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UK Banking Group Turns to comForte J6530 to Streamline HP NonStop Access

June 6, 2011

In order to economically deliver reliable, secure services to its growing customer base, a leading UK-based banking group continually sought to improve ongoing operational efficiency. Toward that end, the organization partnered with comForte to migrate key branch applications off legacy interfaces. With the J6530 solution from comForte, this banking group was able to streamline user access to HP NonStop systems, while minimizing the effort and risk involved in carrying out its infrastructure initiatives.

The Challenge
With more than 100,000 employees and millions of customers, this retail banking institution needs to deliver financial services on a massive scale. In the wake of mergers, and as part of an ongoing effort to improve the efficiency and performance of its IT infrastructure, the organization sought to migrate off legacy interfaces, while leveraging its significant investments in the HP NonStop platform.

In the past, inquiries into the company’s ATM applications went through an IBM mainframe, before being routed to BASE24 on HP NonStop. Historically, the transmissions between the IBM mainframe and the NonStop platform went through an SNA interface. As part of a broader initiative to enhance the organization’s BASE24 architecture and integrate the infrastructures of previously independent banking institutions, the IT organization was looking to move away from its reliance on SNA.

Ultimately, the implementation team determined a direct interface, via 6530, between the client and the NonStop platform would be the best approach. However, when making this change, the implementation team needed to ensure there was no disruption to all the critical banking services that relied on these systems. Further, given the large number of clients accessing the application, they also needed to minimize any changes on client systems in order to practically and cost effectively realize their implementation goals.

The Solution
To accomplish its objectives, the implementation team chose to work with comForte and the company’s J6530 solution. J6530 is an easy-to-use, Web browser-based terminal emulator that provides secure connections via the 6530 protocol. J6530 runs in tandem with another comForte solution, SecurCS, which provides SSL encryption, helping the bank to ensure its sensitive banking transmissions are adequately secured. As a result, the solution met a lot of their key requirements. For this banking group, the expertise and flexibility of comForte’s staff were also a critical factor in their product selection—and in the ultimate success of the initiative.

For this customer, J6530 represented an ideal solution as it was browser based and hence would need minimal client side changes. Further, executives wanted to provide users with one-click access to a specific BASE24 service. Given its expertise in this area, the team at comForte was able to architect an optimal approach for achieving this one-click capability. While the product features were important, ultimately it was comForte’s people that were key to the success of this initiative.

The Benefits
The comForte solution offered several benefits to this banking group. For example, given the efficiency of the new interface, the organization has been able to boost the number of concurrent user connections, without any additional financial investment.

Additionally, the fact that the new system didn’t require a thick client on each branch desktop was a huge advantage, one that helped the company in two ways:

  • First, it streamlined initial rollout as the staff didn’t need to do laborious installations and testing on each client system - a huge benefit given the solution had to be implemented on all the organization’s standard branch desktops, which were deployed across the UK.
  • Second, it reduced the risk associated with implementing a new system, ultimately helping to ensure critical business services remained available when they were needed.

Perhaps most importantly, the end result of this initiative is that it is far simpler for users at branches to conduct their daily activities. Not only does this make end users happy, but it translates to benefits for the entire business, including increased operational efficiency, reduced errors, and improved productivity.