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The business environment surrounding enterprises is beginning to change significantly. Firstly, there are growing geopolitical concerns due to trade and tariff issues arising throughout the world. We must review where to manufacture products, where to procure parts, and also our pricing strategy. Moreover, here in Japan, as we move further into the era of the aging society and the productive population decreases, we also need to review how to improve labor productivity. Along with such external factors, and in addition technical factors such as the shift to multi-cloud and utilization of data using IoT/AI, we are entering an era when everything will be connected by the 5th generation mobile telecommunications system that will begin full-scale operation in 2020, making it more important than ever to address threats to security.

Since I was appointed as president at the end of July this year, I have met and talked with many of our customers and partners in Japan. Through these discussions, we been able to respond rapidly to the changing environment surrounding our customers, and in the process we have gained an even stronger desire to “help these customers make their digital transformations.” As someone who until a few years ago was attempting to capture the needs of the Japanese market as Chief Technology Officer of Asia-Pacific and Japan, I consider it a great honor to have been blessed with the opportunity to come back to Japan and lead Cisco Japan.

Looking back on FY 2018, Cisco Japan has been able to achieve its ninth consecutive quarter of growth. In addition to providing a total of ten joint IoT solutions with companies such as FANUC, Yamazaki Mazak and Yokogawa Solution Service, we have started up smart city demonstration projects in Kyoto City and in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi area. We have also created a platform utilizing our next-generation network architecture and provided it to Sega Sammy Holdings, contributing to a reduction in that company’s data center operating costs. Moreover, by proceeding to transform our business structure, we have accelerated the expansion of our portfolio to include software in addition to hardware, and achieved substantial growth in our subscription model recurring business. We have also continued to expand our presence in the small and medium enterprise business—an area we are focusing on as a business rooted in the Japanese market, and we have begun new initiatives towards the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in the sports and entertainment area.

In our business strategy for FY2019, we will continue to develop the above initiatives and aim at sustained growth based on the theme of “co-creation of digital innovation with our customers and partners.” This co-creation requires first and foremost a secure and intelligent platform. We must also accelerate our pace of development. To achieve this, we have established “realization of multiple brands,” “creation of networks for a new era,” “data,” “security as a platform” and “creation of valuable experiences” as the five pillars of our solution strategy, and we intend to interconnect and strengthen these areas.

Digital transformation is taking place in a variety of industries such as automobiles, manufacturing, distribution, finance, medicine and education. Cisco would like to become a valued strategic partner for digital transformation in the areas of business, society, technology and human resources. We believe that we can contribute to the transformation of business and society through eco-partnerships, human resource development and emergency responses in the event of disasters. The transformation of technology has only just begun, but we would like to utilize our Innovation Centers and proceed with the incubation and M&A of start-ups.

Human resources are another key area. Over 1,000 people have now taken the Cisco Japan Cybersecurity Scholarship Program that we have been implementing since April 2017 with the aim of equipping cybersecurity personnel with new skills for their future. As the threat of cyber attacks increases ahead of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, there is estimated to be a shortage of 200,000 security personnel in Japan. We would like this program to contribute in some way to filling this gap.

The foundation and core of Cisco’s business is cybersecurity. Cisco is strengthening security in its products and technology, in addition to strengthening cybersecurity through partnerships and technology standardization with organizations such as the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) and JPCERT Coordination Center (JPCERT/CC).

Cisco Japan will continue to provide secure and intelligent platforms to co-create digital transformation with our partners and with society in general.

Originally Posted at: https://apjc.thecisconetwork.com/site/content/lang/en/id/9676