Case Study

Ono Pharmaceutical

Ono pharma case study background

sites are managed on the Acquia Cloud Platform



Ono Pharmaceutical is working to improve the digital experience for patients, their families, and healthcare professionals, not only by providing medicines themselves, but also by supporting patients with information through its website and mobile apps.


The company wanted to renew its website with a secure digital infrastructure that enables comprehensive management and operation of multiple domestic and international websites.

Our Solution

Acquia Cloud Platform, Acquia Edge, Acquia Personalization, Acquia Campaign Studio


To date, more than 20 global sites are running on the Acquia Cloud Platform, including sites for patients, healthcare professionals, and corporate sites, not only in Japan but also in the United States, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Taiwan, and other local subsidiaries.

The Client

Ono Pharmaceutical, founded in Japan in 1717, is a pharmaceutical company that researches, develops, manufactures, and markets pharmaceuticals under the corporate philosophy of "Dedicated to the Fight against Disease and Pain.” Its flagship product, Opdivo®, is one of the top-selling chemotherapy drugs in Japan.

The Situation

To become a highly dynamic company, Ono aimed to improve the value of the digital experience for patients, their families, and healthcare professionals through digital transformation. The company wanted to promote initiatives to support patients not only through the pharmaceutical products themselves, but also through the provision of information through websites and mobile applications. 

To support this initiative, the company, together with its partner SCSK, launched a project to renew its website by adopting a secure digital infrastructure that enables comprehensive management and operation of multiple domestic and international websites.

SCSK is one of Japan's leading system integrators, providing a full line of services from consulting to development, construction, maintenance, and operation to maximize the inherent effectiveness and attractiveness of the website. SCSK has a proven track record in facilitating numerous large-scale website renewals.

The Challenge

There were three key challenges behind Ono's website renewal. 
The first was a challenge to security governance.

The company had been operating and publishing multiple websites, including a website for patients, one for medical professionals, and a corporate website. However, all were built on different system infrastructures and by different vendors, making it difficult to understand the security level of each website, and difficult to say that the security measures were complete. The company's IT department was faced with the challenge of strengthening the security governance of the website.

Second, the company needed to establish a system and structure that could flexibly respond to sudden increases in the number of site visits.

When Tasuku Honjo, a special professor at Kyoto University who developed the chemotherapy drug Opdivo®, was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the company's site traffic spiked. At the time, the website, which was operated on-premises, was not flexible enough to handle the rapid increase in traffic, and the IT department felt the need to implement a cloud-based digital infrastructure with scalability that would allow for flexible expansion of infrastructure resources.

The third challenge was to improve the operational efficiency of the website.

Prior to the renewal, the website was built using HTML, so even minor modifications had to be requested to an external vendor and confirmed before being published. As a result, it took a lot of time and effort to operate the company's website, which was frequently updated, and the departments responsible for the business were demanding improvements.

To solve these issues, the company decided that it was necessary to adopt a content management system (CMS) solution that would allow the IT department to securely manage the website and improve the operational efficiency of the operations department. 

The Solution

Ono began working with SCSK to select a website infrastructure, and after considering various solutions, they decided to adopt Acquia Cloud Platform to execute the website renewal project.

The business goals for this project were, on the system side, "to unify the system to the Acquia platform for security and system operation efficiency," and on the business side, "to implement a content management framework to improve efficiency on the premise of an editorial department (outsourcing of operations)."  Acquia's platform, with its robust security, scalability, and workflow functionality, met the requirements for the project.

The Results

In December 2020, the company launched five websites, including one for medical professionals. To date, more than 20 global sites are running on the Acquia Cloud Platform, including sites for patients, healthcare professionals, and corporate sites not only in Japan but also in the United States, Korea, Taiwan, and other local subsidiaries.

By adopting the Acquia Cloud Platform, Ono's website security risks have been lowered and operational costs have been reduced. Requests to revise content, which were once requested by email, can now be requested and confirmed quickly by utilizing the workflow on the platform. In addition, the approval workflow allows the company to see who made the revision request and the history of the revisions. The approval workflow also meets the company's content governance needs, which, due to the nature of pharmaceutical products, requires accurate management of information to be disclosed by region.

Acquia Edge for security enhancement, Acquia Personalization for personalization, and Acquia Campaign Studio for marketing automation were also implemented. The personalization functionality enables the smooth execution of digital marketing initiatives, such as sending different content based on the medical specialties of the physicians who visit the website. Marketing automation enables the creation and delivery of email scenarios for physicians.

The company has launched more than 10 new websites in the past two years. By standardizing the process for building new websites, the company was able to launch a website for the establishment of a subsidiary in about three months. Moreover, the full range of security measures in place ensures protection from informationleaks or defacement of the website in the event of an unexpected site attack.

The Acquia Cloud Platform, which is built on the open source Drupal platform, also allows other Drupal vendors to build websites by granting appropriate permissions, enabling local vendor support when building sites for specific departments or regions. The company is also working with open source Drupal vendors to develop and deploy their own websites.

The company sees many benefits of open source Drupal and the Acquia Cloud Platform, including robust security, flexible scalability, and a workflow to streamline content management operations. They plans to continue using Acquia Cloud Platform to enhance the value of the digital experience.

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