Transaction processing is a mission-critical service within any 21st-century organisation and a key element of any service provider’s portfolio. However, the demands on transaction processing and similar systems types such as payments are continually increasing.
The volume of transactions being sent continues to grow exponentially as users exploit increasing availability and functionality of transaction and payments based services.
Service Level Agreements (SLAs) between both end-users and service providers are being imposed more frequently (both within organisations and within outsourcing arrangements). These are often extremely demanding where ‘five nines’ SLA availability is required, meaning less than one-hour downtime per year!
Managing the transaction and payments systems, therefore, becomes ever more important to ensure that the service it provides is meeting the intense demands placed upon by the business and their customers. The consequences of ignoring these issues are potentially severe. Transaction and payment service failures mean that the transfer of information is compromised, directly affecting the financial health of an organisation through either missed opportunities or damage to its reputation. It is therefore vitally important to be alerted immediately to any potential threats to transaction and payment services.
Appropriate escalation and intervention systems should be implemented to ensure that problems are responded to in an appropriate and efficient manner. This will provide a greater confidence that the service is being maintained and SLAs are met.
Historical data-gathering capability linked to trend analysis provides the means to interpret how systems are performing and importantly, the basis for effective capacity planning. This will ensure that upgrades and new hardware and software can be acquired at the right time and in a planned manner, thereby avoiding the need to make sudden or last-minute decisions.
Occasionally, due to a number of reasons, transaction routing and deliveries can fail. It is important in these situations that the transaction can be tracked and located, particularly where the transaction represents high value information, is a payment, or has high security implications.
Often, this type of tracking is a difficult and laborious process, conflicting with the need for a quick and accurate resolution to the problem. Very few transaction and payments systems provide this capability.
Many types of transaction systems have grown up in a piecemeal fashion, with individual departments or companies joined by mergers having completely different systems in place. Budgetary constraints may mean that these systems cannot be consolidated into a single vendor system. This causes further management headaches for systems administrators and managers, as monitoring has to be done on an individual system basis rather than in a consolidated manner. This leads to inefficiencies, as extra time needs to be spent managing a number of different systems, rather than all at once.
By utilising a ‘single pane of glass’ solution, all your systems, payments, messages, alerts can be viewed from a single console.
This solution is a client-server software application for centralised management of multi-vendor and multi-platforms. It provides extensive benefits that enable optimal availability, functionality and performance of service provision.
Centralised alerting, escalation, intervention, tracking and reporting tools all are facilitated via a single console view.
Furthermore, this solution collects data from many sources (system components, application events, log files, payment engines) and interprets them in terms of how they affect overall service provision. Real-time views mean that service levels can be proactively maintained. Historical data mining and reporting capability enables efficient resource allocation and capacity planning.
Incorporated within this solution, an XML agent can be configured to parse any XML data into a hierarchical structure of SQL tables and fields. This makes the information much easier to process and report on, whilst maintaining the relationships between the XML elements. The agent can be configured by specifying an XSD schema or (where a schema is not available) by loading examples of the XML structure to be captured.
The agent can collect XML data from files, MQ queues or from TCP/IP socket-based messages sent directly to it. XML agents can also be configured to monitor any ISO20022-compatible payment or transaction.
A series of these XML agents can be deployed to key monitoring points (WayPoints) within a payment-processing infrastructure to monitor transaction volumes and trends, payment volumes and trends and end-to-end processing times. Rules can then be configured to monitor service level compliance and abnormal processing volumes.
Real-time monitoring and querying of the transaction flow information created by the ACI BASE24™ ATM/POS application and other payment engines, e.g. NCR Authentic.
A centralised database of transaction data from one or more payment platforms which analyses the information in real-time.
The outcome of the analysis will be service level alerts, graphs depicting the behaviour of nominated metrics and management reports to help set and achieve Business objectives for the payment application(s) being monitored.
The purpose is to transfer the payment, ATM and/or POS log information (e.g. BASE24 Classic TLF and PTLF) to a hosted database in real-time (with appropriate masking) so that it can be subjected to standard processing such as: graphical representation of data, analysis of data based upon rules, alerts and resolution at source based on appropriate rule criteria.
So, next time you ask, “Where are my Transactions?” let us help you find them.
For further information on how we can help you, please visit: https://www.insidertech.co.uk/markets/