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Sansan: Innovating the way we work

With the mission of “Turning Encounters into Innovation,” Sansan, Inc. provides cloud service for business card management “Sansan” and “Eight.” We also asked them about their thoughts on office design and their efforts to “innovate the way we work.”

We wanted to create a space without walls, where people can feel connected within the company.

  • This summer, your company renewed its Omotesando headquarters. What kind of thought and care went into this office renewal?

We wanted to eliminate the loss of communication within the company by creating a space without walls where people could feel connected within the company. To achieve this, we used glass throughout to develop a sense of freedom and express transparency and freshness. The design also incorporates Sansan’s image colors, blue and passion red.

  • At the time of renewal, you installed Acall Reception at the entrance. The signage images are very nice.

We were hoping to create a sense of unity at the entrance.

We reviewed the photos used on the reception screen of Acall Reception internally to harmonize with the overall design of the entrance, and we selected the most suitable ones.

In-house designers highly evaluate Acall Reception for its flexibility in setting colors and designs and customizing according to the design. The designers even take the initiative and say, “I’d like to do the design!”

Acall reception display at the entrance

The Acall Reception application is installed on a pillar at the entrance. Photos of “scenes of people meeting people” are displayed.

  • What made you choose Acall?

When we selected Acall, we focused on its functions, future development, and customizability. We were impressed by its speed and development potential and decided to adopt it.

I especially like Acall’s flexible settings and easy customization, including its design. For example, we can respond quickly and flexibly to change floor plans within the same location. In addition, we can customize the system to suit the different operations of each department, which has helped us optimize our overall reception operations.

Sansan reception menu

We want to improve the experience of our customers when they come to the conference room.

  • What kind of changes have you seen since the introduction of Acall?
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Before, there was often a line of visitors at the reception desk, and the entrance itself had a cluttered look. These problems have been solved with the introduction of Acall Reception.

We can guide visitors to the waiting area even when the receptionist is unattended by customizing the message displayed after notifying the person in charge. It was a significant change for us.

New reception makes visitors feel welcome

  • You care about the way visitors feel as well as the employees.

I believe that the experience of bringing a visitor into a meeting room is significant. Depending on the quality of this experience, the quality of the meeting afterward will also change. For example, some visitors get tired just by entering the room. I don’t want people to feel like, “I’ve finally arrived…”.

  • I understand that your company is planning to expand its office space in the future. Would you please let us know how the Sansan office will develop in the future and what you expect from Acall?

First of all, I would like to work on improving the efficiency of meeting rooms with Acall.

I’d really like to use the Acall smartphone app to see the status of available meeting rooms and to make reservations for meeting rooms. We used to have a monitor in our office that showed a list of meeting rooms, but it ended up being challenging to understand, and we stopped using it.

We are waiting for the phone app to support ADFS integration and single sign-on so I can use it!

  • We will release single sign-on support for the Acall smartphone app soon, so please look forward to it!

As for the shortage of meeting rooms, we solved some of it by creating open meeting spaces and dedicated internal meeting rooms when we increased the floor space. However, I think there are always a certain number of no-show reservations. A lot of times, a meeting is over early, but the room does not become available. That’s more of a problem than no-show reservations.

  • Acall’s meeting room management function can prevent no-show reservations and reflect the status of room reservations in real-time. We would be happy to help you with that once the ADFS integration is complete.
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In the future, I’d like to not have iPads in the meeting room, but I still want to monitor the situation on my phone. The color scheme, background, and logo design of the apps displayed on the iPad and the installation of the iPad in the first place will change the atmosphere of the room. I want to be particular about the design of the conference room as well.

Thank you very much. We are planning to evolve the Acall Meeting application for meeting room management at a rapid pace. We will refer to your valuable feedback.

I think it is very important to have a balance between freedom and control.

  • Sansan places importance on the theme of “innovating the way of working.” What are you doing to improve the way you work?

To improve productivity, we are trying to create an office where people can choose how they want to work to meet diverse needs as much as possible. You can work in your seat or in the free space called “Stadium,” standing up, sitting down, or even lying on the sofa. Some people even work while riding on a balance ball.

I want to create an environment where people can work freely and choose their location or style. That makes receiving notifications on your smartphone a must.

  • Do you have a remote or flexible work schedule?

Working from home is introduced on a fixed schedule. Engineers often use it when they want to concentrate.

We are having a careful discussion about the flex system. A sense of unity comes from having set hours, and we want to make sure that we don’t fall apart.

  • Is there anything else that you pay attention to in the challenge of creating an environment where people can work freely?

From the perspective of an information system engineer, I think it’s essential to balance accessible and manageable areas.

In general, I think people tend to be more conscious of management, but it becomes difficult for employees if management becomes too strong. But on the other hand, if you give them too much freedom, they will lose control.

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We want to maintain a free corporate culture, and one of the ways we do this is by allowing people to choose where and how they work. One of the ways we do this is by enabling people to decide where and how they want to work. We want to keep this in mind as we expand our office space in the future.

Balance can be maintained when everyone is united.

  • Indeed, there are still many companies with strong surveillance, but the world will require individual-centered work styles and the infrastructure to support them.

That is why we also place importance on the sense of unity of the entire company. When everyone has a sense of unity, we can point our vectors in the same direction and maintain balance. For example, even if there is an incident, the team members will naturally come up with a solution.

  • How do you create a sense of unity?

Specifically, there is a mission for the company as a whole, and then there are department missions tied to the company mission. We also have individual missions and goals. Twice a month, we hold a company-wide meeting to discuss how to build the company by connecting all these elements.

We also use a very simple method to create a sense of unity in our daily work.

We installed iPads in each of our offices to connect to web conferences at all times. We have also installed iPads at the desks of the headquarters of the groups to which we belong. By doing this, we can talk to people as if they are there. If you bring the iPad to a meeting, people from other locations can naturally join in. It’s easier to understand than putting a screen on the wall.

If members work in places where there is no base, we can create a base there. We can develop a sense of unity throughout the company.

Creating an office that meets diverse working styles

There was a lot to talk about, from the introduction of Acall to thoughts on the office and work style. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

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