HP To Aid European Border Security

The $48.5 million contract calls for HP to develop second-generation versions of a border-control and police-information system and a visa-request information system.
Hewlett-Packard will join in an effort to improve European cross-border security and combat terrorism after winning a contract with the European Commission valued at about $48.5 million.

HP, in cooperation with European IT services provider Steria Group, will develop for the European Commission two central information systems, second-generation versions of the Schengen Information System and the Visa Information System.

The SIS is a border-control and police-information system. Development of a second-generation version is considered key to the lifting of border controls between current members of the Schengen area and the 10 members that were added to the European Union in May 2004. The VIS will manage visa requests for entry into European countries of the Schengen area.

The Schengen countries are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.

The existing SIS was adopted in 1985 to end internal border controls and allow free movement of individuals in Europe. SIS II will provide information on wanted people, as well as stolen vehicles, ID documents, and banknotes through a database accessed by police authorities of the participating countries.

Once functional in 2007, SIS II is expected to be more flexible than the current system and be able to store photographic images and fingerprints.

VIS will let authorities of the participating countries access all visa requests for entry.

HP Integrity Superdome servers and HP OpenView software will be used for the infrastructure. HP will be responsible for providing ongoing services to ensure the availability and performance of the infrastructure.

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