Square Keeps on Growing Payments Volume

Payments
Square Keeps on Growing Payments Volume
Payment Facilitator Mobile Business Compliance Security Payments Industry
Square Keeps on Growing Payments Volume
Leading payment facilitator Square released its quarterly financials on Wednesday, reporting $462 million in revenue, a 22% increase year over year.

The company also reported that it processed $13.6 billion in payments volume, down slightly from $13.7 billion last quarter, but in line with normal seasonal trends, the company said. That number is up 33% over first quarter last year.

“That’s staggering growth for a company that was at zero just eight years ago,” Rick Oglesby, Double Diamond Group partner and principal of AZ Payments Group, told PaymentFacilitator.com.

Intent-based Networking Systems

Networks
Intent-based Networking Systems
Apstra Blog
Intent-based Networking Systems

Gartner recently released a great report titled “Innovation Insight: Intent-Based Networking Systems” by Andrew Lerner, Joe Skorupa, and Sanjit Ganguli (ID: G00323513, Feb 7, 2017). The report covers key aspects of what makes an intent-based system, the impact intent-based networking will have going forward, and recommendations on how organizations can start realizing the benefits of these systems now.

In this post, we’re going to cover the three recommendations that Gartner makes in the report and how the Apstra Operating System (AOS) is an ideal way to get started with intent-based networking.

“Mandate support for open, RESTful APIs when purchasing new networking infrastructure in order to support integration within an intent-based system moving forward.”

There is quite a diverse range of programmable “interfaces” for network devices today, both on-box and off-box. NetConf, REST, Python, TCL, SLAX, XSLT, OpenFlow, I2RS, and more. In fact, on some recent platforms programmers are even able to access a “broadcom shell” on the devices to allow direct interaction with the forwarding hardware. Many devices also allow users to install software directly on the box, providing importable libraries for Python and C.

With a flexible intent-based network system like AOS, developers can develop ‘drivers’ for network devices using virtually any combination of these interfaces. This is a very important point. Look, we know networking is messy. Not all platforms will have the same diverse range of support for programmable interfaces. While it is true you should only be buying programmable devices going forward, you will want the kind of flexibility that AOS provides in an intent-based system in order to make use of whatever arbitrary set of interfaces a given device exposes.

Even if you don’t intend to write your own code against these programmable interfaces, intent-based solutions like AOS require them. AOS is a distributed operating system, and so the underlying hardware devices will have “device drivers” much like the devices on a computer require device drivers. The drivers that ship with AOS work optimally when the hardware has robust programmability features like the ones described above.

“Pilot intent-based networking solutions by deploying them pragmatically in phases over time, versus a full initial implementation.”

Many network automation solutions require entire networks to be rebuilt and reconfigured. If a given network configuration does not fit neatly with the assumptions that software developers made when building such a solution, then that software becomes an obstacle in the day-to-day operations of your network.

AOS mitigates this problem in several ways. First, AOS manages the network in a way that is intuitive to network engineers: in “sections.” Your network is divided into sections with one or more campus networks, one or more data center pods, one or more extranets, and so on. If you need to add a section to your network, for instance for a Big Data project, than you can leverage AOS today to design, deploy, and operate the ideal Big Data network using modern best practices.

Second, AOS can be customized to accommodate parts of your existing network so that you don’t have to redesign or reconfigure them. AOS is extensible. It can be adapted to your topology and to the devices you use as discussed above.

Last, AOS can very minimally be introduced into your environment in “telemetry only” mode, harvesting telemetry from the devices in your network and streaming them to a collection tool of your choosing.

“Budget for intent-based networking solutions using improved network agility, increased network uptime, and/or better alignment with business initiatives as the funding drivers.”

One of the key lessons coming off the SDN hype-cycle is that networking matters. Automating the network is a tough thing to do, and it’s not likely that any solution will eliminate the need for network engineers. If a solution is going to have any impact at all on agility, uptime, cost, and risk, then that solution must be built with profound insight into what network engineers actually do.

By helping network engineers design, deploy, and operate networks faster and with fewer mistakes, AOS finally delivers on decades of promises to increase network uptime and agility while reducing cost and risk.

Gartner Cool Vendor and IBNS: The Journey to Autonomous Network Operations

Networks
Gartner Cool Vendor and IBNS: The Journey to Autonomous Network Operations
Apstra Blog
Gartner Cool Vendor and IBNS: The Journey to Autonomous Network Operations

It’s been an exciting few months at Apstra! Among everything else going on, we have earned recognition from industry analyst Gartner. First, Apstra Operating System™ (AOS) was profiled in Gartner’s Innovation Insight Report: Intent-Based Networking Systems (IBNS) , as the only full offering defining a new category in data center networking. Gartner predicts 1000 IBNS deployments by 2020. Then Apstra was profiled in their Market Guide for Network Automation report in March. And then earlier this week, Apstra was named a Gartner Cool Vendor in Enterprise Networking, 2017.

On behalf of the entire Apstra team, we are very proud and appreciative of the validation that comes with Gartner’s vote of confidence.

We started Apstra because we knew that networking infrastructures are increasingly becoming a critical asset of businesses — especially in this age of IoT, Self-Driving Cars, ubiquitous Virtual Reality, and Delivery Drones, all of which require tremendous networking resources at the core.

We started Apstra because it was (and is still!) mind-boggling that network engineers are asked to operate their ever-increasing and ever more critical networks by typing arcane CLI commands on a box-per-box basis. It made no sense that when systems as mundane as thermostats were being fully automated using well understood approaches to automation — intent driven, closed loop, and vendor-agnostic — no such approaches to automation existed in the networking world.

So we set ourselves to drive the industry towards delivering a Self-Operating Network™ — a network that configures itself, defends itself, and fixes itself; and with AOS, we pioneered Intent-Based Networking and delivered the first and only vendor-agnostic, intent-based Self Operating Network.

According to Gartner, an Intent-Based Networking System such as AOS reduces network infrastructure delivery times to business leaders by 50% to 90%, while simultaneously reducing the number and duration of outages by at least 50%.

It will also reduce the number of operation teams using the command line interface (CLI) from 85% today to 30% in 2020!

We believe in a world where CLI is no longer used in networking, the same way DOS is no longer used to run your computer. We believe in a world where network operations are fully autonomous — delivering on massive improvements in uptime, agility, economics, and enabling operations that scale at the speed of your business.

If you share our belief; if your network infrastructure is becoming increasingly critical to your business; if you are interested in increased uptime, agility, and fundamentally different economics for your data center network infrastructure, then I invite you to follow Gartner’s recommendation. Don’t wait for your refresh cycle! You can fund your Intent-Based Network System using uptime improvements alone… Not to mention improved agility and massively streamlined operations.

We would love to hear from you — join the journey towards no CLI and autonomous network operations!

Mansour

Claw Back the Cost of Network Failure

Networks
Claw Back the Cost of Network Failure
Apstra Blog
Claw Back the Cost of Network Failure

The network is the underlying foundation of the data center. If that foundation becomes unstable, everything else, apps and all, are affected. The bummer is that most large data center networks are, in fact, unstable.

Complex networks experience rapid entropy and require constant human care. This entropy manifests itself as a lack of network agility and poor network availability. Whatever the reasons networks are not working as desired, the effects are the same; apps and services quickly break, impacting both operations and customers.

Of course, CIOs and IT departments would reduce network entropy and instability if they could. However, they can’t, and here’s why.

UN Report: Alipay and WeChat Pay Enable Phenomenal Digital Payments Growth in China

Payments
UN Report: Alipay and WeChat Pay Enable Phenomenal Digital Payments Growth in China

A recent study by the UN-based Better Than Cash Alliance supports what payment facilitators have long known – that enabling access to electronic payments is increasing financial inclusion and creating opportunity.

The report, titled “Social Networks, e-Commerce Platforms and the Growth of Digital Payment Ecosystems in China — What It Means for Other Countries,” looks at the economic impact in China of leading payment facilitator Alipay and WeChat Pay. It says the two companies enabled $2.9 trillion in digital payments during 2016, an increase of more than 20 times over the past four years.

That eye-popping number is just the beginning – the impact of the access to digital financial services is the real story.

Among the report’s key findings is that companies like Alipay are making it easier for small and micro merchants to access the capital they need to grow their businesses. More than 4 million small businesses had accessed a total of $107.3 billion USD through the Alipay platform as of last September, the organization said.

The report looks at the factors behind the success of digital financial inclusion in China, in hopes of helping other countries replicate it.

Among the lessons it mentions for payments providers is the value of making tools such as APIs widely available so developers can integrate the payments platforms with software that addresses user needs more specifically. The report also credits QR codes for expanding payments to underserved populations in a significant way.

According to the report, the conditions that made transformation possible in China – primarily the proliferation of smartphones and an existing social media network – are present in a number of other economies as well.

South Africa, for example, sees three-fourths of its internet traffic taking place over mobile channels. Yet only 15% of the South Africans reported making a purchase using a mobile phone within the previous month, the report said.

“Widening access to financial services has always been at the heart of Ant Financial’s mission and we are proud to have empowered more people to save, invest and gain access to capital,” Eric Jing, CEO of Ant Financial Services Group, which operates Alipay, said in a press release about the study. “There is a quiet revolution underway and we know, firsthand, that our services are making a real difference to hundreds of millions of consumers.”

“But, as this groundbreaking UN report highlights, this revolution is only just beginning. We see tremendous potential to bring many more people into the financial system, in China and markets around the world,” he continued.

The Better Than Cash Alliance is a partnership of governments, companies, and international organizations that advocates for financial inclusion through a transition from cash to digital payments.

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Double Diamond Payments Research Latest Reports On Major Trends In Payments Industry

Payments
Double Diamond Payments Research Latest Reports On Major Trends In Payments Industry

Double Diamond Payments Research

Double Diamond Payments Research performs ongoing, independent research on major trends in payments and regularly publishes reports to support our clients’ strategic planning efforts.

We also engage in customized payments research efforts either as stand-alone projects, in conjunction with consulting engagements, or as part of our Custom Research Subscription service.

Learn about our latest report… We are sure that you will find it to be interesting and informative….

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ISV are Set to Make $4.4 Billion on Payments in 2021 – ETA and Double Diamond Group

Payments
ISV are Set to Make $4.4 Billion on Payments in 2021 – ETA and Double Diamond Group

ISVs and SaaS providers are increasingly becoming payments companies, with 88% growth to $513 Billion in Gross Payments Volume by 2021, representing $4.4 Billion in Net Revenues to the ISVs…

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Get the latest report from Double Diamond Payments Research. Don’t miss out on this revenue opportunity…

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