Digitization has always been the future – it just arrived a little early. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, distributed work is fast becoming the norm. Unfortunately, this shift has also gone hand-in-hand with a series of massive disruptions across multiple industries and sectors.
KYOCERA Document Solutions Asia Limited (KDAS) saw an opportunity in this disruption to be a game-changer. A manufacturer and retailer of printers and copy machines alongside providing development services, managed document services, and enterprise content management, KDAS understands well the importance of staying abreast of new developments and industry trends.
“Digital transformation represents both new market demands and new opportunities for KYOCERA Group,” says KDAS President Kimura Takuma. “COVID-19 has further accelerated this. Our business must now support a significantly larger distributed workforce while also coping with an increased demand for efficiency and mobilization.”
A subsidiary of KYOCERA Group based in Hong Kong, KDAS, as the regional headquarters of the Asia region, is responsible for overseeing Hong Kong, Korea, and Singapore. Like most regional headquarters, it’s given a great deal of autonomy where infrastructure management is concerned. That said, it is still required to follow general corporate policies and initiatives.
“As you can imagine, KYOCERA Group has an incredibly diverse business portfolio,” Kimura says. “We have lines of business that include personal and professional mobile devices, solar power, automotive components, and semiconductor production, to name just a few. It’s a large conglomerate, with offices all over the world – as such, our headquarters in Japan is responsible for most major initiatives.”
One recent initiative put forward in 2019 involved revisiting the company’s global software infrastructure to improve visibility, security, and control. Working with solutions provider Westcon Solutions Hong Kong, KDAS put together a shortlist of vendors. Ultimately, BlackBerry won out due both to its ease of use and integrated cybersecurity. After a brief proof of concept supported by Westcon and a review meeting with BlackBerry, the company made the decision to deploy BlackBerry Spark® Suite.
A complete solution for unified endpoint management and unified endpoint security, BlackBerry Spark Suite combines advanced AI-based threat detection and mitigation with powerful MDM, MAM, MCM, and IAM. The deployment, as it turns out, couldn’t have happened at a better time. In addition to improving productivity, security, and efficiency across the board, KDAS has used BlackBerry Spark Suite to address one of the most unique and difficult challenges it has ever faced: the impact of COVID-19 in India.
“We experienced significant disruption across all regions as a result of COVID lockdowns, but India was among the hardest hit,” recalls Kimura. “We needed to both support a newly-distributed workforce while also finding a feasible means of reducing our operating costs.”
While most of KDAS uses a Corporate-Owned, Business-Only (COBO) deployment model, business disruption in the region due to the pandemic has made this infeasible. The majority of KDAS staff there, both service technicians and management, are using their own devices. This isn’t solely a cost reduction measure but is also often out of necessity.
“The issue of separating corporate and personal data in light of the diverse regulatory frameworks throughout Asia was one of our chief concerns in terms of using BYOD,” explains Kimura. “We need staff to sign an NDA, and to be given access to our corporate data. In addition to the issue of protecting the privacy of our end-users, we needed to ensure personal device usage did not put sensitive assets at risk.”
“Thanks to BlackBerry Spark Suite, we’re able to not only set policies across non-corporate devices from a centralized console but also keep corporate data walled off in a secure container,” Kimura continues. “From our regional headquarters, we’re able to manage logins, remote wipes, and registration with ease. As a result, BYOD now represents a substantial volume of our total device deployments.”
“There is no doubt in my mind about BlackBerry’s BYOD capabilities,” he adds. “As we move forward with our deployment, we may consider a more large-scale shift to BYOD from COBO.”
COVID-19 has more people working from home and accessing their information remotely than ever before. It’s an entirely new direction for KDAS. And to Kimura, this represents a significant opportunity for KDAS, and one which BlackBerry Spark Suite will be instrumental in pursuing.
“The combination of BlackBerry’s software and our own solution with the Internet of Things is incredibly promising,” says Kimura. “It’s one of the reasons we chose to work with BlackBerry.”
“In today’s business world, digitization is proceeding at an unprecedented pace,” Kimura concludes. “The volume of documents and information is growing exponentially. There is no doubt in my mind that the Internet of Things with BlackBerry Spark services will be the backbone of our transformation as we move forward.”