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Case Study: Unity FI Solutions Gains Flexibility

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Charlotte, NC-based Unity FI Solutions is a leader in the application of technology for payment solutions. Banks, nonprofits, businesses and educational institutions take advantage of custom-built, integrated products ranging from an electronic transactions portal and online payment processing to check verification, remote deposit processing, and lockbox services. All of its products are available online in a secure environment.

The Challenge

Data security is extremely important to Unity FI Solutions, which is committed to the highest levels of security and integrity of its clients’ information. To ensure that its customers’ data is protected during transactions, the company regularly undergoes PCI DSS compliance auditing. While Unity FI Solutions was successfully meeting its compliance requirements, the cost and time of doing so was limiting its IT and project management teams’ focus on the company’s core business. With its resources stretched, the company also found it challenging to maintain compliance with its disaster recovery (DR) plan.

“We really wanted to be able to focus on the application side because that is our expertise and what directly affects our bottom line.”

In addition, as a growing company servicing organizations of varied sizes and complexity, Unity FI Solutions had outgrown its on-premise hardware solutions and colocation options.

Scott Fayed, who has served as director of information technology at Unity FI Solutions since 2011, wanted to free himself and his staff from many of the daily resource-consuming activities related to PCI DSS compliance and DR, so they could focus on their core business opportunities – particularly application development.

He was also interested in helping the company move to a cloud-based approach with a reliable and compliant data center backing them.

The Peak 10 Solution

Unity FI initially came to Peak 10 in 2003 for hardware-based, colocation solutions. Over the years, its solutions have moved into the Peak 10 cloud and evolved into a robust, virtualized offering with a broad range of services that are fully PCI DSS compliant and support nearly every area of the company’s IT infrastructure.

“Everything we have today, other than a couple of switches and a couple of different hardware security modules, is virtualized,” says Fayed. “This reduces risk because physical hardware is no longer involved.”

“Now we have a more stable environment we can rely on.”

Peak 10 provides Unity FI Solutions with dedicated Internet access service, including bandwidth and VLAN, as well as cloud services that include virtual private data centers, storage and DR management. Its managed services offering includes Windows updates, antivirus services and 14-day data protection.

Most importantly, Peak 10 partners with leading security technology providers. This enables Unity FI Solutions to use managed security services to help maintain PCI compliance. Unity FI Solutions now enjoys the power of a managed, QSA-approved PCI compliance solution which, combined with Peak 10’s other solutions and services, helps it address a variety of PCI requirements. These include technologies such as firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention and multi-factor authentication; procedures including 24×7 QSA-approved and SSAE 16 Type II audited SOCs and change control management, and full-time coverage from expert analysts.

The Results

Peak 10 has allowed Unity FI Solutions to focus on its customers and its revenue- generating activities, rather than system maintenance such as patch updates and antivirus management.

Today, Unity FI Solutions benefits from Peak 10’s secure, compliant cloud environment, which provides its IT department with flexibility and peace of mind regarding data security, DR and PCI compliance. There are cost savings, too.
Thanks to Peak 10’s services, Unity FI Solutions does not have to hire ad-hoc consultants that lack the broad and deep expertise Peak 10 provides.

In addition, Unity FI can take advantage of the attention Peak 10 provides its clients. Fayed has long appreciated Peak 10’s responsiveness when challenges come up. “It gives me a good feeling that Peak 10 really does care,” he says.

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About Peak 10

"Our values are the foundation for everything we do at Peak 10, and are ultimately what enable us to earn our customers' business and their trust."
David H. Jones,
Board Member, Peak 10 + ViaWest