Globe Telecom, Inc. is a major telecommunications services provider in the Philippines. The company serves the telecommunications and technology needs of consumers and businesses across an entire suite of products and services. Supported by over 8,300 employees and over 1.1 million retailers, distributors, and business partners nationwide, the company currently has over 85 million customers.
Globe Telecom needed to establish a robust identity program as part of its digital transformation journey, aiming to decrease employee onboarding time and manual approval processes while better mitigating security risks and improving overall employee experience.
Globe Telecom partnered with SailPoint to drive higher efficiencies on its onboarding processes, manage passwords and identities more securely, and level up its IT processes to blend identity into the rest of their seamless employee experience. Notably, they were able to reduce the number of days needed to onboard new hires from 19 days to their start date in the company.
Before, it took us around 19 days to provide access to new users. After implementing SailPoint, we are now able to provide access 5 days before their actual start date, and everything is activated on their day 1
Red Jaques E. Bernaldez, Director Digital Workplace Technology, Globe Telecom
A long way towards the identity program
It all started with a piece of paper. When Red Jaques E. Bernaldez, Digital Workplace Technology Director joined Globe Telecom, day one as a new employee was not a smooth experience. New hires received a piece of paper with their network ID, password, and internal website links. Globe Telecom’s staff, in general, used to write their work passwords down in stores or offices or save them on their desktops or notebooks. This caused information leaks and overall cybersecurity risks for Globe Telecom. That’s when Bernaldez understood that user onboarding needed a change.
Globe Telecom’s overall internal processes also relied massively on manual approvals, leading to significant delays in access provisioning. Human factor was behind around 10% to 15% of missing or incorrectly entered information. IT was also facing the dilemma of granting least privileged access to each category of workers – regular workers, vendor employees, and managed services staff – all of whom had different engagements and levels of access to internal applications.
Furthermore, after an internal investigation of Globe Telecom’s overall processes, an audit showed that many identities were still not removed, and service accounts were active even after some employees had left the company.
All of these are against a backdrop of multi-project, organization-wide transformation initiatives that cover all fronts of Globe Telecom’s business and processes.
SailPoint was able to showcase live, exactly how the system will operate, to the point that one of the stakeholders in the meeting was almost about to cry because, for the first time, somebody showed us how it should work and that it definitely will. Many other vendors’ presentations have slides or prepared demos, but SailPoint was able to build the whole product in front of us.
Red Jaques E. Bernaldez, Director Digital Workplace Technology, Globe Telecom
Identity as key element of Globe Telecom’s digital transformation journey
In 2017, Globe Telecom continued to enter the era of digitalization and started to move in the identity space. The company was committed to digitalizing their processes to be ahead of the technology and user experience, both for their customers and employees. “In order to provide a high level of a seamless experience for our customers, we need to have that internally first. We need our employees to face that kind of experience so that when they serve our customers – their background at Globe Telecom resonates with the customer,” said Bernaldez.
The cybersecurity landscape was evolving rapidly, and more and more Filipinos were heavily relying on digitized information and sharing data across complex and vulnerable networks. New technologies and systems introduced new risks, which could result in disruption of business operations, damage to reputation, legal regulatory fines, and customer claims.
That’s when Globe Telecom started its digital transformation journey, adding the identity program as its critical part. Globe Telecom’s management team fully supported this initiative, “Our direction as a company is to be more digital, and we can only accelerate the creation of access if we do digital identities,” said Bernaldez.
Globe Telecom’s identity program goals intended:
- To unify all identities into OneID, aiming to have just one ID across all systems employees use.
- To ensure that all identities are compliant with regulations and policies that Globe Telecom has so they could be sure they provide the right access to the right. people, at the right time.
- To achieve the next level of personnel’s digital experience, including innovative solutions such as bot accounts governed by the identity program, and biometrics usage whilst ensuring privacy within the company is maintained.
SailPoint stands out in identity security
The company started to look for identity solutions, and to begin with, worked and heavily relied on managed services providers and partners to launch the identity program. After a strict selection process, Globe Telecom shortlisted SailPoint alongside 7 other providers. The final decision was made as SailPoint was the only one that provided an actual demo of how the new identity system would work in Globe Telecom.
Bernaldez recalled “SailPoint was able to showcase live, exactly how the system will operate, to the point that one of the stakeholders in the meeting was almost about to cry because, for the first time, somebody showed us how it should work and that it definitely will. Many other vendors’ presentations have slides or prepared demos, but SailPoint was able to build the whole product in front of us. And it showed SailPoint’s confidence in their ability to do it.”
Integrating identity for seamless employee experience
After migrating to SailPoint in early 2019, Globe Telecom was able to launch the first integration with Workday and Fieldglass for vendor contractors in 2020. It was the best timing for the identity program: due to the pandemic situation and working from home policies, Globe Telecom provided suitable access to all types of employees.
“Without Workday, Fieldglass and SailPoint – we wouldn’t be able to provide the right access to our vendor employees without sending emails to personal accounts or additional information requests, and it would have taken a much longer time to onboard new hires,” Bernaldez said.
Benefits of Globe Telecom’s new identity program:
- Greater efficiency for onboarding processes, with a considerable decrease in time needed to onboard new employees. “Before, it took us around 19 days to provide access to new users. After implementing SailPoint, we are now able to provide access 5 days before their actual start date, and everything is activated on their day 1.”
- Better lifecycle management: Deletion or suspension of accounts now happens at the actual departure date, which leads to strict compliance and cleared audits.
- Higher level of cybersecurity risk mitigation linked to work-from-home policies.
“If we did not choose to go digital at that time, we would probably have more issues right now, when we entered the work-from everywhere era. It could have been harder if we were not able to go digital, including the identity program.” Bernaldez said.
Best practices and looking into the future
If your organization is only in the beginning of its identity journey, here are some lessons learned from Globe Telecom’s Digital Workplace Technology Director who leads Globe Telecom’s identity program:
- Don’t be afraid to try new ways of managing or adapting new identity lifecycle. Try out new things and innovative solutions, and do not limit your choices because of your legacy systems.
- Look into the experience rather than just technology. People tend to forget that it’s the experience that drives the technology, and not the other way around.
- A good practice is to do an inventory of all available systems and put it on paper first. Write it down, draw it, and design it to see all the possibilities for optimization.
- Think of identity security as something that would benefit the future of your organization. Consider potential cost/time savings for the company.
- The right partnership is sometimes the key to success. The implementation partner and the solution provider play a critical role, where impact, reliability and trust matter the most.
“We value the way SailPoint is helping us – we are getting support and receiving messages for updates and vulnerabilities, which enable us to implement those changes much easier and address issues in time,” said Bernaldez.
To date, Globe Telecom has integrated five main applications (Workday, Active Directory, Fieldglass, CISCO, and Workplace) as they continue to build the foundation of their IAM program. They have also established an Identity Counsel of main internal stakeholders, including HR and IT, that defines identity policies on a regular basis. As a next step, Globe Telecom aims to create role-based access for even more advanced IAM systems.