With Our Help, Global Payments Company Becomes Early Adopter of Upgraded Technology
Our client is a global technology company (GTC) in the payments industry, with the principal business of processing credit card transactions. Our client must be able to authorize a transaction – approve a card tap, chip or swipe – from any one of millions of acceptance locations, against hundreds of thousands of processing and fraud prevention rules in a matter of milliseconds. Prolifics has worked extensively with GTC in the past, including upgrading its Decision Management Platform (DMP) and related programs.
GTC engaged Prolifics for two interconnected reasons. The first was more of a general consulting and conversational role.
Robert Adachi is Prolifics’ Head of Security, Identity & Access Management practice. “GTC wanted some impartial advice and opinions on suggested new ways of doing things,” said Adachi. “They wanted their tech provider to listen and understand how and why they were doing things a certain way now. By design, GTC has a strict separation of duties of who does what, when and how. They have developed and deployed some incredible technologies. So, they were looking for a company that had the expertise to help with that.”
The second reason connects to the first. IBM Security Access Manager is a complete authorization and network security policy management solution. For employees signing into their GTC applications and systems, GTC utilized a recent version of IBM Security Access Manager.
When IBM issued version nine of Access Manager, it wasn’t a simple matter of running an install and an upgrade. IBM rearchitected the entire platform and was no longer going to support earlier versions – companies would have to migrate to the new version. A major change was that while older versions ran on a company’s servers, the new version would run as an appliance.
“Given the very specific ways GTC does things, this type of change caused them some real angst,” said Adachi. “While some things in the migration to the new IBM version could be converted, most of the more complicated aspects would need to be completely reconfigured. We told GTC, ‘We’ll get through this; we’re going to work with you to get through this. And we did.’”
Rama Yenumula is Security Advisor at Prolifics. He and his team were the driving force behind the IBM Access Manager version nine implementation at GTC. He relates the issues and Prolifics activities as follows:
- GTC knew that this new product was coming from IBM. They wanted to use it, but they didn’t know how to start. They were looking for a provider who could do a proof of concept and help them understand. We were able to tell GTC that, as an IBM Premier Partner, we had early access to the beta version of the new appliance, which we got to know way before others.
- GTC wanted to first evaluate if the new appliance offering suited their environment. So, we did a proof of concept (POC) first, where we wanted to prove to them that this new technology is indeed true and it’s not a black box that won’t work. The proof of concept confirmed that we did know how to run and handle the new offering.
- After the proof of concept was completed, we were then given the opportunity to propose the solution for the actual upgrade. We coordinated with all the different application owners, the individual component owners, to first help them understand what this new product is, how it works and how it integrates with their components.
Prolifics brought this project in on time and on budget, with minimal downtime for GTC.
GTC became an early adopter of the IBM Security Access Manager appliance version. Moving forward for GTC, new versions of the appliance will have a shorter set up time, because they become basically “plug and play.” GTC is also realizing performance and capacity (scaling) improvements.
The company also got the advice and opinions on suggested new ways of doing things that they were looking for. Whether or not fully implemented, Prolifics gave GTC the opportunity to stand back and look at their operations, and together ask, “Can we improve on this or not?”