Having worked with different companies in the merchant services industry, we realized that there are certain factors, which are crucial for success or failure of projects, associated with large payment systems.
We decided to write a series of articles, in which we are going to outline the aforementioned crucial factors, present the most typical problems in payment industry, and explain how these problems can be resolved using modern technologies (such as UniPay gateway payment platform, which can become a basis of some particular solution).
A project is, usually, associated with a situation when a new payment-handling component (payment system) is added to an already existing business solution (by a software user or software vendor). Either the component is added to perform new functions, or it replaces an old component in order to perform its functions more efficiently. The business solution may be some system, servicing, for example, a network of stores or fitness centers. The new component may be developed either by the internal team of the company, which uses the business solution (the network of supermarkets or fitness centers), or by some external software vendor.
Strategic planning challenges of business solution upgrading
In most cases the projects are very complex, because without respective experience it is difficult to work out a winning strategy, which allows the company to take all the issues into consideration.
Lack of information
One of the reasons for strategic planning problems is the lack of necessary information, because salespeople, who negotiate the implementation of the new component into the existing solution (sometimes called business development people) are often unable to understand all the technical details during the initial phase of the process. Misunderstanding often works both ways: representatives of the software vendor are often unable to explain these details to the customer, while representatives of the customer (company, business network) are unable to ask proper questions. Consequently, when it comes to implementation of the technical details in question, unexpected problems emerge.
Another reason for strategic planning problems is thelack of appropriate logistics. They say project implementation involves a lot of moving parts that need to be put together. Without particular experience with certifications, PCI compliance, deployment of enterprise clusters, or other specific issues, it is very difficult to work out a general timeline, list the necessary resources and their amounts, define the future linking points, etc.
In order for a project to be successful it is necessary to clarify all the details during the initial phase. Beside that, it is necessary to plan all logistical aspects (which systems are going to be involved, how they are going to communicate, where they are going to be deployed, who is going to provide technical support for them, etc.).
While the company, that wants to implement some new component, usually, understands the importance of these two steps, sometimes it does not know, which particular questions it should ask the software vendor in order to get a complete picture of the task. As a result, a project is often launched with one set of parameters (budget, timeframes), while in the process of its implementation new details emerge, requiring budget increase and deadline extension, and in the end the whole project may turn out to be a failure.
The purpose of our series of use cases is to present several “templates”. In each article we will outline the initial problem, list the key issues, which have to be considered and clarified, and present a draft plan of action, featuring the steps, which need to be taken in order to make your project more successful.