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FIS: Trailblazing the Fintech Future with SD-WAN

FIS is the largest financial institution core processor and biggest payment processor in the world. Whenever you swipe your credit card, all that information flows through FIS.

We manage over half the world’s overall wealth, work with 95 percent of the globe’s leading banks, and process $10 trillion of transactions annually. That’s twice as much as our top three competitors… combined.

It means our network of operations covers an exceptionally vast area, and the sheer amount of sensitive data we process means everything has to work smoothly, safely, and securely. That’s where SD-WAN with MetTel comes in.

Visibility, reliability, scalability: SD-WAN in financial services

When we first adopted SD-WAN with MetTel, it completely transformed our network. The visibility, reliability, and scalability were unrivaled. We rolled out SD-WAN gateways across all our core data centers, many of our managed IT data centers, our cloud firewall, and even for our own customers (200 and counting).

And the feedback from our customers has been incredible. Once we navigated the migration of customers to SD-WAN, it’s been night and day when compared to our legacy network. Previously, regardless of the quality of our best practice designs, our customers would still suffer from redundant circuits, routers, or sites – it’s just part and parcel of the legacy infrastructure game.

But with SD-WAN, these issues just don’t exist. I’m no longer apologizing for issues related to outages or downtime.  In fact, our SD-WAN customers surveyed have given us a composite Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 71 percent which is in the “excellent” category, trending toward “world class” (80%).

A platform to build on: Reacting to pandemic challenges head-on

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, much like the rest of the world, almost 90 percent of our 70,000 employees were instantly forced into a home working environment. However, because of our existing SD-WAN, we were able to react quickly and fluidly to the changes imposed by the pandemic.

We’d already been experimenting with VOIP and cloud customer services, so in many countries where remote working was already an accepted aspect of the culture (like North America and large parts of Europe), we were able to transition quickly.

It was more challenging in other areas, such as the Philippines and India, but we were actually able to transition from the PBX telephony system to a full cloud solution in three months. We didn’t lose a beat in regards to communication traffic.

Customer-centricity: The next evolution in SLAs

On its own, SD-WAN is just an engine. It will live or die depending on your knowledge and how well you take care of it. Like an engine, you package other network aspects around it in order to make it successful and transform it into a fully-functioning vehicle.

That’s where a top-class SD-WAN provider comes in, real-time reporting to our customers on potential issues before they even receive a call from the location in which the problem is taking place.

Ultimately, our aim is to use SD-WAN as a springboard, as we evolve from providing availability SLAs (service-level agreements) to our clients to customer experience SLAs. So much of what we do, quite rightly, revolves around the needs and wants of our customers, so why not our SLAs? If a customer suffers from a bad experience and it’s the fault of the network, then the SLA kicks in.

We’re working with MetTel to develop an approach that will help us define what a good or bad customer experience looks like regarding our network services, whether that’s MOS score, jitter, latency, or packet loss. Ultimately, this is where we see the industry heading towards, and SD-WAN is helping us reinforce our brand reputation as a leading innovator in financial technology services.

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