Friday, December 13, 2013

M2M Management Case Study: ATMs

Increasingly, automated teller machines are the “brick and mortar” point of contact for customers with their bank. For decades, these M2M systems have been popular with customers and increasingly reliable as the technology has advanced, but also complicated and expensive to support.

One Uplogix customer has an aggressive plan to deploy ATMs and chose to include Uplogix in the systems to ensure that the increasing number of cash machines doesn't come along with a increase in support costs that will, well, break the bank.

Putting Local Management into ATMs

ATMs are complicated, secure machines with a variety of devices that interact with the physical world—cash input and output machines, card readers, and screens and other inputs. In addition, they have a fair amount of communications technology with routers, redundant modems, cameras and storage. Managing these components can involve multiple technicians and all of the security concerns that come along with access to distributed and unstaffed machines full of cash.

The Uplogix Local Management platform provides the equivalent of an IT administrator in-the-box monitoring devices 24x7, taking initial run-book recovery actions when needed, and serving as an onsite toolbox for remote technicians to investigate and recover issues as if they were onsite.

Automated, lower cost installation

Installation of ATMs can be expedited using Uplogix. With configuration files pre-installed, or automatically downloaded to an Uplogix Local Manager (LM), the LM can perform pre-defined tasks such as updating the OS on the ATM’s router, checking cell modem signal strength, and establishing a secure out-of-band connection back to the NOC.
This means that setup takes less time, and potentially doesn’t require a technician or technicians with as much detailed knowledge of each component.

Fewer truck rolls needed

Most network and communications issues can be detected and recovered automatically, ensuring that the ATM is up and running, providing customers with expected levels of service. Issues can be reported directly into trouble ticketing systems, ensuring that the NOC is aware of any issues, including those that were resolved.
Before sending out a truck, administrators can connect into the ATM securely and remotely over an out-of-band connection that gives them access as if they were onsite.

Simplified management

It’s not uncommon in the banking world for an institution to have a wide variety of ATM platforms in operation, the result of mergers with other banks or just technology changes over time. Uplogix offers management flexibility thanks to the console-level connection with managed devices and the fact that it manages from a local perspective that is not dependent on a network connection.

Managing automatic tellers with another machine

The M2M (machine-to-machine) trend is just starting to put a name on what the ATM has done for years. Similarly, Uplogix Local Management is already proven in other high-security applications like financial institution data centers, in the field with deployments on battlefields managing satellite communications links for the armed forces, and in remote locations like oil platforms. Adding Uplogix to ATMs is the next step toward M2M management, with greater reliability and functionality at lower cost.