Founded in the 1850s, Swiss banking group UBS provides investment banking, asset management and wealth management services for private, corporate institutional clients across the globe.
As a result, it's the largest bank in Switzerland and employs more than 62,000 people around the world, responsible for managing more than 25 billion Swiss Francs (£17bn) in revenue during 2012.
UBS recently chose to deploy Sailpoint's IdentityIQ identity and access management software to manage such processes as ensuring compliance associated with user access controls, governance and connectivity - all processes crucial in aiding the bank to mitigate risk. IdentityIQ should also help UBS reduce IT costs.
"It was an internal decision that Sailpoint was the best product for our purpose, the best fit for our current processes and we made the decision in December 2011," UBS Head of BBS service delivery Ralf Kappler, told Computing.
UBS chose Sailpoint after what Kappler described as a "lengthy 12-month selection process", with a proof-of-concepts set up in order to test IdentityIQ in addition to a solution by a different and compare the benefits they brought to UBS. Ultimately, the bank chose Sailpoint IdentityIQ, with its simplicity a key factor in its selection.
"Functionality, how rich is the product out of the box because we always want to avoid having to write bespoke code to complement the products functionality, because that sometimes breaks your release capabilities," Kappler explained.
"Also we are strong believers in configuration over customisation, you click here or there and the system behaves in the way you want it to," he added.
UBS look to be with Sailpoint for long-haul with the adoption of IdentityIQ, signaling a long-term investment for the future, said Kappler.
"The imperative has changed a bit. In the early days of the project we treated it as a technical conversion initiative, but it became a strategic initiative because it is big, long and it costs money, but this is an investment in our future," he added.
Systems that previously had to be managed separately can now be managed at once, bringing a number of benefits, such as lower costs.
"For example, we can converge three systems into one unified solution, reducing cost and effort significantly. But our time to market will also go down," Kappler told Computing, and explained how significant the time to market element is.
"It's is important because in this ever growing regulatory environment, our regulations are scrutinising financial industries very much. We have new regulations coming down on us almost on a weekly basis and if we have to implement these changes in three legacy systems instead of just one, it's costing to cost you more and it's probably going to take longer for you to implement," he explained.
That saving in time and therefore money brought about by adopting IdentityIQ was therefore one of the key attractions that moved UBS towards Sailpoint, Kappler added.
"That's one of the key drivers used internally when we discussed the project with our stakeholders . We're able to deliver sustainable business benefits, which are good for the business, not just the IT."
Benefits for business include "substantial savings", with Kappler describing the return on investment as "pretty nice".
But for UBS, the adoption of IdentityIQ also works as a risk mitigating initiative that helps reduce further costs in the long term "because being not compliant with the external regulators is a risk", Kappler explained, "and if you don't comply, if the regulator finds something they're not happy with, this will cost money and it's really hard to quantify that."
Looking to the future, UBS will rely on Sailpoint's IdentityIQ to quickly adapt to any changes made by financial regulators, allowing the bank to stay competitive while continuing to reduce risk, thanks to solutions being developed outside.
Ultimately, UBS is only just starting its journey with Sailpoint. But Kappler told Computing he'd "certainly recommend" the company as a service provider, with IdentityIQ's capabilities making it relatively simple for staff to pick up and use.
"It's rich out of the box in terms of functionality. I find the user interface very intuitive and it doesn't need much training to understand," he concluded.