• 07-NOV-2018

People, Methodology and Trust: Pwc’s Tokyo Experience Center

On Oct. 3, 2018, PwC hosted an Analyst Day in their Japan Experience Center. Analyst firm TBR was in attendance. Patrick Heffernan of TBR recapped his experience in an Event Perspective note. 
 
Koichiro Kimura, PwC’s Japan group chairman and territory senior partner, kicked off the day with “the firm’s growth and strategy in Japan as well as initiatives launched by both the Experience Center and the firm’s Data & Analytics (D&A) practice.” Business-wide leaders and local clients provided examples of PwC’s offerings, including cybersecurity, business process reengineering, artificial intelligence and change management.
 
The location of the event illustrated PwC’s commitment to extending their BXT approach across the globe. Per Heffernan, “After spending a day with PwC Japan’s local leaders, hearing client stories and listening to how the firm will adapt to the “Business, Experience, Technology” (BXT) approach championed by the new Experience Center in Tokyo, it comes as no surprise the firm earns more than half of its consulting revenue from technology-related engagements.”
 
The firm outlined challenges in the local landscape including “overregulation, terrorism and geopolitical uncertainty as the top three threats to growth…the availability of key skills, especially in digital and emerging technologies.” Additional context around the marketplace, includes “local companies have expressed a renewed interest in overseas M&A opportunities, in part due to saturation of the Japanese market.” The research concluded, “Even after folding in cybersecurity issues and overall political and economic risk, plus the costs associated with post-merger integration, the M&A picture appears positive, but quietly so.”
 
In discussing the global business landscape and how it relates to Japan, the overwhelming sentiment of the day was summed up by PwC’s leaders, “PwC’s local leaders, including Susumu Adachi, Consulting CEO (Japan); Yukinori Morishita, Group Markets leader; and Nobuaki Otake, Business Transformation lead partner, repeated the message that PwC’s expanding role in Japan revolved around trust.”
 
The report details three client stories that were illustrative of PwC’s “opportunities and challenges in the Japanese market”, as laid out by Heffernan, below:
  1. The “Hiroshima Sandbox” story:  “A clear business case story emerged, illustrating how PwC had developed a technology-enabled solution to what likely constitutes a widespread problem: Researchers benefiting from government funding must meet high standards of accountability and transparency, which frequently require researchers to dedicate valuable research time to administrative and accounting tasks. By digitizing many of these tasks and taking them to the cloud, PwC essentially helps Japanese researchers in Hiroshima focus on doing research, while simultaneously increasing transparency around government funds.”
  2. “A second client story centered on cybersecurity services…PwC provided to a regional utility company in advance of and through the May 2016 G7 Conference in Ise-Shima. Given the high stakes and the utility company’s concern around cyberattacks on its operational infrastructure, PwC provided comprehensive risk assessment, penetration testing, simulations and response testing, all specific to operational technology (OT) and aimed at developing preventive actions and quick-response counter measures. According to the client, PwC Japan’s cybersecurity team had relevant experience and individuals with the most expertise, making vendor selection relatively easy.”
  3. “The third important client story came from a product developed by PwC specifically to solve a persistent business problem. Japanese companies struggled to accurately forecast the wholesale power price, leading to uncertainty and unnecessary volatility. PwC constructed a forecasting platform with built-in automation and visualization, signed up 15 pilot clients, and will sell the service on a subscription basis. Setting aside the technology aspects, this story became the perfect capstone on the Analyst Day event for three reasons: First, PwC created a solution to a business problem, rather than taking a piece of technology and looking for a way to apply it; second, by selling through a subscription model, PwC expands its own business model and potentially open doors within those clients to pull-through additional PwC services; third, PwC intends to replicate the asset, potentially in Taiwan. Although PwC did not demonstrate the platform and its user interface, TBR expects it meets the firm’s standards for customer experience, providing all the necessary components for a successful BXT engagement.”
Learn More
  1. To view our experience center, one of over 30 worldwide, and learn more see https://digital.pwc.com/en.html#/video-global-experience-centers
  2. Analyst Days give us the opportunity to share what we are doing with the Analyst Relations community. See what analysts are saying about us: https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/about/analyst-relations.html
  3. At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 158 countries with more than 236,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com
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