Sapporo Group Management Ltd.
- Accelerate standardization and optimization of the Group’s IT infrastructure
- Re-design the global network to seamlessly connect hybrid environments
- Select NTT Com as a business partner with a robust global network infrastructure
- Outsource the entire IT environment to reduce the operational workload
- Secure and low cost access to IT system from all locations
- Enhancement of IT implementation and support
Sapporo Group Management Ltd.
Director of IT Management Department
Mr. Atsushi Ishihara
"The network environment we created in this project is critical to achieve our vision of ‘an ideal global IT environment’. We look forward to continuously working with NTT Communications (NTT Com), which can offer the best solutions to support our growth strategy."
Refresh global IT and networks
to break down silos
Sapporo Beer is a popular beer and liquor brand in Japan with a wide lineup of labels including Ebisu, Black Label, Mugi-to-Hop The gold (wheat and hops), and Goku ZERO. The Sapporo Group, commemorating its 140th anniversary in 2016, is domestically and internationally renowned in the alcoholic beverage, food and soft drink, restaurant and real estate business. The Group continues to grow as a distinctive "food company group" that "creates value in food and comfortable surroundings."
Business reforms were carried out in the Sapporo Group under a mid-term management plan that ended in 2016. Global optimization of the Group’s IT infrastructure was the major topic on the agenda and the IT Management Department in Sapporo Group Management began working towards renovation of the Group’s IT environment without delay.
"Internal systems were becoming more and more siloed and dispersed with different vendors, operating systems and applications. In pursuit of standardization and reduced TCO, we wanted to migrate our system to a ‘hybrid’ environment where IT is delivered on-premises and/or in the cloud depending on the situation," explains Mr. Atsushi Ishihara, Director of the IT Management Department of Sapporo Group Management.
By standardizing operating systems and applications, as well as integrating core systems via private cloud and on-premises high-density servers, the Group’s 35 server racks were reduced by 70%. Costs were also cut down by using public cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) for development that only requires short-term use.
The network is the key element to creating a hybrid environment because poor connections can lead to various business problems including system downtime for some remote offices and affiliates.
Mr. Ishihara recalls, "With a dramatic change in systems, I felt it would be difficult for the existing network to support a global communication environment of seamless quality. So we decided to relocate the system as well as optimize the network."
Global seamless data center network
Central management of IT infrastructure
Sapporo Group Management sent out RFP to several domestic and overseas IT service providers. After reviewing each response, the company chose NTT Com.
The following were the three key criteria in the screening process: First, the service provider had to own a data center infrastructure with wide coverage both in Japan and overseas that interconnects all data centers with a high-quality backbone. Ishihara explains, "for example, when our Singapore subsidiary wants to use our system hosted in Japan, the data center interconnection allows access through their nearest data center to ensure security and reduce network cost."
NTT Com connects more than 30 data centers worldwide via high-capacity maximum 10Gbps network. With this service, Sapporo Group was confident that access to their core system from multiple regions would be both secure and economical.
The second criteria was the flexibility to connect with third party clouds. Mr. Ishihara continues, "once the new IT environment is in place, we will frequently need to run tests by connecting development platforms on AWS with our core systems. To support this, our "hub" platform requires the flexibility to connect with multiple cloud service platforms. NTT Com offers a multi-cloud connect service, allowing connection with various services such as Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Salesforce.com. This was vital for the Sapporo Group’s hybrid IT environment and I thought NTT Com’s service was the best choice for our Group."
The third criteria was a full outsourcing of IT infrastructure to a single source provider. NTT Com’s Global Management One is a one-stop management service with this capability. Through this service, operation support is available on a global basis, 24/7, responding to any technical inquiries relating to network, server, middleware or application. Ishikawa explains, "to engage with overseas offices and affiliates, a multilingual help desk service was necessary. I was confident that I could rely on NTT Com, which has broad experience and global knowledge."
Highly reliable, low-cost data center network
Flexible and scalable IT infrastructure management
Sapporo Group’s IT infrastructure reform project is ongoing. The core system is yet to be migrated, but the network connecting Sapporo Groups’ 170 domestic premises and Singapore subsidiaries has already been migrated to NTT Com. The group’s core system has been stable due to the highly reliable data center network.
Since NTT Com’s network is configured to be meshed and redundant, business can continue to operate without downtime even when there is an outage. Sapporo Group highly evaluated this point and managed to reduce its costs by terminating its contract with a backup carrier and selecting NTT Com as a single carrier.
Network migration in remaining global regions will begin, step by step, and implementation of Office 365 through Multi-Cloud Connect is also planned. "As we continue through the project, we are redefining the network configuration and scope of Global Management One operation. NTT Com has been an extremely reliable and flexible partner in the execution of our large-scale project," Mr. Ishihara remarks.
Sapporo Group Management Ltd. will continue to enhance Group synergy by leading its IT renovation project with NTT Com’s support.
You can see customer testimonial video.
Name: Sapporo Group Management Ltd.
Revenue: JPY 533.7 billion (as of December 31, 2015)
Sapporo Group Management Ltd. is the management arm of Sapporo Holdings Ltd., a holding company for the Sapporo Group, which consists of several companies in the beverage and other industries. Sapporo Group Management Ltd. collaborates with Group companies to improve the structure and cost efficiency of the Group and carry out group-wide plans through its vast experience in all areas of management, including human resources, administration, accounting, IT, procurement and distribution. It promotes the Group’s growth strategy and serves as the Group’s head office.
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(as of August, 2016)