UCC Holdings Customer Story

UCC Holdings Customer Story

Smarter equips employees to work securely from anywhere

Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, UCC Holdings Co., Ltd. is a group of 77 companies, including the popular Ueshima Coffee Co. Ltd. retail brand. With more than 6,000 employees and operations covering coffee, food wholesale, and general food services, UCC Holdings has a presence across Europe, Asia, and North and South America.

Preparing for remote working
To drive its domestic operations in Japan, UCC Holdings employs more than 2,000 people—most of whom work from offices located across the country. With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on the horizon, UCC Holdings recognized that increased demand on mass transit and road infrastructure would make commuting a tough challenge for many of its staff.

To ensure it could maintain high levels of productivity throughout the Olympic year and beyond, the company targeted an innovative, IT-enabled approach to remote work.

"Our senior leadership team is strongly committed to reimagining our approach to work and collaboration. When I joined UCC Holdings, one of my first priorities was to harness digital capabilities to drive this transformation."
Mr. Toshio Kurosawa, Executive Officer and Chief Information Security Officer, UCC Holdings Co., Ltd.


To help employees work productively and securely from anywhere, UCC Holdings Co., Ltd. partnered with Lenovo to replace its legacy desktop environment with compact, versatile, and mobile-connected Lenovo ThinkPad X390 laptops running Windows 10. Pre-configured with key software using Lenovo’s Ready to Provision Plus offering and managed remotely using Windows Autopilot, the new solutions equip more than 2,000 employees to work in the office, from home, or on the road.

To achieve its goals, UCC Holdings decided to implement Microsoft Office 365 solutions—forming the foundation for improved sharing and utilization of business data. The Office 365 solutions would also underpin a new mobile working environment, empowering employees to work flexibly from anywhere with an internet connection, protected by cutting-edge zero-trust security technologies.

As a first step, UCC Holdings aimed to replace its aging estate of Microsoft Windows 7 office PCs with modern, mobile-ready laptops. With start of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games fast approaching, the company realized it needed to move fast to enable the new remote working capabilities.

“In the past, deploying new PCs required our IT engineers to travel to each of our offices in person and spend between three to four hours installing and configuring each machine,” continues Mr. Kurosawa. “We knew that we’d never meet our aggressive implementation target with this approach. Instead, we looked for a partner that could enable us to replace all 2,000 of our PCs rapidly and with minimal manual effort.”

Selecting versatile, mobile-enabled solutions
After considering proposals from a number of leading IT vendors, UCC Holdings selected Lenovo to deliver its new remote working infrastructure. Based on compact and versatile 13.3” Lenovo ThinkPad X390 laptops running the Microsoft Windows 10 operating system, the new solutions are LTE-enabled—allowing employees to work from their home, office, or even on the move.

“ThinkPad X390 met all of our technical requirements: 4G connectivity for mobile working, lightweight and easy for our people to use, and robust enough to serve our business needs for many years,” recalls Mr. Kurosawa.

He continues: “We see Lenovo ThinkPad X390 laptops as a very strong all-round performer, which is why we selected them for our new business-wide solution.”

Using the Windows Autopilot service, UCC Holdings can automatically download, install, and configure business applications on its new laptops as soon as they connect to a network. By empowering employees to set up their own laptops, the company minimizes the need for IT support and accelerates deployment dramatically.

“The ability to support Windows Autopilot was one of our core criteria for a new IT solution provider, as we saw this is a key enabler for achieving a large-scale deployment to a tight deadline,” comments Mr. Kurosawa. “Of all the vendors we considered, we saw Lenovo as the most dependable. As well as offering high-quality IT solutions, we felt that Lenovo’s aftersales support was by far the most extensive.”

To help eliminate the risk of the corporate network being overloaded by multiple laptops attempting to download large volumes of application data simultaneously during the initial setup process, UCC Holdings chose the Lenovo Ready to Provision Plus (RTP+) offering. With Lenovo RTP+, key software such as Office 365 is pre-loaded on each device before shipment.

“We were rearchitecting our corporate network infrastructure in parallel with our technology refresh, and it was crucial that we not overstress the network,” explains Mr. Kurosawa. “Thanks to Lenovo RTP+, our largest applications were installed at the factory—helping to ensure our corporate network was not overloaded when employees connected their new laptops to the internet for the first time.”

Enabling seamless collaboration
By engaging with Lenovo, UCC Holdings achieved its goal of equipping its 2,000 employees in Japan with mobile capabilities before its deadline. Although the Tokyo Olympics was postponed when the coronavirus pandemic swept around the world in early 2020, the Lenovo ThinkPad X390 solutions meant that the company was strongly prepared to transition to socially distanced working.

Mr. Yoichi Umegaki, Manager of the System Support Department and Work Restructuring Office at UCOT Corporation, comments: “We have received very positive feedback about the new solutions from our business users, and many have reached out to thank us for selecting Lenovo ThinkPad X390 laptops.”

To build on its success in refreshing its legacy Windows 7 PCs with the new Windows 10 laptops from Lenovo, UCC Holdings aims to extend the benefits of Microsoft Autopilot to managing and maintaining PCs and laptops across its global businesses.

"We aim to drive ahead with the worldwide standardization of our IT operations, including our international offices. Lenovo’s global reach makes them the ideal partner to help us with our standardization initiative, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration on future IT projects."
Mr. Toshio Kurosawa, Executive Officer and Chief Information Security Officer, UCC Holdings Co., Ltd.
UCC Holdings Customer Story