Financial Services Solutions Overview

Protect investments, ensure secure transactions, and improve customer service: these are fundamental requirements in the eyes of your customers, shareholders, and the general public. Improving network reliability and performance is also critical. Poor or unreliable application performance translates into poor customer service. This in turn may lose customers who rely on online or ATM services.

There are constant competitive pressures to reduce costs, innovate and improve services. Regulations and standards such as PCI and Sarbanes-Oxley place tough demands on financial institutions to safeguard data. And as financial service organizations compete more aggressively and expand, they need scalable IT infrastructures that can quickly accommodate new customers and new services.

Vanguard Networks pioneered the development of multiservice routers for branches. Vanguard Networks' products are ideal for branch banking and financial institutions looking for cost savings by consolidating all types of enterprise application traffic such as data, voice, and fax over any transport service such as MPLS, VPN, and Frame Relay. These routers feature protocol conversion capabilities to enable legacy financial devices to use today’s IP network services and no changes are required in either application or banking terminals.

Our products are deployed by 3 of the top 10 Financial Service Providers in North America and numerous regional banks and credit unions in North America, Latin America, and Asia.

Vanguard products allow customers to combine front-end applications such as ATM-connectivity and telephony with back-end applications including legacy mainframe applications over one single network. Furthermore, Vanguard Networks' products enable financial services companies to seamlessly migrate to IP infrastructures while still maintaining current investments in existing applications such as SNA-based applications, mainframes and peripherals without forklift upgrades.

The following application example illustrates real business deployments of Vanguard Networks' products that resulted in increased efficiency and reduced network cost.

Application: Bank Branch IP Migration Example

Retail banking on a global basis is evolving into a more service-driven business model. The global de-regulation of retail and commercial banking along with the rapid deployment of new applications such as debit cards, ATMs, and online banking are creating additional demands on today’s banking network infrastructure, which has been predominantly based on IBM legacy protocols such as SNA/SDLC and BSC 3270.

Today, banks want to utilize the latest in TCP/IP networking technology to improve service response time and also expand access to those new services and applications to all of their branch offices. Most often, this involves using IP networks, self-banking kiosks and ATM terminals. These banks may also want to upgrade low-speed analog leased lines or Frame Relay, and consolidate their branch voice traffic onto the same network using VoIP.


Branch Banking networks often support two key components

  • Applications such as Teller terminal transactions and in-branch mortgage & loan processing, mutual funds, and term deposits
  • ATM network transactions between the ATMs and the Bank’s ATM network host center or a 3rd Party ATM network provider, where the transactions between the Bank and the ATM network provider have to be supported

Many of the teller terminal equipment and branch office terminals support SNA/SDLC while legacy ATM machines utilize BSC3270 or BSC2780 to communicate across the ATM network. Both of these protocols have latency requirements that have to be taken into consideration when migrating to an IP network.

Figure 1. shows different implementations at different branch offices, depending on the existing equipment in use. In this case, BSC3270 to SNA conversion software is deployed at the multiservice router located at the smaller branch. This allows the bank to upgrade the data center "S" series host computer and terminate ATM traffic over a standard Ethernet interface. The newer branches deploy IP-based terminals for the tellers and can support older 3270 ATMs and new IP-based ATMs from the same router that runs the TN3270 emulation software. The result allows the bank to preserve and extend the investment in the existing IBM host computer equipment and allow for non-disruptive integration of newer IP-enabled IBM applications.


  • Robust information security to assist with regulatory compliance
  • No need to re-write or adapt business applications.
  • Elimination of parallel networks to transport IP, BSC3270, SNA/SDLC and virtually all communications protocols used in the industry.
  • Cost reduction and uptime increase by using the latest IP carrier services available.
  • Data Center consolidation, dramatically reducing floor space, equipment and maintenance costs.
  • Streamlined and efficient operations reduce cost and speed up network troubleshooting.
  • Lowest total cost of ownership

In the financial services industry, applications don’t just run your business -- in financial services, they are your business, and therefore, business applications delivery is critical. They handle every transaction, from customers withdrawing cash, to tellers executing transactions to insurance agents requesting quotes.

Keeping those applications secure, responsive, and reliable is very challenging. Only a true multiservice branch router like the Vanguard Networks' router can meet these requirements.
In a converged world of voice, video, and multiple applications, Vanguard Networks' routers play an important function in transitioning the network and enabling a graceful migration from legacy to IP infrastructure without compromising performance, latency, cost, or operation flexibility.