LONDON, UK. 10TH April,
2012- Companies large and small all over the world depend
on their information technology (IT) infrastructures to help drive
business success. By making the right decisions, a company can
transform its IT environment to accelerate business, create
competitive advantages, and increase profits. But what if an IT
infrastructure could do more than simply help a company accomplish
its business goals? What if the decisions made years earlier about
how to transform IT could also lay the foundation to enable a
company to respond in a time of crisis?
On March 11, 2011, Japan's largest earthquake
on record hit and triggered a massive and devastating tsunami,
causing extensive damage in a wide range of regions throughout the
In 2006, SOFTBANK Group, a Japanese
telecommunications and media corporation, set out on a path to
consolidate and transform its entire IT organisation, which had
become highly complex, redundant, and disparate due to previous
acquisitions and expansion. The company's goal was to change IT
from a cost center to a profit center, and it turned to NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) as a key
technology partner to help make that happen. What resulted was a
completely revamped IT organisation that enabled SOFTBANK Group to
deliver a range of internal and external cloud services called
White Cloud that served as a catalyst for SOFTBANK Group's
continued growth and success.
But with a corporate philosophy aimed at
making people happy through an information revolution, SOFTBANK
Group took its work one step further. The company's newly
transformed IT infrastructure allowed SOFTBANK Group, just days
following March 11, 2011, to deliver several of its cloud service
offerings either at highly discounted rates or free of charge to
businesses, public agencies, and nonprofit organisations that had
been affected by the disaster. SOFTBANK Group also made a decision
to expand its internal virtual desktop service, which was built on
a NetApp® foundation and used by some of its groups, to a
company-wide system to enable the continued efficient operation of
the company as a whole.
Although the original plan was to gradually
release this service over a one-year period, SOFTBANK Group
completed the deployment to 14,000 employees in just a few weeks.
Behind SOFTBANK Group's ability to quickly respond to external
emergency and internal needs was NetApp technology.
SOFTBANK Group Leans on NetApp to
Drive Business and Respond to Disaster
Since kicking off its IT transformation project in 2006, SOFTBANK
Group has realised tremendous results. These include not only
enabling its business to go further,
faster, but also enabling the company to be there for its
fellow citizens when they needed it most. Highlights of the project
Turning IT from a Cost Center to a
- SOFTBANK Group's IT infrastructure transformation helped the
company decrease IT operating expenses by 30%, increase its
customer base by 27%, and reduce overall storage capacity by
- NetApp's unique storage efficiency technologies such as
deduplication and thin provisioning have provided the company with
disk space savings of more than 50% for increased savings and
- SOFTBANK Mobile, the highest-growth business of SOFTBANK Group,
increased its number of customer accounts by 75% and reduced
operating costs by 50%.
Massive Transformation of IT
Infrastructure to Focus on Cloud Services
- SOFTBANK Group has a vision that cloud computing will become
one of the world's greatest assets, and believes that it will serve
as a repository for every piece of human knowledge and wisdom.
- SOFTBANK Group today offers a total of 16 different White Cloud
services, several of which are built on NetApp.
One of the first White Cloud services was called White Cloud
Desktop Service and was based on its internal virtual desktop
offering built on NetApp. This offering helped the company reduce
calls to the internal help desk by 90% and increased individual
productivity by an average of 10%.
- SOFTBANK Group's internal virtual desktop service has also
instilled a cultural shift among its own employees. Working
remotely in Japan is not a common practice but SOFTBANK Group's
White Cloud Desktop Service provides employees with increased work
flexibility, which resulted in largely increased productivity for
the company. In fact, more than 22,000 company employees today use
virtual desktops built on a NetApp foundation, making SOFTBANK
Group one of the largest VDI use cases in the world.
- NetApp FlexClone® technology has allowed SOFTBANK Group to
reduce the time it takes to implement 1,000 virtual desktops from
one week to one day, improving overall productivity and speeding
time to deployment.
The Ability to Respond at a Time of
- Just three days after the earthquake and tsunami, SOFTBANK
Group began offering at a major discount its White Cloud Desktop
Service to businesses, public agencies, and nonprofit organisations
incapacitated by the disaster and provided other services free of
- SOFTBANK Group also delivered its White Cloud Desktop Service
to thousands of its own employees who were not yet part of the
deployment. This ability to make a decision in just a few days and
to deploy its services on a massive scale in just a few weeks was
testament not only to the flexibility and scalability of SOFTBANK
Group's own IT infrastructure but also to the innovation and will
of its people.
- Following the earthquake and tsunami, a crisis at one of the
country's main nuclear power plants resulted in a power shortage
and a government-mandated decrease of 25% in energy use. SOFTBANK
Group's actions, such as deployment of the White Cloud Desktop
Service, allowed the company to decrease power usage by 39%.
- Amane Kito, chief information & security officer,
"SOFTBANK Group's business plan is to continue evolving as an
Internet company and mobile Internet company and to expand our
cloud service business in Asia and all over the world. We cannot
achieve this goal just by ourselves. We need a partner with
state-of-the-art technology who offers the scalability,
flexibility, and efficiency necessary to meet the increasing needs
of our customers. In addition to these conditions, NetApp has a
proven track record in customer deployment, superb cloud
strategies, and global business operation, making NetApp an
important business partner for us. We look forward to strengthening
our partnership with NetApp going forward."
- Rob Salmon, executive vice president of Field
"SOFTBANK Group's story is the perfect example of how decisions a
company makes about its IT infrastructure today can help pave the
way for an amazing tomorrow. NetApp is honored to be able to help
provide the foundation for SOFTBANK Group's White Cloud that not
only has helped the company achieve great business success but also
has helped make a difference for the citizens of Japan during their
time of need."
NetApp creates innovative storage and data management solutions
that accelerate business breakthroughs and achieve outstanding cost
efficiency. Discover our passion for helping companies around the
world go further, faster at www.netapp.com/uk
+44 207 637 2587
NetApp, the NetApp logo, Go further,
faster, and FlexClone are trademarks or registered trademarks of
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"partner" or "partnered" does not imply a legal partnership between
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