How Fivium enabled UK government agencies to process documents safely and efficiently

We don’t have to explain to government departments who GlobalSign is, so that’s a real positive.

Chris Tasker, Lead Software Developer

INDUSTRY Information Technology (IT) Software and Services
USER BASE Public sector, central government, and local government within the UK
GLOBALSIGN SOLUTION Digital Signing Service (DSS)

At a Glance


Fivium needed a solution that would allow customers to apply trusted digital signatures to critical government documents in a way that achieved the company’s mission of providing services that make the work of the public sector easier, more efficient, and compliant.


Fivium was able to integrate GlobalSign’s best-in-class Digital Signing Service (DSS) with the use of one simple REST API. Now, customers can apply secure and validated signatures to digital documents for a quick and seamless document signing experience.


For the last decade and a half, UK-based Fivium has been providing software and services to the public sector. In recent years, the company has focused on two main areas of service: Fivium Digital provides bespoke licensing and management application software and eCase provides correspondence-based management software. Whether they are creating new streamlined applications such as the Energy Pathfinder, developed specifically for the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA), or enhancing digital process for the HMRC and Marine Management Organisation, Fivium’s ultimate goal is to help essential government agencies improve their service delivery and save time and money by improving the lives of workers and streamlining their tasks and systems, for an all-around better experience.

Thanks to GlobalSign’s reputation as a well-known cybersecurity and identity management vendor in the government space, Fivium had already been utilizing the company’s digital certificates for years. Only recently did the company begin looking at customer-facing digital signature solutions to support its government clients. Like in many other sectors, there was an urgent need for government agencies and other public sector organizations to convert paper-based systems to more efficient electronic-based ones. This rush to digitization only intensified during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic. Since essential public tasks such as managing import or export licensing depend on documentation to run effectively – and nearly every document requires an end signature – there is an obvious need for a digital signing process that is secure and trustworthy.

When an existing customer approached Fivium and asked the company to help them produce a new digital signing certificate that would be strong and valid, the software team began researching options. Not only did the team want to solve this problem for their customer, but they hoped to build out a larger solution that could be expanded to other government agencies and departments with similar needs. Most importantly, they wanted a streamlined and easy end-user experience with AATL (Adobe Approved Trust List) validation.

Solution Requirements

  • Streamlined and easy end-user experience.
  • Digital signatures that are AATL (Adobe Approved Trust List) validated, i.e. recognized as “trusted” in Adobe Acrobat and Reader.
  • Cost efficient and simple to implement from a development perspective.


Everything Fivium did to implement DSS was done using just the API, without the need for external development support. The document signing prototype was built out over the course of two months; the final solution was developed and implemented in another three months; and the first digital signing took place shortly after that.

This new system does everything Fivium’s team needed and more – from the customer’s end, the process is no different. They’re still processing their documents exactly the same way they’re used to, but because DSS has been integrated to provide them with publicly trusted digital signatures, they are getting extra features and functionality – such as Adobe Approved Trust List (AATL) recognition and Long-Term Validation (LTV) – without any extra burden on their users.

In fact, before DSS, Fivium team members would regularly get emails asking, “Why is my document saying the signature is not valid?” Now, thanks AATL-validated signatures via GlobalSign, they are no longer experiencing that issue.

And the support Fivium’s team has received from GlobalSign has been nothing short of “excellent.” They had considered building the entire solution in-house or working with a major, global eSignature provider, but when they realized that DSS had everything they need – through only one vendor – the decision was easy. The cost of hiring or renting an AWS kit for holding and managing the secure key for the cryptographic hardware was considerably more expensive than the cost of using DSS. There’s no worry about GlobalSign’s stability, and the fact that the company is already well-known in the sector also helped seal the deal on this partnership.

When it came time to implement the solution, Fivium unexpectedly learned the customer timeline had been expedited – they would need the application in just two weeks. Luckily, the Fivium team’s GlobalSign representative was already on top of the vetting process, making sure things continued moving as quickly as possible so all parties were able to meet their deadlines and roll the service out on time.

What’s Achieved?

  • Fivium currently has one customer using the solution but has plans to roll this out to others who are looking for a similar trusted digital signing solution. In 2020 Fivium customers signed 70,000 documents total, so it is important to company leaders to transition all of their document signing software to a solution that offers AATL validation.
  • The initial signings have been so successful, they are turning the solution on for additional documents and applications and expect that number to grow to 10,000 signings per year.
  • Because DSS offers additional features such as Long-Term Validation (LTV) and timestamping, Fivium is able to provide customers with benefits that go beyond signatures. Now that Fivium understands the true value of these features, especially when it comes to government work, they’re excited to share this information with their customers.
70,000 total documents signed
10,000 signings per year

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