This piece of news is very close to my heart because apart from being a true blue, dyed in the wool geek, I am also a part of the banking industry (or at least I think I am πŸ™‚ ).

An NCR interior, multi-function ATM in the USA

The company I work with also maintains an ATM network that has at least twice as many ATMs as Unionbank has and I have to say that in our own little way, we have avoided having such a large-scale outage of our ATM network.

Like Unionbank, we also perform system maintenance on weekends. For things that takes a long time to complete, we do it on the wee hours of Saturday mornings so that if anything untoward happens, we can extend the downtime throughout the weekend. System maintenance are done when we need to update/upgrade the ATM’s software or to “phase in” new equipment in the back office. These activities are carefully and meticulously planned — each activity has a “back-out” scenario wherein we can still revert back to the previous state of the system should anything untoward happens during the “system maintenance”. For major activities like hardware upgrade, backup machines are turned on to make sure that service continues should something happens to the machine being upgraded.

I’m not saying that ATM network outage is caused by a botched “system maintenance” but such outages can be prevented with careful planning and implementation.