Yamaha Tunes in to Better Collaboration

Content mobility, performance, and security improve operations

“When we set out on our search for a new solution there were four key things we were looking for: ease of use, mobility, performance and security.”

Vimal Thomas Vice President, Information Technology

A Legacy of Product Excellence and Artist Support

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 global subsidiaries, Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA).

Established in 1960 as Yamaha International Corporation, YCA offers a full line of musical instruments and audio/visual products to the U.S. market. The organization comprises product sales and marketing departments as well as other corporate administrative divisions including Administration, the Customer Experience Group, Customer Financial Services, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology and Operations.

In addition, Yamaha Artists Services (YAS) provides a wide range of professional services exclusively designed for performing artists, concert venues, performing arts organizations and educational institutions at facilities around the country.

Person Playing Piano

Out of Tune

According to Vimal Thomas, Vice President, Information Technology, there were two issues that made YCA want to consider an Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) solution. The artist services group (YAS) was relying on a homegrown solution to share and collaborate. Users would store data on external hard drives and ship them around the country or physically carry them. The contents of the drives would be 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.

Business users at offices around the country and in Canada were the second issue. Each of these locations kept files they generated but didn't have a well-defined backup policy. “People would come to me and say ‘we need a solution to be able to back up and recover our data quickly,’” this combined with the fact that YCA had a mandate to move to the cloud and had selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) for the vast majority of its data.

“When we set out on our search for a new solution there were four key things we were looking for: ease of use, mobility, performance and security. And most importantly, it had to be an enterprise-grade solution, not consumer grade.”

Vimal Thomas – Vice President, Information Technology, Yamaha Corporation of America

Hitting the Right Note

“When we set out on our search for a new solution there were four key things we were looking for: ease of use, mobility, performance and security. And most importantly, it had to be an enterprise grade solution, not consumer grade.”

Collaboration was also important for Thomas and YCA. The company did not have an effective way to share 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 using hard drives that were shipped around the country or manually transported. Content was catalogued like a library and loaded onto local machines. There was an enormous risk of data loss or loss of intellectual property – much of the data was irreplaceable (e.g. raw footage).

Sharing: YCA was using the team features in Dropbox to share content. Thomas says that while there was an IT recommendation for users on how and who should access the data, IT had no way to check if it was being followed or to enforce it.

Version control: There was no synchronization between the corporate offices, the artist services group or the Canadian operation. Each location would do 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 Amazon Web Services (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 working with AWS that fit our needs.”

Thomas conducted an exhaustive search with vendors such as: Dropbox, Box, AWS Workdocs and Microsoft OneDrive before selecting Egnyte.

Yamaha Studio

A Great “Hook”

Egnyte Connect met the usability, security, and performance needs of the business.

  • Easy to access, collaborate, and share content
  • Centralized visibility and control over all content
  • Seamless integration with Microsoft Office 365
  • Storage through AWS
Securely access, share files from centrally managed cloud file server
Egnyte AWS Cloud Deployment Architecture

“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.”

Vimal Thomas – Vice President, Information Technology, Yamaha Corporation of America

A Round of Applause

Yamaha’s move to AWS with Egnyte is complete. Corporate headquarters has completed it’s migration, and Canadian operations are fully up and running with Egnyte. They are also preparing to bring in their new Internet connection to improve use and speed. Yamaha multimedia groups are beginning to use the tool and finding value in it’s archiving capabilities.

All storage is handled via AWS coupled with an Egnyte Connect as the front-end content collaboration application.

The freedom of the cloud is allowing users to interact via tablets (Android, Surface, iPads), iPhones as well as traditional desktops. “I’ve had people tell me they‘ve been able to make edits from their phone on the way to the airport.”

Thomas says the Egnyte implementation has been pain-free for more than 600 users so far. While he says there has been a learning curve – as is the case with any new software, there has not been an adoption curve – users are flocking to Egnyte.

Thomas says there has been time saved in terms of project acceleration and overall productivity and this equals money saved. “Business users, sales and marketing, have benefitted the most.”

Yamaha Guitar

Encore

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 is taking advantage of powerful tools like the Microsoft O365 real-time co-authoring integration.

And the use case and data keeps growing. “At this point we have about 100 terabytes of data… I’m only talking about what’s on Egnyte,” says Thomas. “It grows rapidly – especially with the Yamaha artists group, half of all our data is video. We’re actually increasing each year.” The old process of unorganized data copy has been replaced. “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.”