Investment bank UBS has completed a major project to move its main banking systems from a proprietary Unisys mainframe to the new IBM zSeries mainframe.
The bank’s mainframe supports every key business function including client data, company liquidations, payment transaction, stock value processing and electronic banking. Hundreds of thousands of clients use these applications every day, making payments worth billions of pounds.
The migration to a new mainframe highlights the continued popularity of mainframe systems in corporate computing, due largely to their reliability. Mainframe suppliers such as IBM have also begun to support open source technology.
The project for an undisclosed sum, which took one year, is part of a bigger shake-up which will see the bank renew its entire IT infrastructure.
It was also designed to consolidate disparate IT systems after the merger of Swiss Bank and Union Bank of Switzerland in 1998 and to cut IT costs.
Challenges posed by the project included switching from the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) code used by the Unisys mainframe to the EBCDIC code used by the new IBM mainframe and ensuring that suitably skilled staff were available.
UBS used software from HAL Knowledge Solutions to keep track of its legacy systems during the project.