Mitsubishi Research Institute DCS Easily Deploys Red Hat JBoss Middleware

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October 3, 2013

Mitsubishi Research Institute DCS, which provides corporate IT infrastructure consulting and outsourcing services, was facing increasing fierce global competition due to the rise of offshore outsourcing and other factors.

Customer: Mitsubishi Research Institute DCS

“We chose Red Hat JBoss Middleware because it offered the basic functions we needed, at a low cost, and is flexible and easy to develop and expand.” - Minoru, Enjitsu, Senior Managing Director, DCS

Industry: Services
Geography: APAC
Country: Japan


Business Challenge:

Mitsubishi Research Institute DCS, which provides corporate IT infrastructure consulting and outsourcing services, was facing increasing fierce global competition due to the rise of offshore outsourcing and other factors.

Software:

Red Hat JBoss Portal, Red Hat JBoss SOA Platform, Red Hat JBoss BRMS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux®

Hardware:

Private cloud

Benefits:

Using Red Hat® JBoss® Middleware for its business process management system gives the company a robust, future-proof business platform with improved transparency and operational efficiency.

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Background:

Mitsubishi Research Institute DCS (DCS) provides corporate IT infrastructure consulting and outsourcing services ranging from design and development to operations and processing. In 2004, following a strategic operational alliance with Mitsubishi Research Institute and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, the company embarked on full-scale intra-group collaboration. Two years later, Mitsubishi UFJ Research & Consulting joined the trio to form a four-company collaborative system with a collective strategy for further growth.

Business Challenge:

Complicated processes, intense global competition

Mitsubishi Research Institute DCS offers a variety of outsourcing services, including PROSRV, which covers payroll accounting and human resource (HR) administration. Its services are used by around 1,400 companies, and more than 600 of its employees are involved in the outsourcing operations. In an effort to tailor services to the needs of its customers, DCS was delivering a different service to each customer. Much of the work involved was dependent on the experience and skills of the employees assigned to a given customer’s account.

“Expert knowledge was inside their heads, and we had to depend on them to collect this knowledge and pass it on,” said Minoru Enjitsu, senior managing director, DCS.

Since the financial downturn, all industries have been called on to provide high-quality services, at a lower cost, and the administration outsourcing sector is no exception.

Yuji Nagami, general manager of ICT Planning Division at DCS, pointed out that the company’s old operational processes had started to negatively impact its efficiency.

“Operational control was carried out separately for each customer, so there was some duplication of roles among our staff. This made it difficult to streamline our operations" he said.

The company decided to create a system to improve vertically segmented operational processes.

"We challenged ourselves to create a system that would make us more efficient without lowering our service level, and would enable our collective expertise and skills to be shared throughout our workforce,” said Enjitsu.

Faced with increasingly fierce global competition due to the rise of offshore outsourcing and other factors, DCS needed a business process re-engineering (BPR) system that would cover its entire operation in order to continue providing stable, high-quality services to its customers.

Solution:

Finding a solution
Management systems needed to improve operational transparency and efficiency

After a year of trial runs, DCS had determined its business and system requirements. The company decided to reform its operational processes from one process per customer to one process per operational function. The objective was to correct the uneven distribution of skills among its staff, which prevented inter-operational leakage of roles and work. This ensures that work would be distributed more evenly and performed more efficiently.

“We needed a system that would help us achieve greater transparency in work planning and progress status and help us standardize our operational processes,” said Enjitsu.

Besides compatibility with the other systems, the new system had to include:

• Enterprise content management (ECM), which would enable the creation of manuals and make them instantly accessible.

• Business process management (BPM) to deliver transparency in terms of quality, processing status, planning, and staff deployment, and provide a portal function so that this information to be used on a company-wide basis.

“To give you a sense of the scale of this project, the ECM system comprised about 2,000 units of content, principally customer manuals. The BPM system, which was designed to standardize processes was consolidated into about 10 workflows — or about 40 screens’ worth,” said Enjitsu.


How Red Hat helped
Red Hat JBoss Middleware is flexible and easy to develop

Initially, Mitsubishi Research Institute DCS intended to install a commercial software package. Four software vendors were being considered.

“If this had been a system for in-house use only, the vendors would have been able to tailor our operations to suit functions of the software package. However, it is a system to support the outsourcing of our customers’ administration. This meant that the needs of 1,400 companies had to be accommodated,” said Enjitsu.

A commercial software package would require a lot of customization, which resulted in very high cost estimates from the proprietary software companies.

DCS then decided to evaluate a number of open source software solutions.

“Subsequently, we chose Red Hat® JBoss® Middleware because it offered the basic functions we needed, at a low cost, and is flexible and easy to develop and expand," said Enjitsu.

“We needed a way of managing operations so that the relevant operational processes were linked to the state of progress in creating administrative documents such as work instructions, schedules, work manuals, and check sheets,” said Yasutaka Takato, senior manager of ICT Planning Division, DCS.

“Red Hat JBoss Middleware was the only open source solution that provided BPM and ECM systems, met our requirements, and allowed for the comprehensive provisioning of a service-oriented architecture (SOA) platform. This would enable us to set up a portal platform, provide a flexible user interface, and achieve service alignment," he said.

DCS was also impressed that Red Hat JBoss Middleware has a high level of reliability backed by a strong worldwide track record.

“Obviously, being an open source technology, Red Hat JBoss Middleware has a cost advantage. But it is also a polished, high-quality product. This was a powerful motivation behind our choice,” said Takato.

Red Hat JBoss Middleware is ISO 9126 certified, and the software, based on Java TM, is also highly reliable. DCS sees potential for using the platform to develop solutions for customers in the future. “We have installed the new system in our administration and other outsourcing departments,” said Enjitsu.

Benefits:

Red Hat Consulting helps foster smooth transition and discussion

Mitsubishi Research Institute DCS took advantage of Red Hat Consulting services throughout the process, from implementation to deployment. Red Hat consultants helped make sure the Red Hat JBoss Middleware integration went quickly and smoothly.

“When we had technical queries, the consulting service staff carefully chased down information for us and got back to us with the answers,” said Nagami.

Red Hat consultants also helped to ensure that discussions proceeded with clarity across all involved parties within DCS.

“Sometimes, in our discussions, two or more of our key staff would start talking in technical jargon between themselves. Whenever that happened, the Red Hat consultants would ensure that the main points were explained and points of contention were set out logically so that everyone could understand what was being said,” said Takato.

As a result, DCS was able to get going with Red Hat JBoss Middleware quickly, despite being new to the technology. The company also participates in Red Hat user groups to glean useful information not only from Red Hat, but from other participating companies as well.

Enjitsu appreciates the proactive contributions of Red Hat consultants.

“They suggested introducing a rule-based engine using a business rule management system, which has been above and beyond what I initially expected,” he said.


More Red Hat rollouts ahead

Having successfully deployed Red Hat JBoss Middleware for its administration outsourcing operations, DCS is considering using the platform as a systems integrator. This could involve using Red Hat JBoss Middleware for a business process outsourcing (BPO) service covering the full range of HR administration, and linking it with HR-Web, a service they released in January 2010.

“Offering our customers tried-and-trusted solutions that we use ourselves in-house would give us an advantage as a systems integrator. We intend to roll out our new BPM and ECM platforms, based on Red Hat JBoss Middleware, proactively in our four-way collaboration with [joint parent companies] Mitsubishi Research Institute and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Mitsubishi UFJ Research & Consulting,” said Nagami.


Results: further collaboration with Red Hat

Buoyed by its positive experience with the Red Hat JBoss Middleware deployment, DCS is considering working in partnership with Red Hat to offer cloud solutions.

“We intend to start providing Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), so we hope Red Hat will support us on that front, too. Also, because we are using the portal functions in combination with BPM and ECM, we plan to forge ahead with utilizing the social functions such as Presence and Chat. Going forward, we would like to try new challenges and pass on the skills and knowledge we gain from the challenges through channels such as Red Hat user groups,” said Enjitsu.
 

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