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Solvay optimizes company-wide identity processes

Solvay is a Belgian multinational chemical company. It supplies customers worldwide with raw materials and products in sectors including agriculture, automotive, construction, consumer goods, healthcare, electronics, environment, energy and industrial applications.  


As Solvay’s existing identity and access management system reached the end of its life, the company had to decommission it and find a replacement solution that could be implemented quickly and safely. Solvay was particularly struggling with its on- and offboarding procedures, some of which took ten days to complete.


Solvay implemented enterprise-grade cloud identity security services from SailPoint to accelerate and reform its employee identity governance. The identity transformation sparked technical changes across the organization, with management practices remodeled to a more agile, modern approach. Today, new employees are onboarded in as little as four hours and SailPoint technology continues to make impactful new contributions to the business, from compliance to certification campaigns.  

Every three weeks we use SailPoint’s software to release new features and onboard new applications, certification campaigns, and more. The platform is well known in the organization because there’s barely a week that goes by where it doesn’t have an impact. With SailPoint, we can constantly bring value and hold the engagement of our stakeholders.”

James Kyndt, Head of Identity & Access Management, Solvay 


identities managed

4 hours

staff onboarding process was reduced from 10 days


employees onboarded to Solvay site in just one day

It’s no exaggeration to say that Belgian chemicals company Solvay has mastered the elements. Founded in 1863 by Ernest and Alfred Solvay, developers of the Solvay manufacturing process for soda ash, today the business is a world-leading chemicals supplier in sectors from agriculture to energy. In 2022, the company earned €5.6bn in net sales, operating across 42 industrial sites and over 40 countries.  

Solvay’s chemicals are key ingredients in products used by millions of people around the world. The company’s global impact means it recognizes the need for constant process innovation, with a drive for sustainability and efficiency reflected in many of its recent business strategies.  

One example of Solvay’s commitment to efficiency is the company’s decommissioning of its legacy identity and access management system. The out-of-date platform was coming to the end of its life and therefore no longer fit for everyday use. Solvay needed to find a new solution to match their ambitions. But after their previous software took an excessive amount of time and effort to set up, the company also required considerable internal reorganization—and crucial support from a technology partner—to successfully achieve its goals.  

A new identity journey

Solvay’s legacy identity and access management system was a complex, outdated on-premises platform. It was also so overly customized that it took Solvay three years to initially commission. According to James Kyndt, Head of Identity & Access Management at Solvay, “we had such a legacy environment that anything that could help us simplify it would be the way forward.”  

After a careful bidding process, the Solvay team selected SailPoint’s SaaS-based cloud identity security solution. “The main selling point was that it was relatively well packaged,” said Kyndt. “We didn’t want to be tempted again by over-customization. Our stakeholders craved out-of-the-box software that worked correctly straightaway, and this enabled us to keep things simple.” 

An additional advantage was the speed and accuracy with which the SailPoint platform could on and offboard Solvay employees. Solvay’s auditors were regularly pulling the company up on basic processes. Through the implementation of the SailPoint technologies, Solvay could add extra value by comprehensively complying with compliance and audit requirements.  

Streamlining employee onboarding while bolstering data security and compliance  

SaaS solution adoption helped to improve Solvay in more ways than they had expected. Upon investigating the transition between their legacy infrastructure and the SailPoint software, the company “…realized our HR data needed to be better, processes had to be standardized, and better offboarding procedures had to be created,” said James Kyndt. “To go with the implementation of the SailPoint technologies, we evolved our organization and prepared an agile approach to our management of the platforms.” This involved clear roles and responsibilities between the HR system and employee lifecycle vs the IT Access lifecycle management. 

Today, SailPoint technology forms a key pillar of Solvay’s identity and access management framework. Every three weeks, the IT security team uses it to release new features, application onboardings, certification campaigns, and more, constantly adding value to the organization. With support from Accenture, Solvay and SailPoint teams combine to deliver comprehensive services to thousands of identities. 

Solvay’s on and offboarding processes have transformed, too. In the past, there were occasions where Solvay failed to terminate an ex-employee’s access simply because the relevant team members were not informed. Today, a master database & standard processes provides a single system for managers to take accountability and advise everyone when an employee is leaving. As for new joiners, their active directory account is now ready as soon as they arrive, along with their intranet and email access. Previously, this enrolment procedure would take as long as four weeks. Now, an employee can be onboarded in as little as four hours.  

In fact, the company recently enrolled 90 new US employees—including access to IT and HR systems—in just one day.  

When a new employee arrives, their active directory account and email and intranet accesses are all ready for them. Previously, this could take as long as two weeks. It’s just one example of how SailPoint’s platforms bring day-to-day value to our business.” 

James Kyndt, Head of Identity & Access Management, Solvay

Kyndt describes Solvay’s current processes as “a factory, a well-oiled machine”. He adds, “Our platform is well known in the organization because barely a week goes by in which it doesn’t have an impact, keeping the engagement of the stakeholders.”

The beginning of a long-term partnership 

Solvay has successfully transformed its performance amid an urgent identity and access management system transition. But the company is not resting on its laurels. Recently, it underwent a demanding company-wide demerger, in which Solvay split into two industry leaders, SOLVAY and SYENSQO, to optimize growth opportunities.  

To facilitate the split, all personnel had to be reassigned to a company. This divergence required a swathe of data updates, such as changing thousands of employees’ email addresses from @solvay.com to @SYENSQO.com and digitally moving them to their respective new units. Fortunately, SailPoint’s support has made all the difference, with James Kyndtt acknowledging that without it, “there would have been an immense amount of additional time and manual work required.” 

Looking at the future, Kyndt and his team want to onboard 250 more applications into IdentityNow with the support of tools like AI and self-service. “The model of doing everything ourselves will become outdated,” he recognizes. The company has much more to achieve in terms of automation, role management, and application onboarding. However, with a mature identity security program, Solvay is now better prepared to drive the future of chemical and scientific innovation—ensuring continuous, sustainable progress for our planet.  



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