Constructing a standardized global IT infrastructure to meet a trading company’s business needs
General Manager of Information Technology
Mr. Isao Ueda
“Even after the new IT infrastructure is constructed, this project will carry on for many years via operation and maintenance services. We selected NTT because we trust they are a reliable company with a dedication to security and will commit themselves to this long-term project.”
Preparing for global optimization of the IT infrastructure
Further standardization of the communication infrastructure
Mistui & Co., Ltd. is Japan’s representative general trading company. Utilizing its network and information resources around the world, it pursues business ranging from product sales and worldwide logistics and financing to the development of major international projects around the world. To support its diverse business, Mitsui recently began renewing its complex IT infrastructure, which was separately constructed and operated by the head office and group companies, to create a single globally optimized IT infrastructure shared by the entire group.
General Manager Mr. Isao Ueda told us, “Our global network consists of approximately 138 offices and 462 subsidiaries and associated companies in 65 regions*1. As a general trading company, our mission is to meet the needs of society and connect countries with customers, people with things and business with information. Toward this end, it became necessary for us to seamlessly connect our offices and business hubs.”
In 2011, Mitsui began standardizing its communication network among overseas offices and centralizing management of local carriers. However, in some emerging countries there were unavoidable problems in the level of service, such as in the quality of telecommunications and troubleshooting.
“Our goal was to create an environment that gives all employees the same IT service around the world, wherever they work. To expand our global network and deal with post M&A alliances between companies, we needed an IT infrastructure that would swiftly self evolve in response to changing management environments. This explains why our IT infrastructure renovation project was launched,” says Mr. Ueda.
*1 As of October 1, 2016
Service covering all offices around the world
A multipolar project carried out at the same pace globally
Mitsui & Co., Ltd. required the new IT infrastructure to provide service for all offices and business hubs around the world with the highly reliable, uniform telecommunication quality required of a trading company. It also required a one-stop provider of all IT resources (applications, cloud, on-premise and network services, etc.) that would manage these services and become a business partner.
“It was also important for the provider to coordinate between our staff overseas while mainly working with our project team in Japan to promote this global standardization project. Mitsui is divided into four regions that operate independently. These are The Americas, Europe/Middle East/Africa, Asia/Oceania, and the Far East. Each region requires certain differences in IT infrastructure, but to promote global optimization of our IT infrastructure we sought a solution that would provide consistency throughout the entire company while also allowing close contact between headquarters and local staff,” spoke Mr. Ueda.
After reviewing several vendors from this standpoint, Mitsui chose the total solution proposed by NTT. NTT Global Network Services is a VPN service that runs in 196 countries and connects all Mitsui offices worldwide. It would allow seamless access to Enterprise Cloud and Nexcenter data centers in many countries around the world. Through the partial introduction of NFV*2, the company could convert network appliance functions to services that deliver greater flexibility when expanding business. Moreover, Global Management One would make centralized system operation and monitoring/maintenance possible. These were the reasons Mitsui evaluated NTT highly and determined the company could handle its entire global network while providing unwavering high-quality service.
“Regarding the Project Promotion Team, NTT assigned four project leaders to exclusively work for each of the four regions as well as other personnel to take charge locally. Their staffing plan gave me confidence that Mitsui’s local subsidiaries and our Project HQ could work together at the same pace to carry out our standardization project. Deepening mutual trust and faith in their reliability were other reasons Mitsui mainly choose NTT as its partner,” Mr. Ueda said.
Improved operational efficiency and enhanced technology
An infrastructure that supports significant operational reform
Once a new IT infrastructure is built to cover 138 Mitsui & Co., Ltd. offices worldwide, the launching of new businesses and offices will become more feasible and business mobility will be strengthened. Centralization through the customer portal and multi-language support through NTT’s Global Help Desk Service will no doubt help resolve many of the daily concerns of Mitsui employees. In addition to the new IT infrastructure, Mr. Ueda is greatly looking forward to the ability of NTT’s management service to swiftly implement advanced technologies.
In addition to the new IT infrastructure, Mr. Ueda is greatly looking forward to the ability of NTT’s management service to swiftly implement advanced technologies.
“The world of IT is changing so rapidly that new technologies are developed every second. I anticipate that NTT’s management service will operate our new IT infrastructure in a more stable, higher-level condition than our previous system and continually apply cutting-edge technology based on their professional judgment. I look forward to the long-term support of NTT,” said Mr. Ueda.
One specific outcome of the renovation of Mitsui’s IT infrastructure will be “workstyle reform” that seamlessly links all global offices in real time. The current IT infrastructure could only host limited participants in Web conferences between different offices because of disparities in transmission quality and connectivity in each country.
“But now, once you open your laptop in any country, you can instantly connect via Wi-Fi to the world-standard workplace. ID authentication is shared in the unified IT infrastructure. So wherever you are, whether in Tokyo, New York or even Myanmar, if you enter your password, you can join a Web meeting held between offices in different countries, confirm people’s in-or-out-of-office status and share files and images without any stress. The new IT infrastructure will increase the productivity of meetings, improve operation efficiency and accelerate workstyle reform,” Mr. Ueda emphasized.
Mitsui acquired a new business infrastructure. With a new IT infrastructure that seamlessly links all offices globally, it plans to develop new businesses and increase innovation.
*2 Abbreviation for Network Function Virtualization. A network architecture that uses virtualization technology to manage traditional network functions via software on a general-purpose server.
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MITSUI & CO., LTD.
Revenue: JPY 9,616,821 millions (as of March 31, 2016)
Japan’s leading general trading company that operates businesses around the world centering on six major business domains; metals, machinery & infrastructure, chemicals, energy, lifestyles, and innovation & corporate development.