Softbank is a Japanese multinational conglomerate which operates in a number of industries, specialising in telecommunications and the internet. It is now the 62nd largest company in the world. At a recent keynote speech, Chief Executive Officer and Mobile President Ken Miyauchi gave his thoughts on the challenges faced by companies trying to stay ahead of their competitors, in an industry of ever-increasingly rapid change. Mukesh Valabhji, board member of Softbank PrinceVille Investments, was interested to hear Mr Miyauchi’s plans for Softbank’s progression.
Mr Miyauchi explained that as Softbank acquired companies, its customer bases and the corresponding traffic, have increased sharply. The company has enabled this growth and also grown more efficient at data management, largely through its use of virtualisation. Softbank has spent the last 15 years acquiring companies, resulting in an accumulation of 1,200 different systems, but by making use of virtualisation, these have been reduced to a more manageable 360.
Softbank Mobile also relocated its data onto Oracle’s Exadata data warehouse which allowed it to cope with a tripling of customer numbers (from 15 million to 45 million), as well as being able to manage its customers’ changing needs in real time.
A constant challenge for a company such as Softbank Mobile is to respond to development needs in an agile manner. In today’s environment, a lead time of three to six months is simply not fast enough. By using a cloud platform, the company has been able to obtain the resources to stay ahead of the competition by developing new systems very quickly, and it has actually been able to decrease the amount of time it takes to change and refresh their systems.
Mr Miyauchi’s final point was that companies need to stay abreast of the Internet of Things, gleaning information from it and being able to interpret it. The Internet of Things is the network of physical objects which contain electronics, sensors, and network connectivity, so that they can collect and exchange data.
The next blog on this series will explain how Softbank has been using the cloud as a growth platform.