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

07 August 2018 Consultancy.asia 3 min. read

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.”