Users Report / Vol.134
OCC Corporation

After More Than Half a Century Since its Foundation as the First Company Specialized in Information Service in Okinawa, OCC Corporation Has Become the Largest One of the Kind in Western Japan

“We had been carrying out business by ourselves so far for a large part, but presently we are rather committed to the services in which we can offer good commodities quickly and at low cost by forming an alliance with another company.”

Based in Okinawa Pref., OCC Corporation (OCC) has been engaged in computer services for many years ranging widely from consulting to system design/construction and maintenance. At present, OCC is committed to promotion of DX (digital transformation) within the company. As part of this, OCC dared to make personnel changes in this April with bold organizational changes. He says this reflects their thought. “We have to act first because we cannot propose DX to our clients unless we ourselves won’t change”. On the other hand, OCC has been preparing the environment for remote working since about 5 years ago. Last year, due to the recent Coronavirus crises, more than 200 employees worked remotely, falling on one third of all the employees, and this year around 100 of them constantly do so. At the same time, an attempt is being made to figure out its advantages and disadvantages such as issues of how to make personnel evaluation. Under these circumstances, OCC has just started to collaborate with FORUM8, one of their users of iDC (Internet Data Center) service, in a new way, according to Mr. Susumu Ameku, President and CEO of OCC.

Our user to pick up for this issue is OCC that is familiar with the latest expertise related with informatization, boasting of a great wealth of accumulated know-how that reflects the characteristics of local communities. Just recently, OCC introduced “UC-win/Road”, FORUM8’s 3D real-time VR software, which the Company had been interested in for its possibility. OCC is planning to spread VR to the local governments and the construction industry in Okinawa Pref. and assist them for utilization of VR, promote use of iDC services that are getting diversified and advanced, and collaborate with the next-generation VR service of FORUM8.

(Left) Mr. Takahiro Kondo, Executive Officer;
(middle) Ms. Ritsuko Kochi, Director of Administration Division;
(right) Mr. Norikazu Shinzato, Senior Consultant, Platform Solution Division)

 Leading Computerization of Okinawa over 55 Years

It was 1966 that “Okinawa Denshi Computing Center Co., Ltd" (Shimoizumi-cho, Naha-shi) was established by volunteers from the local business community. It was the first computer-service specialized company in Okinawa Pref. and a predecessor of OCC. The company has reached 55th anniversary this year since then.

Later, the Company rapidly responded to Okinawa-related historical events as well as institutional reforms that have influences on society in a wide range such as Okinawa Reversion to the Mainland (1972), change in currency from Dollar to Yen accompanying the Reversion, and transferring authority of tasks, Okinawa Ocean Expo ’75 (1975-1976), Kyushu-Okinawa Summit (2000), changing Gengo (the name of an era), and revision of consumption tax. Meanwhile, the Company has been playing a great role of supporting regional development from the aspect of informatization through provision of “ONET (OCC online network) service” for administration and value-added network service “OCC-VAN”, and holding business show.

On the other hand, in 1986, the Company changed its name to the current one, “OCC Corporation”. In 1992, OCC completed the current head office’s building (Urasoe city) and moved into it.

OCC Corporation
Location: Urasoe-shi, Okinawa
Business information:
Founded in 1966 as a computer-specialized company originated in Okinawa. It has 616 employees (including group companies). OCC Corporation provides business services including "System development/operation and maintenance”, “equipment and software marketing/maintenance”, “data center”, and “BPO service”.
Mr. Susumu Ameku,
President and CEO,
OCC Corporation

OCC presently provides services for the nation, prefectures, municipalities, hospitals, and other private companies in a wide range with the following as the main services:
1) “System integration” to perform from development of systems based on the clients’ needs to its maintenance and management in an integrated way; 2) “Cloud service” to support the clients to develop their cloud-based environment; 3) “iDC service” to offer highly qualified iDC solutions by looking after the clients' servers and ensure safety and security; 4) “Disaster recovery service” that protects the clients’ profits by preparing backup systems or replication systems in time for unexpected disasters or accidents; 5) “Computer maintenance service” that deals with hardware maintenance, software trouble shooting, and solutions for network faults; 6) “Network solutions” to build up network environment that is highly convenient with advanced network technology; 7) “Security solutions” to provide information security measures most suitable to the clients; 8) “Contact service” to advise the clients rapidly and properly about troubles of hardware and software or the question during the time of using the system; 9) “Internet-related service” including an Internet service provider “Southern X”; and 10) “Data entry service” that supports generation of huge amount of data. Especially, the service system that provides one-stop services to meet the clients' needs for system construction by integrating these diverse kinds of business, cloud service, and expertise OCC has been accumulating over many years as a system integrator consist the characteristics of OCC. Other than the head office, OCC has Tokyo Branch Office, Naha-, Northern-, Miyako-, and Yaeyama Branches, and OCC Data Center. About 620 employees are stationed at these bases. Started with only 16 employees at its establishment, OCC is now positioned as the largest company in Western Japan as a specialized computer-service company.

New Data Center of OCC established in 2015. Taken up occupation in Okinawa Telecommunication Center, OCC utilizes the latest facilities.
Provides the BPO service in cooperation with the data center collaboration platform.

 Paying Attention to Potential of UC-win/Road, Aims to Spread It in Okinawa

“About 4 years ago when a new company of FORUM8 (currently Okinawa Branch Office) was established in Okinawa, I saw UC-win/Road for the first time and thought that it was so good.”

In Okinawa, when constructing a facility on public land, it is still the main style to use a model in giving an explanation to the residents or land owners. However, if it would become possible to show it with VR using UC-win/Road, image of the plan could be understood more easily, and in case of a change in design, version management would allow them to confirm the situations later and to store the data with ease. President Ameku also mentions its advantages in consensus building, which has been remaining unresolved so far among local governments. According to him, it enables the user to have a bodily feeling within VR from various angles with its superb power of representation and realistic reproduction of the site, making it possible for the residents to easily understand the dreams of town planning expressed by many local government heads with rich imagination.

However, since it was only President Ameku at that time who had a chance to touch it, time passed without producing marketing results. In addition, when he talked about VR he had experienced with UC-win/Road every time he could to the local government heads or others, they would show interests similarly. However, when he made a proposal, it was rather hard to develop the issue. With such background, he made discussion with FORUM8. Based on its result, he changed the approach into the one that firstly, OCC itself would introduce UC-win/Road, and try to spread it while presenting the sample cases. Ahead of the view was a direction of vision that they wanted to promote participation of not only local governments, land owners, constructing companies, and construction consultants involved in town planning, but also children. It was aimed to make an opportunity for children to take pride in their local communities, as well as to study how to utilize ICT (information communications technology), through town planning.

 Approach to Increasing Users of UC-win/Road

While making efforts to allow the users within Okinawa to better understand UC-win/Road, OCC tried to support the clients who have a need but “can’t make full use of it”. In doing so, they also decided to promote proposal of solutions using the inhouse data center as well as provision of the environment for using UC-win/Road with cloud services.

However, as there are still few cases of utilizing UC-win/Road they can present, their main targets are set to promote its use to the urban planning divisions of local governments that are OCC's existing clients, as well as to strengthen sales to the construction industry. In doing so, along with package sales of UC-win/Road, they will build up an environment of utilizing UC-win/Road at the Data Center of OCC to provide a new menu of the cloud service, too. This is their current stance, according to Mr. Norikazu Shinzato, Managing Director (Senior Consultant, OCC Platform Solution Division) of C&C Okinawa Inc., which is entrusted from OCC with computer maintenance and operation of the Data Center etc.

Furthermore, they also assumed increase in needs; for example, a service of storing data to be generated through such efforts, and strengthening the database function to connect with future services for local governments on the estimation that diverse kinds of data would be accumulated. For instance, it is also planned to apply to the “Supercity”, which started up after Law on Special National Strategy Areas passed in May 2020, and “Smart City” that went into action preceding it, both of which are the schemes for realizing diverse and up-to-date services for the local residents using “data-coordination platform” as their core, according to Mr. Takahiro Kondo, Executive Officer, Director of Public Social Solutions Division, which takes charge of marketing in OCC including system proposal for the nation, prefectures, municipalities, and other public agencies such as hospitals.

On the other hand, it was an urgent need for OCC to train human resources having a thorough knowledge of new ICT areas such as IoT, AI, and VR (UC-win/Road) within the Company. Then, Ms. Ritsuko Kochi, Director of Administration Division, who was engaged in system proposal in Local Government Division of OCC and took the current post in April this year, says that they are promoting not only DX within the Company but also employee training.

Aims at developing diverse and state-of-the-art services for the residents by Constructing digital cities using UC-win/Road, and further realizing smart cities and super cities. (Left) driving image of the urban area in Okinawa Pref. (Right) Evening view of Naminoue Beach.

 Potential of New VR Service

“I thought this was nice because it did not limit devices (to use as it could be used with any kind of terminal with a browser including the smart phone).”

President Ameku mentions "FORUM8 Virtual Platform System (F8VPS)” released by FORUM8 in the last May, as one of the VR-related services that attract his attention.

F8VPS is used to construct a variety of virtual systems of spaces using versatile WebGL technology. Its basic functions include the following:
1) Space Sharing Function, which allows users to share virtual spaces represented in 2D and 3DVR virtual spaces with other users; 2) Layout Function, which enables cooperation with comprehensive 3DCG software "Shade 3D" for flexible and advanced capability of expression; 3) Web Conference Function, which is used to facilitate remote communication; 4) VR Mode, which allows the user to switch 2D view to 3DVR view, glass-less 3DVR view, or to immersive 3D display using Head Mounted Display (HMD); 5) Log Function, which is used to collect users' behavior history in virtual space as big data and analyze them; and 6) Login Function, which is used to connect the user authentication system and the log function to enable visualization of the flows of users in the virtual space. Its options are also available as follows: 1) Health Management Function, 2) Groupware Function, 3) EC Payment Function, and 4) Questionnaire / voting Function. By using 3D VR space and communication tools such as the avatar, it can also be applied to promotion of more effective teleworking, virtual showrooms or virtual offices, virtual campuses, virtual trade shows, virtual factory visit, on-the-job training, or business management.

F8VPS enables what "VR-Cloud ®", a conventional consensus-building solution using 3D VR on the cloud server can do on the Web browser, without installing any dedicated application. Its advantages include not only that it can be used with any kind of terminals, but also that it always provides new contents.

In particular, local governments in Okinawa want to show information to land owners and such in a form easy to understand as much as possible when constructing a facility etc., according to President Ameku. In this sense, he is looking forward to the needs for the browser-base functions of F8VPS supporting a variety of use situations.

 VR-related New Services to Develop in Collaboration with FORUM8

"When we say 'ICT', people tend to think of (some special) expert tasks."

President Ameku emphasizes that good business development can be formed by starting with a question "what do we want to do?", and in doing so, discerning what they can deal with adequately by themselves from what they can't. Then they should search for an alliance partner who is good at what they are not, and collaborate with the other one.

Originally, he himself was attracted by the VR technologies of FORUM8. when OCC's new services related with VR were examined, he was convinced that collaboration with FORUM8 would make it possible to client development of the service for sure and before others.

"I think the best way is to remove the barriers of thinking whether the partner is in the same industry or not, collaborate with a company having the same vector, and develop business together.

(Written by Takashi Ikeno)
(Up&Coming '21 Summer issue)