Active Directory upgrade improves global collaboration on major energy plant construction projects
It’s not easy being efficient — especially when you have multiple Active Directory infrastructures around the globe.
That was the case with Chiyoda Corporation. Headquartered in Japan, it is one of the three largest specialist engineering companies in Japan, with the world’s greatest market share in constructing liquefaction plants for natural gas – a low carbon-emissions option.
Challenges started to emerge after Chiyoda began to expand its worldwide projects to diversify energy sources such as shale gas and oil sand, and harness emerging economies. Chiyoda had amassed multiple distinct instances of Microsoft Active Directory (AD), running at 11 of its geographic operations around the world. This was due to its Japan-centric operation where Japan did the basic designing and overseas branches did detail designing and building. This disparate set-up was leading to numerous issues for employees, who frequently had to jump between various identity logins, draining productivity. IT also faced serious security challenges managing user accessibility in a timely manner while reducing the risk of unauthorised access.
As Chiyoda focuses on expanding its global operation and area as part of its mid-term business plan to complete its growth targets, it needed to unify all of its identity management tools and bring new levels of efficiency to its workforce.
Chiyoda knew it needed a collaborative IT environment that employees and partners could access 24/7, using single sign-on from any base or location. To be successful, the company needed the ability to respond quickly to project team changes, such as team member replacements.
Avanade was selected to carry out the work based on its extensive competencies in comparable solutions, and proven abilities in long-term IT planning. Also a factor was Avanade’s expertise in the cloud-based Microsoft solutions, which Chiyoda was already using on-premises, including Exchange Online, Skype for Business and SharePoint.
“Avanade is a reliable partner with extensive global consulting experience. They have helped many companies migrate to unified IT operations including themselves, so they were the best choice for helping us migrate our local bases to a globally-integrated IT system,” said Junichi Masukawa, GM of the IT Management Unit, Director of Chiyoda Corporation.
Avanade delivered a new Active Directory solution within five months, rolling out this solution in pilot, pre-migration, and whole-company migration phases. For the pilot roll-out, Avanade used on-site integration at Chiyoda’s Philippines location as a test case to identify potential conflicts and problems, and revise the migration plans for Chiyoda’s other overseas bases. Avanade realised it was crucial to build close relationships with each of Chiyoda’s locations. Through frequent phone conferences, Chiyoda was apprised of the project and Avanade gained their full support in clarifying risks and countermeasures in advance. Avanade also recommended using Quest Software’s Migration Manager for AD, allowing Chiyoda to efficiently complete the migration without business disruption to its operational sites.
“When we asked them to help us resolve an issue that we could not resolve ourselves, Avanade not only provided a short-term solution, but also provided fundamental solutions by investigating the cause of the issue,” said Mr. Masukawa.
The AD integration and migration at Chiyoda’s headquarters and its Philippines base was the first step in restructuring its IT systems to support global operations. Avanade helped:
- Streamline registration and user account modification processes
- Reorganise IT system management roles to designate employees responsible for assigning and modifying user accounts
- Consolidate domain classifications down to three and simplified user account to two, making it easier to manage
- Strengthen user access security by unifying password and lock-out rules
- Secure business continuity
Chiyoda is now expanding this integration to other overseas bases. The company continues to partner with Avanade on other IT projects that leverage the improved access solution, such as introducing Intune to enable secure BYOD, and leveraging SharePoint’s file-sharing features.
“On Avanade’s recommendation, Chiyoda has adopted Microsoft solutions for IT, and we plan to continue working with Avanade in bringing their outstanding user experience capabilities and use of Microsoft tools for future project execution with us,” Mr. Masukawa said.
Since its establishment in 1948, Chiyoda Corporation has constructed energy plants in over 40 countries worldwide. As a general engineering company, Chiyoda has executed projects in fields such as energy, including oil and natural gas, chemicals and petro-chemistry, medicine, environmental technology and industrial equipment. By utilizing and expanding technology and knowledge obtained through its extensive plant construction experience, Chiyoda provides a wide variety of services in all phases of its customers’ plant lifecycles. (Website: https://www.chiyodacorp.com/)