Interview with Mr. Takeshi Fukuda, President, CommuniCloud Japan. Co., Ltd.

Q. Please give us an overview of your company’s business.

CommuniCloud is an audio and video conferencing solutions company headquartered in Australia. CommuniCloud Japan is headquartered in Yokohama and we are a 50-50 joint venture with Japanese and foreign capital. Since we have a lot of experience facilitating international business communication including navigating cultural differences, we can assist companies located in Yokohama by offering international communications solutions tailored to the needs of each company. Since we provide consulting in English as well as Japanese, we can be of help to foreign companies that have just set up office in Japan too.

Japan has a unique characteristic that is different from western cultures when it comes to audio and video conferencing. The Japanese traditionally value face-to-face interactions, and there is a tendency in the Japanese business community to prefer video over audio conferencing regardless of the content or format of the meeting. In western countries, audio conferencing is very popular too, and the fact is that there are many meetings that can be done perfectly with audio only, without the use of video or screensharing. Our audio conference system has a simple design, requires only a phone line and guarantees high-quality sound even when 8 to 12 people are on the call at the same time. Skype and other free audio/video call tools were originally designed for personal use, so there can be connectivity and sound quality issues when many people join the call at once. This could lead to losses in productivity and business opportunities. We offer a reliable system that ensures connectivity and sound/image quality as well as all-round support services to ensure that issues are dealt with quickly when they arise.

CommuniCloud is a cloud-based service, so our clients can join a conference call via web browser, mobile app (if they have it on their device), or landline. We hope to introduce the advantages of using a dependable system like CommuniCloud to many businesses here in Japan.

CommuniCloud at ET/IoT Technology 2018

CommuniCloud at ET/IoT Technology 2018

Q. What are the main functions of your Yokohama location?

We are offering our audio/video conferencing and related services to Japanese customers. It is very meaningful to have a local office here in Japan, because Japanese business is still very much channel and relationship based. In Japan, success will not come easily if you to try to sell a product or service directly to a new customer. However, by identifying partners and cultivating long-lasting relationships with them, you can gradually expose your product to a wider net of potential clients, and also increase the value of your product on the way. To build these organic business relationships, I think it is important to have a local presence.

Also, we are able to accurately capture the unique needs of our Japan-based clients, which has been extremely helpful for us. We think it is crucial to have a local office with local staff capable of communicating effectively with clients and reporting back what they learn to our headquarters. This helps us improve our business overall.

Japanese clients are generally very detail-oriented, and some foreign businesses might find this cultural difference quite challenging. However, as a matter of fact, if you can make Japanese customers satisfied, you probably have a product or service that can be sold anywhere else in the world. All the detailed questions and requests from our Japanese clients have helped us make improvements to the overall quality of our services, and we feel more ready to tackle the global market.

Q. Since you are a foreign company that established your primary Japan location in Yokohama, can you tell us what you think about Yokohama as a business location?

My first impression of Yokohama was that of a port city that is busy but not too busy, offers good quality of life, and hosts many businesses including major companies. If asked whether I would recommend Yokohama to other companies, I would certainly say yes. It has a lively business environment and good access to central Tokyo, so there are many reasons why we can call Yokohama an ideal business location.

I think that expatriates will really enjoy being in Yokohama. The city is more spacious compared to the cramped conditions in Tokyo, but it’s still relatively easy to get to the middle of Tokyo for business. I haven’t felt any issues with regards to distance from clients. On the other hand, our clients are often more interested when they hear we are in Yokohama. When I hand my business card to a new client, I am often asked “Where in Yokohama?” I tell them we are in Kannai just by the Yokohama stadium, and that naturally leads into a fun exchange about baseball. The fact that we are in Yokohama has been a great icebreaker for business interactions.

Company Overview

November 16, 2018 at ET/IoT Technology 2018

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