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Steadily Building a Foundation for Secure Access on its 100th Anniversary
"we are a global company, stable support with a global basis for overseas expansion was important to us.”
Forward-thinking Infrastructure improvements to mark 100 years of innovation

Sumitomo Corporation will mark the 100th anniversary of its founding in 2019. It is planning to relocate its headquarters in the fall of 2018, with a planned IT overhaul at the same time. The “Work Reform and Headquarters Relocation Team” of the IT planning and promotion division will play a central role in this process. They work on infrastructure improvements to administer everything related to IT and demonstrate the collective power of the group.

Akiyoshi Yamada, Director of IT Planning and Promotion, manages the deployment of the new IT infrastructure, along with the simultaneous successful completion of the headquarters relocation. “The promotion of communication and collaboration is necessary in order to demonstrate the collective power of our group, and strengthening of the IT infrastructure is essential for its promotion. We want the employees to leverage the newly improved infrastructure as ‘earning power’. Furthermore, we expect that incorporating the latest technology, such as AI and the IoT, will contribute to the creation of new business.”

Another reason behind the encouragement of IT utilization by Sumitomo Corporation was the recommendation of “work reform” included as one of the strategic policies by the government. “We also intend to make it possible for each and every employee to be able to work according to his or her lifestyle with the help of IT equipment, regardless of the time or place,” said Koichi Taniguchi, Team Leader of Work Reform and Headquarters Relocation. At Sumitomo Corporation, a large number of devices, especially for salespeople, are carried outside of the company. Preventing the leak of sensitive information sits at the top of their agenda. In addition, due to the need of large-scale collaboration between divisions within the group, a solution was needed to ensure secure information sharing among everybody involved in a project. Building an infrastructure that was secure and encrypted was therefore crucial to prevent eavesdropping.



Usability for employees and administrators

“We chose Pulse Secure’s PSA Series as our SSL-VPN solution for accessing company data remotely,” said Hisashi Mitsunaga, a member of the same team. “Besides previous performance, the number one reason was the confidence that Pulse Secure is a market leader. In addition, because we are a global company, stable support with a global basis for overseas expansion was important to us.” With operations in 65 countries around the world, a total of 5 installations were completed in Tokyo, New York, and London, which could be called the focus of the global basis.

He said that the switch to the next-generation models went smoothly because of the performance history of Pulse Secure. When asked about the advantages of deploying their products, he said that “because the Pulse Secure client is easy to connect, and it’s tied to a password, once you finish the authentication, you don’t have to input the password every time. The feedback from employees showed that it’s extremely easy to use. In addition, the administrators who are actually using the current system said that there are few hardware failures and that the administrator screen is easy to use,” he emphasized that it is easy to use for both employees and administrators. He is very confident that everything is ready for the switch to the PSA Series at the end of February 2018, with a deployment period of 10 months.



Lifeline for employees working around the world

He said that they actually have 3,000-4,000 registered users on a global basis who use it for their work, and they have about 300-500 people with a constant connection. “Basically, we grant permissions to all the employees who want to use it. While there are few people working in the back offices who want to use it because many of them currently do not need remote access, we anticipate that the number of users will increase due to the future work reforms.”

When asked about the future development schedule of the IT system, he said that “it will be planned after the completion of the relocation of the headquarters. With the progress of the work reforms, in case there is a need for all the employees to work at home or at a satellite office, we wouldn’t be able to do our jobs without the client of Pulse Secure, so in other words, it has become a lifeline for us.” In addition, with the elimination of the wired LAN at the new headquarters, they are planning to transition to a wireless LAN environment. “We’re at the point where, if there were no systems for working remotely, people outside their offices wouldn’t be able to do their jobs. As the work reform is in progress, all of the employees must be able to make use of remote access.”

He said that right now it is being used as a VPN for authentication during remote access, but once cloud services are deployed, they will consider using it as an authentication infrastructure. “It’s still under discussion, but we felt we need to verify the compatibility of the in-house system with Pulse Secure’s products for authentication.” In the current system, only the employees of Sumitomo Corporation can register to it. As for its use across the group, “we also consider preparing a platform with the base in the headquarters for the group companies. We felt we need to create an authentication infrastructure for all the employees, including the 70,000 people in the group companies, when they are collaborating with each other. We definitely want to cooperate with Pulse Secure on that as well.” In the future, they will keep an eye on not only on-premises data sharing but also the use of cloud services. Steady progress is being made in the “earning power” of the Sumitomo Corporation Group, which is driving a global network for expansion worldwide, aiming for diversified business development leveraging the collective power of the group, and the establishment of a foundation to support it is also on its way.



Company

Sumitomo Corporation

Industry

Technology


Challenges

  • Restructuring and improving IT infrastructure with the relocation of the headquarters in the fall of 2018
  • Create a secure system for information sharing among all employees in the group
  • Prevent data leaks when taking devices out of the office

Solutions

  • Deployment of Pulse Secure’s products as an SSL-VPN
  • Installation of Pulse Secure’s products at 3 locations, Tokyo, New York,and London
  • Unified client on employees devices for secure access

Advantages

  • Secured remote access
  • Improved productivity and convenience with simple and easy connectivity
  • 24/7 secured communication regardless of location for employees

Applicable Network Solutions

  • PSA Series
  • Pulse Connect Secure

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Akiyoshi Yamada
Director of IT Planning and Promotion Division

Our most important mission is relocation of the headquarters scheduled for next year. We want to encourage communication and collaboration within the company by not only successfully completing the relocation of the headquarters, but also by taking this opportunity to incorporate the latest technology.






Koichi Taniguchi
IT Planning and Promotion Division Work Reform and Headquarters Relocation Team Leader

We need IT that will enable Sumitomo Corporation and Sumitomo Corporation group members to collaborate as a group.






Yuichi Taniguchi
IT Planning and Promotion Division Work Reform and Headquarters Relocation Team Work Reform Line Leader

By using Pulse Secure’s tools, we are aiming to improve productivity and to make improvements to the ICT environment so that all of our employees can use it at any time, at any place, with anybody else.






Hisashi Mitsunaga
IT Planning and Promotion Division Work Reform and Headquarters Relocation Team

We are thankful for choosing Pulse Secure’s products, because we’re able to make use of encryption and a system for preventing eavesdropping during remote access.
Why was Pulse Secure chosen?

  • Confidence in Pulse Secure as a leader in the secure access market
  • Proven performance from previous use and stability
  • Global support system for overseasdevelopment

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