Steria and the European Commission today announce the ‘go live’ of SIS II, the second generation Schengen Information System that was developed by an international consortium Steria-HP, led by Steria and which entered into operation on the 9th April. Boasting improved functionality and scalability, the state-of-the-art SIS II system will transform how countries in the Schengen Area exchange information on crime, national security, immigration matters and keep the external borders safe.
SIS II consists of three shared components – a central system, Schengen Member States national systems, and a communication infrastructure between the central and national systems. The central system acts as a single point of information entry for the 29 Schengen States, connecting to all national IT systems in the region. This will allow member states to share information between national border control authorities, customers and police authorities on a variety of homeland security issues, including serious crime, theft and missing persons.
SIS II will also enable member states to introduce new types of data, such as biometric data, into the system. Member states can set up new alerts on suspected criminal activity and link these with existing alerts on individuals or vehicles. In addition, copies of European Arrest Warrants (EAW) can be attached directly to alerts for persons wanted for arrest, surrender or extradition, making it quicker and easier for the appropriate authorities to follow-up.
Some member states and associated countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Romania, France, Slovenia and the United Kingdom) have selected Steria to provide them with an off-the-shelf solution that connects to the central system. New countries, such as Croatia and central institutions like Europol and Eurojust can be easily integrated into the system as the Schengen Area expands. Steria also delivered a Converter between SIS 1, the legacy system, and its successor. The Converter has enabled a robust data migration and facilitated the Entry into Operation by implementing a safety net in case some Member States would have encountered problems during the migration.
This project builds on Steria’s extensive experience in homeland security across Europe including providing the VISA Information System to the European Commission, implementing the Eurodac biometry system on a European scale to process immigration application requests and delivering a case management system for Norway’s National Police.
“This project demonstrates the vast experience Steria has to offer with mission-critical homeland security projects. Built and managed by Steria from cradle to implementation, SIS II demonstrates a major step forward in sharing information and processes within the Schengen region,” commented François Enaud, Steria Group CEO. “The roll-out of such a large-scale project, implemented across more than 300 IT systems simultaneously, proves our ability to successfully integrate multiple IT systems and reinforces our ability to help governments work together effectively.”
“Border security and citizen protection is becoming increasingly important,” stated Johan Deschuyffeleer, senior vice president, Technology Consulting Services, HP. “For governments that need access to information in an instant, HP Converged Infrastructure delivers a mission-critical support experience, ensuring high performance, high availability and stability across multiple countries.”