G4S Japan has created a bespoke 24/7 Global Security Operations Centre (GSOC) exclusively for one customer – a Fortune 200 global cloud-based software company – who prioritises the safety and welfare of their employees across the Asia-Pacific region.
The requirements of G4S Japan were high English and Japanese language skills, the ability to react quickly to any situation and to operate like a public emergency call centre.
Between May and October Japan braces itself for both the typhoon and the monsoon season bringing strong winds and heavy rainfall.
In the event of a serious typhoon, residents may be told to evacuate their homes due to potential flooding, landslides and a risk of homes collapsing. It’s natural disasters such as these where people may be displaced and major incident plans are enacted. In these moments, companies who have a Global Security Operations Centre (GSOC) can put their employees first and check on their welfare.
It’s situations such as these where the exclusive GSOC provides security services aimed at keeping their people safe and checking on them in the aftermath of an incident.
“Ensuring the safety and security of our customer’s employees and G4S Japan’s staff is of paramount importance to us as a company,” said Eiki Hata, Representative Director of G4S Japan. “Since 2019, we have worked with our customer to build a 24/7 function that notifies them of natural or critical incidents, and follows up with their staff in, and around, the affected area.”
Disaster awareness capabilities
G4S Japan’s GSOC capabilities started in 2020. According to a 2019 report Japan dropped to 53rd in global English proficiency, squarely in the “low proficiency” band.
Despite proving difficult to find people who were fluent in both Japanese and English in such a country, G4S Japan succeeded in finding their first staff member and the service was launched. The team has since grown to a team of five operators and a supervisor. The multicultural team is made up of Japanese, Russian, American and Bruneian employees.
They are on hand 24hrs a day, 7 days a week for the customer and their employees, working eight hour shifts.
As well as its disaster awareness capabilities, the GSOC operators monitor access controls into the customers’ Japanese and South Korean offices. If a door is left open for a certain period, the GSOC informs the security officers on the ground to rectify the situation.
They are also responsible for collating reports for the customer, something which proved critical during the pandemic.
“Our customer was keen to understand how many employees were coming into the office at different points throughout the pandemic, so they could ensure their risk assessments were accurate.” Eiki Hata continued.
“The GSOC team were able to regularly pull this information from the data they record via access passes and/or fobs.”
Standing up the GSOC in a time of crisis
While serious incidents are rare, in October 2022 a tragic event saw the GSOC capabilities required more than ever.
On 29 October, 153 people were killed and 82 others were injured after a stampede at a Halloween festivity in Seoul.
As soon as the news of the incident broke, the GSOC team conducted direct, individualised safety checks for 53 employees known to live within a 5 mile (8 km) radius to ensure they had come to no harm.
A more general advisory email was sent to all employees in the greater Seoul area, a total of 206 individuals, to avoid the affected area.
As the GSOC operator, G4S Japan had access in such an emergency situation to the customer’s employee database of contact details. All responses were recorded in real-time so management at the software company were kept informed.
Within 24 hours, 98% of the individuals within the 5 miles radius were accounted for. Full accountability was achieved within 36 hours.
Representative Director of G4S Japan Eiki Hata concluded: “I am incredibly proud of the work my colleagues played in ensuring our customers’ employees were safe following these incredibly sad events.
“Our role for this global customer is not just monitoring doors and alarm systems – we go above and beyond to ensure we help them and their employees remain safe, even when they are out of the office and off duty.”