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Since many consumers prefer to pay their taxes on the exact due date, Official Payments has to have a scalable platform and infrastructure that can handle transaction volume increases on tax day that are as great as six times the average day's volume. During peak tax season it can mean managing 8,500 transactions in half an hour.

Over the past few years, the company acquired three businesses, each with a distinct IT infrastructure and platform. As part of its growth strategy, Official Payments is evaluating its infrastructure and its platforms to continue to provide reliable, market-leading services for its clients and their customers. This is a tall order for a small and rapidly growing company. Official Payments' employees were already fully dedicated to managing multiple requirements while running three platforms and five data centers. In order to gather and analyze detailed operational data to assist in its platform and infrastructure decisions, Official Payments turned to Forsythe.

The question Official Payments sought to answer was how to most strategically focus its IT investments. To help Official Payments establish an IT investment strategy, Forsythe performed a full inventory audit and data center assessment. It also reviewed Official Payments' IT resources. Forsythe then mapped the current state of the infrastructure, outlined vulnerabilities, and drew a future state roadmap with recommendations.

Forsythe identified five investment strategy options for Official Payments, ranging from minimal investment to a significant customized infrastructure re-build that would migrate the business onto a single, standardized platform. Forsythe illustrated, in detail, how each option would improve flexibility and availability and reduce risk.

Forsythe presented its recommendations and the company decided to invest in a comprehensive infrastructure upgrade across its three platforms. Forsythe then engaged to manage the migration and consolidation of Official Payments' five existing data centers into two. The Forsythe team was also selected to manage the technology evaluation process, sourcing and procurement, including for private cloud infrastructure.

Official Payments has already reduced cooling costs and footprint, while improving availability, by consolidating its data centers.

The new converged infrastructure is lowering costs by reducing complexity. The company is on schedule to be standardized onto a single technology infrastructure platform in the next few months. Converged infrastructure will simplify application migration and will provide the flexibility to support a new, standardized platform should the company decide to pursue that strategy. It also provides better flexibility and scalability to meet future needs.

Official Payments' new consolidated storage architecture has eliminated single points of failure and simplified administration. It contains added backup features, security, connectivity and deduplication, all of which can be managed via a central point of control with improved automation. The company's new wide area network is easier to manage. Its new security infrastructure has simplified compliance with payment card industry data security standards.

When completed, the company will have the infrastructure in place to deploy new products more quickly and to increase support to clients on a wide variety of access devices. Official Payments will operate more efficiently, with reduced risk. It is poised to continue to grow and respond quickly to client demand.

Forsythe account manager Rudy Nydam said, "The magnitude of this project and its security requirements never fazed the Official Payments team. With a laser focus on protecting their customers, they knew exactly what the company needed for success and growth."
Forsythe is a proven expert. They helped us every step of the way on an immense project. They kept us up to date on the latest and greatest, most stable technologies, and dealt with all the vendors and manufacturers. They advised us on network and server setup, and business continuity and disaster recovery. Everything was done under budget and ahead of schedule."