The scale and importance of the migration was such that Dr Hansbeat Loacker, managing director of UBS, supervised the entire project. “It was an exceptionally ambitious project. Normal functionality had to be secured at all times with constant modifications,” said Loacker.
Every function critical for the daily business operations of a global bank ran on the legacy platform including: client data; company liquidations; payment transaction; stock value processing and electronic banking. Hundreds of thousands of clients used these applications every day, making payments to the value of billions of Euros.
To complete the project, a massive 2,000 online programs and 5,000 batch programs, 3,000 database objects, 10,000 data records, over 300,000 program tasks and nearly 40,000 batch nets had to be migrated.
To successfully carry out the project, a high degree of professionalism, technical skill and project management were prerequisites. Dr Loacker also highlighted other key qualities including: a highly skilled and outstanding team; absolute trust and commitment of each specialist, and the courage to use unconventional methods. It was also essential to gain support of the entire management team.
Martin Schneider, HAL Knowledge Solutions executive commented that for the success of the project it was vital to work at UBS with a project leader able to provide these prerequisites and to mobilize all required attributes.
UBS and HAL secured the comprehensive control of quality and risk throughout the migration, establishing a single source management process to ensure the seamless continuity and operation of the system during periods of change.
Dr Loacker explains:
- “Naturally there are risks in every project. We anticipated and managed each risk systematically and professionally to ensure the successful completion of the project by December 2004. The new system was then put into immediate use, completing the year-end processing with equal success.”
All test reports and parallel runs in production made the risks visible at all times to UBS, and enabled them to be adequately handled. Without such knowledge the migration would not have been possible so close to the end of the year and over three weekends.
UBS faced a number of especially demanding project management challenges including; the continuous flow of necessary program adaptations and expansions in ‘Abacus’, the switch from ASCII into EBCDIC; the move from a hierarchical to a relational database system; the correct tuning of the systems; the timely provision of all middleware components and batch jobs; as well as the high availability of the key people.
The migration was of huge importance for UBS. Yet this was simply the first phase of a comprehensive Strategic Solution Program (SSP) to renew its entire IT system, which will allow UBS to focus on the growing demand of clients. UBS had already established the SSP a few years ago. The dynamics of the financial services sector require more flexible systems that adapt faster to the changing needs of the market and the adoption of new methods.
About UBS AG:
UBS is one of the leading global finance institutions and one of the world’s largest providers in the business of wealth management. UBS is among the most important investment banks and stock dealers and is part of the leading patrimony managers worldwide. UBS is market leader in private and corporate finance in Switzerland.
About Hal Knowledge Solutions AG (HAL):
HAL Knowledge Solutions is the leading provider of Application Portfolio Management Solutions that remove the cost burden of IT accountability by providing transparency and clarity to complex IT decisions. HAL was founded 1984 and has offices in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, UK and Brazil.