A team of 5 Convergence staff recently returned from Tokyo after participating in a week of government-organized events. Most notably, Convergence had a booth at Japan IT Week, the largest ICT event of the year in Japan.
What is IT Week?
IT Week is Japan’s largest B2B technology expo – most recently held at Tokyo Big Sight. The event is to provide opportunities and a place for companies to have B2B connections, with attendees from 12 technological sectors, from Cloud Computing to Information Security. Nearly 800 companies attended the exhibition, and around 55,000 people came to visit.
Our Invitation to IT Week
Convergence was among 10 Canadian companies selected by the Canadian government – and the only company from Western Canada! – to present Canadian software technology capabilities including AI and Block chain development to the Japanese market. None of this would have been possible without the support of the BC Ministry of Jobs, Trade & Technology, and Senior Trade Commissioner Julie Poirier and the rest of the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. They graciously organized many aspects of our trip, and planned various other events.
A Snapshot of the Japanese Software Market
Many Japanese companies were searching for strong AI and blockchain technology development partners to implement their products or services. Due to the supply of AI and software engineers in Japan not meeting the current demand for such expertise, Convergence – having its own Japanese team to cater to the Japanese market – was very well received. Furthermore, many Japanese companies are seeking to enter the North American market, and our multi-lingual team composition – 25% speaking Japanese natively – made us an ideal strategic development partner for both sides of the Pacific.
Our Approach to the Japanese Market
To service the Japanese market – and ahead of our upcoming opening of a Tokyo office – Convergence formed its Team Japan, a Vancouver-based in-house team of native Japanese speakers of multiple disciplines. This team includes dedicated staff in development, design and marketing/management. In our relationships with Japanese businesses, they appreciate that Convergence is capable of providing Japanese-language (and Japanese style) services and operations, and, of course, has the cultural awareness needed for effective communicating.
Touring Major Japanese Corporations
Our first day in Japan started with a visit to Softbank (a Japanese Fortune 100 conglomerate) in Shiodome. There, the iconic Sakamoto Ryoma statue was awaiting us. After hearing about how SoftBank has grown and expanded its business since the 1980s, we were given the opportunity to present ourselves to SoftBank, along with our fellow Canadian Tech companies.
The Convergence team was also invited into the Mitsui and Co. headquarters. Mitsui’s offices were very uniquely designed and featured many high-tech collaborative open spaces. Mitsui has vast global operations and we couldn’t help but be impressed by its storied history.
One evening, we attended an event at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo for yet another presentation. Presenting ahead of Convergence was Shopify, and it was inspiring to hear the story of a well-known Canadian success.
Stay tuned for more news on our expanding operations in Japan!
Michael is Design Lead at Convergence. From drawing to design to code, he loves the creative problem solving process.