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Hitachi Limited, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd., Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation, Tokio Marine & Nichido Systems and Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd, Announced as Winners of the Red Hat APAC Innovation Awards 2021 for Japan

Recognized for their digital initiatives and transformation experienced through the use of Red Hat's open source solutions

Tokyo -

Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the winners of the Red Hat APAC Innovation Awards 2021 for Japan. Hitachi Limited, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd., Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation (NTT East), Tokio Marine & Nichido Systems Co., Ltd., and Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. were honored at the Red Hat APAC Forum Virtual Experience today for their digital transformation journey and innovations using Red Hat solutions.

“2021 continues to be a year of uncertainty, but Asia Pacific organizations are using open source technology to more rapidly and effectively create more business possibilities with digital transformation. They are using technologies like hybrid cloud, data analytics and edge computing to meet changing market landscapes and enhance customer experiences. Congratulations to this year’s winners, and we hope that Red Hat’s open source solutions will continue to help address the many real challenges our customers face today, and unlock the future for business in Asia Pacific.”

Marjet Andriesse

vice president and general manager, APAC, Red Hat

Open source continues to be an innovation engine for Asia Pacific enterprises by helping them modernize infrastructures, develop applications and transform digitally. According to Red Hat’s recent State of Enterprise Open Source report, 92 percent of the region’s IT leaders are using enterprise open source today, exceeding the global average of 90 percent. 

With the theme of “Open Your Perspective,” the Red Hat APAC Forum Virtual Experience encourages organizations to build resilience, achieve their transformation goals and propel their business forward with open source. This year, the Red Hat APAC Innovation Awards recognized the technological achievements of 24 organizations in the region for their creative thinking, determined problem solving, and innovative use of Red Hat solutions.

The winners were selected based on the impact of their Red Hat deployments to support business goals and company culture, industry, communities, as well as the uniqueness of vision for the project. They displayed how open source tools and culture have helped them to improve productivity, agility, and cost savings while empowering them to address future challenges and emerging trends more confidently and effectively. 

Winners were recognized in five categories: digital transformation, hybrid cloud infrastructure, cloud-native development, automation and resilience.

Category: Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure and Cloud-native Development

Winner: Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi, Ltd. (Hitachi) has expertise in control and operation technologies and information technologies for mission-critical systems, in addition to manufacturing technologies accumulated for over 110 years since its foundation. The company launched its Lumada business in 2016, aiming to digitally resolve problems for customers in all industries by providing data-driven solutions and platforms. To support its software development infrastructure and operation environment, Hitachi used Red Hat OpenShift.

As customers use data to accelerate business innovation with Hitachi’s powerful system integration, sales for the Lumada business have already exceeded 1 trillion yen. 

Hitachi considers using Red Hat OpenShift as a container operation environment for Lumada solutions using “CMOS Annealing”, Hitachi’s unique computing technology for quickly resolving problems by quantum-inspired computers.

Hitachi and Red Hat have also launched a joint team for consultation on the latest development method for Hitachi’s partners and customers. Consultants who have handled mission-critical products and technologies in Hitachi worked together with Red Hat Consulting as part of the Red Hat Professional Services Partner Program to develop services for digital transformation and launched an agile development consulting service and a microservices technical solution to support modernization for enterprise systems.

Category: Digital Transformation

Winner: Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, Ltd.

Isetan Mitsukoshi Ltd. (Isetan Mitsukoshi) is one of the largest retail groups in Japan. Centering on department store business accounting for approximately 80% of its sales, the company conducts business activities in four segments including credit card, finance and membership business, real estate, and other areas.Presently, Isetan Mitsukoshi has 20 department stores and approximately 130 small- and medium-sized stores in Japan, and a total of 30 stores overseas, mainly in China and Southeast Asia.

Isetan Mitsukoshi has remained committed to customer service for over 350 years. In order to respond to changes in consumer behavior over the past year, Isetan Mitsukoshi started to modernize its mission-critical system, aiming to improve customer experience through digitalization. To support digital services for customers, it is essential to use diverse data in the mission-critical system in a cross-sectoral manner. Isetan Mitsukoshi adopted Red Hat Integration and Red Hat Decision Manager and collaborated with Red Hat Consulting in order to implement an infrastructure system that would enable quicker data extraction and more efficient operation/management. With this new business platform, a unique platform for data utilization, the company was able to more easily take in existing data on customers, purchases, logistics, and stock, etc., and thus, more quickly offer customer services.

For example, Isetan Mitsukoshi introduced a new service for customers called YourFIT365, an online shoe fitting service that uses a 3D scanner to make shoe recommendations for customers on a tablet computer or a smartphone. Over 15,000 people measured their feet through this service. Furthermore, as the efficiency of infrastructure building and operation was increased through DevOps capabilities, development speed quadrupled and maintenance costs were reduced by 75 percent.

With this new mission-critical system using Red Hat solutions, the IT division, the user division and the sales staff of Isetan Mitsukoshi were able to work together more seamlessly. Accordingly, it became possible to make appropriate proposals faster by using data to address changes in customer behavior in purchasing commodities. Isetan Mitsukoshi aims to continue to provide customers with high quality services by carrying out digital measures more quickly while building ties and relationships with individual customers.

Category: Digital Transformation and Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

Winner: Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation (NTT East)

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation (NTT East) provides network services such as telephone, optical Internet, Wi-Fi and system integration as a local telecommunications carrier in eastern Japan. NTT East, aiming to resolve various issues faced by local communities through utilization of secure and safe ICT, has regarded AI image analysis as a priority area as the number of network cameras operating in companies and municipalities is increasing.

In order to overcome high introduction costs and lack of technical ability, the company aimed to build a service infrastructure with which AI image analysis features can be easily used at low cost and used more broadly by connecting to its own network. Using assets it has, such as Japan’s large scale network and data centers, the company has worked on the development of services which enable customers all over the nation to use AI readily by establishing the Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) infrastructure and providing various image analysis applications produced by third parties.

For that project, NTT East used Red Hat OpenShift to enable a faster and more frequent application release cycle and establish an environment to facilitate the agile development of applications. With the AI image analysis infrastructure built using Red Hat OpenShift, the company could realize increased scalability and accelerate the speed of application releases while reducing costs.

This AI image analysis infrastructure has presently helped companies and other end users analyze images of cameras using the power of AI. NTT East’s AI image analysis also contributed to detecting congestion and the need for medical attention related to COVID-19.

NTT East also plans to release the service to support customer services and store operations in the midst of recent personnel shortages. Then, it has planned to expand services to various fields with themes of enhancement of security of streets and facilities and inspection of products, with an eye to assistance to resolve social issues and increase business possibility.

Category: Digital Transformation

Winner: Tokio Marine & Nichido Systems Co., Ltd. and Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. 

Tokio Marine Group is a leading insurance company group engaging in domestic business mainly through Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. Ltd., as well as domestic life insurance and overseas insurance businesses. The group has been aiming to become the most trusted insurance group in the world by exceeding customer expectations and providing reliable and stable services. It has been essential for insurance companies to continuously evolve from the conventional business model with the rapid advance of digital technology and ever-changing customer needs. While Tokio Marine Group had improved the speed of its IT development process in order to quickly respond to changing customer needs and technologies, expected results had not been realized in terms of improving business agility. Therefore, the group worked with Red Hat Consulting and participated in a Red Hat Open Innovation Labs residency to adopt agile methodologies as a driver for digital transformation not only in the IT development field but also for business divisions and management. In Red Hat Open Innovation Labs, business issues in client companies are jointly and intensively resolved in close cooperation with Red Hat consultants, engineers and relevant specialists. As a result of this six months collaboration, Tokio Marine Group product owners and development teams developed skills and learned the best practices for agile development.

Only half a year after collaborating with Red Hat Consulting, Tokio Marine Group made a management decision to implement a framework, budgets, resources and improved organizational structures and processes to engage in enterprise agile development.  As a result, the group was able to deliver nine new insurance services in a year, improving the overall agility of the business. 

Through this project, the Tokio Marine Group was able to begin the transformation of its corporate culture in order to push ahead with agile management initiatives across the entire group. In collaboration with Red Hat Consulting, Tokio Marine Group is also extending Red Hat agile training for the management team and other support to group companies overseas.

The Digital Transformation category recognizes organizations that have successfully addressed IT challenges and delivered business value to effectively compete as a digital enterprise. The Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure category showcases a collaborative public, private or open hybrid cloud deployment. The Cloud-Native Development category showcases agile methodologies and organizations that have most successfully illustrated superior overall performance in creating, maintaining and deploying successful business applications.

Supporting Quotes

Marjet Andriesse, vice president and general manager, APAC, Red Hat

“2021 continues to be a year of uncertainty, but Asia Pacific organizations are using open source technology to more rapidly and effectively create more business possibilities with digital transformation. They are using technologies like hybrid cloud, data analytics and edge computing to meet changing market landscapes and enhance customer experiences. Congratulations to this year’s winners, and we hope that Red Hat’s open source solutions will continue to help address the many real challenges our customers face today, and unlock the future for business in Asia Pacific.”

Nobuhiro Kato, vice president, IoT & Cloud Services Business Division, Hitachi, Ltd. 

“Hitachi plans to further expand its Lumada business overseas. In particular, we will further expand the business to meet demands in North America to renew old infrastructures in the industrial field leveraging India’s digital resources. We will create new Lumada solutions, increasing added values with digital technology in various fields from information technology to railroad vehicles and medical equipment. In collaboration with Red Hat, we aim to continue to offer high-quality products, services and global business strategies based on Red Hat’s open source practices and in alliance with the open source community.”

Tomohide Sanbe, executive officer, Information Technology Department and general manager, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd.

“As digitalization has advanced in the retail industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we needed a platform for realizing business agility while ensuring the continuous provision of high-quality customer services as a major department store. Red Hat technology was very useful for the development of services to more quickly respond to constantly changing business environments and customer needs, enabling us to more seamlessly connect physical stores to digital technologies such as internet and applications. Collaborating with Red Hat has helped us realize “the best customer experience” by using, enhancing, and expanding digital technologies. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Red Hat to help us solve a wide range of issues not only for customers but also employees and various business connections.”

Hiroshi Nakamura, executive vice president, senior executive manager, New Business Development Headquarters, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation (NTT East)

Amid the rapid increase in remote work, we have prioritized innovation and delivery speed as a Japanese telecommunication carrier. Red Hat solutions enabled us to establish a new service infrastructure which promotes use of AI image analysis features, overcoming barriers of on-premise legacy systems. This service infrastructure has supported customer services of retail stores and congestion analysis, bringing about advantages to not only retail customers but also a wide range of local communities.”

Susumu Harada, managing director, Tokio Marine & Nichido Systems Co., Ltd. and Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. 

Our digital transformation had previously carried out various ideas by trial and error. So far, the “full-swing” introduction of agile development supported by Red Hat has played a significant role. Digital transformation requires not just a technical theory but changes in the mindset of an organization and its personnel. In order to realize a true continuous digital transformation, it is important that we establish and fully integrate agile thinking into our corporate culture. In light of this, our management will be deeply involved in promoting the innovative changes toward a flexible and adaptable organization.”

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