Global Payments Technology
This global payments technology company connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. The company operates an advanced processing network that is capable of handling more than 30,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants.
A corporate decision to migrate all systems from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008 by end-of-year meant that the company’s financial planning and analysis group would also need to upgrade from its current business intelligence and enterprise planning application to a newer version that would be supported by Windows Server 2008.
The finance staff was not aware of any upgrade issues, but knew from experience that if any existed, then identifying and resolving these in advance of the Windows upgrade would be essential to avoiding disruption, confusion, and loss of functionality. The company retained Senturus to implement the migration in advance of the end-of-year deadline.
Early in the process of migrating the client’s business intelligence and enterprise planning application, Senturus discovered a critical issue: the system relied on a key security component to handle authentication requests for their business intelligence and planning applications. This component would not be supported on Windows 2008.
Security of financial data is a top priority for this client. Secure authentication enables the client to safeguard data by managing exactly who — individuals and workgroups – can access specific data. The company must be able to frequently change the composition and data access granted to literally thousands of different groups of users.
The client appeared to be caught in a no-win situation. The company’s switchover to Windows Server 2008 was imminent and a failure to upgrade to the new, compatible version of its business intelligence and enterprise planning application was not an option. Functioning without the authentication component was also out of the question.
Senturus leveraged deep technical knowledge of applications and systems architecture, combined with detailed examination of the authentication component and its underlying dependencies, to reverse-engineer a solution that would enable the authentication tool to run successfully on the new operating system.
First, Senturus ran the normal installation process and examined system logs while processes were running to understand what errors were preventing proper operation. Because the tool included a bundled directory server that would not run on the new operating system, Senturus identified an alternate directory server that could be used with Windows 2008. Then, Senturus manually installed a separate instance of the new directory server and a standalone copy of the security utility. Finally, Senturus manually configured all of the necessary settings to enable the directory server and authentication tool to work seamlessly together. All steps were documented in detail in order to ensure that the configuration process would be repeatable in other environments.
In fact, a few months later, another group within the company contacted Senturus to request implementation of the same solution but for a different set of systems. This was easily accomplished given Senturus’ experience. In addition to the authentication solution, Senturus provided expert planning, installation and integration of all of the core business intelligence and enterprise planning applications in a distributed environment consisting of 16 servers. As a result, migration to the new business intelligence and enterprise planning application was completed successfully before the companywide deadline for upgrading to Windows 2008, enabling the client’s financial planning and analysis team to continue managing critical business functions without any interruption in service.
Reverse-engineering and deep technical expertise made it possible to retain critical security and authentication capabilities when migrating to a new business intelligence and enterprise planning solution.