While it helps for a vendor to be a recognised multinational in Japan, the relative conservativeness of local customers means that they still need to put it in a bit of legwork together with their resellers.
The Hamamatsucho, Tokyo-based branch of VMware may have the technologies, but according to VMware Japan marketing director, Katsushi Shinohara, convincing customers about the viability of those solutions is a different matter.
Japanese technology provider, Qualica, is an example of a Japanese company that came to VMware for an IT solution that would transform their operation.
Qualica is significant in that it is not a large multinational corporation, but a domestic IT systems integrator that has exclusively operated in Japan since its establishment 30 years ago.
As for what attracted this typical Japanese client to look at VMware's solutions, Shinohara says it was due to the strong image VMware has is the local marketplace. "The high stability and reliability of VMware products was what initially caught their interest," he said.
"Additionally, the strong support provided by VMware's professional service was another consideration." When Qualica consulted with VMware about how to transform their business, namely in the areas of efficiency and productivity, the discussion ended on VMware's vSphere and View solutions.
High level of stability
According to Shinohara, the high level of stability and reliability of VMware vSphere was what made this solution a good fit for Qualica's needs. "Having a big high definition screen over PC-over-IP [PCoIP] is what attracted them to adopt VMware View," he said.
Following the implementation of the two solutions at Qualica's head office in Nishi Shinjuku, the work style underwent a change - from a traditional and conservation approach to a more progressive one.
While the change was disruptive at first, Shinohara highlights several positive changes that Qualica reported to VMware following the implementation. "The consumption of paper and electricity both decreased by about 30 per cent," he said.
"They were also able to make use of the office more efficiently, as the floor space essentially doubled following the integration."
Shinohara also adds Qualica employees reported improved productivity thanks to the large screen view of the zero client solution.
While Qualica was an example of a typical Japanese company that adopted VMware's solutions, TÜ– Rheinland demonstrates a multinational company that wanted to improve its operation in Yokohama, Japan.
TÜ– Rheinland, a provider of technical, safety and certification services, approached VMware mainly for its disaster recovery solutions, which was different from the needs of Qualica.
"They already had a virtualisation technical expert in their IT department who championed the decision to use VMware's platform," Shinohara said.
"In this case, our customer experience in market also contributed to their decision." What the German multinational decided to use was VMware vSphere, just like Qualica had, though it also chose vCenter Site Recovery Manager.
The reason behind this choice can be traced to 2009, when TÜ– Rheinland in Japan began carrying out manual disaster recovery planning and processes.
"This consumed a considerable amount of time and resources, and diverted their IT workers from important projects and maintenance tasks," Shinohara said.
"This was particularly evident during annual disaster recovery testing, when the company had to inform users in advance of a system shutdown and conduct testing on the weekends." That was why TÜ– Rheinland decided to implement an automated disaster recovery solution such as VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager, which it decided to share between its Yokohama headquarters and its secondary datacenter in Osaka.
"What TÜ– Rheinland told us was that VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager was the 'exact embodiment' of what they believed disaster recovery planning should be," Shinohara said.
There are numerous disaster recovery solutions on the market, but once VMware explained to TÜ– Rheinland how vCenter Site Recovery Manager's automatic failover makes DR simple and reliable, the German company decided to adopt it.
"After we implemented vCenter Site Recovery Manager at TÜ– Rheinland, they told us that their work efficiency has dramatically improved, as processes that were previously performed manually could now be carried out simply by pressing a button," Shinohara said.