Tokyo (December 20, 2021) - Change Inc. (Change) and Konica Minolta Publitech, Inc. (Konica Minolta Publitech) are pleased to announce that the companies have concluded a basic agreement on the establishment of a joint venture for promoting digital transformation (DX) in local governments. They have entered the final phase of negotiations to establish the joint venture early next year.
The joint venture will further deepen collaboration between Change and Konica Minolta Publitech in developing a local government DX support platform. It will harness Change’s superb AI analysis technology, consulting know-how, and platform administration expertise, as well as the operational datasets of local governments across Japan (about 200,000 officials who work for 120 local governments), which were collected by Konica Minolta Publitech, to strengthen the ability to make proposals for business process re-engineering (BPR*1). The joint venture will thereby accelerate the standardization and online accessibility of systems, which are being promoted by the Japanese government, by supporting the introduction of “local government services to ensure that no one is left behind” to eliminate disparities among local governments in terms of IT literacy and services for residents depending on the location and scale.
Purpose of the Joint Venture
- Change, which is one of the largest platform holders in Japan, has contracts with more than 90% of local governments across Japan, while Konica Minolta Publitech has collected 1.9 million operational datasets from local governments across the country. The two companies will strengthen collaboration to enhance their ability to make BPR proposals and maintain a competitive advantage into the future in the rapidly expanding local government DX market.
- The local government DX support platform will be introduced to the business platform in the LGWAN*2 environment, which is operated by Change, at an early stage to establish a de facto standard for operational standardization and deploy this to local governments across Japan.
- The joint venture will offer more effective and powerful solutions by expanding opportunities for collaboration with various vendors and will help local governments across Japan to realize smart cities and thereby improve citizens’ lives.
New Values Brought by the Joint Venture
- Elimination of disparities among local governments in IT literacy and services for residents depending on the location and scale
- Achievement of a workstyle which enables local government officials to work from anywhere and at any time
- Improvement of the level of services for residents by local governments and enhancing the job satisfaction of local government officials
With the growing need for DX in local governments, Change has been pioneering efforts to develop AI for public offices, support the use of various digital solutions, and develop human resources.
Konica Minolta has collected 1.9 million operational datasets and has been working to streamline and standardize government jobs in collaboration with 120 local governments based on the BPR approach, which has been refined through many years of operations in the manufacturing industry, in anticipation of the unification and standardization of local governments’ backbone systems promoted by the Digital Agency.
The two companies have helped increase the operational efficiency of 120 local governments across Japan and improve services for citizens through the joint development of the local government DX support platform, which enables the government-wide classification of jobs that can be done only by “local government officials” and “those that can be done by non-government employees” and leads to improvement of the operational flow, by “visualizing” the work volume and procedures by linking the know-how and data collected by Konica Minolta with Change’s outstanding AI development expertise.
In 2022, respective local governments will launch full-scale efforts to standardize their systems. They will be required to redefine their operations and set the goal of meeting the system specifications determined by the Japanese government. They are expected to standardize their systems by 2025, the deadline set by the government. The joint venture will help local government officials achieve this major reform efficiently and effectively.
In collaboration with Trustbank, Inc., which is one of Change’s subsidiaries and administers one of the largest hometown tax portal sites in Japan, and Digital Growth Academia, Inc., which supports training of DX human resources in local governments across Japan, the joint venture will offer the local government DX support platform to many local governments,*3 which are customers of the Change Group, and acquire AI analysis technology, consulting know-how, and the ability to administer the platform. It will also deploy services in active collaboration with consulting firms and system integrators, which offer services to local governments across Japan, and accelerate operational standardization in local governments.
In the future, Konica Minolta Publitech will collaborate with healthcare, nursing care, imaging-IoT solutions, and planetarium businesses of Konica Minolta, Inc. and support local governments, which are working to develop smart cities, by utilizing know-how acquired by the joint venture.
*1BPR (business process re-engineering): A strategy to conduct a fundamental review of an existing organization and structure toward the original objectives of operations, and to redesign the business processes, including the current operations, flow, and system, to achieve a drastic reform.
*2LGWAN: Local Government Wide Area Network, which is exclusively designed to connect local governments.
*3About 810 local governments which have introduced “LoGo Chat,” a business chat tool provided by Trustbank exclusively for local governments (including those which have introduced the tool on a trial basis), and about 1,600 local governments, which have introduced “Furusato Choice,” one of the largest hometown tax portal sites in Japan.