Astellas Pharmaceutical

At a Glance

  • Effective collaboration
  • Pathway to market accelerated
  • Total return on investment achieved fast
  • Employee and management satisfaction increased

Featured Services

Video collaboration technology helps position research company as ethical pharmaceutical developer

Video technology helps position researcher and manufacturer as ethical pharmaceutical developer


Astellas is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Japan, with a global presence in the US, Europe and Asia. Formed in April 2005, as a result of a merger between Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, Astellas is focused on ethical pharmaceutical treatment, with a strong emphasis on the research and development (R&D) into new drug discoveries to significantly improve the lives of people around the world.

In the highly competitive pharmaceutical industry, market advantage is a crucial component for success. The R&D cost of researching and developing new treatments is substantial, and as a result, rapid decision-making on new products is required to ensure a faster-time-to-market. For Astellas, this can sometimes mean changes to products must be turned around at rapid pace, and there must be a stable and reliable system in place and always available to support this. It is for this reason that many pharmaceutical companies turn to video and telepresence technology to help speed development, ensure accuracy and maintain competitive advantage.

Astellas first deployed Polycom video conferencing in 1993 (prior to the merger) with the primary goal to allow all employees, including executives, to communicate with one another more effectively across distances, whilst also helping to reduce travel costs. In 2008, the company took the steps to upgrade the system to expand its global communications network, employing the services of Polycom’s Network Consulting, an assessment service, and Polycom Elite Services, a proactive maintenance service provided by a dedicated team of Polycom technical experts.

Setting Up a Global Collaboration Network

With an effective communications network in place across Astellas’ offices, consisting of over 100 video conferencing systems and endpoints, the company took the step to extend communications to overseas counterparts in the US and Europe, engaging Polycom’s network consulting team to transform the domestic video network into a global collaboration experience. At the same time, Astellas was looking to improve the reach and scope of its work for a faster product development process to aid in global research efforts.

Polycom’s Network Consulting team provided the trigger to solve the company’s global network challenges, delivering a cost-effective, custom-designed solution for Astellas through critical assessment and optimisation of system performance to improve end-user satisfaction and increase video adoption within the company, whilst enhancing overall ROI and efficiency. With industry expertise, Polycom’s network consulting team were able to identify areas requiring improvement and recommend solutions to save Astellas time, money and get them operating much sooner than anticipated.

“Polycom Network Consulting helped to design and implement a highly reliable and scalable video network that has satisfied all our business objectives, and delivered Astellas a tremendous return on investment,” said Mr. Yasumasa Kawata, an Associate Manager of Infrastructure Information Systems, Astellas Pharmaceutical.

The results were clear. High-level executives in Japan, US, Europe were able to collaborate and make strategic decisions much quicker, and the R&D team was able to speed product development, through frequent and rapid exchange of ideas and sharing of content. As a result, Astellas was able to significantly strengthen its overseas medical development, manufacturing, and sales processes in both the US and European regions.

Enhancing the User Experience

Astellas then called in Polycom’s Elite Services experts to optimise the video network and create the most seamless and user friendly communications experience possible. The Elite Services team provided training on video best-practice, which contributed to boosting staff morale and accelerating productivity, resulting in speedier decision making and a quicker time-to-market.

“Polycom’s unique expertise has allowed Astellas to transfer video best practices across the company, saving both time and money. Through training and recommendation, Astellas’ employees can derive the greatest possible benefit from the system,
to work smarter and more productively,” said Mr. Kawata.

In order to encourage adoption, Astellas IT department actively promotes the use of video throughout the company and has achieved ROI within a short period. The system is used for a variety of activities including training, external meetings with partners and new drug launches. Video conferencing is also seen as a vital communications tool for emergency response in any situation, including pandemics.

The Polycom Difference

With a secure and reliable network provided through the Polycom UC Intelligent Core, and supported by Polycom Network Consulting and Polycom Elite Services, the Polycom differentiator for Astellas is clear.

“Having Polycom experts with a thorough knowledge of Astellas own environment, has enabled both a faster and smoother transition to our global video communications network and has dramatically improved the end-user experience, leading to smarter and more productive working. The time to solve issues has been reduced and the results are immediate. Polycom Elite Services is providing a significant contribution to the creation of a stable and reliable communications infrastructure for Astellas,” said Mr. Kawata.

Next Steps

According to Mr. Kawata, global demand for the video conferencing system will only increase in the future, and he is enthusiastic about addressing the challenge of creating a complete unified communications environment, with the continued support of Polycom’s Elite Services professionals.

Learn More

To find out how Polycom solutions can help your organisation, visit us at or speak with a Polycom Account Representative.

  • Have Sales Contact Me