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Resolving Concerns Regarding Support by Remote Workers
to Create Employment and Realize Diversity
NTT Communications

Relevant SDGs

  • 4: QUALITY EDUCATION
  • 5: GENDER EQUALITY
  • 8: DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH

Enquiries Rose Sharply Once Distribution of Basic Computer Software Started, Making Personnel Shortages an Issue

NTT Communications has been installing products and providing technical support for Company A for many years through our call centers. In 201X, Company A made an announcement about its basic computer software, and this announcement was high profile because upgrading from previous versions of the software to the newest version would improve various functions and enable the use of new functions. However, automatically executing the software upgrade through the internet led to many users becoming confused, and the number of enquiries received by the call center rose sharply, resulting in a rush to secure personnel to receive these calls.

Therefore, NTT Communications focused on its staff of about 1,900 remote workers who have been providing technical support regarding the company's OCN internet provider service since 2001. These workers have all attained NTT Communications' proprietary "Dot Com Master" accreditation and were fully capable of providing support regarding Company A's products. Furthermore, about 70% of the remote workers are female, including part-time workers, and about 30% are senior operators who are 65 or older, and we are also recruiting people with disabilities. This has enabled us to promote diversity and develop employment opportunities that are open to people located anywhere in Japan.

Resolving Issues Regarding Security, Support Skills, and Motivation

Even though we thought Company A might have concerns regarding security, the provision of advanced support skills, and whether the motivation of individual operators could be maintained and improved, we had already resolved these issues by using the latest technology and knowledge.

In regard to security, we developed security solutions specifically for remote work. We provide remote workers with thin client computers which limit the customer information that can be displayed, and also distribute tokens that identify individuals. Furthermore, screenshot can be taken remotely which, together with monitoring through webcams, enables us to monitor customer service records.

In regard to the provision of advanced support skills, we implemented advanced training and quality controls. We use online meetings held using voice, chat, and the like, to assess the proficiency of operators and we have established satellite training centers in major cities which remote workers can interact with on a daily basis. In addition to this, we had already created an environment through which the call center that provides product installation and technical support for Company A could monitor the remote workers and give advice.

Finally, in regard to maintaining and improving the motivation of individual operators, we hold regular social gatherings and study sessions to support remote workers, who usually work alone, and should any issues regarding customer service arise, we exchange opinions on the matter and work to quickly resolve them.

Providing Support by Remote Workers Outside of the NTT Group for the First Time

After proposing these measures to Company A, we underwent a trial period and then officially started providing the service. This was the first time we had provided support services by remote workers to a client outside of the NTT Group. Currently our remote workforce continues to grow and is creating employment on a nationwide scale.

Company A management also told us, "This is a groundbreaking initiative that will significantly change call center work styles," and "Although we had concerns about ensuring the security of remote work, these were solved by your original solutions and we are able to feel at ease."

Major Reports

  • NTT Group Environmental Activities
  • NTT Annual Report 2020

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