Capgemini sd&m implements the VIS into the German visa processes at the Federal Office of Administration (BVA)

“ We are very satisfied with the flexible architecture of the developed systems. The service-oriented architecture allowed for a very dynamic integration of all accessing systems. The close cooperation with Capgemini sd&m during the whole project lifecycle was a key success factor for the VIS integration. ”Matthias Kohlhage, VIS Project Manager, BVA

The Situation

After four years of debate, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union issued a regulation (EC 767/2008) for the installation of a Visa Information System (VIS). The VIS will contain the data of all short-term visas issued by the 28 countries of the Schengen Agreement. The purpose is to improve the implementation of the common visa policy, fight Visa-Shopping and provide data for the prevention, detection and investigation of terrorist offences and other serious criminal offences.

In order to fulfil these requirements, the Bundesverwaltungsamt (BVA) – Germany’s Federal Office of Administration – asked Capgemini sd&m in 2006 to design the strategy for the integration of VIS into the processes of the BVA by extending the existing national systems and implementing additional systems. In addition, Capgemini sd&m would support the work of the BVA as a participant of the European VIS project group and in the context of the European test phases.

The Solution

Capgemini sd&m provided three specific areas of work to the BVA. Consultation was given in relation to the application of the VIS in the German process for national security. A strategy for the integration of the VIS was developed. Intensive support was given to the BVA for the analysis and annotation of the VIS concepts at the European level. In Germany, three VIS workshops were organized to present Germany’s VIS strategy to the European Commission and other Schengen Member States.

Integration of the VIS into the German visa process

Capgemini sd&m extended the existing systems to use both the VIS and the national visa database. System specifications and system design documents were written for these extensions. Once the integration was completed and tested, the BVA launched the software with the support of Capgemini sd&m.

Implementation of new systems for accessing the VIS data

A number of systems were implemented to provide the access and administration of the VIS data:

  • the interface system which controls the communication between the national system and the VIS
  • a national VIS administration and reporting system
  • the system VIS-Internal Security, which provides additional access to the VIS data.

For each implemented and extended system, Capgemini sd&m wrote system specifications and system design documents. All systems were tested intensively before the launch by the BVA.

The Result

With the integration of the VIS into the national visa process, additional data can be used for visa decisions, thereby creating additional security within Germany. Through a very transparent and highly automated integration with an emphasis on user comfort, the additional usage of the VIS within the national systems creates a minimal additional workload.

With the intensive support of Capgemini sd&m, Germany was among the first countries to fully integrate the VIS. The concept for this integration and the experiences gained during the implementation phase has provided a strong foundation for the VIS implementations in other Member States.