SOFTBANK Contributes to Japan’s Recovery Process by Utilizing NetApp Technology Following 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami

IT Transformation Enables Softbank to Increase Customer Base by 27% and Reduce Operating Expenses by 30% in the Last Five Years

SUNNYVALE, Calif.-April 10,2012- Companies large and small all over the world dependon their information technology (IT) infrastructures to help drivebusiness success. By making the right decisions, a company cantransform its IT environment to accelerate business, createcompetitive advantages, and increase profits. But what if an ITinfrastructure could do more than simply help a company accomplishits business goals? What if the decisions made years earlier abouthow to transform IT could also lay the foundation to enable acompany to respond in a time of crisis?


On March 11, 2011, Japan’s largest earthquakeon record hit and triggered a massive and devastating tsunami,causing extensive damage in a wide range of regions throughout thecountry.


In 2006, SOFTBANK Group, a Japanesetelecommunications and media corporation, set out on a path toconsolidate and transform its entire IT organization, which hadbecome highly complex, redundant, and disparate due to previousacquisitions and expansion. The company’s goal was to change ITfrom a cost center to a profit center, and it turned to NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) as a keytechnology partner to help make that happen. What resulted was acompletely revamped IT organization that enabled SOFTBANK Group todeliver a range of internal and external cloud services calledWhite Cloud that served as a catalyst for SOFTBANK Group’scontinued growth and success.


But with a corporate philosophy aimed atmaking people happy through an information revolution, SOFTBANKGroup took its work one step further. The company’s newlytransformed IT infrastructure allowed SOFTBANK Group, just daysfollowing March 11, 2011, to deliver several of its cloud serviceofferings either at highly discounted rates or free of charge tobusinesses, public agencies, and nonprofit organizations that hadbeen affected by the disaster. SOFTBANK Group also made a decisionto expand its internal virtual desktop service, which was built ona NetApp® foundation and used by some of its groups, to acompany-wide system to enable the continued efficient operation ofthe company as a whole.


Although the original plan was to graduallyrelease this service over a one-year period, SOFTBANK Groupcompleted the deployment to 14,000 employees in just a few weeks.Behind SOFTBANK Group’s ability to quickly respond to externalemergency and internal needs was NetApp technology.


SOFTBANK Group Leans on NetApp toDrive Business and Respond to Disaster
Since kicking off its IT transformation project in 2006, SOFTBANKGroup has realized tremendous results. These include not onlyenabling its business to go further,faster, but also enabling the company to be there for itsfellow citizens when they needed it most. Highlights of the projectinclude:


Turning IT from a Cost Center to aProfit Center


  • SOFTBANK Group’s IT infrastructure transformation helped thecompany decrease IT operating expenses by 30%, increase itscustomer base by 27%, and reduce overall storage capacity by40%.
  • NetApp’s unique storage efficiency technologies such asdeduplication and thin provisioning have provided the company withdisk space savings of more than 50% for increased savings andflexibility.
  • SOFTBANK Mobile, the highest-growth business of SOFTBANK Group,increased its number of customer accounts by 75% and reducedoperating costs by 50%.

Massive Transformation of ITInfrastructure to Focus on Cloud Services


  • SOFTBANK Group has a vision that cloud computing will becomeone of the world’s greatest assets, and believes that it will serveas a repository for every piece of human knowledge and wisdom.
  • SOFTBANK Group today offers a total of 16 different White Cloudservices, several of which are built on NetApp.One of the first White Cloud services was called White CloudDesktop Service and was based on its internal virtual desktopoffering built on NetApp. This offering helped the company reducecalls to the internal help desk by 90% and increased individualproductivity by an average of 10%.
  • SOFTBANK Group’s internal virtual desktop service has alsoinstilled a cultural shift among its own employees. Workingremotely in Japan is not a common practice but SOFTBANK Group’sWhite Cloud Desktop Service provides employees with increased workflexibility, which resulted in largely increased productivity forthe company. In fact, more than 22,000 company employees today usevirtual desktops built on a NetApp foundation, making SOFTBANKGroup one of the largest VDI use cases in the world.
  • NetApp FlexClone® technology has allowed SOFTBANK Group toreduce the time it takes to implement 1,000 virtual desktops fromone week to one day, improving overall productivity and speedingtime to deployment.

The Ability to Respond at a Time ofCrisis


  • Just three days after the earthquake and tsunami, SOFTBANKGroup began offering at a major discount its White Cloud DesktopService to businesses, public agencies, and nonprofit organizationsincapacitated by the disaster and provided other services free ofcharge.
  • SOFTBANK Group also delivered its White Cloud Desktop Serviceto thousands of its own employees who were not yet part of thedeployment. This ability to make a decision in just a few days andto deploy its services on a massive scale in just a few weeks wastestament not only to the flexibility and scalability of SOFTBANKGroup’s own IT infrastructure but also to the innovation and willof its people.
  • Following the earthquake and tsunami, a crisis at one of thecountry’s main nuclear power plants resulted in a power shortageand a government-mandated decrease of 25% in energy use. SOFTBANKGroup’s actions, such as deployment of the White Cloud DesktopService, allowed the company to decrease power usage by 39%.

Supporting Quotes


  • Amane Kito, chief information & security officer,SOFTBANK Group
    “SOFTBANK Group’s business plan is to continue evolving as anInternet company and mobile Internet company and to expand ourcloud service business in Asia and all over the world. We cannotachieve this goal just by ourselves. We need a partner withstate-of-the-art technology who offers the scalability,flexibility, and efficiency necessary to meet the increasing needsof our customers. In addition to these conditions, NetApp has aproven track record in customer deployment, superb cloudstrategies, and global business operation, making NetApp animportant business partner for us. We look forward to strengtheningour partnership with NetApp going forward.”
  • Rob Salmon, executive vice president of FieldOperations, NetApp
    “SOFTBANK Group’s story is the perfect example of how decisions acompany makes about its IT infrastructure today can help pave theway for an amazing tomorrow. NetApp is honored to be able to helpprovide the foundation for SOFTBANK Group’s White Cloud that notonly has helped the company achieve great business success but alsohas helped make a difference for the citizens of Japan during theirtime of need.”

Additional Resources


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