The Open Group Conference London 2011
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Case study - Maturing Visa Europe's Architecture Practice

Robin Meehan
CTO, Smart421, UK

Mark Pettit
Head of Architecture, , Visa Europe

In line with the European quest to unify payment infrastructures in the Euro-zone through the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), Visa have been through a global restructuring that resulted in two distinct organisational entities. One is Visa Europe, a membership organisation owned by over 4500 European financial institutions and committed to becoming the European Payments Platform. Representing the rest of the world is Visa Incorporated, a publicly owned company that recently floated on the NYSE.

The implications of such a large and extensive restructure cascade from how we do business, to the underlying systems and infrastructure. This created the need for Visa Europe to form their own Architecture Practice. Over the last couple of years there has been significant internal focus on increasing the maturity of the practice - both in terms of the Enterprise and Solution Architecture processes themselves and the business outcomes delivered. This presentation will describe how a substantial increase in the maturity of the architecture function was achieved - how it was managed, how maturity was assessed, what metrics were recorded, the level of resource necessary - and the outcomes - the effect on the credibility of the team and most importantly the business impact that has been accomplished.

Robin MeehanRobin Meehan is Smart421's Chief Technology Officer, and is responsible for defining the role that specific technologies and related methods play in Smart421’s future growth. He is the management team member with the responsibility for providing sound advice on business decisions relating to technology.

Using his extensive delivery background in a variety of operational roles, Robin directs a virtual research team drawn from Smart421's specialist technical and business architects and programme managers. As a deliberate policy decision, he also regularly undertakes customer engagements in order to keep in touch with the current technology trends in the marketplace.

Robin holds a 1st class honours degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, is TOGAF certified, holds a number of other certifications from IBM, Microsoft and Sun, and is a member of the British Computer Society.

Mark PettitMark Pettit has led the Enterprise Architecture function at Visa Europe for over two years. Prior to this Mark was Head of Integration at Capgemini in the UK and before that was the Chief Technology Officer at an independent software vendor.

Earlier career highlights have included large architecture deliveries, including one of the first e-trading systems in Europe. Mark has a keen interest in how we approach, formalise and govern architecture development, having published numerous white papers and presented at various industry and standards body conferences.

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