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  • Utilizing Google Workspace and HENNGE One as a Set
    This Secure Environment Allows for Collaborative Edit of Reports, Video Conferencing, etc., and Promotes Company’s Work Style Reforms.

    Company: FamilyMart

Commit to improving the mid-market food service and creating community-based store that collaborates with other industries

Please tell us about the initiatives that FamilyMart is currently focusing on.

FamilyMart operates 23,989 stores in Japan and overseas (as of July 31, 2018). Among them, we have 16,878 stores in Japan. Following the business integration in September 2016, the entire company is currently working together to make the brand conversion from “Circle K” and “Sunkus” to “FamilyMart” as a top priority. The brand conversion is scheduled to be completed by November 2018.
Rather than pursuing store size, FamilyMart is focusing on improving "quality". Specifically, we are working towards opening high-quality stores, strengthening measures to support franchises, enhancing our product quality, and creating next-generation stores. In addition, under the theme of "community-based operations," we are working on marketing initiatives that capture the needs of the traded area, and operating community-oriented stores.

FamilyMart is focusing on reforming workstyles. Can you tell us about the role of the System Solutions Department of the System Division?

The System Division is responsible for the overall planning, developing, and operating of FamilyMart's IT. There are divisions in charge of store systems and headquarters systems, and the System Solutions Department provides services such as groupware, other information systems, PCs, and mobile terminals to approximately 6,200 employees working at headquarters, sales offices, stores and other locations, as well as staff from outsourcing companies.
In recent years, FamilyMart has been focusing on reforming work styles and launching various initiatives. As part of these initiatives, following the top management’s direction in June 2017, the company decided to partner with Google and implement Google's solutions. About 8,400 users started using Google's GSuite cloud service in October 2017.

Take store photos with mobile devices and easily share them on the company's portal site

Has the introduction of Google Workspace changed the way you work?

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In addition to e-mailing and scheduling, some employees have taken up the SNS function of Google Workspace, namely Google+, which was not available in other groupware that we used to use. With smartphone or tablet devices, supervisors in charge of store management can now take photos of product display methods and events and easily share what is going on via Google+.
Additionally, during the heavy snowfall in the Hokuriku region in February 2018, a total of more than 300 employees from the headquarters came to assist in shoveling snow and displaying products. These activities were also reported via Google+. In the past, a request had to be made to the headquarter whenever photos were uploaded and shared, but now information is coming directly from the field, which is another benefit of using Google Workspace.

What are some other ways that you have been using the system?

We have begun to use Google Hangouts for chat and video conferencing, Google Spreadsheets, and other tools. For example, when regional managers hold regular meetings, they can participate in the meeting by using a tablet device with a camera, instead of having to travel to the physical location. Web conferencing systems have traditionally been available for managers, but with Hangouts, now anyone can easily make use of video conferencing, reducing travel time and transportation costs.
In addition, meeting minutes can also be created and shared on the spot using Google Docs. This reduces the need to work overtime to compile reports and minutes, and is also helpful in reforming work styles.

All employees are equipped with smartphones. Using Google Workspace securely with HENNGE Device Certificate

Please tell us how HENNGE One was introduced.

Security is essential when it comes to cloud services. Therefore, we have introduced HENNGE One at the same time as Google Workspace to 8,400 users. We chose HENNGE One due to its proven track record in combination with Google Workspace and its authentication capabilities. In addition, a recommendation from the IT vendor who supported our introduction of Google Workspace and HENNGE One was also a deciding factor.
In the past, when checking email outside of the office, we used the virtualization platform rather than tablet terminals, but there were issues such as the time-consuming log-in process due to password entry. Previously, we provided approximately 4,000 tablet terminals to supervisors and store development staff. This time, as part of the work style reform, we increased the number of smartphone lenders to approximately 7,000 units for almost all employees. Users are now able to use their smartphones to check their email and schedule safely and easily while on the go, which has been appreciated by users.

What do you mean by "safely and easily"?

Our System Solutions Department's stance is to “ensure the necessary security so that users can freely utilize Google Workspace for their business and work style innovation”. In order to ensure security when using Google Workspace, both mobile devices used outside the company and PCs used inside the company must be authenticated; only authorized devices are approved to gain access.
For in-house PCs, it is possible to restrict the terminals that access the company network by authenticating with MAC address. Mobile devices, on the other hand, required a different method. Therefore, we decided to use HENNGE Device Certificate, which was provided as an optional service of HENNGE One.
The device certificate issued by HENNGE is first registered on the mobile device; access to GSuit will then only be permitted for devices that hold the device certificate. FamilyMart allows devices with device certificates to easily use Google Workspace by eliminating the need to enter a password when logging in.

How do you handle email security?

In the past, we used a combination of groupware and individual email services to prevent misdirection and archiving. However, Google Workspace does not carry such email security features. Therefore, we have utilized HENNGE One's messaging security features, which include a temporary hold function to prevent accidental transmission, and an archiving function that stores emails for a certain period of time.
There should be no information leaks due to e-mail mishandling. Although our employees have adopted the habit of checking the address and content when sending an email, the temporary hold function provides a sense of security by suspending emails sent outside the company for a certain period of time just in case. As for archiving, in the past, we had used this feature from our previous mail service; HENNGE One helped us cover such archiving features that were not available within Google Workspace.

HENNGE One enables safe and convenient use of Cloud service.

What do you think about the effect of introducing HENNGE One and how do you see its development in the future?

Six months have passed since we started using HENNGE One. We can rest assured that the system has been operating steadily without any trouble. In addition, users of mobile devices no longer have to enter their passwords thanks to device certificates; they are experiencing access security that is both safe and convenient.
We surveyed all employees using Google Forms twice, immediately after the introduction of Google Workspace and in February 2018, and more than 70% said it was more convenient than before.

However, the reality is that only a small percentage of people are fully utilizing the features of Google Workspace. To date, we have appointed approximately 500 ambassadors at each of our headquarters and regional offices to serve as key persons in the utilization of the system, and have provided them with material-based guidance on how to make the best use of Google Workspace. In the future, the System Solutions Department plans to visit each region and hold study sessions with examples of use, which will be useful for workstyle reform. We will continue to make various efforts, such as introducing case studies on the company's portal site.

In addition to Google Workspace, FamilyMart is also actively using other cloud services. Although how to best utilize HENNGE One as an access security service for other cloud services is still an issue for us to consider, we look forward to HENNGE’s proposals of new service platforms that will enable employees to work in a more secure environment.