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UBS taps Microsoft Cloud to power business-critical tech

By Microsoft Financial Services on April 26, 2017

Filed under Financial Services - Banking & Capital Markets

Today Microsoft announced that UBS is turning to Microsoft Azure cloud technology to power its digital transformation, aiming to reduce dependency on legacy technology, find new ways to leverage digital channels, and rethink how its businesses and people work.

“Tremendous transformation is taking place in the financial services industry, and technology is increasingly providing a competitive advantage to firms,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president, Worldwide Commercial Business, Microsoft Corp. “UBS is a model of digital transformation in the financial services industry. With Microsoft Azure, the firm receives all the advanced technological and economic benefits of cloud technology. This is underscored by Microsoft’s investments in security, transparency and regulatory compliance, which enable UBS to innovate while doing business all over the globe.”

UBS is currently using Azure to power its risk-management platform, technology that requires enormous computing power, to run millions of calculations daily on demand. The result — speeding calculation time by 100 percent, saving 40 percent in infrastructure costs, gaining nearly infinite scale within minutes — means the firm can have more working capital on hand and employees can make quicker, more informed decisions for their clients.

“Increasing the agility and scalability of our technology infrastructure is crucial to the bank’s strategy,” said Paul McEwen, UBS Group Head of Technology Services, who is responsible for the entire Infrastructure Platforms Strategy and Support, driving the strategic planning for the bank’s intersection of business and IT needs. “With Microsoft Azure, we are building on the industry’s leading cloud platform in terms of innovation, technology, security and regulatory compliance, which is very important as a Swiss financial institution.”

Key to UBS’s move to Azure was a significant focus on regulatory compliance. Microsoft’s Financial Services Compliance program — a unique program that allows firms and regulators to deeply examine Microsoft cloud systems, services and processes — provides transparency into Microsoft cloud operations. This ensures UBS and regulators that Microsoft has taken the proper steps to secure data and mitigate risk. In addition, Azure’s industry-leading compliance portfolio ensures UBS can move to the cloud while meeting current compliance requirements, as well as plan for future regulations.

In terms of UBS’s strategic journey to the cloud, the risk platform is just the first step. UBS is actively partnering with Microsoft for opportunities to move more business applications to the Azure cloud.

Microsoft continues to see strong cloud adoption from the financial services industry, with more than 80 percent of the world’s largest banks and more than 75 percent of the global systemically important financial institutions using Azure. This represents the highest bar for legal, compliance, security and acquisitions teams.

Watch UBS COO, Axel P. Lehmann, and Microsoft Chief Legal Officer, Brad Smith, on stage at CeBIT discussing how UBS is driving its digital transformation with the Microsoft Cloud.

Read more on the Microsoft Banking & Capital Markets and Insurance blogs.

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