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     FrontPage Edition: Tue 10 October 2006

IBM to build smartcard e-payment infrastructure for MRT network


LTA Awards Contract To IBM Building Of Backend Infrastructure For E-Symphony

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded to IBM the contract to build the core backend technology infrastructure for LTAs next-generation smart card e-payment system C Symphony for e-payment (e-Symphony).
The infrastructure, together with the technical services provided by IBM, will facilitate the replacement of the current Enhanced Integrated Farecard System (EIFS) with the e-Symphony.
The high-performance and high-speed backend infrastructure is expected to double the present capacity and will be capable of handling about 10 million financial transactions per day.
It will be ready in time for the completion of the Circle Line, which is expected to carry about half a million passengers when fully operational.
The e-Symphony incorporates the Contactless E-Purse Application Standard (CEPAS) and will therefore allow multiple suppliers to issue the contactless smart cards, which are currently issued only by EZ-link. This could bring about competition among the suppliers and in turn reduce the cost of smart cards to benefit users.
In winning the tender bid, IBM Singapore leveraged the unique strength of the High Performance On Demand Solution (HiPODs) team from IBM India Software Labs in Bangalore. IBMs HiPODs team connects the expertise of IBM's top consultants, developers, engineers and researchers around the world.
IBMs HiPODs team assists clients globally in architecting and developing high-performance, scalable technology solutions.
The team also helps clients by developing and sharing development and design best practices and methodologies for high-pr high-pr high-performance solutions.
The team works with IBMs largest clients, such as eBay and Charles Schwab, whose requirements have evolved from high-volume Web architectures toward high-performance on demand operating environments.
During the LTA project implementation, IBMs HiPODs team will develop a proof of concept (POC) for the new LTA infrastructure at the IBM India Software Labs.
The POC will optimise the system architecture performance for the chosen middleware and hardware platforms before deploying the solution in Singapore.
IBMs HiPODs team will also provide technical mentoring to LTA system architects; conduct final performance testing; and assist in deployment until the system is stable.
The high-performance, high-speed infrastructure is expected to enable a fast data processing throughput rate of up to 650 transactions per second during peak hour operation and 100 percent delivery of data transfer among the processing systems.
Silvester Prakasam, Deputy Director of Fare System, LTA said "IBM provided a viable value proposition. Thus, we have chosen IBM to provide a backend infrastructure to support the long-term growth of the public transport ticketing system in Singapore."
Patricia Yim, Managing Director, IBM Singapore said "The IBM team will leverage the best combination of solutions, cutting-edge innovation and business methodologies, including IBMs HiPODs global innovation team in India, to support LTA. The LTA win further strengthens IBMs position as a technology and innovation partner of choice for high value-add, globally integrated on demand capabilities."
IBMs suite of high-performance solution for the LTA e-payment infrastructure also includes the following market-leading components:
  • Hardware: System p Servers, System x Servers, MPro Workstations, IBM Storage, Tape Libraries and Printers
  • Software: WebSphere Application Server; WebSphere MQ; IBM DB2 (Viper); Rational Application Design, Development and Testing Tools, Tivoli Tools.
Contactless E-Purse Application Standard (CEPAS) is a Singapore standard for smart cards and their related devices, which was introduced in March 2006 to replace the existing Cashcard Standard.
It allows any smart cards that comply with the standard to be used across a wide variety of payment applications such as transit, retail and banking.

Source: News Release 3 Oct 2006

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