Furuno globalized their training business with NORRIQ

A hosted, specially developed cloud-based IT operating environment in Denmark makes it possible for Furuno Electric in Japan to offer navigators around the world online training in the use of electronic nautical charts. The training concept has given Furuno a unique edge.

Among the world’s largest companies in electronic nautical charts
Furuno Electric Co. Ltd. has 3,000 employees, a headquarters in Nishinomiya Kobe, Japan, departments all over the world – and is one of the world’s leading suppliers of maritime equipment. Furuno Electric develops and sells essential and often legally required electronic products to shipping companies worldwide, such as electronic nautical charts, ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System).

Could see a new potential
All cargo and passenger ships must, as required by the IMO (International Maritime Organisation), be equipped with electronic nautical charts by 2018 at the latest. But the transition to paperless navigation is not only a matter of installing new hardware on the ships. The use of electronic nautical charts places great demands on navigators’ and captains’ skills and requires thorough training. And it was there that Furuno saw opportunities to strengthen their training business by offering a quality education that actively contributes to improving safety at sea.

A global digital classroom meant IT operations challenges
“We saw an opportunity to expand the business by supplementing our classroom teaching with online distance learning in ECDIS. The biggest challenge was how we could create a high-performance IT operating platform that could distribute our data-intensive simulation software efficiently and securely to shipping companies worldwide,” says Satoshi Miwa-san, Manager, Section 2, International Marketing Department, Furuno Electric Company.

Professional hosting was crucial
Freddie Hansen, CEO, Furuno Denmark, agrees with his Japanese colleague Satoshi Miwa-san, adding: “We did not want to operate or develop the platform itself. Therefore, one of the most important things for us was to find a hosting partner that could help us with both aspects. Furuno selected NORRIQ as a consultant and IT operations partner, and NORRIQ´s 360° competences is playing a central role in that we have been able to realize our ambitions for distance learning.”

360° IT operations solution delivers high performance and security
NORRIQ has delivered a complete 360° IT operations solution consisting of a specially developed cloud-based IT operating environment as well as hosting, hardware, and support. The cloud-based IT operations solution supports computer-aided training, delivers high performance and security, and makes it possible to distribute data-heavy distance learning software globally as a cloud service. In addition, NORRIQ hosts Furuno’s training software and databases in NORRIQ’s hosting centre and is responsible for all delivery and global support of the hardware that students use outside of the shipping companies – including hundreds of PCs, monitors and headsets, keyboards, webcams, and printers.

Facts about the solution 
NORRIQ has delivered a comprehensive 360° IT operating solution consisting of a specially developed cloud-based IT operating environment as well as hosting, hardware and support. The solution supports Computer Aided Training and enables fast and secure distribution of complex remote learning software, delivered as a cloud service. NORRIQ is also hosting Furuno's training software and databases in NORRIQ´s hosting center. Furthermore NORRIQ delivers and supports the hardware used by students in the shipping companies, including hundreds of PCs, monitors and headsets, keyboards, webcams, and printers.

Central management provides full control
With one IT operations supplier for everything, Furuno has achieved a centralized and fully controllable IT operating environment: the cloud solution is always configured for the training software. The training software is always updated, tested, and validated in relation to the maritime authorities’ strict requirements. All updates occur automatically – and everything is distributed efficiently and securely to thousands of course participants across the whole world.

Head start in the market
The cooperation with NORRIQ has meant that Furuno today is the only ECDIS provider that can offer shipping companies local online training with hotline support, so they do not need to send their navigators on time-consuming and expensive trips to Furono’s Danish education centre in Avedøre or any of Furuno’s other authorized navigation schools.

“In cooperation with NORRIQ, we are reaping the full value of having a 360° IT operations partner that can take full responsibility for IT operations, hardware, and support,” concludes Satoshi Miwa-san, Manager, Section 2, International Marketing Department, Furuno Electric Company.

Do you want more inspiration about IT operations?
NORRIQ has 20 years of experience as a total supplier within IT operations, and we can operate your IT in the cloud, at our hosting centre, with Microsoft Azure, with you, or a combination of these.