Case 2.1. System Modification for Japan
by Junichi Yoshida
(Reprinted by permission of Junichi Yoshida and Infosys)
Note: This section was adapted and used by permission of the author and of Infosys.
This case study was developed by Junichi Yoshida, a Japanese Infosys engineer, for use
in internal Infosys training to illustrate cultural differences in the way business is
conducted in Japan and India. The events in the case are compiled and simplified from
several different experiences the case writer observed while working for Infosys. The
case itself therefore is a fictitious event.
As the broadband penetration rate in Japan increased, Nippon Tele Communication
(NTC) thought that there was a business opportunity for VoIP (Voice over Internet
Protocol) service to Japanese consumers. NTC selected the system used by ATC (a U.S.
company) for its information technology (IT) system for this application, although it
realized that significant modifications and enhancements would be required for the
Japanese context. Infosys had worked with ATC to develop this application.
Infosys Japan thought that Infosys had a good chance of getting the opportunity to do
the system modifications and enhancements for the NTC project. Tanaka-san, a Japanese
Infosys sales manager, visited NTC in early November 2003 about bidding on the work,
but was told by NTC’s head of IT that NTC was in the process of choosing Nippon
Information System Processing (NISP) to do the system modifications. Tanaka-san asked
why Infosys Japan had not received an RFP (request for proposal) for this Japanese
localization work and was told there had not been an RFP. Not ready to give up on this
opportunity, Infosys asked ATC to recommend Infosys to NTC. This tactic worked well.
ATC recommended Infosys to NTC. NTC then asked Infosys to form a team to make a
proposal for the work, offering to pay Infosys for the expenses associated with submitting
Tanaka-san then requested that Infosys Corporate headquarters (which is located in
India) send a consultant to help Infosys Japan develop a proposal for NTC. Infosys
Corporate was reluctant to allocate resources for this project because no contract had
been signed with NTC. After a long teleconference between Tanaka-san and Infosys
Corporate, Infosys Corporate decided to send a relatively junior engineer named Sachin.
Sachin held an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Bangalore
University. He was an expert in Java programming, and, during the five years he had
been at Infosys since his graduation, he had been involved in several projects. Most
recently, Sachin had been technical architect on the ATC project.
The First Meeting at NTC
Sachin was not quite ready when Yoneyama-san, an Infosys Japan project manager and
engineer, arrived at Sachin’s hotel to take him to the first meeting with NTC. They took
the train, meeting Tanaka-san, the Infosys Japan sales manager, in the NTC lobby five
minutes before the meeting was to start.
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