April 29, 2005. HP had won a €37.5m deal with the European Commission to work jointly in consortium with Steria across two major projects.
The deal breaks down across the second generation of the Schengen Information System (SIS II) and the Visa Information System (VIS).
The SIS represents the largest border control and police information network in the world and the VIS runs all visa management for the 'Schengen' area.
Named after a town in Luxembourg, Schengen covers Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
The Schengen visa was brought in by seven EU member states in 1985 to remove the need for internal physical border control when passing from one country to the other. The virtual borders remain intact however and the process of maintaining them is a complex one, according to HP. SIS was used for many purposes including tracking stolen goods, currency and vehicles which may have cropped up in other member states.
SIS II, which will go live in 2007, will also include functionality to track wanted persons through police systems.
Bernard Meric, senior vice president and MD EMEA at HP, said in a statement: "Ensuring citizen safety and security requires that technologies be able to adapt to the demands of global migration, border security, terrorism and crime prevention."
"These demands are constantly changing, expanding in scope and can be unpredictable in nature. Whether success is measured in life and death terms or simply in the speed of tracking and apprehending stolen goods across the border, HP’s high-availability services and high-end technology are created with these demands in mind," he added.
The visa system is expected to handle around 20 million visa requests each year as well as 45 million visa queries.