LINE Corporation is an enterprise in which operates a communications app ‘LINE’ that boasts more than 78 million active users per month in Japan (as of the end of September 2018). With LINE, which is the basis of the business, the company is also using LINE WORKS and Slack simultaneously based on its purpose. By doing so, LINE corporation is actively leading the communication within global hubs. We interviewed Gamachi Genske from IT support department to listen further about the utilization.
Tell us about your company and your role
LINE Corporation is broadening its scope by starting Fintech business like LINE Pay, as well as starting AI business using intelligent assistant ‘Clova’. According to this, the role of our Enterprise IT center has become growing. As a chief of the IT Support department from Enterprise IT Center, I am responsible for works related to help desk. Implementation of the communication tool is also our work. Lastly, I am also in charge of supporting systems to not only Japan, but also all global hubs including South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Thailand.
What are the communication tools that LINE Corporation is currently using?
Primary company communication tool is definitely LINE, which is the basis of our company. When joining a company, the employees register their LINE ID to LINE WORKS Contacts and use it company-wide. We have organizational level of groups such as Groups for IT support and HR department, as well as other groups made based on its unique characteristics such as nationality or hobbies. Each group actively exchanges information and contributes to the activation of communication. LINE WORKS is the communication tool used all across our affiliates. We assign ID to all the employees who have joined us, and basic tasks such as chatting, mail, calendar, bulletin board and file sharing are done through LINE WORKS. Slack is also used by employees who have a lot of contact with engineering teams and engineers.
How do you distinguish between LINE WORKS and Slack?
Slack is a tool introduced in response to the era of “communication tool for engineers = Slack”. Not only Tokyo, Fukuoka and Kyoto, but also engineers working in development centers in Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia are also using it. If a question is posted on a public channel someone in the public domain replies to the question. It is a very convenient tool for engineers who are used to open source development.
On the other hand, office workers beside engineers are using LINE WORKS as their primary tool. When there is a need to search for employees, LINE WORKS, which allows all the employees to register their face photos and real names on the contacts when entering the company, is more convenient. Many employees love and feel friendly about LINE WORKS because they can use stickers like LINE.
Of course, we do not choose which tools to use solely depending on the job, but who we work with. That means, service planner working together with engineers also use Slack. While Slack feels like we are having a comfortable meeting with a lot of people in an open space, LINE WORKS feels like one-on-one meeting in a conference room. We are distinguishing the use of two different tools and use them in this way. We assign LINE WORKS accounts to all of our employees, including work consignment or dispatched employees and guide them to use the tool separately according to their work.
How do you distinguish between LINE WORKS and LINE?
We communicate with our customers by email, but we sometimes use LINE to contact some of our clients who have established a trust relationship with us. However, in order to prevent us from exchanging company confidential information with personally used LINE account, the auditing division, in which dealing with personal information, clearly prohibits use of LINE in the company and encourage to use LINE WORKS instead. Of course, when the disaster occurs, we check make sure that each employee is safe using LINE. If our communication partner does not check LINE WORKS or Slack, we use LINE in order not to lose the communication.
What was the decisive reason that drove you to turn to LINE WORKS? Also, tell us specific use cases for LINE WORKS
Since we are working as a team of multinational members, we share information regardless of time period. For this reason, we would like to appreciate the LINE WORKS for enabling multinational members to share information in the same environment, can be used both PC and mobile, and have the high security level. We can check work and schedule at anytime anywhere. We can also communicate and share documents with other employees, which boost overall working speed. Multilingual translation is one of the features that we find very convenient.
In order to establish communication with the employees whom entered the company at the same period, we have created a group in LINE WORKS. Because personnel staffs from HR department are also joined the group, employees can easily ask questions or concerns, even if they have newly joined to the company. Of course, after a few months, we will leave our personnel in the chat rooms and run them independently. Since our company has a hiring date twice a month, we are trying to communicate with the newly joined company through such utilization.
How do you want to utilize LINE WORKS in the future?
Since LINE WORKS has a lot of external public APIs, we would like to make more use of it in the future. For example, we do not have a reception desk in offices other than our head office, so we are considering introducing an automatic reception system. ACALL (Acol), an RPA service for visitors, has recently announced linkage with LINE WORKS *. In the future, I would like to make it possible to connect directly with the department that I want to visit by linking with LINE WORKS. It is said that we are one of the companies who provide demanding and meticulous suggestions on LINE WORKS improvements.
We are proud that we have been improving LINE WORKS through dog pudding ※, as we became users from the early stages of its development.
As the number of younger employees increases, we feel that the communication tools of the company are changing accordingly. It is changing from email to chat, and social networking systems. Also, more and more people are not going to use computers or keyboards. As a business operator running a communication application, we would like to practice the look and the way of the new tools for the changing times.
※ ACALL : providing a RPA (Robotic Process Automation) service that automates the response of visitors.
※ Dog pudding : To check the usefulness of testing or improving the beta version of the product and find out the problem for the improvement, while employees use their products or services on a daily basis.
※ All details, affiliations, and positions specified were gathered at the time of interview.