Using always-on portals to build relationships across corporate departments and locations
How one of Japan’s largest technology consultancies increases employee engagement with tonari

ITOCHU Techno Solutions

Tokyo ⇄ Osaka
start date

ITOCHU Techno Solutions previously implemented tonari to link their DEJIMA Innovation Space in Shinagawa City with their head office 30 mins away in Minato City, both in Tokyo. They now use it to connect their Osaka and Tokyo offices to deepen collaboration between teams divided by location and to host internal and external-facing events.

Challenges and achievements

  • With the rise of remote work and web conferencing in place of in-person meetings, a better way of communicating was needed
  • Connecting two major offices in Osaka and Tokyo promotes casual conversations across multiple departments, including the administrative department
  • Encouraging the development of the company’s internal community and fostering the creation of new business ideas

Daily Tokyo-Osaka connections

ITOCHU Techno Solutions connected their Tokyo and Osaka offices, two of their largest offices across their many locations throughout Japan, to create an environment where colleagues (especially teams and departments that span both locations) can talk on a daily basis.

As web conferencing becomes a larger part of our working culture, I think tonari offers a huge advantage in allowing us to chat between Osaka and Tokyo anytime we like. Kinoshita-san, employee from Osaka office

Casual, life-sized conversations that increase participation and engagement

ITOCHU Techno Solutions have been transforming their offices with an eye towards new ways of working, and the insights gained from the installation of tonari between Tokyo head office and DEJIMA have been used to create an office environment where tonari is part of their everyday workflow and culture.

I’ve been using tonari for two years, ever since I was involved in the initial project to connect DEJIMA with our Tokyo head office. Interest in tonari has been growing throughout the company, especially from our colleagues in Osaka! Being able to see people in full allows us to understand non-verbal nuances in communication that would otherwise be lost, which improves the feeling of psychological safety by our employees. We expect to see continued improvements in sharing, participation and engagement as a result. Hino-san, Advanced IT Strategy Division from Tokyo office

Fostering intellectual curiosity and an appetite for learning

“Dojo”, in-house online community and learning platform, was founded on intellectual curiosity and aims to foster an appetite for learning and sharing of knowledge, technologies and techniques. Primarily made up of their younger (under-35) engineers across the teams and departments, Dojo regularly hosts various events and activities over tonari.

Activities with Dojo can lead to new ideas and ways of working! We want to create the opportunity to organise fun events like hands-on seminars or boxing tournaments and naturally increase connections across locations and departments. Hongo-san, Advanced IT Strategy Division from Osaka office

Simultaneous events in Osaka and Tokyo

The tonari space on the Tokyo side is designed to be open and inviting, with furniture that naturally draws employees to gather.

ITOCHU Techno Solutions’ tonari (Left: Osaka, Right: Tokyo HQ)

On the Osaka side, tonari is set up in an event space which allows for events and activities with up to 30 people to be held at the same time as Tokyo head office.

Making tonari a natural part of our culture

With web conferencing becoming commonplace and routine both during and after the pandemic, ITOCHU Techno Solutions felt the need for new communication methods that increase employee engagement.

tonari is so unconsciously easy to use! We’d like to create a culture where people naturally gather and engage in real communication using it. We’ll hold more events and create more opportunities for engagement with and awareness of tonari, so that more people get excited about it! Nakagawa-san, Advanced IT Strategy Division

About ITOCHU Techno Solutions

ITOCHU Techno Solutions is a systems integrator that provides comprehensive IT solutions to customers in a wide range of industries. With partnerships with over 300 IT companies both Japanese and international, ITOCHU Techno Solutions combines and connects technologies and products not available in Japan to provide optimal solutions to customers and aims to create a richer, more sustainable society.

About tonari

tonari portals unify remote places, providing natural, energizing, face-to-face communication that actually feels like being in the same room.

Contact us to inquire about demos, pricing, and availability for your locations.