Anyone interested or involved with the ATM industry is certainly aware of the impending demise of Windows 7. The official end of support date for the Windows 7 OS, January 14, 2020, is just around the corner, which means that 2019 is sure to be an interesting and exciting year for ATM deployers across the globe.
NCR has published a handy countdown clock on their website. Yet, personally, I think most organizations will be looking at a much earlier date for completing the migration, more like October or November of 2019. If this is the case, you may want to delete 90 or 100 days off the time left on the countdown clock.
And, while the clock is a useful reminder that we are nearing the end of life for Windows 7, time is already ticking down for Windows 10. In fact, several versions of the Windows 10 OS are already out of support.
So, how do we get off this treadmill and make this the last time that you’ll ever need to go through a Windows upgrade for your ATM fleet?
The ATM Industry Responds
Thankfully, the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) as a significant effort underway to help accomplish that goal. Given the ongoing cost and complexity of managing the Windows environment for ATMs, along with the growing dominance of mobile technology, the ATMIA is leading an initiative to move the entire ATM industry forward toward the “Next Gen” ATM platform.
This effort started back in early 2017 when ATMIA published an RFI seeking input on how to the industry can get off the Windows merry-go-round to “Simplify, Rationalize, and Standardize” the next generation of ATMs. The purpose of the RFI was to gather feedback on how to reduce the growing cost and complexity of managing ATMs, while leveraging all the investments being made in developing applications for mobile devices.
Paragon was among a handful of industry leaders who joined the Consortium for Next Generation ATMs early, providing input and guidance on issues related to testing and certification that must be considered as we move forward toward the Next Generation of ATMs.
Now more than year later, the importance of the ATMIA goals have really struck a chord in the marketplace. There are now more than 145 organizations participating in the program, with more joining every month.
ATMIA has made significant progress toward defining and refining what the Next Gen architecture will look like and is now ready to expand the initiative beyond the membership. The official launch announcement will be made at the 2018 ATM & Payments Innovation Summit, taking place on October 17th through 19th in Madrid.
Even if you are not planning to be in Spain at the Innovation Summit later this year, ATMIA has recently posted a great introductory video that provides an overview of the Next Gen initiative which details the rationale behind the effort, the key value drivers, as well an overview of the proposed blueprint for the Next Gen architecture. Speakers on the video include:
- Mike Lee, CEO of ATMIA
- Peter Kulik, Director of Digital ATM Technology at Citibank
- Donna Embry, Chief Payments Officer at Payment Alliance International
- Leland Englebardt, Practice Leader, Financial Services at Upshot Advisors
Given the momentum building behind the Next Gen ATM concept, it seems clear that the industry is ready to move beyond the Windows paradigm. The number of ATMs in use across the globe and the critical role they play for so many consumers means that this will require a significant effort by all parties, but for the channel to remain both viable and relevant, these changes will need to take place.
One piece of good news is that there are things that you can do now to help prepare for the future. By implementing “Next Gen” testing tools as a part of your Windows 10 migration, you can help position your organization to take advantage of the new ATM app-model more quickly and easily. Virtualization, automation and integration are the key attributes that you should be looking for to help make ensure that your ATM test platform supports your overall business goals - now and into the future.
So, when the countdown clock for Windows 7 finally expires in 2020, we will be almost halfway through the full life cycle of Windows 10. That means we get to start thinking and planning for the next migration all over again. Do you really want that to be another Windows upgrade?