Case study

Yazaki Corporation:

Automotive component maker chooses BT global video collaboration platform

Overview

Automotive component maker chooses BT global video collaboration platform

Conscious of the cost and environmental impact of extensive business travel, Yazaki Corporation had implemented video technology for remote face-to-face meetings. But dial-up costs were high, while poor image and sound quality was limiting take-up.

Tasked with making a step-change improvement, Yazaki chose BT managed video conferencing.

BT solution has transformed the user experience. Now, high-definition video and crystal clear sound mean Yazaki Corporation executives make speedy decisions in collaboration with colleagues right around the world.

From the beginning we planned to outsource the operational management of the communication tools as this makes our costs more predictable and allows us to focus on our core business. BT has done a very good job and we are very satisfied with the results of the project.”
- Mr Toshiya Serizawa, Deputy General Manager – IT Systems, Yazaki Corporation

Managed video conferencing from BT Helps Yazaki boost business efficiency

Watch this two minute video to learn how BT is helping Yazaki Corporation executives to make speedy decisions in collaboration with colleagues around the world.

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Challenge

Founded in 1941, Yazaki Corporation is a market leader in the supply of wire harnesses and components, primarily for the global automotive industry. From its Tokyo headquarters, Yazaki runs 421 sites in 39 countries. Of its total workforce of 210,000 around 190,000 people work outside Japan. Given this diversity, efficient and effective communication is vital.

Mr Toshiya Serizawa, Deputy General Manager – IT Systems at Yazaki Corporation, explains: “We are a global organisation, so naturally we often hold international meetings. Each time this used to mean dozens of people flying to the meeting and staying in hotels. As you can imagine, the costs were very high, plus a lot of time was being wasted in travelling.”

Face-to-face interaction is an important aspect of business communications. Yazaki had already implemented a video conferencing system using ISDN, but the communication speed was limited and transmission costs were high.

By today’s standards the bandwidth was low, so voices were muffled and images indistinct,” adds Mr Serizawa. “Plus there was also an annoying time lag, which forced us to repeat ourselves time and again. If a conference doesn’t get off to a good start, the participants tend to give up. Nobody really wanted to use it.”

Keen to reduce business travel for reasons of efficiency and sustainability, Yazaki decided to seek an outsource service provider that could provide an alternative video conferencing solution that would enable more effective remote meetings.

At first we considered video conferencing over the internet, but that would have meant too many limitations in stability and speed,” reports Mr Serizawa. “Quality would have been compromised and the usefulness of the system reduced – especially to those locations that have an underdeveloped local infrastructure. Dedicated connections were essential.”

Solution

A BT solution was chosen comprising a mixture of Polycom HDX 7000 and 8000 high-definition end-points, hosted and fully managed video bridging services, proactive remote equipment monitoring, and the Engage Meeting Manager scheduling and automation tool. Wide area connectivity uses the BT IP Connect global network. The BT solution also includes a Japanese and English language helpdesk.

Mr Serizawa confirms: “Our top priorities were good quality, stability, and low cost. BT met these conditions better than its competitors.”

The technology is easy to operate and takes very little time to start up. Meetings can be scheduled from a PC through a web portal using Engage Meeting Manager. At the appointed time the network connection is set up automatically and the system is ready to use straightaway.

Fully implemented within three months from order placement, the video conferencing solution currently connects more than 20 company sites including many across Japan and those in Bangkok, Shanghai, Detroit, Cologne, and the UK. More sites are set to follow.

Value

Yazaki Corporation now has advanced video conferencing technology that is enabling very effective meetings to take place between remote executives without the inefficiency and inconvenience of travel.

The visuals are amazingly sharp, while the sound is very clear and syncs perfectly with the picture,” confirms Mr Masahiro Matoba, a member of the network team at Yazaki Corporation. “At last we are free from the annoying time lag between lip movements and speech, which is especially important when we conference native speakers of other languages. There is no time lag when we turn the page in PowerPoint either, nor when we use content sharing.”

Initially Yazaki used the video conferencing solution to hold regular global meetings, but a year on the facility is increasingly used to speed up decision-making whenever urgent matters need to be discussed. This might be a steering group meeting for management, a strategy meeting for the technology division, or a liaison meeting for the sales division. It’s also being used more and more for meetings inside Japan.

Cost and efficiency savings are plain to see. One division has reported business trip expenses reduced by a third. Mr Serizawa concludes: “Everybody is impressed by the quality of the visuals and the audio. BT has really come through for us.”

Core BT Services

  • BT Managed video conferencing solution featuring Polycom HDX technology
  • Engage Meeting Manager
  • Video Bridging
  • Proactive remote equipment monitoring
  • Helpdesk services
  • IP Connect global

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