formats. Estonian, Latvian and Finn can digitally sign common electronic documents with e-ID’s issued by their own government.

Plugin also improves the ease of use of electronic signing by significantly reducing situations where the user’s ID-card either can not be read, or can not be found, or if the user’s client software update for electronic signing hasn’t been done, so it is not possible to sign electronic documents. This browser plugin is designed to ensure the universally spread web browsers interaction with ID-card to ensure a smooth and error-free exchange of information, authentication and electronic signing on the Windows platform (OS X support is in development and released later 2013). SignWise plugin can be downloaded here.

People leave their jobs and take your company’s documents with them

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Businesses are routinely required to sign dozens or even hundreds of documents. In most cases, a number of different people are doing so on behalf of the powers given to them. This spring, the AIIM made a survey where nearly half thousand members took part in. The study aims to examine whether and how the companies use cloud services. One important finding of the study was that nearly a quarter of the organizations employees use not permitted cloud services to share documents in the context of the organizations (such as rather made for private use) (AIIM, 2013). The need for such cloud services is obvious, because their primary need of the use from it is to exchange information with a third party, who either can not access internal systems, or to whom it is not possible to forward information through mail. Since many companies lack a strategy of the use of cloud services or the control system of the process of signing a document is not under the control the company, then important, confidentiality, integrity and information security risks are left unmanaged. All works well but only up until the moment that person decides or is forced to leave their job. Often this will lead to a situation where a person leaves the company along with the signed documents. But the problem is that the person who is leaving the company, takes all the documents with them because there are no copies of the documents for the company. This problem is probably common to many of you who sign digital documents electronically on a daily basis. We have, however, a simple solution to this problem – a service called SignWise, which is a simple and secure web-based electronic signing service, through which given signature is equal to the handwritten signature, and is based on the government-issued electronic identity. It enables electronic signing of electronic documents in-country and cross borders of the European Union member states. SignWise portal has a function for businesses to create their own profile or group profile, which can include a number of different people who have different rights to electronically sign documents on behalf of the company. The company profile maintains all of the documents, even if some of the employees who has signed the documents, should leave the company. So now you no longer have to worry about losing any of the required documents, but you can focus on your business. API is also realized in SignWise service through which the service can be interfaced with the company’s core information systems or self-service portals. Tiit Anmann CEO, SignWise

Security of your data

Data protection is important for usA thought ran through our minds that You might still be worried if this kind of document signing can be secure enough, so we wanted to make sure that You have the comfort of knowing that it really is.

The security of Your data is important to us, so we protect all documents and the interaction between customers with a 256-bit SSL-encryption. In addition, we also encrypt users’ documents and information regarding signatures, to prevent Signwise employees and third parties to access Signwise’s data centres and the data they contain.

Now You’re maybe thinking that You don’t have the slightest clue how this information is going to help you feel comfortable with Your security, because 256-bit SSL-encryption may sound in Your head like: 256 – “some random number”, bit – “okay, have heard it before”, SSL – “an acronym for something” and encryption “something is being encrypted somehow”.

So we wanted to make this a little easier for you and explain that this kind of cryptographic protocols provide communication security over the Internet, which is exactly what You and Your documents need. This protection can help defend against any digital data theft, which otherwise is in great danger in today’s wireless society. So now You know there really is nothing to worry about.

As easy as signing Your documents online, isn’t it?

Best Regards!

Ott Sarv
CTO