In an average month, employees of the multinational financial services provider, UBS, receive more than 130 million emails in total. A good 70 percent of these, i.e. more than 90 million emails, are spam and thus undesired. Along with his team, Markus Lickert, the Managing Director and Head of End User Services at UBS, is globally responsible for ensuring that the wheat is well and truly separated from the chaff.
Mr. Lickert, you and your team at UBS are responsible for end user services worldwide. What exactly does that entail?
Markus Lickert: We make sure that the roughly 90,000 users of the UBS Group's IT infrastructure in over 55 countries around the world are able to work productively while also complying with the technological parameters defined by the Group.
Our team has a broad portfolio that includes delivering the strategy, implementation and support for all technologies needed by users within the bank in their day-to-day work. These range from the end user devices with their various operating systems, to applications in the area of unified communications and collaboration, right through to printers and the necessary infrastructure, such as video conferencing in meeting rooms.
How many end user devices are we talking about at UBS globally?
There are more than 100,000 desktop PCs and laptops currently in use. On top of which there are more than 30,000 mobile devices — at present mainly company BlackBerrys, but increasingly also «bring your own» iOS end user devices.
How has the use of IT within the bank developed in recent years?
It's fair to say that the users are much more savvy in handling technology today than they were a few years ago. They know what the technology enables them to do, appreciate the possibilities and make active use of them. That naturally makes our job a lot easier, as users are already used to working with the tools that we offer them. But at the same time it also makes our job that bit harder.
What do you mean?
Users have massive expectations of IT within the company because they compare the infrastructure available to them at the office with their setup at home. That's entirely understandable, but not quite fair when you consider the additional challenges we need to face in a business environment.
Are you referring to the regulatory framework?
Partly, but not just that. First and foremost it's a case of being true to our own principles. For example, UBS demands the highest standards of reliability and confidentiality. Satisfying these in the global day-to-day business environment is a demanding task for IT.
Let us take a closer look at reliability and confidentiality...