Xpress Payment Solutions Limited simplifies and enables smarter living through innovative ePayment services. By 2020, the company expects one in two ePayment transactions will be made on its platforms.
Driven by mobile money and a digital-first attitude, Africa is the world’s secondfastest- growing ePayments market after Asia-Pacific, according to the McKinsey Global Banking report released in 2018. The volume of cashless transactions grew by 13% annually between 2014 and 2016, driven by improved availability, reliability and security of electronic channels. Forty percent of Africans prefer ePayment transactions, and in Nigeria, where Xpress Payment Solutions operates, 59% prefer ePayment transactions.
“The life source of our company is ePayment transactions, so one of our top business priorities is minimizing downtime,” said Kehinde Owolabi, Lead, IT Infrastructure at Xpress Payment Solutions. “To minimize downtime, we have to make sure the critical systems supporting ePayment transactions — Oracle and SQL — are quickly and reliably backed up, replicated and recovered.”
The challenge was legacy backup. It couldn’t back up Oracle, which runs on a physical machine, without costly agents. Therefore, the IT team resorted to native backup, but that meant the team had to manage two backup environments, making the process more work than necessary. Legacy backup didn’t fully support tape backup for SQL either. Xpress Payment Solutions follows the 3-2-1 backup rule (three copies of data on two different media with one copy off site), and tape is the second media.
Owolabi said another issue was recovery. It wasn’t fast or reliable, potentially delaying new product development and time to market. “We test new products rigorously before releasing them to make sure they process Visa and Mastercard efficiently,” he said. “Losing test data could slow down a product launch by three to six months and cost the company money.”
The IT team sought a better way to protect Oracle and SQL. “I told my boss if I could get only one thing in my budget, I wanted Veeam®,” Owolabi said.
Xpress Payment Solutions replaced legacy backup with Veeam Backup & Replication™ and immediately minimized downtime. “Veeam backs up, replicates and recovers data in Oracle and SQL quickly, easily and reliably, helping us accelerate time to market for new products and services,” Owolabi said.
Veeam protects dozens of Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines, including the one running SQL. Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows protects the company’s physical machines, including the one running Oracle. Veeam also supports tape backup so Xpress Payment Solutions can follow the 3-2-1 rule.
Owolabi said Veeam recovery couldn’t be easier. Instant VM Recovery® and Veeam Explorers™ for Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server restore data immediately. “Our testing environment for new products is just as important as our production environment, so it’s great Veeam lets us recover data to a precise point in time in both environments in minutes.”
Veeam can even create testing environments used for new product development with Veeam DataLabs™. This feature offers several capabilities that help companies leverage data to accelerate the pace of innovation. On-Demand Sandbox™ is one of them. It creates isolated environments for testing and troubleshooting — something legacy backup did not offer.
Veeam offers something else that legacy backup did not. Replica failover strengthens the company’s strategy for business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR), making it easier to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The Central Bank of Nigeria licensed Xpress Payment Solutions to connect with 19 Nigerian banks and offer ePayment solutions to public and private sector clients, such as schools and government ministries, departments and agencies. “Veeam is remarkable,” Owolabi said. “Reliability, ease of use and functionality are top notch, and we’ve only scratched the surface.”
Xpress Payment Solutions Limited specializes in the design and implementation of platforms for electronic payment (ePayment). The company provides fast, easy and secure ePayment services to the general public — 4,000 customers and counting — as well as point-of-sale deployment and transactional processing to public and private clients, such as retailers, supermarkets, schools government offices. Incorporated in 2016 and based in Lagos, Xpress Payment Solutions employs 180 people throughout Nigeria.
The heart and soul of Xpress Payment Solutions is ePayment transactions, so one of the company’s top business priorities is minimizing downtime. To minimize downtime, the IT team has to make sure the critical systems supporting ePayment transactions — Oracle Database and SQL Server — are quickly and easily backed up, replicated and recovered. Legacy backup wasn’t up to the task. It was slow and difficult to use.