- Roll-out of a single global ERP system required a reliable and secure network infrastructure.
- Preventing business delays and ensuring fast time to market with low-latency global communication and network flexibility.
- NTT Global Network Services provides a hub connecting ERP and cloud environments.
- IPSEC VPN gateways and an advanced WAN infrastructure deliver a flexible network environment and high-speed communication.
- Fast, secure network connectivity supports real-time ERP-based business decision making for offices anywhere in the world.
- Advanced network functions virtualization (NFV) technology provides flexibility when responding to future changes.
Senior General Manager Global IT Division
“A reliable and secure network was essential for us to accelerate global business.”
Global Infrastructure Team Global IT Division
“We greatly appreciate the ability to adjust the network environment to suit our priorities, systems, and service options.”
Integrate core ERP systems operating worldwide. Build a highly reliable global network.
ASICS Corporation is a leading designer and manufacturer of running shoes and other athletic footwear, apparel, and accessories. The company provides a variety of products and services in three major market domains — athletics, sports lifestyles, and comfortable healthcare — and has offices in over 50 countries and regions.
Overseas sales now account for nearly 80% of ASICS total sales. “We have about 40 subsidiaries and continue to add a couple of companies every year,” said Yuichi Honma, Senior General Manager of the Global IT Department at ASICS. “But there are still many countries and regions where we don’t have offices, so we need to be ready to expand our operations.”
The company’s mid-term management plan, ASICS Growth Plan (AGP) 2020, focuses on enhancing direct sales via e-commerce and wholesale stores. This is a change from the company’s traditional emphasis on retail outlets. “For direct sales, we need to meet market demand more rapidly and accurately. We need to know the manufacturing and financial status at each office on a real-time basis. So, we have integrated core systems in each area into a single ERP system that is used globally,” said Mr. Honma.
Achieving a single integrated ERP system on a worldwide scale meant revisiting the requirements of the global network connecting ASICS operational offices. The existing communications infrastructure was mainly used for teleconferencing traffic. For real-time ERP business management data, the network had to be more secure and support much higher data throughput. “We had essential requirements for transmission speed, bandwidth, reliability, and stability,” said Motoji Nakanishi, manager of the global infrastructure team at ASICS. “The network also had to be flexible so we could add or change connections to operational offices in the future.”
Cloud-based collaboration and a finely adjustable environment. Thorough evaluation of advanced networking technology.
The existing ASICS global network was based on NTT Global Network Services, a VPN service provided by NTT. “We could have continued using the service at that time, but chose to carefully examine other carriers and vendors to see what services were available,” said Mr. Nakanishi. “After a comprehensive examination of the communication quality and coverage of other services, we came to firmly believe that NTT Global Network Services was the best choice.”
NTT Global Network Services offered ASICS three major advantages. The first was flexibility. “NTT carefully supported our requests, such as for ample communication speed, security, and cost savings,” said Mr. Nakanishi. “They provided guaranteed service with redundant communication lines for sales companies that directly contact customers and cannot tolerate an interruption to business operations. For manufacturing plants with less demanding networking requirements they supplied best-effort services that reduced networking fees. NTT responded to each and every one of our requests.”
The second advantage ASICS enjoyed was NTT’s Multi-Cloud Connect, an optional service for closed network connections between NTT Global Network Services and third-party cloud environments. Previously, operational offices used their own VPNs to connect to cloud service providers. Multi-Cloud Connect enabled offices to connect directly to providers without a VPN. This simplified management and reduced the network total cost of ownership (TCO).
Finally, NTT’s advanced networking technology and support for network functions virtualization (NFV) offered high-speed business communications over the WAN. “Since our new ERP will be located in the Netherlands, some latency prevention measures were required for access from Asia and Oceania,” said Mr. Honma. “A high-speed WAN using NFV technology improved network performance. Through our partnership with NTT we have gained access to advanced technologies and solutions that we believe can create an optimized environment for the future.”
Network flexibility realized by NFV.
A business communication environment ready for tomorrow.
ASICS has already started renewing its global network. It improved latency and bandwidth at its sales office in Australia and has begun rolling out changes throughout North and South America.
Offices that use information systems accessing Amazon Web Services (AWS) have started using Multi-Cloud Connect. This has eliminated the need for VPNs, and is easing management and lowering costs. “We also use other cloud services such as Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure, and will connect to them through Multi-Cloud Connect in the next phase,” Mr. Honma added.
Multi-Cloud Connect operations are coordinated by NTT global service manager, which monitors and reports on global data traffic. Determining whether the network environment in each operational office should be accelerated or decelerated requires expert knowledge of the network, and this task is being performed with advice from experienced NTT personnel.
ASICS continues to optimize its network with NFV technology. The high-speed WAN has been tested at offices in Australia and is ready for commercial use. An IPSEC VPN gateway is also under consideration. The gateway would enable ASICS to quickly deploy secure communication environments. They anticipate launching networks for new operational offices in one third of the time previously taken.
“With NTT we enjoy one-stop service for all our requests,” said Mr. Honma. “We greatly appreciate it and hope they remain our reliable partner for a long time to come.”
NTT Global Network Services
Our Virtual Private Network Service provides a one-stop shop for enterprise broadband networking and VPN in over 190 countries/regions.
World’s largest SD-WAN footprint covering over 190 countries with industry’s most comprehensive end-to-end SD-WAN service portfolio.
Revenue: JPY399,107 million (as of December, 2016)
Business: ASICS Corporation is a comprehensive sports gear manufacturer offering a broad range of athletic and lifestyle goods including shoes and clothes. Since 2014, over 70 percent of sales have been overseas, and ASICS has gained a reputation as one of Japan’s leading global companies.