Yamaha’s corporate slogan is “Sharing Passion & Performance”. It extends from its headquarters in Japan to its subsidiaries around the world, including one of its largest subsidiaries: Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA).
Out of Tune
According to Vimal Thomas, VP of Information Technology, two issues drove YCA to consider an Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) solution. First, the artist services group (YAS) was relying on a homegrown solution to share and collaborate. Users would store data on external hard drives and physically carry or ship them around the country. The contents of the drives were manually catalogued and managed by users.
“All of this data like video files, graphic files and artist information was stored on portable hard drives – 50 years of files running up to 60 terabytes in size was sitting around in people’s hard drives at home. In some cases the data was irreplaceable, as artists have passed away. We were putting our intellectual property at risk and running the risk of a catastrophic data loss,” says Thomas.
User inconsistency in data management, around the country and in Canada, was the second issue. Each of these locations kept files they generated but didn’t have a well-defined backup policy. YCA had a mandate to move to the cloud and had selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host the vast majority of its data.
Hitting the Right Note
Collaboration was also important for Thomas and YCA. The company did not have an effective way to share content with outside partners. Not only did Thomas want Yamaha employees to have ease of access, he wanted a solution that would allow the organization to share files with external business partners in a secure and convenient way.
When looking at YCA prior to Egnyte, Thomas sums up the issues as follows:
Video: YCA was handling/shipping physical hard drives. Content was catalogued like a library and loaded onto local machines. There was an enormous risk of data loss or loss of intellectual property. There was an enormous risk of data loss or loss of intellectual property, compounded by the fact that much of the data was irreplaceable (i.e. raw footage).
Sharing: YCA was using the team features in Dropbox to share content. While IT made recommendations on how to access data, and who should access it, IT had no way to enforce its policies.
Version control: There was no synchronization between the corporate offices, the artist services group or the Canadian operation. Users in each location would make incremental modifications and save them, but “there was no way an end user could retrieve previous versions of a file modified by someone else.”
These issues were aggravated by the move to AWS. “we used to have windows file servers with direct attached storage. There was no like-for-like replacement in AWS, and Egnyte Connect was the best enterprise-grade solution that fit our needs and worked with AWS.”
“People would come to me and say ‘we need a solution to be able to back up and recover our data quickly,’” explains Thomas. Combined with YCA’s mandate to move to the cloud and choice of Amazon Web Services (AWS) for the vast majority of its data, Thomas had his search parameters.
A Round of Applause
Thomas conducted an exhaustive search before choosing Egnyte over Dropbox, Box, AWS Workdocs and Microsoft OneDrive.
Today, Yamaha is roughly halfway through its move to AWS with Egnyte Connect Cloud deployment. The corporate headquarters has migrated fully. The various artist service groups are halfway through migrating. The Canadian operation is also getting started.
All storage is handled via AWS coupled with Egnyte Connect as the front-end collaboration application.
The freedom of the cloud is allowing users to interact via tablets (Android, Surface, iPad), smartphones (Android, iPhone), and traditional desktops. Thomas says “I’ve had people tell me they’ve been able to make edits from their phone on the way to the airport.”
The Egnyte implementation has been pain-free for more than 600 users so far. While there has been a learning curve, there has not been an adoption curve: users are flocking to Egnyte, Thomas says. Thomas points to business users, sales and marketing as benefitting the most.
YCA expects “serious process improvements thanks to Egnyte” as time goes on. YCA has already integrated Egnyte Connect with Microsoft Office Online in AWS and soon plans to take advantage of powerful tools like the Microsoft Office 365 co-authoring integration.
“We have about 100 terabytes of data just on Egnyte,” says Thomas. “Especially with the Yamaha Artist Group, half of all our data is video and it’s increasing each year. With Egnyte Connect, we can go back up to ten previous versions of a file. In the past this used to be very expensive and time consuming. Now we simply give the user access and they can do what they want.”