Archive for transactions

Integrated transaction platforms

Posted in General, Innovation, technology with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2010 by newideasconsult

With online technology developing quite aggressively we have an ideal opportunity to design and commission all-inclusive solutions for enterprise clients. You can also define this as multi level x-commerce solutions, where the traditional x-store or x-mall or multi-store customer facing platform is completely integrated with the transaction processing platform.

Having one platform that integrates all the required components for environments with a high volume of transactions to operate with the minimum external assistance makes me quite heady.  For example imagine a system that starts out day one with an integrated eBay, PayPal and Skype module.  Having the time to work out each component’s role with the platform, clearly defining where data can be shared within a common database, and setting out combined parameters for a smooth UI, and so on, could start us off on a whole new path in regards to x-commerce.

There are so many advantages to such an initial integrated model not just from a technology point of view, but also in terms of operations.  One view of a customer, one process to resolve disputes, one fee recipe to determine all revenue contributors in a transaction from end to end, and so on and so on.  Are there examples of such combined and integrated solutions already?

Authorize.net down? Yep, apparently Fisher Plaza caused it…

Posted in General, Standards, technology with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2009 by newideasconsult

Wow, I read this article on datacenterknowledge.com and was absolutely stunned!  Authorize.net is down, offline and no one using them can currently process credit card transactions.  How could such an excellent processor like Authorize.net not have better networking resilience?  In terms of payment gateways I have always advised that you need a hot site available at all times as this is a business where every second down means money lost to many merchants.  A hot start recovery site is essential, though it seems many switches still prefer a primary site, with a traditional DR site that needs a switchover of x hours to come online.  This seems to be the case with Authorize.net and that is a great disappointment as I expected better from them.  I realize it is never easy to cost these things into your business model, but e-business simply demands better resilience today.  I truly hope for them that they can get things up and rolling soon!

UPDATE1: In a week that saw me battle to access my Google Apps service several times, and reading of yet another data centre failing when Rackspace has some downtime, I finally got the full story through another article at Data Centre Knowledge.  It was truly a bad week for data centres and from this article Fisher Plaza was certainly not alone in their battles.  From their fire to UPS outages to data storage failures, things really looked bad for Rackspace, Google, Fisher Plaza and Authorize.net, and Equinix.  The more interesting point raised by several bloggers is about emergency communications and here I completely agree.  If it seems unavoidable that your service will be down for a while (determine what defines an ‘outage’ to your customer) then the first thing just after you kick your technical staff into action, should be a very strong and robust PR exercise that helps people understand what has gone wrong and what your challenges are for bringing your service back online.  Nothing beats communication, but it still seems that during outages like these customers, partners and clients are still expected to google for news, instead of having a direct communication about the issue from the service provider at fault.  When customers are left to console one another with news that is second hand at best, you are in for trouble!