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MUFG Bank, NTT DOCOMO, RIKEN and Fujitsu, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group with support from Japan Research Institute Named Winners of the Red Hat APAC Innovation Awards 2020 for Japan

Recognized for their transformative projects and technological achievements 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 2020 for Japan. MUFG Bank, Ltd., NTT DOCOMO, Inc., RIKEN and Fujitsu, Ltd. jointly, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Inc. with The Japan Research Institute, Ltd. were honored at the Red Hat Forum Asia Pacific 2020 today for their exceptional and innovative use of Red Hat solutions.

2020 has been a year of uncertainties – but also possibilities. It’s inspiring to see how organizations in Asia Pacific are using open source to quickly and effectively meet changing market landscapes and consumer demands.

Dirk-Peter van Leeuwen
interim president, Red Hat. K.K. and senior vice president and general manager, APAC, Red Hat

In response to the recent global events that are causing consumer shifts, many organizations are accelerating their digital transformation efforts to adapt. In a November 2019 study sponsored by Red Hat, 95% of APAC executives surveyed said digital transformation has gained importance and perceived it as a strategy for both survival and growth in the new normal. This has increased the need to use innovative technologies to create new business models, products or services.

Since there is no one-size-fits-all blueprint for digital transformation, this year’s Red Hat Forum Asia Pacific aims to inspire organizations to unleash the power of open source technologies to achieve their short-term goals and future-proof their business for the next normal. To support that, the Red Hat APAC Innovation Awards 2020 recognize the technological achievements of organizations that demonstrate creative thinking, determined problem solving and creative use of Red Hat solutions to make a difference in their business, industry or society.

The winners were selected based on the impact of their Red Hat deployments on their business goals, industry and communities, as well as the uniqueness of vision for the project. They displayed how open source platforms and culture have helped them improve productivity, agility and cost savings while empowering them to address future challenges and emerging trends more confidently and effectively. This year’s awards honored 27 APAC organizations across five categories: digital transformation, hybrid cloud infrastructure, cloud-native development, automation and resilience. This year’s winners for Japan include:

Categories: Digital Transformation and Cloud-Native Development
MUFG Bank, Ltd.

MUFG Bank, Ltd. is a Japanese bank that serves as the retail, corporate and investment banking arm of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. It aims to be the world’s most trusted financial group by exceeding customer expectations, providing reliable and constant support to customers, and strengthening its global presence.

In order to realize this vision, MUFG Bank adopted Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Runtimes, with the help of Red Hat Consulting. MUFG Bank deployed a container infrastructure as it needed an infrastructure development technology that was agile and capable of responding to fast-changing digital technology for its system of engagement. This became a source for MUFG Bank to create new values and improve its competitive edge. Accordingly, MUFG Bank was also able to provide customers added values with faster time to market, including when collaborating with external partners.

It also managed to build a continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline, reducing the man-hours for application testing. With the new speed, agility and efficiency, MUFG Bank can easily expand its digital products and services to gain an edge over its competitors.

Category: Automation

NTT DOCOMO is a telecommunications company with the philosophy of "creating a new world of communications culture," aiming at providing highly personalized communication solutions.

As the use of 5G expands, NTT DOCOMO looked to augment its services by introducing next-generation infrastructures and new technologies without compromising quality or competitive pricing for customers. Together with Red Hat Consulting, it deployed Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform to integrate and automate more than 10,000 devices used in its CiRCUS/MAPS infrastructure, a common service platform that helps improve system flexibility and scalability to support both the diversification of services in the 5G era and the increased traffic. NTT DOCOMO expects to halve its infrastructure development time, operational costs and man-hours by 2022 by using Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform to automate all of its IT processes, such as configuration management, provisioning, and deployment of servers, networks, storages, cloud, security and applications. 

Red Hat OpenStack Platform was installed as a foundation of virtual platform for CiRCUS/MAPS, and collectively, Red Hat solutions helped NTT DOCOMO enhance its IT environment and minimize human interventions needed for development and operational processes, enabling it to provide high-quality services to customers.

Categories: Digital Transformation and Resilience
Winner: RIKEN and Fujitsu Ltd.

RIKEN is Japan’s largest and most comprehensive research organization in natural science, conducting research in a broad spectrum of disciplines including physics, engineering, chemistry, mathematical/information science, computational science, biology, and medical science. As an international hub for high performance computing in the fields of computational and computer science, RIKEN's stated mission is to explore 'the science of computing, the science by computing and the science for computing.’

In a joint effort with Fujitsu, a provider of IT services and products, RIKEN developed the supercomputer Fugaku aimed at responding to immediate social and scientific issues. These issues cover the areas of bioscience, disaster prevention, environmental issues, energy, manufacturing, and fundamental science. Results from the studies will contribute to the development of technology in these areas and enhance industrial competitiveness. The facilitation of leading edge infrastructure on Fugaku and the operational technologies developed can also be used in the information area such as big data and artificial intelligence (AI).

RIKEN and Fujitsu adopted Red Hat Enterprise Linux as Fugaku’s operating system. Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides a more consistently predictable and reliable interface in the supercomputing environment, which enables Fugaku to be productive and reliable, while being user-friendly and compatible with other software. This enables Fugaku to be fully compliant with various standards of Arm-based processors. Red Hat Enterprise Linux also provides streamlined update management for easier administration and opens up additional avenues for hybrid cloud computing in the future.

While Fugaku is scheduled to be fully operational in fiscal year 2021, RIKEN has provided some of Fugaku’s computing resources to support research and development efforts needed to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, Fugaku was used for medical research, including, predicting dynamic structure of proteins of the novel coronavirus and identifying potential drug candidates to combat the virus. RIKEN is also using Fugaku for simulation analysis to better understand how the COVID-19 infection spreads and the resulting socioeconomic impacts of the virus.

Category: Digital Transformation
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Inc. (SMFG) and The Japan Research Institute, Ltd. (Japan Research Institute)

SMBC Group consists of various companies — including Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and Japan Research Institute — offering a broad range of financial services such as banking, leasing, securities, credit cards and consumer finance.

To support the group’s overall business strategy of “Transformation and Growth.” SMFG and Japan Research Institute sought Red Hat Consulting’s help to adopt Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated to ease the management of Red Hat OpenShift on AWS. This enabled developers to better focus on application development, such as the implementation of business logic and administration of application cycles, instead of spending time to configure and manage the Red Hat OpenShift. With Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated, SMFG and Japan Research Institute can now adopt agile development, accelerating their speed-to-market and ensuring their competitiveness. After November 2020, both organizations expect to be able to launch a new service in several months, deploy a new feature or application every day, and reduce the development and operation costs to a third. 

The Digital Transformation category recognizes organizations that have successfully addressed IT challenges and delivered business value to effectively compete as a digital enterprise. The Cloud-Native Development category showcases agile methodologies and organizations that have most successfully illustrate superior overall performance in creating, maintaining and deploying successful business applications. The Automation category highlights projects that most successfully automated processes, workflows, tasks and IT operations to rapidly implement innovative and disruptive technologies and practices. The Resilience category recognizes businesses that have successfully displayed agility and resilience amidst the changing conditions to help their customers address the new normal using Red Hat technology.

Supporting Quotes

Dirk-Peter van Leeuwen, interim president, Red Hat. K.K. and senior vice president and general manager, APAC, Red Hat

“2020 has been a year of uncertainties – but also possibilities. It’s inspiring to see how organizations in Asia Pacific are using open source to quickly and effectively meet changing market landscapes and consumer demands. Congratulations to this year’s winners, who we believe will become role models to other organizations looking for ideas to transform their business. We look forward to working with our customers to help them address the many real challenges our customers face today, and unlock the unlimited possibilities of taking the business forward.”

Yukina Kozakai, managing director, Digital Transformation Division, Digital Banking Planning Office, MUFG Bank, Ltd.
“Recently, with the expansion of the generation using smartphones and the spread of a new lifestyle, needs for bank transactions through remote channels, such as internet banking, have been increasing more than ever before. We believe it is necessary to increase non-face-to-face contacts while making efforts to improve convenience of services for customers together with our external partners, while maintaining security. By using Red Hat open source solutions, we can ensure there is alignment in building systems and security, even when collaborating with external partners. The bank is working to change to a more digital business, actively adopting optimal technologies for improving our service values to customers.”

Takashi Itou, general manager, Service Design Department, Network Division, NTT DOCOMO, INC.

“In line with our corporate philosophy of "creating a new world of communications culture," it is our mission to provide highly personalized communication solutions that truly satisfy customers. As we grow our customer base by offering 5G services to enrich their lives and enhance cooperation with partner companies, our underlying IT infrastructures have also been expanding drastically, thereby demanding more scalable and flexible systems. Therefore, we adopted Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform in order to increase infrastructure development efficiency while maintaining the quality of our systems and reducing development and operation costs. We have automated the design, build, and maintenance of large-scale equipment including servers, storages, and networks, and have been reviewing respective processes within the entire organization to further improve our speed of delivery. With a focus on improving the environment so as to increase our speed to market with high quality services, we will continue to make the systems more efficient.”

Satoshi Matsuoka, director, RIKEN Center for Computational Science

“Fugaku is near completion, after 10 years since its initial conception to achieve two goals in the world of supercomputers. One is to be the pinnacle of information technology, i.e., showing the highest performance running a wide range of applications while having high versatility. We were able to achieve three times the performance and power efficiency with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, without making any changes to the operating system, on the Arm-based A64FX processor developed jointly with Fujitsu. This performance makes Fugaku the world’s first exascale machine and is 100 times better than what the K computer achieved when it was constructed. The other is to address high-priority social issues that are of great public interest. such as the achievement of Society 5.0. We are currently running various applications to address issues caused by COVID-19, with Red Hat Enterprise Linux providing the operating system backbone. The findings have direct impact on the government’s formulation of infection prevention guidelines. We will continue our research and development using Fugaku to further industrial innovation and find solutions to social issues.”

Takeshi Horie, executive vice president, Fujitsu, Ltd.

“We are very pleased to receive the Red Hat Innovation Awards APAC 2020 together with RIKEN. Based on a strong relationship with Red Hat that started 2003, we have been providing innovative systems and services to customers with open source software. We believe that Fugaku, which has become easier to use when powered with Red Hat Enterprise Linux for ARM, will be widely utilized to solve social issues and advance cutting-edge research.”

Takdir Chowdhury, chief digital strategist, general manager, Digital Transformation Systems Department, The Japan Research Institute, Limited
“With Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated as our platform for application development, SMFG and Japan Research Institute can quickly release new digital services and continuously update them with new features. We’ll also adopt the agile development methods we’ve learnt from this project as our new standard way of developing digital services. This will enable us to offer value-added solutions that deliver better services to customers while ultimately helping to promote the group’s future growth with the support of IT.”

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