Visa USA has selected Compaq Computer Corporation and a group of leading solutions partners to help power and secure its next generation Internet protocol- based payments system. Constant growth in transaction volumes pointed Visa USA to the need for a new payments system that would leverage Internet technology. Visa’s new system, called “Direct Exchange,” is one of the industry’s first to be fully linked to Internet technology.
Direct Exchange is a next generation payments system that supports the transaction-intensive, 24 x 7 operation environment so fundamental to Visa’s business model. It allows Visa to provide new IP-based services to its membership base with virtually no disruptions to their existing IT infrastructure. The new payments solution bolsters Visa’s ability to offer its cardholders, with more than 350 million in market, and 14,000 U.S. member financial institutions richer services and new payment products. With Direct Exchange, Visa USA expects to process US$60 billion an hour and handle 100 billion transactions a year.
Gordon Tannura, vice president of technology and support services at Visa USA, explained, “By moving to an open standards environment, and to an open product like the NonStop(TM) Himalaya(TM) server, we are able to introduce new services more easily and in a much more timely fashion.” Tannura continued, “The NonStop Himalaya server had all the critical attributes we were looking for: industry-leading scalability, availability, and data integrity; mature application tools; superior total cost of ownership; and an open architecture allowing us to seamlessly integrate with our existing infrastructure — protecting our sizable investment in mainframe technology.”
The Direct Exchange project team at Visa USA had little prior experience with the NonStop Himalaya server, but it met their rigorous business requirements, and the Compaq Global Services team was able to train the personnel and install the system with minimal software modification to Visa’s existing IT infrastructure. The practically seamless integration delivered significant savings in terms of IT staff investment, training and time to solution.
Pauline Nist, vice president and general manager of Compaq’s NonStop Division, said, “Visa USA needed to build an infrastructure that was secure, efficient and available 100 percent of the time. That’s exactly what Compaq and the solution partners delivered — and we did it in record time — getting the system up and running less than thirty days after the initial call.”
NonStop Himalaya Servers Link Visa’s New IP Network with Legacy Host Systems
The NonStop Himalaya platform serves as the project’s Open File Delivery (OFD) Gateway. The OFD Gateway is a pair of four-processor NonStop Himalaya S72000 servers that provide the interconnect to the new backbone network, the bridge between the new IP network and the legacy host systems. Visa’s OFD Gateway creates a continuous processing environment for ubiquitous exchange of data and information from member institutions, allowing Visa USA to provide richer services and introduce new payment products much more quickly with improved price/performance.
The availability of market proven solutions designed to operate in a NonStop Himalaya environment was key to the deal. Partner solutions integrated into Visa’s new infrastructure included DataExpress from EPIQ Systems, XYGATE(R) security and encryption software from XYPRO(R), operations automation tools from ESQ, and CONNECT:Direct transport software from Sterling Commerce.
EPIQ System’s (Nasdaq: EPIQ) DataExpress solution was an integral part of Visa Direct Exchange from the beginning. DataExpress is found at the core of the OFD gateway and in many of the elements that allowed Visa USA to upgrade their legacy mainframe environment and older technologies with the new IP- based network. Among the many benefits achieved with DataExpress are full automation of file transfer activity, secure authentication of the Visa-member connection, segregation of secure member data, and member visibility of transmission status. Chris Olofson, president, EPIQ Systems Inc., said, “Our DataExpress solution running in the fault-tolerant NonStop Himalaya system environment is highly suited to meet Visa’s, and their members’, lofty demands for OFD performance and availability. The NonStop Himalaya server has proven to be an ideal platform for our DataExpress solution.”
XYPRO Technology Corporation was another key solutions partner. XYPRO specializes in software solutions designed for NonStop Himalaya system environments. Visa USA goes to great lengths to protect its name, and trust in the security of transmitted data files is paramount to Visa’s business and reputation. Sheila Johnson, CEO, XYPRO, said, “The success of Internet- enabled business rests squarely on companies’ ability to ensure the privacy of their critical data, both in-house and in-transit. XYGATE software running in the NonStop server environment provides Visa USA with the necessary tools to ‘harden’ the Himalaya platform and encrypt files transported over their new IP network.”
Compaq Computer Corporation, a Fortune Global 100 company, is a leading global provider of technology and solutions. Compaq designs, develops, manufactures, and markets hardware, software, solutions, and services, including industry-leading enterprise computing solutions, fault-tolerant business-critical solutions, and communications products, commercial desktop and portable products, and consumer PCs that are sold in more than 200 countries. Information on Compaq and its products and services is available at .Details