Mr. Hidetaka Hozawa
- Manager, Process & Technology IT Management & Service
- Advanced project management
Mr. Nobukatsu Suzuishi
- Senior Manager, Information System Department
Mr. Yoshifumi Ishida
- Manager, Information System Department
In January 2013, a project team was put together to develop 'Workstyle Transformation' for ABeam Consultingʼs internal IT strategy. We asked the Manager of Process and Technology 2, Mr. Hozawa, who belongs to the Consulting Department and is currently in charge of this project, about ABeam Consultingʼs decision to adopt remote access service.
'Remote access service was one part of the Workstyle Transformation project. We wanted to utilise smart devices to improve work efficiency. In order to implement BYOD practices, we needed a tool that put priority on security. We were hoping that by allowing our employees to use their personal devices, they could make better use of their idle time, including travel time.'
'Until recently, we had been using Microsoft Exchange server (hereafter, Exchange) and Microsoft ActiveSync (hereafter, ActiveSync) to synchronise work-related data with our smart devices.'
'We have been providing our executives with corporate smartphones and we manage those devices using MDM. Because MDMʼs control performance varies across different models of smart devices, we have to standardize the model of our corporate devices in order to use MDM. However, if we want to implement BYOD, it is difficult for us to unify employeesʼ device models. MDM therefore puts a restriction on the manageability of these devices in a BYOD environment.'
'Taking into consideration the numerous IT security-related incidents that have occurred in Japan, we have recognized the importance of not storing business-related data on devices (not managed by MDM), if we were to implement BYOD.'
After a thorough examination of remote access services from different providers, CACHATTO was one among three final candidates. ABeam Consulting performed an evaluation of all three products, and found CACHATTO to be the most suitable solution. Mr. Hozawa provided two reasons that distinguished CACHATTO from the rest: no data being stored on devices, and e-Jan Networks’ credibility (see Table 1).
① No data stored on device
|CACHATTO does not store any data on devices after it has ben accessed. In comparison, the other two services utilise technology that leaves encrypted data on devices.|
② e-Jan Networks' credibility
|e-Jan Networks sales representatives were very responsive and adaptive to the company's needs; the communication was very thorough, giving the company peace of mind. This led to e-Jan Networks gaining the company's trust.|
After deciding to implement CACHATTO to their infrastructure, it took quite a while to explain to users why such a solution was needed.
'Up until then, they had been using ActiveSync + OWA*3, and the employees were accustomed to the system. Inevitably, the sudden change in systems was difficult for the employees to adjust to. In order to educate employees on the necessity of higher security, documents with regards to the background of CACHATTO were made and distributed. Additionally, they had sent out several rounds of e-mails and visited different departments to raise awareness.
'Mr. Suzuishi and I decided to give explanations on CACHATTO at regular division meetings in order to inform consultants who normally work offsite. These explanations took place over the span of two to three months', said Mr. Hozawa.
'As a consulting firm that provides solutions, how can we gain trust without having a solution ourselves?' In this way, they spent time to ensure that each department fully understood.
In December 2014, CACHATTO was installed on Windows Server Hyper-V virtual environment and was released in January 2015. Credited to this, CACHATTO can now connect to Exchange Online from Microsoft Office (hereafter Office 365); this enables users to access their email and calendar using smart devices.
'As of now, we have purchased 3000 CACHATTO user licenses domestically and are planning to distribute CACHATTO to 2000 employees overseas', said Mr. Ishida.
Employees have the freedom to choose whether they want to participate in BYOD. For those who do, they would need to install CACHATTO SecureBrowser, 050 plus for Biz, and Lync 2013.
'CACHATTO SecureBrowser allows employees to access company information using remote devices without storing data after use. In addition, 050 plus for Biz can be used to avoid keeping company information, such as phone numbers on company phones. 050 plus for Biz, which functions as a VoIP phone, allows employees to separate work-related phone calls from personal calls so their phone bills can be charged separately.
CACHATTO can be linked to 050 plus for Biz and the company phonebook can be accessed through CACHATTO. By tapping a phone number, 050 plus for Biz is activated and the phone call can be made through the application. Normally, the recipient of the call would be unable to see the callerʼs information, but this problem was resolved by installing the 050 plus for Biz Web Phonebook (a cloud-based phonebook offered as an option by 050 plus for Biz).
Additionally, the company utilises Office 365 Lync Online for internal communication. Lync 2013 enables the company to hold online conferences, make audio calls, as well as utilise text chat (messenger).
After 3 months of using CACHATTO (at the time of interview), we asked ABeam Consulting whether they had any feedback from users.
''About 700 users chose BYOD and use CACHATTO on their personal devices, with almost no inquiries on how to use the software. It is really easy to use', said Mr. Suzuishi.
'We distributed the CACHATTO user manual in HTML, which e-Jan Networks provided to our users, and even without training, they could figure out how to use CACHATTO just by trying it out on their own', said Mr. Hozawa, who also added, 'Although users did not face any problems when using CACHATTO, many of them asked if CACHATTO would be able to support the OWA features which they have been using.'
In the case of system operation, Mr. Ishida commented, 'Our server engineers from the Information System Department are required to enhance their knowledge on the Red Hat (RHEL) system. For example, they have to learn how to deal with OS vulnerabilities, such as responding, patching and estimating possible downtime.'
Lastly, we listened to their plans for the future and expectations for CACHATTO. They are planning to implement SharePoint Online from Office 365. In view of this, Mr. Hozawa said they were 'looking forward to CACHATTOʼs Multi-Cloud Gateway feature.'
'The Multi-Cloud Gateway feature, which is scheduled for release in April 2015, utilises SSO*4 when logging into Office 365. Hardware authentication and no-data-stored features will be made possible when using Office 365 on CACHATTO*5. Those who are familiar with OWAʼs original user interface can continue using it and still be ensured of security with CACHATTO, and the addition of SharePoint is also expected to be easily incorporated. As a result, CACHATTO being linked to Office 365 is a prerequisite for overseas CACHATTO implementation. Overseas CACHATTO implementation is intended with this structure in place (Diagram 1).
For a better overseas user experience, users hope that CACHATTO would have an English administration interface, an English administratorsʼ support system and a multilingual interface. As of now, the interface for administrators is available in English, and CACHATTO SecureBrowser is available in English, Simplified and Traditional Chinese and German. In the near future, CACHATTO will be supporting Thai, which will cover all languages that ABeam Consulting requires.*6
In addition, the CACHATTO Global Help Desk, support service for the overseas market, was initiated in 2014. To date, CACHATTO has satisfied the requests made by ABeam Consulting.
Using Exchange and SharePoint with CACHATTO
During the interview, we caught a glimpse of the workstyle change at ABeam Consulting with the integration of CACHATTO. As a company with impressive consulting experience in IT solutions, the ABeam Consulting Project Management team has proved its strength when it successfully integrated CACHATTO into its system.
*2 BYOD: Bring Your Own Device
*3 OWA: Outlook Web App, web mailer client for Exchange or Office 365
*4 SSO: Single sign-on
*5 CACHATTO Multi-Cloud Gateway was released in April 2015, supporting a connection to cloud services such as Office 365 and Google Apps for Work.
*6 CACHATTO SecureBrowser now supports an English, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Thai, Korean, German and Japanese user interface.