Kansai Electric Power looks to generate new opportunities with Accenture joint venture

07 August 2018 Consultancy.asia

Global professional services firm Accenture has formed a new joint venture with Kansai Electric Power of Japan – K4 Digital. The new company will seek to create new business opportunities for the utilities provider through the use of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, IoT, and advanced analytics.

With an 80 percent / 20 percent ownership split between Kansai Electric Power (KEPCO) and Accenture, the K4 Digital joint venture will seek to enhance both the utility company’s existing business processes and personalised customer experiences while also looking to generate new business opportunities through the adoption of digital technologies.

While the power company has already begun its digital transformation journey to drive operational efficiencies in certain areas, such as by using customer smart meter data to optimise and safeguards grids through more accurate usage and production forecasts, the new joint venture aims to accelerate the process by integrating rapidly evolving digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and the internet of things (IoT) into its core processes.

IoT technology combined with advanced analytics and machine learning for example can dramatically improve efficiencies through digital predictive maintenance – such as by alerting to potential grid breakdowns, required maintenance and the scheduling of replacement equipment – in turn eliminating superfluous activity, reducing costs and even enhancing safety.Kansai Electric Power of Japan looks to generate new opportunities with Accenture joint ventureThe development of such an analytics-based maintenance solutions platform for KEPCO is stated as a primary goal of the K4 Digital venture, along with the automation of the power company’s internal processes and the enhancement of its personalised customer service offerings based on their individual power consumption data. K4 Digital will start providing services for KEPCO at the beginning of September.

Accenture senior managing director and Resources practice leader for Japan, Shinji Igarashi, said of the newly formed venture; “Accenture is committed to using our deep knowledge and experience in the latest digital technologies and methodologies, including AI and advanced analytics, to help KEPCO not only transform business processes but also to turn business challenges into opportunities.”

Igarashi continued; “K4 Digital will be at the core of KEPCO Group’s data utilisation platform, and Accenture will provide K4 Digital with advanced insights supported by the digital expertise based in our recently expanded Kansai office.” The Kansai office of Accenture in Osaka was announced for expansion in February, with the intention to increase its headcount to 1,000 local professionals (of approximately 10,000 currently employed by the professional services giant throughout Japan).

Managing Director in Kansai and Accenture APAC sales leader Tokinao Tonomoto said at the time; “The Kansai region has many companies with global expansion ambitions that are keen to increase their use of IoT and other digital technologies and want local support with global expertise, which is precisely what we can deliver by being in our clients’ backyard… Our clients in the Kansai region consider their unique regional culture and their contacts with each other to be extremely important, and we will make every effort to work together with clients in a committed fashion to contribute to their long-term growth.”

Leading South Korean law firm Yulchon joins Taxand global network

19 April 2019 Consultancy.asia

Global tax specialists Taxand has admitted a new member firm in South Korea; Yulchon, pushing the network’s representation to 48 countries worldwide.

Born in 2005 in the wake of the Enron scandal as an alternative, independent tax-focused enterprise, Taxand has since grown to include member-firms on every continent, with a collective headcount of over 2,000 advisors worldwide. Adding to that list; Yulchon, a leading South Korean business law firm with more than 400 lawyers and 80 tax advisors of its own.

“Joining Taxand allows us to provide clients with the highest quality, cross border tax advice,” said Yulchon tax partner Kyu-Dong Kim. “Taxand’s international network provides a positive differentiation from other East Asian tax and legal firms. Its reputation for independent, specialist expertise fits well with Yulchon’s culture and we look forward to strengthening both our local and international tax services.”

A 2017 Chambers and Partners’ National Law Firm of the Year winner consistently recognised for its innovation, Yulchon was founded in Seoul in 1997 by five of South Korea’s leading attorneys to create “a village of lawyers”, with two decades of organic growth seeing the firm add international offices in Shanghai, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Moscow, Jakarta and Yangon.Leading South Korean law firm Yulchon joins Taxand global networkAccordingly, with the admission of Yulchon to its network, Taxand has now significantly expanded its Asia presence – its coverage in ten key Asia Pacific economies (including Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and India) among the organisation’s representation in over 50 countries stretching to every corner of the globe, from Oslo to Melbourne and from Buenos Aires to Mauritius with the US and just about every European nation in between.

“Yulchon is a welcome new addition to the Taxand family, bolstering our strength in East Asia,” said Taxand Chairman Frederic Donnedieu de Vabres, a former Arthur Andersen consultant. “The firm will give our clients a broader scope of specialised tax expertise across the region. Our network has grown significantly in recent years and we look forward to working with our new colleagues and their clients.”

Be it in the areas of compensation, financial, energy, mergers & acquisition, real estate, disputes, or others, Taxand describes itself as entirely focussed on the tax aspects – “we do tax, and only tax. No audit or attest issues” – leveraging its global network to serve clients with their both local and international and cross-border tax advisory needs. In the US and UK the network is represented by Alvarez & Marsal affiliate A&M Taxand.