A consortium of firms led by Accenture has won a contract to maintain the European Visa Information System (VIS) for USD 93 million (about Rs 503 crore).
"The European Commission Directorate General for Home Affairs has awarded a consortium of Accenture, Morpho (Safran Group) and Hewlett-Packard (HP), a contract to maintain the European Visa Information System (VIS)," Accenture said in a statement.
The contract is for three years with a possible one-year extension to a maximum value of Euro 70 million (approx USD 93 million), the global technology and consultancy giant added.
The project will support exchange of visa data across border management authorities by ensuring processing capacity of the system and availability of high levels of search and matching capabilities required for visa applications, it said.
As consortium lead, Accenture will assume overall project responsibilities and will oversee integration of functional, technical and operational maintenance to the VIS and Morpho will provide biometric matching services, it added.
Under the new contract, HP will provide additional network support with associated consulting and IT support services.
HP has worked with the European Commission since 2005 providing HP's Converged Infrastructure solution and associated technology services for the VIS as well as the archiving and back-up solution.
Subcontractors to Accenture are Daon and WCC Smart Search and Match who will provide IT support and services.
The VIS system went live in October 2011 and has since experienced increased usage by consulates in non-European Union (EU) countries and external border crossing points of Schengen states.
VIS is at the core of the visa application process to the Schengen area and enables Schengen states to store and exchange alphanumeric and biometric data relating to visa applications of third-country citizens.
Schengen countries include France, Germany, Italy, Spain Sweden, Switzerland among others.
As a subcomponent of VIS, a Biometric Matching System (BMS) enables the accurate identification of visa applicants through matching biometric data, such as fingerprints, to identities to establish and verify visa applications.